University of Loughborough – Language Gateways into the Professions: German for students of Civil Engineering

Author(s): Teresa Birks
Institution/Organisation: CILT, the National Centre for Languages (UK)


Four British universities, Bristol, Loughborough, Kingston and Salford, designed and piloted language modules linked to Engineering and Built Environment Degrees.  Within each University, a language expert work closely with a vocational expert to design the modules in consultation with employers and professional bodies such as the Engineering Council UK and RICS, Construction Skills.


Loughborough University offered an intensive an ab initio course in German linked to the construction industry. Aimed at Masters students of Civil Engineering, the course is designed to develop context-specific language skills, to inform the next generation of civil engineers about the importance of language and intercultural skills for their future careers and to equip students with the relevant linguistic skills set to get ahead in their chosen profession. The course included a teaching trip to Berlin accompanied by 3 language teachers and one German-speaking Civil Engineer and included both work related presentations and teaching sessions.


All project partners have contributed to two fact sheets which make the case for languages in the Built Environment and Engineering. These will form part of CILT's Languages Work suite of publications.

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