As teachers, we found that first year engineering students at our university (KMUTT) were not linguistically prepared for the kind of language they would be reading in their textbooks and writing in their papers. We also found that there were no suitable resources for engineering students to study with.
Materials such as the AWL (Academic Word List) exist, but they are generally geared towards high-level academic language, and cover a wide range of disciplines, so a lot of that language would not be useful for these students.
The primary goal of the website is to provide vocabulary materials for engineering students in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) context based on natural data and sound corpus linguistics principles. Especially, these materials are designed to help Thai first year students prepare for the kind of language they will encounter in their textbooks, throughout their university career.
In order to create the materials available on this website, we first find the most frequently occurring words and phrases. Next, we make sure that the words and phrases we’ve located are applicable to the majority of the engineering sub-disciplines.
For example, let’s say the word “hydrocarbon” is in the top 5% of words, so we should consider it for inclusion in the list. However, if it only occurs in texts for chemical engineers, we will not include it, because it is not broadly useful for engineers in general.
The importance of using real natural language as the source of our data cannot be stressed. Because this is language that we know our students will encounter we address the words and phrases that students are most likely to encounter often, and make sure they get a handle on that essential vocabulary.
This empirical approach allows us to remove the guesswork and opinion out of the materials and focus on what students actually have to know to be able to understand their texts.
The corpus consists of over 1.15M words from 29 engineering textbooks in the following twelve sub-disciplines of engineering:
|Control Systems and Instrumentation|
|Electronics and Telecommunication|
|Textbook||# of Words|
|9.||Circuits and circuit analysis||34,585|
|18.||Material and energy balance||21,950|
|21.||Statics and dynamics||50,302|
We selected these twelve sub-disciplines because we most often teach students from these twelve departments.
* Note that after processing to account for unusable characters, the wordcount is ~1.15M words
In the near future, we will develop similar exercises and materials for science and IT teachers, students, and researchers. The corpora for science and IT are complete, but the exercises, word lists, and so on, have not been started yet.
We are always interested in improving our materials. Please contact us if you have any question, or suggestion, or if you have found a mistake or error.
We can be contacted at by clicking either of our names:
If you would like to cite these materials, please use the following form:
Osment, C., Graham, D. (2013, June 26) CEEM: Corpus-driven Engineering English Materials. Available from: http://crs2.kmutt.ac.th/ceem