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Sites of construction: language learning, multimedia, and the international engineer

Computers & Education Volume 39, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This article discusses the role of a multimedia learning environment in teaching foreign languages to engineering students. Arguing for a subject-specific and skills-oriented approach in teaching Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) in the university, it outlines possible targets and skills for a language course for engineers. The paper goes on to discuss the advantages of using new language learning technologies in the LSP-classroom. It is argued that multimedia technology has a particular role to play in integrating complex subject matter and language learning, and that it facilitates the creation of authentic learning situations in an LSP-context. The discussion stresses the importance of combining technical aspects with pedagogical considerations, particularly with a view to promoting learner autonomy and a constructivist approach to language learning. Particular attention is given to the potential of computer technology in encouraging collaborative learning processes and in involving learners in the production of exercises and materials. The paper also considers the tutor-learner relationship in a technology-enhanced learning environment. Practical suggestions for language and skills training in a multimedia setting include a discussion of tutorial CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning), multimedia authoring tools, and the Internet. In conjunction with the Internet as a learning resource, the aspect of culture learning for engineering students is touched upon briefly.


Dlaska, A. (2002). Sites of construction: language learning, multimedia, and the international engineer. Computers & Education, 39(2), 129-143. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 26, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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