Welcome to English for Chemistry and Biotechnology

This is a four-skills course designed to help you organize and express complex scientific and technical information in clear and simple English.

Course Content

Information Mapping

One of the most useful tools for communicating technical and scientific information in English is “information mapping.” We will be using information mapping techniques developed by Professor Lawrence Hunter.

The information structures that Hunter identified cover more than 90% of the content of research papers and presentations. The structures are as follows:

  • Description,
  • Comparison,
  • Sequence,
  • Inference,
  • and Cause and Effect.

Data & Graphics

Many science and technology presentations involves communicating data through easy-to-understand graphics. In this class, one of your presentations will involve collecting, organizing, and presenting data through these simple, but critically important graphics.

Rhetorical Structures for Science and Technology

We will also explore a common rhetorical structure (“Situation, Problem, Solutions & Evaluation”) useful for understanding science and technology articles that appear in publications such as Science and Nature. Your final, and individual, presentation will use this structure.

Schedule

  1. Course Introduction / Student & Teacher Introductions
  2. Information Structure: Description (& Comparison)
  3. Information Structure: Sequence / Presentation 1 Assignment
  4. Presentation 1 Workshop and Rehearsals
  5. Graded Presentation 1 (pairs) 25pts
  6. Information Structure: Cause & Effect
  7. Information Structure: Inference / Presentation 2 Assignment
  8. Presentation 2 Workshop and Rehearsals
  9. Graded Presentation 2 (pairs) 25pts
  10. Graphs and Data Essentials / Presentation 3 Assignment
  11. Classroom Survey & Data Analysis / Presentation 3 Workshop
  12. Graded Presentation 3 (group) 10pts
  13. Information Structure: Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation / Presentation 4 Assignment
  14. Presentation 4 Workshop
  15. Graded Presentation 4 (individual) 40pts
  16. Make-ups and Reflection

Grading

  • Week 5: Sequence Presentation (pairs) 25pts 
  • Week 9: Inference Presentation (pairs) 25pts
  • Week 12: Graphs and Data Presentation (groups) 10pts
  • Week 15: SPSE Final Presentation (individual) 40pts

Attendance

I will take attendance at the start of every class. If you come late to class, you will be counted absent. Each absence will reduce your grade by 2%.

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