Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Technical English – 4-4800171

- 2018/07/19

Ministry of Education

Umm Al-Qura University

English Language Centre


The following is a detailed description of the Technical English (4800171 – 4) course offered by the English Language Center (ELC) to the freshmen students joining the Preparatory Year Program (PYP) at Umm al Qura University (UQU). All freshmen in the Scientific Stream have to take an ESP (English for Specific Purposes) Technical English course in the second semester after they successfully complete the EGP course (English Language, 48021700-6) which is offered to them in the first semester of each year.

This course presents students with the language, information, and skills needed for their university program course of study. It presents them with English from a variety of technical fields and situations and develop their communication skills. Students will receive 16 contact hours of instruction in English per week (over a period of 16 weeks). The course prepares students for their core courses which are taught in the English medium providing them with the necessary jargon and with opportunities to practice all the four language skills in a meaningful, subject-specific, context. See below for more details.

1.  Basic Information


Course Title:

Technical English



Course Number:

4800171 – 4



Course Type:




Number of Credits:




Number of Contact Hours:

Sixteen hours a week: 256 hours per semester



Course Pre-requisites:

English language 48021700-6


Course Time:

First Year 2nd Semester (16 weeks including Mid & Final Exams)


2.  Course Catalog Description

Technical English 4800171 – 4 is an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course which runs in the second semester of every year beginning in February. The course is offered in 16 weeks with a 16-hour-per-week intensive teaching plan. We use a professional careers curriculum provided by Oxford University Press consisting of two textbooks: Oxford English for Careers: Technology 1 and Technology 2. In order to be enrolled in this course, students have to complete the pre-required EGP course.

The course Technical English 4800171-4 is offered to students enrolled in the second semester of the preparatory year. This course is directed to students who are going to pursue their studies in the various technical colleges (e.g., Engineering and Computer Science... etc.). The course prepares students for their core courses which are taught in the English medium providing them with the necessary jargon and with opportunities to practice all the four language skills in a meaningful, subject-specific, context.

3.  Course Delivery for Technical English 4800171 – 4

Coverage of Planned Program

Weekly Instruction: 16 contact hours; Total: Semester Instruction: 256 contact hours

Number of Textbooks: 2 as follows:

1. Oxford English for Careers: Technology 1, and;

2. Oxford English for Careers: Technology 2

Week No.

Unit/Topic Covered

Contact hours

Week 1

Course intro.

Technology 1  (Units 1, 2)


Week 2

Technology 1 (Units 3, 4)


Week 3

Technology 1 (Units 5, 6)


Week 4

Technology 1 (Units 7, 8)


Week 5

Technology 1 (Units 9, 10)


Week 6

Technology 1 (Units 11, 12)


Week 7

Technology 1 (Units 13, 14)


Week 8

Technology 1 (Units 15)


Week 8: Wednesday & Thursday: Midterm Exam

Week 9

Technology 2 (Units 1, 2)


Week 10

Technology 2 (Units 3, 4)


Week 11

Technology 2 (Units 5, 6)


Week 12

Technology 2 (Units 7, 8)


Week 13

Technology 2 (Units 9, 10)


Week 14

Technology 2 (Units 11,12)


Week 15

Technology 2 (Units 13, 14)


Week 16

Technology 2 (Units 15)/ Review


Week 16: Wednesday & Thursday: Final Exam


4.  General and/or Professional Performance Standards

General and/or Professional performance domains and sub-domains that Technical English 4800171 – 4 fully or partially covers are checked below.


Professional Performance Domains and Sub-Domains

Language Proficiency skills















Educational Instructional Skills







Knowledge of Linguistics






L1 Culture


L2 Culture


Other Cultures

Ö (Limited)


5.   Technical English 4800171 – 4 Competencies Development

The following competencies are developed in Technical English (4800171 – 4):

  1. Competency in technical reading
  2. Competency in technical listening
  3. Competency in speaking in technical situations
  4. Competency in technical writing
  5. Competency in technical terminology

6. Technical English 4800171 – 4 Course Instructional Objectives

Technical English 4800171 – 4 aims at:

  1. revising and expanding students’ grammatical structures (built during the EGP course).
  2. building and expanding students’ technical-terminology repertoire.
  3. developing students’ skills in accuracy and fluency during speaking in technical situations.
  4. developing students’ skills in in word pronunciation, word stress, rhyme, and intonation in the technical field.
  5. enhancing students’ skills in listening for gist and specific information in technical situations.
  6. improving students’ ability in verbal communication and interaction with professionals in the technical field and non-specialists.
  7. developing students’ competence in the use of a variety of sentence structure in different technical situations ranging from formal to informal.
  8. exposing students to a wide range of authentic technical text types including but not limited to L1, L2, C1 and C2.
  9. developing students’ skills in comprehending a technical text, distinguishing main ideas, and recognizing specific details.
  10. developing students’ skills in the use of cohesive devices and a variety of sentence structures in technical writing.
  11. developing students’ writing skill in different genres: writing a paragraph, a report, an essay, a/n  in/formal letter, a/n  in/formal email, technical report, etc.
  12. enhancing students’ technical-language proficiency in all skills interactively.
  13. building students confidence and motivation through exposure to facts, figures, quotations, and the latest technological innovations so to generate interest in the language from an ESP perspective.
  14. preparing students to sit for assessments and evaluation to check their progress and achievement in learning technical English.

7. Technical English 4800171 – 4 Performance Objectives

By the end of the course, the students are expected to be able to:

  1. express themselves in technical situations.
  2. communicate in technical contexts via listening, speaking, writing, emailing, reporting information, expressing opinions, etc.
  3. use the technical terminology and structures acquired through communicative activities in technical settings.
  4. comprehend technical texts well in main ideas and detailed information.
  5. differentiate between the correct usage and incorrect usage of English in grammar, vocabulary, collocation, and speech situations all within the technical context.
  6. compare and contrast textual information in different contexts, cultures, and settings.
  7. write a correspondence, a paragraph, an essay, a short technical report, a/n formal/informal letter/email coherently and cohesively
  8. have confidence in sitting for assessment and evaluation.

8. Additional Points to Class and Course Management Policies

To maximize the language learning opportunities to the students and to provide them with the smoothest possible experience throughout the time the students are under its care, the ELC has developed certain in-home bodies and policies. The following is an account of them:

8.1.  Exam Committee (EC)

The Exam Committee at the English Language Centre (ELC) organizes and coordinates all mid-term and final exams; they also develop exam questions, answer keys, and marking guidelines, in addition to supervising the execution of the exam rules and regulations. Faculty and students can turn to the committee if they have a question or concern regarding an exam, a missed exam, etc.

8.2.  Marking Committee (MC)

Once the Exam Committee has delivered an exam, the answer sheets are forwarded to the Marking Committee which marks the students’ answer sheets using a computer program. To make sure that the answer sheets are marked correctly, the MC randomly chooses 5 sheets from each group and score them manually. They cross-match the results and if any discrepancies are found, the whole group is rechecked.

8.3.  Classroom Rules of Conduct


  1. are not allowed to use electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, audio recorders, in the classroom unless needed or requested by the teacher and for academic purposes.
  2. are not given an opportunity to use a camera inside and outside the classroom, unless they have the proper permissions and for academic reasons.
  3. are not permitted to drink beverages and eat food, snacks, candies, and the like in the classroom.
  4. are allowed to drink water in the classroom.
  5. are not allowed to disturb the class by any means.
  6. are to observe the Islamic code of dress.
  7. are not allowed to smoke in class or on university premises.

8.4.  Attendance and Participation

Students’ attendance at all class sessions is required. Simply, learning English is a skill which needs focus, practice, and regular attendance. Additionally, students’ punctual attendance shows their enthusiasm for learning as well as respect for the teacher, peers, course, and the University.  Any absence beyond 25% of the Course Hours will result in the student’s being banned from attending the final exam.

Students need to differentiate between an ‘excused’ and ‘non-excused’ absence. Any Absence which occurs due to a health condition, a personal/family emergency, or attendance at an approved university activity is considered an excused absence. The excused absence must be supported by documentation and presented to the instructor in advance, or immediately, or shortly after the student’s availability in the class. The absent student is responsible for any assignment, quiz, and/or exam missed whether their absence is excused or unexcused. Having an excuse will not reduce the number of absent hours counted, but it will give the student a chance to catch up on missed assignments and quizzes, if the course instructor accepts.

Students are not turned away from entering the classroom when they are late.  However, it is expected that they enter the classroom calmly, positively, and non-disruptively.  Without a doubt, ‘participation marks’ are largely affected by excessive tardiness and absenteeism. Students’ regular attendance and participation in the class not only do strengthen their academic backups but also do support their participation marks, among others.

8.5.  Missed Exams

If a student misses a quiz, an assignment, and/or a presentation, they have to contact their instructor at the earliest opportunity possible in order to arrange for an alternative.

If a student misses a unified exam (a midterm exam or a final exam) because of a medical reason or a personal/family distress, s/he has to contact the Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs of their respective college and submit a written document such as a medical report issued by an authorized medical body or personality within two weeks. The Vice-Dean will file the case and forward the relevant documents to the English Language Center. The ELC Director or one of his deputies will send the case to the Exam-Excuses Committee in the ELC. Accordingly, the committee will review their case and decide if the student is eligible to sit for a substitute exam. In the case of approval, the student has to appear for a substitute exam the date, time and place of which is decided in coordination with the relevant college and the students are informed via SMS and email.

If a student did poorly in a midterm exam or a final exam, they are not permitted to sit for it again. Simply, once a student attends any formal exam, they have made a decision to do so and, thus, no compensation or recourse will be granted in any circumstance.

8.6.  Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty (including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism) is strictly prohibited. As academic dishonesty depreciates efforts of the teacher to teach and devalues the attempts of students to learn, the ELC has zero tolerance for proven academic dishonesty. Depending on the type and severity of dishonesty, possible sanctions and charges (based on the decision of Disciplinary Committee(s) in the ELC, and/or University) may range from a repetition in the assignment, project, or exam to dismissal from University, as indicated below:

  1. a repetition in the assignment, project, or exam;
  2. a reduction in grade in the assignment, project, or exam;
  3. a zero in the assignment, project, or the exam;
  4. a suspension for a semester or a year;
  5. or dismissal from University.

8.7.  Instructor’s Office Hours

Students are encouraged to make use of their instructor’s office hours. The instructor informs students of their office hours at the beginning of each semester. As well, the instructor’s timetable (including their teaching and office hours) is posted outside their office.

8.8.  Students’ Questions, Comments, Suggestions, and Criticism

If a student has a question, suggestion, comment, and/or criticism, they will be received by their instructor with pleasure. However, in approaching the instructor in any issue, the student’s objective view and discretion are always expected. It must be noted that no increase or decrease to the student’s mark is assigned for suggesting, criticizing, etc. 

8.9.  Emergencies

In case of an emergency all students are to stay calm and deal with it appropriately following instructions given by their respective faculty.

a.  Emergency Evacuation:  In case of fire emergency or the like, students must leave the classroom immediately but calmly and go in the designated area.  See the map and instructions posted on the wall near your classroom.

b.  Emergency Ambulance: Call 911 from any office that is the nearest to you.

c.  First Aid Kit:  First Aid Kit is located in the office of Students’ Affairs as well as in the office of the campus's physician.

d.  Personal Emergency: If a student has an urgent chronic medical condition that might occur while they are in the classroom, the student needs to inform their instructor of the medical condition and its consequences at the beginning of each semester.

9. Course Materials and Learning and Information Resources

9.1. Students’ Book & Material

  • Glendinning, E. (2009). Technology 1 – Student’s Book. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.
  • Glendinning, E., & Pohl, A. (2009). Technology 2 – Student’s Book. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.

9.2. Teacher’s Book & Material 

  • Bonamy, D. (2009). Technology 1 – Teacher's Resource Book. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.
  • Pohl, A. (2009). Technology 2 – Teacher's Resource Book. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.


  • Technology 1 Class Audio CDs
  • Technology 2 Class Audio CDs

9.3. Supplementary Materials

  • Lea, D., Bull, V. & Webb, S. (eds.) (2014). Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

9.4. Website Resources

9.5. Further References

  • Glasman-Deal, H. (2009). Science Research Writing: A Guide for Non-Native Speakers of English. London, Imperial College Press.
  • Mitra, M. K. (2006). Effective Technical Communication: Guide for Scientists & Engineers. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Northey, M., & Jewinski, J. (2012). Making Sense in Engineering and the Technical Sciences: A Student's Guide to Research and Writing. (4th Ed.). Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Raman, M., & Sharma,S.  (2009). Technical Communication: English Skills for Engineers. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

10. Technical English 4800171 – 4 Grading Standards

 Linguistic progress of the students registered in Technical English 4800171 – 4 is evaluated according to the following assessment measurements:


Assessment Measurement

Score Weight


Coursework (including quizzes, written and spoken assignments, presentations, projects and classroom and online participation)



Midterm Test



Progressive assessment of Technology 1 Listening skill quizzes, held in a regular classroom



Graded Readers Bonus Grades (optional, obtained in accordance with the semester requirements



Final Exam



11. Technical English 4800171 – 4 Technology Support

  1. The general software that our students need to use in this course is checked below.


General Technology



Word processing programs: Microsoft Word, Pages …etc



Spreadsheet programs: Microsoft Excel, Numbers …etc



Presentation programs: Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, Powtoons, Prizi …. etc



Internet Tool e-mail



Search Engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Safari, Bing, etc.)



Others (specify)


  1. The general technologies that the instructor needs to use in the class and/or lab are:


General Technology



Internet access and E-Mail



Spreadsheet programs: Microsoft Excel, Numbers …etc



A data show projector



Video and audio media equipment



Digital camera

Ö (limited use)


Presentation programs: Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, Powtoons, Prizi …. etc



Scanner / CD writer



Word processing programs: Microsoft Word, Pages …etc



Others (Specify)