eLanguages.ac.ukUniversity of Southampton

Language use in presentations about architectural design

A presentation in architectural design

Presenting a design solution

Giving an oral presentation in your first language about a course-related project can be a challenge. Content, structure, and timing of your presentation need to be carefully planned beforehand. You are likely to find this task even more demanding in a second language. The control and delivery of the second language you are using is an additional challenge.

In these activities you will practise listening using an extract from a student's presentation in English proposing an architectural design solution. You will also consider how to avoid making too many language mistakes when presenting yourself and explore some useful devices to structure a presentation effectively for the audience.

Activity 1: Listening to understand a design solution

In this activity you are going to listen to part of a student presentation which outlines a proposed architectural design solution. The student is presenting in English, which is a second language for her.



Listen to this extract from the student's presentation of their design solution and view the slides at the same time. Make notes in English on the project in the text area provided. Complete the gaps in the following summary of the problem and student's proposed solution using your notes for guidance. Then read the feedback.

The problem for which the student is proposing a designconcerns the lack of a physicalbetween two communities located on opposite sides of the river Seine and its social. One community is based in andistrict of Villenueve-Le-Roi and the other in Villenueve Le Triage. There is also the problem of adivision between the twowhich the presenter would like to address. A proposedwould link the two communities and could help develop Villenueve Le Triage. By drawing across visitors from Villenueve-Le-Roi to a new development on the naturalbank on the Triage side of the, the social differences could be redressed. The bridge proposal also includesfor pedestrians, bikes andaiming to help reduce the use ofand bring theof the two communities closer together. Designing theof the bridge is the next stage in the project.

Here is a transcript of the extract for you to check your understanding further:
Transcript (pdf, 53KB). You may wish to print this document.

Activity 2: Language use in design presentations

A good presentation is achieved by blending relevant content with an effective presenting style. An appropriate speed of delivery, clarity of pronunciation, structure and good language control are all important aspects of this. In this activity you are going to consider language and the kinds of mistakes that might be made by speakers of English as an additional language when giving an oral presentation about their design projects. You are also going to explore some of the kinds of structural device that can help a speakers structure their presentation effectively for their audiences.



Read these extracts from presentations given by speakers of English as an additional language. Can you identify the language mistakes that each contains? Edit the extract to correct the mistakes in the text area provided. At the same time, think about the kind of function that the sentence has in the presentation. Then read the feedback.

1. "I'm going to present you some of my design work"

2. "Remark on this city plan... we can clearly identify different phase of development."

3."Primary,the 'living bridge' will be a place where the people meet together to..."

4. "This sector is composed by only individual houses."

5. "Thank you for listening. When you have any questions I'll be glad to answer them."

6. "...(this) is one of the questions that I'm planning to treat for my P5 (assignment)."

© Archi21 Project Consortium: Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-Malaquais, Open University, University of Ljubljana, Aalborg Universitet, University of Southampton and eLanguages, Modern Languages and Linguistics, University of Southampton, 2012. Image courtesy of Emily Hoyer (Flickr).
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