Tuesday, 20 October 2009

IATET event for technical English trainers

Just a quick message before I jet off to the Czech Republic and Slovakia for four days of presentations in four cities. I almost certainly won't have internet access while I'm on the road, so apologies in advance for anyone waiting for a comment to be approved.

Anyway, I've just received notification of a very interesting event organised by IATET, the International Association of Technical English Trainers.

The event will be held in Stuttgart at the end of November, but it'll also be available online, an idea which certainly appeals to me. I can't imagine I'll find time in November to fly to Stuttgart (as I already have two big events that month), but I'm very much looking forward to watching the sessions online.

Anyway, I'll post the complete invitation below. For more on IATET, see my interview with one of its co-founders, Paul East, or go to the new IATET site. IATET has recently been officially recognized as a proper association, and seems to be becoming much more active, with teacher training, exams and events all on the way.

They've even got a cool new logo, which I hope they won't mind me using below:

Just to clarify: I'm not a member of IATET (yet), although I am a fan, so please contact the organisers, not me, for information. Anyway, here's the invite:

You are invited to attend the first event day of the International Association of Technical English Trainers (IATET) featuring eight 15-minute presentations followed by a 15-minute Q and A session with the audience in the room and online chat.

We will be recording the sessions so those who cannot attend on the day will have the opportunity to view the presentations on the same day or later at http://iatet-events.ning.com/.

This first event day is to promote IATET which was founded on 28 March 2009. We would like to thank ISD GmbH www.isdgmbh.eu for kindly making their facilities available to us. Thanks go to the presenters for dedicating their time and sharing their expertise with us.

There will also be a small publisher exhibition.

If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact Cornelia cktrans@t-online.de or Paul paul.east@t-online.de

Event details:
Date: Saturday 28 November 2009
Time: 09.30 - 17.00
Venue: ISD GmbH, Alexanderstr. 42, 70182 Stuttgart, Germany, http://www.isdgmbh.eu/

Attendance fee:
- Attendance of presentations on the day is free of charge for IATET members. Attendees will be asked to make a small contribution for coffee and cold drinks.

To join IATET and request an application form, please contact our treasurer Andreas B├╝sing 169645@gmail.com

Places for attendance on the day are limited so register asap. IATET members have priority.

- Attendance fee for non-members: € 25 (to be paid on the day) - lunch not included in fee
- Online participation: free of charge for members and non-members. Online participation of future IATET events will be for members only.

- Registration for attendance on the day: please send an email to Olaf Kaufmann okauf@web.de  
- Sign up for online participation http://iatet-events.ning.com/  

Schedule and program

9.30 – 9.45

9.45 – 10.15
Session 1:
Acquiring technical vocabulary
Acquiring vocabulary is an important point in technical English as each sector has technical terms aplenty. This workshop will present an approach on how to use company resources to teach the vocabulary students need, using specific examples from Liebherr Verzahntechnik.
There will be time for discussion at the end.

Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Schratt has a degree in engineering at the Technical University in Munich. Certified translator & interpreter, CELTA. Freelance English teacher and translator, main field: technical English.

10.15 – 10.30

10.30 – 11.00
Session 2
Pumping Engineers
Technical people are often not very talkative about their work – even in their own language. They feel more comfortable with handling objects than with using words. But this characteristic can be an obstacle for them when they try to communicate in a foreign language. Frustrating for them; and difficult for the trainer to elicit language for analysis and feedback. In this talk we will look at ways to draw out technical people and to help and encourage them to use the language they already have or are learning.

Richard Phillips is an English trainer at ISD GmbH, teaching adult learners from various professions in Germany for over 22 years; specialising in Technical English; author of two Technical English coursebooks.

11.00 – 11.15

11.15 – 11.45
Session 3
English for Engineers – Behind the scenes of the Magazine Approach
Finding suitable material for engineering students can be challenging – especially for non-engineers. The magazine 'engine' will help you with this search. It offers articles from all engineering disciplines, dictionaries, technology basics and vocabulary and grammar lessons. Naturally, each issue can only cover a small selection of engineering topics. Therefore, we like to share some of our sources and help you research content relevant to your students. The talk will present a few (internet) resources for texts as well as audio and video files on engineering subjects.

Matthias Meier is editor-in-chief of 'engine', freelance technology writer and also a mechanical engineer. In 2003, he developed the concept for a language magazine tailored to the special needs of engineers.

11.45 - 12.00

12.00 – 12.30
Session 4
How engineers work
Engineers and technicians are a different breed than linguists. However, it's not enough for us language people to adopt, use and teach technical jargon, but we also have to take a different working and learning style into account. In this workshop, we will analyse what makes engineers and technicians tick and how we can customise our courses accordingly to ensure effective learning.

Marion Karg is a freelance language trainer; she has a Masters degree in English and French studies. Speciality areas: business and technical English. Occasional author, advisor and coursebook presenter.

12.30 – 13.30

13.30 – 14.00
Session 5
Plain English – analyzing and improving texts
What is formally called "Plain English" is simple, clear, easy to understand, and to translate. There are some specific rules and guidelines, which we can learn and learn to teach. Attendees are asked to bring some examples which we can work on (please send in advance by email).

Graham Tritt is from New Zealand, an information and communications specialist (B. Sc. Hons. (Math, Chemistry), Dipl. In Computer Science, Master in Engineering Science. He has considerable experience in moderating, public speaking, writing, and teaching of technical English.

14.00 – 14.15

14.15 – 14.45
Session 6
Tech Talk – the practical approach to learning technical English
What is so unique about Tech Talk? It is practical. It features a practical approach where students can discuss how things work, explain specifications, and troubleshoot defects. Tech talk has been designed with busy, technically oriented workers in mind, so they can relax, have fun and be creative in class, including games, interesting visual materials, humour and purposeful communicative activities. In this workshop, we will explore ways in which its highly dynamic and communicative syllabus provides skills students can pick up and use immediately at work. Technical English you can take to work today …

Specializing in games and interactive activities for adult education, Allison Antalek has extensive experience as an FLT teacher and teacher trainer, and is author of the Cornelsen Short Course Action Packs. In 2009, she took on the position with Oxford University Press as Senior ELT Consultant for Germany and Austria.

14.45 – 15.00

15.00 – 15.30
Session 7
Putting the "T" into Technical English
When teaching technical English it is of primary importance to define the needs of the learners. Not only the language of the specialist field must be taught, but in some cases technical aspects must also be explained. This talk will describe an in-company blended learning course. The task was to teach the technical English required by those staff who needed it: clerical staff from sales, finance and customer support, with little or no technical background, together with quality control and production staff, conversant in their own discrete fields of technology.

Ann Claypole is a former committee member of ELTAS with a long experience as a translator and freelance teacher of professional English in Germany. In addition to designing materials for in-company training, she also acts as editorial consultant to ELT publishers and lectures in ESP at Pforzheim University.

15.30 – 15.45

15.45 – 16.15
Session 8
A content-based approach to the teaching of technical English
There is a growing need for a more formalised approach to the teaching of technical English. In this connection, I will for the first time set out a series of principles for which I have coined the acronym, COLT (Content-Oriented Language Teaching). I will highlight how this concept differs from CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and from ESP (English for Special Purposes) and illustrate how the principles involved can be implemented in the day-to-day teaching of technical English.

Maurice Claypole has over 20 years experience as language teacher and developer of course materials for a variety of specialised subjects. He has taught technical English in both corporate and tertiary education contexts. He is also a technical translator with a broad client base including companies in the automotive, mechanical engineering and precious metals sectors. He is the author of numerous publications and a regular contributor to various ELT periodicals.

6.15 – 17.00
Closing, discussion

If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact Cornelia cktrans@t-online.de or Paul paul.east@t-online.de



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