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Abstract

This study investigates the attitude of the engineering students towards learning technical English for academic purposes and workplace. The paper analyzes the students' motivation for learning technical English and explores if academic standard and academic level have a role in motivating students to learn. The study particularly analyzes the source of their motivation: did the students put effort to learn technical English to maintain a high GPA or are they powered by their personal motivation? The study sample consisted of the technical writing engineering students in Summer I & II 2013 and Summer II 2014 in a local Lebanese university. A questionnaire to test their attitudes and motivation was developed, and used after piloting, as the instrument for data collection. Focused group interviews with each group to triangulate the findings were also conducted. Findings reveal that the participants of high academic standard have positive attitude towards technical English and believe it will further their status and employment chances while students of weak academic standard would rather learn English only as a means for communication (ELF). This becomes possible since ELF focuses on the function of the language- i.e. communicating the message across instead of stressing on accurate structure (Cogo, 2010). In this manner, students become users of the English language, not learners of the language. Proponents of ELF consider ELF speakers as users of English rather than learners (Björkman, 2011). Moreover, results reveal that there was a minor difference of attitude among the participants with respect to academic level.

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2015-08-29
2019-11-21
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