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Soft Skills And Communication Skills For Engineers


Engineering education extensively recognize an increasing need to equip students with effective study skills early in their school education and basic professional skills prior to graduation. These, however, are usually difficult modules to instruct successfully to larger groupings through traditional lecturing. Observations suggest an unhealthy absorption rate from the students and thus a absence in their capability to benefit from these skills both in person and skillfully. Specific techniques defined in this newspaper can be easily built-into most types of teaching material.


Over the years there has been an increase in focus on 'smooth' skills and specifically communication skills in the anatomist programs. Reflecting both the demands of potential employers and professional bodies, as well as the creative imagination of course designers, modules such as first season 'analysis skills' and last 12 months 'professional skills' have grown to be increasingly more common. The best concentration has been positioned on fundamental matters such as display skills, effective survey writing, teamwork, and time/project management. Whilst this change is obviously an optimistic one, these modules seem to be among the list of more challenging to teach and assess efficiently, the requirements for success being that the college student can understand the principles shown, apply them using exercises, and illustrate the ensuing competence through examination.

A modified coaching approach is required that addresses the professional students. The methodology needs to add interest and clear relevance; students need to believe that any guidelines presented can solve a pressing concern or matter that is available in their world. Above all, to be successful the teaching procedure must be dynamic, interesting, practical and organized to control tactically the interest span of the audience.

Modifying the approach

Keeping a sizable number of undergraduate students constantly engaged is not the easiest of tasks, specifically considering the issues above. It was decided a different and much more dynamic teaching methodology was necessary to stimulate students instead of traditional lecturing styles structured essentially on one-way communication. If students frequently had to respond, discuss, behave or participate they might be far less more likely to disengage or go to sleep! Allowing them to make errors in a supportive environment would also go a way to convincing them that they had a need to enhance their skills and were doing so by attending the learning sessions. Some might dispute that a advanced of interaction is only practicable with smaller audiences. Whilst smaller groupings are indeed much easier to manage this was found not to be the situation, although a skilled lecturer is required who is happy to activate in open conversations and deviate from an in depth lecture plan if possible.

Towards a task-based approach

Typically, a normal ELT syllabus lists learning items in conditions of structures, functions, notions and vocabulary that are then occur situations and which usually integrate a variety of skills (reading, writing, being attentive and speaking). This prominent strategy has been characterized as product-orientated because it focuses on what's to be learnt or on products. The issue with this process, as Nunan (1988) has described, is that source can't be equated with outcome and that teaching cannot be equated with learning. In short, what the educator teaches is not the actual learner learns.

Swan (2005) in his critique of task-based learning laments the polarization of attitudes with regards to recent discussion of vocabulary learning. On the main one hand traditionalists claim in favor of a linear, atomistic syllabus design. Alternatively, hard-line task-based ideologues appear to exclude any atomistic activity in favor of all-or-nothing holism. Bygate's differentiation (2003, p. 176) between duties and exercises really helps to situate this debate. He identifies 'exercises' as "activities which practice parts of a skill, a new sub-skill, a fresh piece of knowledge". In contrast, he defines 'duties' as "activities which practice the whole integrated skill for some reason". Bygate's talk (2001, pp. 23-48) lends support to the theory that task-based teaching needs to be located in a wide curriculum framework, suggesting that isolated duties aren't sufficient in themselves to market learning. The implication attracted from such research and discourse is that items of learning that involve the proper use of holistic repeated "tasks" and helping atomistic "exercises" provide one method of avoiding slim ideological positions.

A task-based unitary construction is therefore suggested here that leads to student-led holistic final results by means of written reports, spoken presentations and considerable small-group interactions that lead to decision-making benefits. However, due account is also given to the design of atomistic exercises within the platform. In her model for task-based learning, Willis (1996, pp. 52-65) proposes a pre-task part, a task-cycle element (pre-task/task/post-task) and a dialect focus component. With regard to concentrate on form, Willis stresses the importance of an post-task report period, which could be considered a written activity such as writing a polished record or a spoken public-report period in which students can be motivated to give attention to accuracy and reliability and can be prompted to recast inaccurate forms. Other key stages for Willis that enhance the linguistic target of task-based learning will be the planning stage during which the teacher may take on a role of language consultant. This 1996 platform by Willis has been influential. In his 2006 Asian EFL Journal (AEJ) meeting keynote conversation, for example, Ellis made comprehensive mention of it, adopting it as his basic framework.

Components of the Task

Tasks contain some form of 'source' which may be verbal (a dialogue/role play/reading) or, nonverbal (pictures/a gesture) accompanied by a task, which is for some reason produced from the insight. This activity sets out what learners should do in relation to the input. Jobs also have goals and assignments for both professors and learners.

Components of any 'Process' (Nunan: 1989)

From the aforementioned diagram, an activity may very well be a piece of meaning concentrated work, regarding learners in comprehending, producing and/or interacting in the target language.

Before taking on the duty of converting the textual content into various tasks, the following details were noted and considered by the investigators:

-The purpose of the task must be stated very clearly

-The job must be appropriate for the level of the learners

-The process must equip the learners having the ability to apply classroom learning

in new situations.

-Tasks must be interesting and motivating to the students

-The form the type needs, must be clear to the teacher

-The assignments of teachers and students must be specified clearly

-Through the task, learners must be inspired to work out meaning

-The language that will be generated by the task must be predicted

-There should be variety and flexibility in the tasks

The following are eight well noted techniques you can use flexibly to change any 'standard' lecture into a far more powerful one. These techniques are summarized below.

An emphatic and fascinating introduction

A successful training session must begin by creating a sense of urgency and somehow taking the eye of the audience, usually by emphasizing the value of the topic and its relevance. What rewards can be obtained by applying the content of the program? What pitfalls can be found for many who lack the competence? However, it is important that in emphasizing the value of a subject the presenter is not regarded as 'finger wagging'. For instance, 'when you're in industry you need to. . . ' or 'you won't move your final season project unless you figure out how to. . . ' are improbable to prove participating whereas 'would you like me to help you get more grades for your lab studies without doing any longer work' is.

Use of relevant instances and 'storytelling'

Examples, reports and anecdotes transform theories and guidelines into perceived reality by providing a true-to-life basis for their application. They will also capture the entire attention of most audiences. Use a great deal of the - at least one for every single principal point protected - and, wherever possible, targets real examples somewhat than hypotheses. Let students discuss their similar experiences.

Group exercises

Have students perform short exercises in communities to try out the application of concepts presented, accompanied by debriefing where each group studies its findings, improvement and challenges to the audience. Exercises of this type split up the program, increase engagement and can be easily conducted - even in a lecture theater. They also pressure the students to admit their mistakes, even if these errors aren't reported to the audience, which helps to build for them the fact they have learnt something.


This is another interactive strategy to provide activation and variation. Offer an open question and have students brainstorm in small groups (usually as well as those seated next to them) before beginning a discussion period.


It is a lot more effective to demonstrate a concept than to speak about it. Documents could include some type of physical simulation, a straightforward game, or perhaps a online video. Role playing is particularly effective as it requires the students in an active way, so long as a risk-free and supportive environment is provided to prospects who participate. This in turn is dependent on the lecturer's making sure that students should never be embarrassed by 'inability' during an activity.

Opinion polls

This is a 'quick change' and helps students to engage in a fresh activity or a fresh aspect of a subject. For example a quick show of hands: 'How many people think. . . . ?'

The mind break

Used to refresh the listeners' attention span during more challenging display components, for example, 'take a 2 minute break to speak to your neighbor before we move ahead. . . '

Facilitation vs. lecturing

Whenever possible, lean towards the process of facilitation alternatively than lecturing. Prompt the audience with relevant questions, issues their ideas, and styles an understanding established upon the reactions and active conversations somewhat than reading a script. It is, however, important to be respectful towards students who give wrong or poor answers.

The techniques presented above provide some of the main elements for an engaging lecture. They are well documented and trusted in isolation. Not absolutely all are applicable to all situations and types of material, and the next thing is, therefore, to devise time plans into that they are woven appropriately. The decision of techniques depends largely on the topic to be provided and to some degree the lecturer's personality and specific style.


Perfect communication is near impossible in the class because it depends on many variables. However, if the tutor is to be successful, this content of his subject matter should be clear in his mind's eye and be devote suitable code and transmitted through appropriate mass media. There is dependence on a careful sequencing of ideas and the utilization of activities that is within the knowledge and understanding of the students. Whatever learning experience the students are exposed to, they must be allowed to practice it. Learning takes place through the effective behavior of the students. It really is what the pupil does that he learns and not what the instructor does. The tutor is merely a facilitator of learning. The quality of learning that takes place in any situation, to a very large extent, would depend on the potency of the teacher's plan and communication.

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