Scientific English

The scientific community is borderless and its common language is English - so it's time to brush up on basics in our set of workshops.

Reading, Writing and Presenting are basic skills required in every aspect of university studies. Paul Abbott tops it off with additional workshops focusing on grammar issues and scienfitic (or political) discussions.

Upper intermediate English or better (CEFR B1-B2) is required or at least strongly recommended so you will be able to follow the course.


2c | Scientific Writing

First we look at scientific publication and how it works. We discuss common writing tasks, including the abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and conclusion. Language associated with each task is introduced. We consider grammar and style issues that challenge writers who have German as a first language. Areas of focused practice include writing vigorously, writing objectively, building paragraphs, composing an abstract, and describing the visual display of quantitative information. We wrap it up by applying these resources to personal research results.

Block 2 | Monday, 14-18 h | t.b.a.

Maximum number of participants: 15 | → register here


3d | Scientific Reading

First we look at the kinds of texts that we read and the reading strategies that we use. A practical approach to reading texts in English is introduced and we apply it to short texts from relevant fields. The approach focuses on 4 reading phases: preparation, scanning, skimming and reading for detail. The goal of the workshop is to help participants improve as conscious readers who can recognize the structure of texts, identify key elements and read intensely where it counts most.

Block 3 | Tuesday, 9-13 h | location t.b.a.

Maximum number of participants: 15 | → register here


4d | Top Ten Grammar Issues

There are some who claim to do grammar "by intuition" - well, good luck with that one!

Although English and German seem closely related in many aspects, some others are quite different: applying German grammar concepts and structures in English sentences often goes wrong. 

We are going to look at the "classics" of grammar errors and misuses and try to derive a set of applicable rules to improve your English skills in writing and speaking.

Block 5 | Tuesday, 14-18 h | location t.b.a.

Maximum number of participants: 15 | → register here


5d | Scientific Presenting

Giving a presentation is hard, and it's even harder when the job has to be done in a foreign language. Participants in these workshops can practice their presentation skills in English and improve their performance.

First we look at a presentation on www.ted.com. This website documents performances from a wide variety of speakers who are experts in their fields. We set standards and review relevant language. Then each participant gives 3 presentations: a 2-minute, a 5-minute, and a 10-minute presentation. Participants are invited to use existing material. Video analysis of final presentations will be available. The goal is to structure your performance and use rhetorical techniques so that you can communicate useful information to your audience.

Block 2 | Monday, 14-18 h | location t.b.a.

Maximum number of participants: 15 | → register here


6d | Great Debates

Debating is a "sport" quite common in american and english colleges and universities - and quite useful in scientific and political debates and discussions.

As with the workshop 1c we look at argumentation strategies and the validity of arguments. And we will, of course, do a lot of practice and stage a discussion in teams to a topic of your choice.

Block 2 | Monday, 14-18 h | location t.b.a.

Maximum number of participants: 15 | → register here



English For Natural Scientists

Aside from specific Workshops, Paul Abbott offers a weekly semester course English for Natural Scientists! in summer and winter semesters.

In summer semesters we read and discuss 5 scientific articles, focusing on understanding broadly what the authors did, how they report on their work and how we can usefully read the reports and ask questions about them. Students write a critical review of an additional article as homework.

In winter semesters we look at the conduct of research and science and the language that we need to talk about it. The semester is dedicated to building vocabulary, fluency and giving presentations: each student gives a 10-minute presentation on a topic of their choice.

Upper intermediate English or better (CEFR B1 - B2) required

Trainer: Paul Abbott

On wednesdays, 12:00 to 14:00, Campus Riedberg, Geowissenschaften 3.103 (SoSe 2019)

Maximum number of participants for each course: 30 | registration will be available soon

Hinweis: Die Teilnahme kann mit bis zu 1 CP anerkannt werden, sofern dies in Ihrem Studiengang möglich ist (freies Studium, Softskillmodul, Optionalmodul...). Bitte fragen Sie vorher bei Ihrem zuständigen Prüfungsamt nach.


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