Mòdul professional 11: anglès tècnic

The English language is present in many fields nowadays. English words and acronyms are found in practically all the languages in the world. Words like ‘stop’, ‘PC’, ‘mobbing’, ‘Internet’, ‘web’, ‘e-mail’ or ‘basketball’, for example, are very common in Spanish and Catalan.

The leading role that the USA has taken up since the Second World War has spread their language and culture throughout the world. In this way, English has become the common language in international trade. Also, it is widely used in the fields of science, medicine and computers, among others. In our global world, it is essential to have a good knowledge of English and, in fact, a good knowledge of English is a basic requirement to apply to most of the qualified jobs. Therefore, learning the English language is very important in the studies that you are currently undertaking, what justifies the inclusion of the present module within the syllabus of ‘CFGM - Sistemes microinformàtics i xarxes’.

This course has been designed to meet the needs of all those who are going to use English in their present or future jobs. It covers the objectives established by the official curriculum, as described in the Ley Orgánica de Educación (LOE) In the present textbook, you will find the theoretical information that you will need to improve your English, basically grammatical and lexical explanations. You will also find some advice on how you can practice the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), as well as some learning strategies that you can use while studying on your own. You can put all the theoretical information into practice in the different exercices and activities available in the web materials.

The module “Anglès” is composed of 99 hours and is divided into three units of 33 hours each. In their turn, the three units are subdivided into three sections of 11 hours each. As required by the LOE, all the materials in the present module are available only in the English language. The module has been designed at a lower-intermediate level (approximately level B1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages) This means that the students should have a basic level of the language to carry out their studies satisfactorily. In case there is no such knowledge, the teacher will provide enough material to cover the basics of the language through the virtual classroom. The present book is written in the standard British variety, as recognized in the spelling, choice of words and grammar structures. Whenever we use a different variety, it will be so indicated.

It should be pointed out that this course is not about computers, but about the English language. However, at the beginning of each section there is a reading text about different aspects of computers and the new technologies. These texts show the especific terms of the field of computers and ICT in their context, so they may be useful to get some practice on this type of vocabulary.

The different sections in each unit have a similar structure and include the following:

  • A reading text, which you can use to practice your reading skills.
  • A grammar section, which introduces the different grammar topics.
  • A vocabulary section, with information about the different types of words.
  • A functions sections, where you can learn how to develop in frequent situations at work and at home.
  • A “Learning strategies” section, where you have ideas that you can apply in your learning process.
  • A “skills” section, where you can get some ideas on how to practice such skills as writing, listening or speaking.
  • Every three sections, there is a reading text about a cultural aspect of English-speaking countries.

The unit called “Hardware” deals with some general aspects, like the different uses of a computer and the external and internal components of a computer system. You will read some texts and learn some basic words, as well as technical words related to the topic. The grammar section is devoted to introduce the important verbs called “auxiliary verbs”, as well as the different uses and forms of the present and past tenses. You will also learn the characteristics of the English nouns, including a type of nouns called “false friends” which usually provoke mistakes and confusions in Spanish-speaking students. The study of vocabulary in this unit is completed with the frequency adverbs and the English adjectives, most especially their comparative and superlative forms, which are used to compare things and people. In the section called “Functions” you are going to learn how to make a good tranlation of a text into and from English, how to write a good summary and how to speak about the things that you like and do not like. Also, we are going to give you a few tips on how to write a good text using the appropriate connectors and punctuation and some advice on how to use a dictionary to learn English. This unit also includes the important topic of Phonetics, which is the study of sounds and helps in the pronunciation. Finally, you will read a text about non-verbal communication.

In the unit called “Software”, you will learn about different computer programs, like spreadsheets, databases and especially word processors. We will also consider the possibilities of using our creativity by means of different computer software. In the grammar sections, we continue with the study of English verbs with a look at the future tenses and the modals. We also begin the study of the English sentence structures with the conditional sentences. In the vocabulary sections, you will review the meaning and use of the prepositions of time and place with special attention to the expression of clock times and dates, the use of pronouns and possessives and the different expressions that you will need when speaking on the telephone. As for the skills, you will learn how to write letters and e-mails and to distinguish between formal and informal styles, as in English it is very important to distinguish between both types of styles. You will also learn the characteristics of the spoken language, which might be useful when you practice your oral English. In the “Functions” sections, you will learn about the correct way of giving and responding to instructions, making and responding to requests and explaining problems. The unit ends with a text about the Brithish and American varieties of English.

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