Technical English for Geosciences: A text/workbook – Short Review

Technical English for Geosciences is a text plus workbook for students and others who wish to improve their command of English language with regard to geosciences communication.

The author Brigette Markner-Jager is a lecturer for English as a language for special purposes. Since 2001 she has been teaching Technical English and Business English at the TFH Georg Agricola in Bochum, Germany.

Geology and geosciences have plenty of terms and words that are unique to the field. Although, students have some exposure to terminology in subjects such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, business, and even law, there seems to be a bit of difficulty when geological terminology is used. Words such as schist, gneiss, porphyry, bedding, marble, footwall, and so on are either new or mean something else for those unfamiliar with geological sciences. Speakers of other languages other than English find it even tougher to get a good hold of the vocabulary.

This is where the book helps. The book is ideal for students who need to learn and use geosciences terms. Students belonging to any stream of study – from applied geology, mining, hydrology, to environmental science – will find this book useful.

The book is structured based on various branches and disciplines of geosciences. This is very convenient as students from a particular stream can go directly to the lesson. The chapters use text from various sources and have tasks to check reader understanding. The book can be used as a self-study material or in classes.

I have studied a master’s in geology and have worked as a writer and I found this book a bit basic at times. I wish this book had been part of my studies though! Springer published the book in 2008 and has used text extracts from different sources. I found a few errors in punctuation in the extracts and I wonder whether students without adequate English knowledge would be able to understand the errors. Springer might not have changed the text due to copyright issues.

Some of the examples used in the book such as Chapters 18 to 20 (Tara Mines) are interesting and add subject knowledge too.

Overall this is a good book to have especially in the undergraduate degrees. The book is available on

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