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Thu 21 October
Materials page is online.
– The forum is now online.


English for Scientists

Mondays, 16 – 18; SR 053, Computer Science building, Takustr. 9.

Unicef Red Cross Médecins Sans Frontières Make a donation!


Session 1, 18 October: Preliminaries, Test, Goals
Session 2, 25 October: Handing Back Test, Pronunciation Basics
Session 3, 1 November: Intonation, Present Tenses, Headlines
Session 4, 8 November: Present Tenses, If Clauses, Argumentation


All materials used in class can be found on the Materials Page.


This course is aimed primarily at students of Bioinformatics, other students (and members) of the faculty are welcome, though. Attendance is limited, and I regret to say that all places have already been filled.

Students doing a BSc or MSc in Bioinformatics will be awarded two credits for successfully taking this course. (Credits for this course can only be awarded once.) Those doing a BSc in Computer Science are eligible for two credits as well. Diplom students may participate, space allowing, but won’t receive anything in the way of a Schein. If you have any queries concerning credits, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

This course is designed to teach you advanced English-language skills. It is therefore recommended that you have at least sound intermediate-level skills in written and spoken English, preferably on Leistungskurs level. In any event, you must be able to follow and contribute to a course held exclusively in English.


Broadly speaking, this course will help you improve your English skills by raising awareness of typical problems native German speakers have with the English language, particularly in a scientific context. This will be achieved by lots of practical examples relevant to your budding careers as scientists. That includes advanced basics of the English language, first steps in text production and oral presentation, and a few helpful hints on writing scientific English as well as public speaking.

Classes will crucially depend on active participation on your part. You will also be able to contribute a lot of your own ideas to the course — you are actually encouraged to do so.

For the contents of individual sessions, please see the Sessions section above.

Useful Literature

Obviously, your language skills will benefit even from reading just any old book in English. But more specifically, the two books you will probably find most helpful as reference works are:

In any event, only a monolingual (English–English) dictionary will get you anywhere.

It is strongly recommended that you make yourself familiar especially with phonetic symbols and other dictionary-specific notations.


For breaking news, questions, calls for assistance, general counselling. It is strongly recommended
that you make extensive use of the forum, for it can be as much a community-building as a learning device.

BBC World Website On Learning English
The BBC World Service’s Radio Player, videos, and other resources for learners.

Cambridge Dictionaries Online
An easy-to-use monolingual dictionary especially well suited to the needs of learners.
Extensive reference works available online.

One of the most interesting and informative internet projects and an encyclopaedia at the same time.