A course in best practices in scientific writing and oral presentation in English for Chinese graduate students in engineering and the life sciences

John B. Troy, Pei Ji Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


It is well recognized in China that, for the professional advancement of its graduate students in the upcoming decades, mastery of writing and oral presentation of their work in English is a necessity. Thus, for the past four years we have been developing and running a course in scientific writing and oral presentation in English at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), one of the premier institutions of higher education in China. For the first years, the course was offered to a highly select group of primarily biomedical engineering, mostly PhD, graduate students, the field in which the two principals of the course - one Chinese professor and one U.S. professor - hold their academic appointments. In the most recent offering of the course, the student population was expanded greatly to include almost 200 MS and PhD students from many of the Schools at SJTU. In this 2018 offering a large faculty team was established to provide tutorials to groups of roughly 12 students to supplement the lecture component delivered by the U.S. professor. Student and faculty reviews of the course have been mostly positive and many important lessons have been learnt through the experience. The most critical of these lessons are being incorporated into a revised plan for the course when it is offered next in 2019. It is felt that our experience should be of interest to others contemplating the challenges of preparing nonnative English speakers for the engineering profession in this twenty-first century. In the paper we share our methodology of teaching and detail the major challenges faced in this project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this