description, plan, online methods, resources

English for Telecom Companies 2001

Course Description

Course aims

We provide an opportunity to learn and practise Technical and Business English  
  • in an informal setting during the lunch hour
  • concentrating on the telecom industry
  • at intermediate or advanced English level

Teaching Method

So you can do either or (we hope) both: 
  • attend class sessions in an informal setting - 90 minutes weekly - Thursdays 1200-1330
  • communicate using email in the Yahoo "sienglish egroup" - at any time
For more information see below: Online Methods and Resources
Course planning
We do not follow a course book. 

We aim to build active communication skills rather than a complete knowledge of the language. 

  • listening 70% - practicing pronunciation and learning vocabulary
  • speaking 30% - discussing, as in workgroups or meetings, and presenting
  • reading 30% - tecnhical, business and news material
  • writing 10% - memos and presentations
We build your active knowledge of English: 
  • grammar 10% - we concentrate on problem areas - for instance phrasal verbs
  • technical and business vocabulary 20% - we get down to detail- for instance providing online dictionaries and examples
  • idiom and slang 20% - we explain colloquial vocabulary - for instance using texts from magazines
An attendee is welcome to take a formal English course in parallel - a class course or a computer-based course - and in this case it is possible to use our sessions for practical experience.

Session plan

Sessions are a mix of discussion, presentations, reading, and explanation.  There is usually a theme topic around which we build a variety of exercises. 

They may seem chaotic, but the important measure is that each attendee gets a fair chance to practice communication skills 

Typical Themes: 

  • an invention - designing a hand-held device for online weather reports
  • an article -  discussing as UMTS auctions or e-business
  • a task - such as convert a text into Plain English
  • a method - such as mind-mapping for a presentation, cognates to recognise meanings
  • a presentation - rewriting slides and presenting them
Skills and Knowledge
Skill listening and speaking presenting reading for  
analysing writing
How the skill is practiced we have discussions, simulations, 
role playing
each person describes a project, a product or an activity we take turns in 
reading a set text, 
checking the vocabulary
we analyse the 
text (meaning 
and structure), simplifying it
we may write a reply, a memo, a fax, or an email
Time spent (minutes) 
and results
20 each person has 5 minutes plus question time the whole exercise 
may take 
30 minutes
10 minutes, 
and the results 
are put online
Knowledge grammar everyday  
pronunciation references
How the knowledge is built analysing text 
studying problems
review of 
meanings, synonyms, 
glossaries of 
terms with explanation or translation
during or 
give a list of links to useful online sites
Online methods
We use email - an "electronic group", which is a mailing list. 

We use it for reminders before a session, and we send an email or links to resources afterwards.  
The newsletter has several functions: 

  • to report what we did - a review of the class session
  • to give more detail - because there was no time during the session
  • to give homework - doing this is optional
  • to provide links for more information
We can also send special homework assignments or answer email questions.  
In addition, we store the course material online - see below under Resources.


1. Go to and register for a "Yahoo Id" 
2. Connect this to your email address 
3. Sign in - now you can join hundreds of other lists on every possible topic 
4. Subscribe to the egroup sienglish. 

We can do 4 for you, and you will receive the emails of the group.  
However, until you do 1 and 2, you cannot see the online resources. 


Resources which we use

We use a range of material, such as 
  • Siemens, Swisscom, ASCOM, Nokia, Ericcson, and British Telecom magazines
  • Material you bring from your everyday work
  • Time, Business Weekly, Newsweek magazies
  • English-language newspapers
  • Text downloaded from the internet
We do not use online resources during sessions, the class is very interactive.

Resources which we produce

We produce resources and put them online for the class. 
Mostly these are based on the class work, sometimes there is an additional topic. 

For instance, we have produced: 

  • short newsletters - describing what happened in class sessions
  • the text we read - and its analysis or simplified version
  • specialized vocabulary - for examples, lists of business or electronic terms
  • software for downloading - for example, an acronym dictionary or a grammar checker
  • online links to useful sites - for example, dictionaries or automatic translation
These resources are not public - they are only for participants in the course! 
They are stored as files on the internet, and must be accessed through the egroup - 
which is limited to participants.