Course syllabus


FSP046 English for engineers HT21 (7.5 hp)

  • English for Engineers is an optional English language course offered by the Department of Communication and Learning in Science open to Chalmers students from any discipline.
  • To take the course, a grammar diagnostic test (in EngOnline) must be taken prior to the start of the course, and a score of at least 60% attained (if you get lower, or just above, you might be more comfortable with the course, FSP055). A Chalmers ID is needed to log in. To sign up for EngOnline, use this step-by-step guide.
  • This course runs over study periods 1 and 2, which means that this 7.5 credit course runs between 30 August 2021 and 16 January 2022, with sessions occurring on Thursday afternoons.
  • An outline of each week’s activities and assignments can be found in the Schedule Overview. The Canvas Calendar function is also useful for keeping track of these.

Contact details

Ideally, please use your Canvas Inbox as the main channel of communication for personal questions. For course questions that all students can benefit the answer from, please use the discussion forum. For general course updates or information, the teacher will communicate via Announcements.

Course purpose

The aim of the course is to enable students to reach an academic level of proficiency in English. This means developing students' ability in English for academic studies at the Master's level as well as in professional life.

Learning objectives and syllabus

The successful student is able to use English effectively and appropriately in advanced academic studies as well as in professional settings. This includes the following:

  • write and revise a variety of texts, both academic and professional.
  • select and structure information in paragraphs, sections, and chapters, keeping the audience in mind.
  • adapt and present information for different oral communication contexts and different audiences.
  • analyse sentences from a grammatical viewpoint and revise for effective communication.
  • give and receive constructive criticism on written and oral work
  • process reading material to use in academic texts.
  • use references appropriately and correctly.

Course design

As of 21 June 2021, the decision is to run the course on campus. 

Compliance with Health Regulations

As you know, the first study period comes as vaccinations for Covid have not fully been administered to the entire population. So, we are closely following all health and safety regulations and also have constructed this course to keep your safety in mind. If any major changes must be made to the course as a result, we will post them here.

Our need to prioritize our health and safety has some implications:

  • We must follow all regulations issued by the state or the university. That might mean that we have to convert some (or all) in-person sessions to Zoom sessions instead. 
  • You will need to check your email frequently for any updates to the course. We will always aim to give you sufficient time to adjust to any changes or updates.
  • However, in the case of, e.g. instructor illness, we may sometimes have to make changes closer to the start time of a session than we would like. We ask for your understanding if any such late notices happen.
  • If you experience illness symptoms, it is best to stay away from others on the course. If this transpires and means that you must miss an obligatory session, you will be assigned compensation. This course does not have rooms that have been equipped for hybrid sessions (sessions where some people attend in person while others attend via Zoom), so there is no way for you to remotely attend a session that is in-person. Therefore, we ask that you only miss class when you are ill, and that you use the discussion board to post questions for other students/group members about what you missed when you were ill.

Working with Canvas

For some of you, working in Canvas, the learning management platform in Sweden, might be new, and therefore, I recommend taking a look at the following pages for tips and guidelines:

It is important to be aware that every teacher may utilise the Canvas learning platform differently. The links above provide good guidelines in general. But there may be some deviations. We have created a navigation guide to this course's Canvas pages for you: Navigating FSP046's Canvas pages.

Teaching and assignments

  • Teaching and assessment are shared equally between the two teachers, Carina and Kathy. 
  • All personal queries can be sent via email here in Canvas (via Inbox). You can also of course ask questions during class. However, any questions in which the whole class would benefit from the answer, please ask those via the discussion forum.
  • All writing assignments go through at least one draft and one round of peer response (Peer Reviewing: A Brief Guide).
  • Deadlines: it is important that you keep to the deadlines. If you have any issues with meeting the deadlines, please speak to or email the teachers. 
  • Revisions: should assignment requirements not be met, revisions will be requested. Further details under each assignment.
  • Participation: active participation in the course and attendance in the meetings are expected. Please speak to or email the teachers if you have schedule issues.


TimeEdit only gives you an indication of the date, time, and room. The Schedule Overview provides a bit more (including an indication of which sessions are compulsory), and each session page even more. Your 'Calendar' area in Canvas should also keep you organised (you'll see assignments and meetings there as long as the course FSP046 is selected). Anything in the Calendar should also appear in your to-do list on the Canvas home page. 

Please note too that since we may not always fully utilise the time slot we have (13.15-17.00), we strongly recommend that you utilise the time of the session slot not in use each week to do some of the reading/watching of the material that you are expected to look at (either what you didn't have time for the previous time or what is coming next) or even start/work on an assignment.

Session 1 is on 2 September. Before we meet, there are a few small tasks to do. Take a look at the Getting Started module.

Course literature

  • Course literature consists of session material and other suggested materials. See the section Course literature/materials in the module Course Information.

Changes made since the last occasion

  • Have moved back to campus-based sessions after the online setup during the pandemic.
  • Have tried to use Canvas more intuitively for the course set up, e.g. creating session pages with schedule details and a master list page in order to find specific course content from different sessions more easily.
  • Updates and adjustments to assignment details for more clarity.

Examination form

Final grade

One final grade is given at the end of this 7.5 credit course, on a 3 to 5 Chalmers scale, with 5 being the highest mark. The final grade is based on: (1) the grade from Part A (study period 1), (2) the final oral presentation in Part B (study period 2), and (3) the written proposal in Part B. Each of these parts is worth one-third of the final grade. In order to receive the final grade, all assignments, including those that do not receive U-3-4-5 grades, which are just pass/fail, must be completed. Some tasks may require revision before a task is complete. Please note that some tasks are compulsory because they are vital to the process-oriented approach that we use.

Here is the page for the criteria for three graded assignments.


The first part of the course focuses more on general English language skills including written proficiency and some grammar. Subject-specific writing is the focus of the lectures, using a step-by-step process of structuring and editing texts with peer response as well as feedback from your teachers, to help you develop some useful writing strategies. You also draft a CV and engage in oral language practice and activities. To make your language training not only effective but individualised and team-oriented, we often work in small groups in sessions.

Writing skill concepts form the basis of most in-class input as well as prepare students for follow-up workshops and seminars. The oral proficiency training includes individual presentations and group discussions.

Grammar support is provided through our web-based tool EngOnline, which you are encouraged to use for self-study. There are some lectures that touch upon typical problem areas of some specific grammar categories. Most grammar training though happens through feedback and revision of writing assignments during both study periods.

The assessment during the first part of the course comprises

  • all pass/fail assignments (summary, CV, source list, topic presentation, reflections)
  • a literature review assignment (which has been through the writing process – drafts and peer response), assessed as U (fail)*, 3, 4 or 5                               


Part B focuses a little more on professional English, including proposal writing, emailing, and further oral practice in the form of a meeting. 

The assessment during the second part of the course comprises

  • all pass/fail assignments (business meeting, email, reflections)
  • an oral presentation assignment, assessed as U, 3, 4 or 5
  • a written proposal assignment (which has been through the writing process – drafts and peer response), assessed as U (fail)*, 3, 4 or 5

Note that both part A (study period 1) and part B (study period 2) must be completed to earn the final course grade.

*A grade of U will trigger a mandatory revision, uploaded through Canvas (the same portal as the initial submission). The highest grade for a revision is a 3. Note that more than one revision of a text may be required before a passing grade is achieved. 

**A grade of U will trigger a mandatory revision, to be scheduled with the instructor. The highest grade for a revision is a 3. Note that more than one revision of a presentation may be required before a passing grade is achieved.


Remember, Session 1 is on 2 September. And before we meet, there are a few small tasks to do. Take a look at the Getting Started module.

Course summary:

Date Details Due