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English Professor Authors First-of-Its-Kind Textbook on English for Specialized Science and Technology

RELEASED: Sept. 17, 2009

JoAnne Juett
Dr. JoAnne Juett

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. JoAnne Juett, an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has authored a textbook to improve non-native English speakers' comprehension and clarity when reading and writing about specialized subjects in science and technology.

"English for Specialized Science and Technology" recently was published by Cosmos Culture Ltd., a company based in Taiwan. The first edition is intended primarily for native Chinese speakers, and includes a separate word bank booklet listing translations of specialized vocabulary from English to Chinese. However, Juett said that the 47 chapters covering some of the most recent topics in science and technology could have a much broader application and prove helpful to other groups of non-native speakers, as well as native English speakers interested in improving their knowledge of these subjects.

Examples of the wide variety of topics covered in the text, which are organized into 16 units of related chapters, include green building, biomedical engineering, hybrid cars, stem cells, nanomanufacturing, food biotechnology, renewable energy, spacecraft systems, satellite oceanography and light pollution. Each chapter models a scientific or technical essay and is followed by several sets of exercises designed to help the reader identify and more clearly understand 15-20 vocabulary words specific to scientific and technology writing on the featured subject. The exercises focus not only on the meaning of target words, but also include work with root words, suffixes and prefixes, parts of speech, and synonyms and antonyms.

"It really is the only book of its kind," said Juett, who wrote all 47 chapters herself and spent a year researching public sources and learning about the various topics. She said she envisions future editions that might include word bank booklets providing translations for other languages.

Juett said she is currently using several chapters of her book in one of her own courses and she believes the students have found it helpful.

"Very few helpful books about how to communicate scientific and technical information to a general public exist currently," Juett said. "I hope that this book will help guide students to author such texts in the future."

Juett, who joined the UW-Eau Claire English faculty in 2004, currently teaches scientific and technical rhetoric courses, including "Communicating Scientific Subjects to General Audiences," and "Scientific Communication for Expert Audiences." With degrees in music, theology and comparative literature, she has taught and researched in the arts and technology for many years, teaching courses in technical and professional writing, digital discourse, literary theory, and linguistics.

For more information on "English for Specialized Science and Technology," contact Juett at 715-836-2616.

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NW/JB

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