Do you work in the building and construction sphere, or are you thinking of entering it? If that’s the case, it’sessential to learn English, and construction vocabulary in particular. Why, might you ask? We’ll tell you!
The building and construction industry is increasingly multicultural and international. Even if you intend to work in the industry in your home country, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be working with colleagues from different countries, who don’t necessarily speak your first language. Building and construction workers are also more likely to move from country to country for their work. This means that the industry relies on workers sharing a common language in order to work together effectively, and that common language is English.
Even if you think your school English might be enough to communicate with colleagues, think again. The building and construction industry has a lot of safety precautions to take into consideration and is dangerous by nature. This means that it is essential to speak and understand English well, and particularly construction vocabulary words, in order to avoid dangerous miscommunications and to ensure you can complete the job properly. A misunderstanding over a tool or a building plan could have big consequences.
If you’re not sure how to go about tackling construction vocabulary in a foreign language, we’re here to offer a helping hand. To learn English for the industry, you’ll need to adopt different methods in order to familiarize yourself with new words on a regular basis. Here are some top tips to learn vocabulary for building and construction:
Integrate construction vocabulary into your everyday life with post its
Subscribe to a building and construction magazine or newsletter in English
Learn English online with an e-learning platform that’s fun to use
If possible, train and work abroad or in an international setting
Learning a language doesn’t happen overnight, but by combining multiple methods and integrating construction vocabulary words into your life, you’ll begin to see progress quickly.
The world of building and construction is huge, so it may seem like a daunting task to go about learning all the possible construction vocabulary out there. That’s why we recommend focusing your efforts on the essentials and paying attention to the specific areas you’ll be most likely to need.
Let’s take a look at some essential construction vocabulary words to get an idea of what you do and don’t know:
To build, to construct
To renovate, to remodel
To demolish, to take down, to knock down
You would be lost without those verbs. Let’s try some more:
These are all things you would find on a construction site and it’s essential that you’re comfortable using the terms on this construction vocabulary list.
If we’ve convinced you that it’s essential to learn English for your future career in construction, all that’s left to do is choose how, when, and where. Our answer to those questions is simple: learn English online!
If you’re a first timer with online learning, it’s understandable that you might feel unsure about entrusting the task of learning such an essential skill to an unknown quantity like an online learning platform. For learners accustomed to traditional methods of learning, there might be concerns like:
How can I figure out if I want to learn English online?
How does online learning work?
How will I keep track of my progress?
Try before you buy
First things first, there’s no pressure to commit to an online learning subscription straight out of the gate. On GlobalExam, you’re welcome to join the platform and try some exercises for free before subscribing for full access. This is the perfect opportunity to try out the learning style before making a decision.
All about our online platform
Online learning is the most up-to-date approach to language learning around, and there’s a platform and a methodology out there to fit every type of learner. Whether it’s intensive grammar and construction vocabulary words you’re looking for, or something more general, there’s a website for you.
Online learning is also totally flexible. If you opt to learn English online, you can choose when, where and what you learn. There’s no more pressure to commit to a time and place or sticking with the same old textbook week after week. As an online learner, you’re in the driving seat.
When you begin your journey to learn Business English on GlobalExam, you’ll get access to a wide range of grammar and vocabulary resources. Our learning resources are divided into four modules, and you’re free to dip in and out of them according to your personal objectives:
If you have a specific goal, such as learning construction vocabulary words, it’s possible to shape your learning around that too. The “Boost my skills” unit has a pathway dedicated to improving your vocabulary and we’ll get into that a little later.
When we’re accustomed to learning in a group under the supervision of a teacher, it can feel daunting to break out solo. However, if you learn with a sophisticated e-learning platform like ours, you’ll find that there are plenty of opportunities to keep on track of your progress and stay accountable to your goals.
All of our exercises are marked, so that you can follow your scores for each unit and see where you’re doing well and where you need a little extra work.
If it’s the human touch that keeps you motivated, then our virtual lessons will be for you. Touch base with a trained English teacher throughout your studies to push your skills further and recap on your progress so far.
One of the easiest ways to get ahead in a new language is to tackle vocabulary. Of course, grammar is essential to communicating in English, but recognizing, understanding and being able to use essential pieces of vocabulary is a great way to kick start your learning and see instant results.
Luckily for you, we’ve dedicated a whole section of our online learning platform to help you learn construction vocabulary!
When you sign into the GlobalExam platform, be sure to check out “Improve my industry skills” for fast access to our specialized building and construction module. This section of the platform has been designed to help you learn English especially for the world of building and construction, covering a huge range of topics from materials and tools to emergency situations.
The building and construction pathway will help you to:
Understand discussions intersecting mathematics, physics, and physical labour;
On board an essential construction vocabulary list;
Talk to clients and respond to questions.
This specialist module divides the most important aspects of building and construction into 11 hours of targeted language learning, across eight key modules and a total of 34 “situations”. The eight modules include:
Types of constructions (four situations);
Stakeholders (five situations);
Scheduling and budget (four situations);
Trades (five situations);
Tools (three situations);
Materials (four situations);
Security (six situations);
Environment and technology (three situations).
Each lesson (known as a “situation”) has been designed to put you, the learner, into a real-life situation in the building and construction world to help you learn English organically, and in a way that can be directly applied to your future exchanges in the industry.
Let’s take a look at some example situations to get a feel for how our method works.
Example situation: What guarantees you are dressed as planned
Each situation takes about 20 minutes to complete and walks you through listening, reading and writing activities based around a specific situation that links together with others through recurring characters and a continuous storyline.
In this example situation, you will follow the main characters Koharog and Rami, who, in this situation, are discussing how the building envelope is installed and its importance in the stages of constructing a building. The objectives of this situation are to help you talk about the building envelope and to understand the techniques and different roles involved in its construction.
In each situation, you will be presented with a short list of vocabulary for building and construction to help you understand the videos and texts. Here are some examples:
taken leaps ahead of - expression meaning that you have taken an advantage on the competition
aesthetics - all that has to with appearance
performance - how the building is functioning
combinations - joining different elements to get different results
Each situation will test your listening and reading comprehension by presenting you with a video and text, then asking you to answer questions. For example:
“Which of the following elements are part of a building envelope?”
The correct answer is B, interior finishing. If you weren’t sure, then this situation is for you!
Example situation: Be efficient, be sustainable!
As you progress further into the pathway, you’ll face more and more challenging topics, with more difficult construction vocabulary words to match. As part of the Environment and Technology module, you will complete three situations tackling the intersection between sustainability, green technology, and the construction industry.
In the “Be sufficient, be sustainable” module, you’ll meet Paul and Julien, two employees in an informatics company, as they talk about natural resources and sustainability. The aim of this situation is to learn English for different contexts, to engage in telephone conversations, and to ask questions using vocabulary for building and construction.
Here are some examples of construction vocabulary words you could need to talk about efficient uses of energy:
runoff - water that flows away from high areas to low areas
contamination - making something poisonous or impure; pollution
comprehensive - including everything that is necessary; complete
backup - support or help
Knowing vocabulary is about more than simply looking at a construction vocabulary list and memorizing words. You also need to engage with new terms and learn how to understand and use them in different circumstances – this is one of the major benefits of learning English through situations.
Example situation: Different doses and different uses
The situations are also designed to allow you to dive into detail on certain subjects. In the module on Materials, each situation delves a specific material, such as concrete. In this situation, you will encounter Frederic and Albert, two colleagues who are discussing tasks related to concrete in their construction company. When you complete this situation, you will understand how concrete is prepared and how different cement-based materials differ, as well as expanding your vocabulary for building and construction with specific terms.
Do you know all the following construction vocabulary words related to concrete?
crawl space foundation - a type of structural foundation that allows to have some space between the first floor of the building and the ground.
reinforced concrete - concrete that contains steel bars that enhance its structural performance.
aggregates - a material used in construction and formed of different groups and fragments of gravel and crushed stones.
set - the verb for “setting” which is a chemical reaction between cement and water which results in hardening the cement.
Whether or not cement is vital to your future job role in building and construction, onboarding vocabulary for building and construction is essential to interacting in the industry, from the general to the very specific.
As you can see from this set of examples, the world of construction vocabulary can be quite different to anything you’ve seen before in your more general projects to learn English.
If you like the sound of our situation learning method, we think you’ll love our virtual lessons. We’re offering the opportunity to learn English online with other learners and a native TESOL-qualified English teacher as an essential way of applying your skills and knowledge to real human interactions. GlobalExam’s virtual lessons come in two forms:
Individual sessions of 30 minutes
Group sessions (maximum six people) of one hour
Once you’ve taken your first steps in learning vocabulary for building and construction, there’s no better way to progress than using it in context in a targeted virtual lesson.
Are you ready to tackle your construction vocabulary list? We’re ready for you!