Interview with an Engineer on our Specialist English for Engineers Course

English for Specialist Engineers Course


We very often have Engineers come to us here at LSI/IH Portsmouth with a very real need to improve their English as they work in an international environment or will start travelling or need to work with others who only speak English.

Case Study with Jörg

Today engineers work in a very global industry and with this comes a need to improve various skills, none more so than the ability to clearly and concisely communicate in English. More and more companies are placing a premium value on those engineers who have a good level of English and are able to successfully use it when dealing with colleagues and customers.

At LSI/IH Portsmouth we have had many years of experience teaching English for engineers, whether they be from the chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical or other fields. We provide our engineering for English students with the language they need to successfully carry out their tasks. Whether the course is focused on widening the student’s knowledge of engineering terminology, their confidence in using the target language and their own passive knowledge or a combination of the both, our courses are tailor-made to achieve just that.

We recently had a German mechanical engineer who came to LSI/IH Portsmouth for a two week English for Engineers Course. He kindly agreed to be interviewed about his experiences on the course and how it had improved his English.

Jörg Kaufmann, an Engineer from Germany

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Hello, Jörg, could you tell us what you do and who you work for, and how long you have worked there?

Jörg: Hello, good morning, yes, I am a mechanical engineer and I work for a company in the south of Germany. It is a company that produces machines for production lines, we started about 40 years ago and are one of the leaders in our field now. I’ve been working there now for about ten years, I have worked in a few different areas, but I came here straight from my training at university.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: What type of training did you do for this career?

Jörg: I did a degree course in Mechanical Engineering at my local university and after that I applied for various jobs and after my second interview I was offered this job. I have to say, as a child I would breakdown all my toys to try and see how they were made, it’s just the way I am. I have always liked to understand how things work.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: What position do you hold in the company, and has that changed since you have been with the company?

Jörg: We don’t hold particular job titles, we work as a team, there are a number of mechanical engineers, we work on various projects, but we don’t have particular job titles. Over the years I have been given more and more responsibilities, more and more better responsibilities, but my job title hasn’t changed, although I am in charge of my team now.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: So, what kind of things do you do in your job?

Jörg: Well, as I mentioned I normally work on specific projects, these projects normally last between six months to over a year, depending on the project. And as I said it is about creating and designing new machines that can work on production lines, it may be in the automotive industry or the electronics industry.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Do you think this is the same process, the same job, in every country?

Jörg: Mainly, I think the basic principles of mechanical engineering are very similar in many or most countries, even though it is a very wide field, obviously between companies there are slight differences, but overall we generally follow similar principles.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Do you need English in your job?

Jörg: Yes I do, because my company does a lot of business with companies in other countries and I often need to travel to these countries or sometimes the people come to us and so it is vital that I have good Engineering English for my job.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: So, during your English for Engineers course here, what has your course focused on?

Jörg: My English for Engineers course has focused on, firstly providing me with better structures because my tenses were not very good and I think, like a lot of Germans, that it is very important. Secondly, it has given me a lot of practical language to help me to be able to explain to other people how machines work, how they need to be installed, so I have been given lots of tasks by my teacher to be able to do that.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Do you think this English for Engineers course has helped you, and would you recommend this English for Engineers course to someone else in your position?

Jörg: Yes, it has. It has given me a lot of confidence in my English. I think I was lacking a lot of confidence before I came here. I know the vocabulary of my job, this is not a problem, but the ability to communicate that successfully, I wasn’t sure I was able to, that has really helped me on this course.  Absolutely, I think it is really good. The last time I had any language training was at university but it wasn’t very much, so this is the first training I have had in my job.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: And, do you think a two-week course is enough?

Jörg: Oh, I would like to have another two weeks, but it has given me a lot of help this course.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Jörg, thank you very much for doing this for us.

Jörg: You’re welcome

Thank you Jörg for agreeing to do this interview with us, we really do appreciate it.

(**Please note we have changed the students’ names due to their companies’ privacy policies.**)

See here for more information on our Specialist English for Engineers Course

See here for more information on all our Specialist English Courses.