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Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication


Global Engineers Languages and Skills


What is the GELS network?

The Global Engineers Languages and Skills (GELS) network is an informal group of Language and Communication (LC) teachers working at technical universities and engineering departments around the world.  We want to improve LC teaching and learning in our institutions by working together and with a clear and confident focus on the specific communication needs of engineers, i.e. students and employees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture and Mathematics.

LC training is vital for engineers, and we believe it can be integrated more effectively in engineering education if LC teachers have a clear picture of 1) what engineers really do and how they communicate, and 2) how engineering communication can be a source of inspiration for meaningful teaching and learning activities in the LC classroom.


What are the aims of the GELS network?

Firstly, we want to better prepare student engineers for international study and future employment by having a clear idea of engineers’ specific language and communication needs (i.e. Language for Specific Purposes, LSP).

In addition, we want to provide opportunities for LC teachers working with engineers to network, share expertise and good practice, and ensure continued professional development.


Who is the GELS network?

The GELS network began in 2015 with a chance meeting, which inspired us to make LC training, in any language, better integrated in engineering curriculums. The network has grown every year since then: LC teachers from over 50 institutions now belong to the GELS network and work together to improve teaching and learning for engineers.

Here is a list of our contact people:

If you would like to join this network, please .


What has the GELS network achieved so far?


2015–2016:  From questionnaires to schemes for teaching and learning

We surveyed engineers from diverse countries, companies and industries about their LC needs.  With the results from these surveys, we created a progressive framework of communication skills for engineers. This framework is an adaptation of the Council of Europe’s CEFR for Languages self-assessment grid, and it can be found here: in English, in French, in Swedish, in Spanish, in German and in Japanese.

We presented the GELS framework in three publications (here, here, and here) and at three international conferences. We also ran a training day at Cambridge University, UK for LC teachers from Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.


2016–2017:  Disseminating the results

We ran training days at Aalto University, Finland, and Poznan University of Technology, Poland. We also presented the GELS network’s work at three international conferences in Norway, Czech Republic, and Slovenia.  These events helped us to revise the GELS framework and develop the GELS network to include members from more institutions.


2017–2019:  Building the GELS network

We ran a training week for LC teachers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.  Our focus was to use the GELS framework to create teaching and learning activities.

KTH training day

Participants at KTH Training Week (April 2018)

We also ran a training week at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, with Intercultural Communication and English as Medium of Instruction (EMI) as our main themes. As a follow up, we produced a document outlining some guiding principles for EMI, which can be accessed here.


Participants at AUTH Training Week (June 2019)


2019–2022:  The BADGE project

Members from 14 GELS network institutions worked together on the Becoming a Digital Global Engineer (BADGE) project, which was funded by Erasmus+ KA2. We created teaching and learning materials for engineering students, and we shared these materials on an Open Educational Resources (OER) platform. We arranged our annual meetings and GELS training events online, but also met in several countries at the beginning and end of the project.

We also disseminated the results of our work at a number of international conferences and published an article on our progress (here).


2023: GELS training event in Stockholm

A gathering at KTH's main courtyard before the 2023 training event.

A post-event photo with a combination of GELS members and LSPHE 2023 presenters.


GELS members hard at work.