English for Academic Study

Course Leader: Dr Viorica Cebotaros

Home Institution: Alecu Russo Balti State University, Republic of Moldova

Course pre-requisites: English-level proficiency: at least B.

Course Overview
Effective English language skills are now an essential requirement to succeed in higher education. Although students may have a good command of general English, studying in English is often challenging because of its specialized academic vocabulary and types of communication (lectures, seminars, etc.). This course aims to help students to develop the academic language skills necessary to follow courses in English and for studies at English-speaking universities. The course focuses primarily on developing students‟ academic listening and speaking skills. Students will also study grammar and vocabulary topics that are of particular importance in academic spoken communication. This course should interest all students who are following, or who are intending to follow studies in English in higher education.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course a student will be able to:
- understand and take notes in academic lectures;
- actively participate in academic discussions (seminars, tutorials, etc.);
- give effective academic presentations;
- use academic vocabulary and grammar appropriately.

Course Content
Academic study. Learning culture in the academic English-speaking world (lectures, seminars, tutorials, etc.). Differences in academic cultures.

Lectures. Identifying key ideas in lectures. Distinguishing between main points, supporting details and digression. Taking effective notes.

Formal Discussions. Types of formal discussion. Successful participation in seminars and tutorials. Active listening. Considering different sides of an argument. Actively contributing to discussions.

Presentations. Typical features of good presentations. Structuring the presentation. Sign-posting language. Designing the visual support. Describing charts and data.

Instructional Method
A blended-learning approach will be used during the course, combining workshops with online activities. Students will develop listening and speaking skills through task-based and role-play activities of academic communication situations. Listening skills will be built up using authentic academic lectures and discussions from English-speaking universities. Speaking skills will be developed by active participation in discussions and by giving a formal presentation. Online resources (videos) will be used to prepare for the workshops.

Required Course Materials
Participants will need access to a computer with an internet connection and presentation software (e.g. PowerPoint).
The following materials will be used during the course:
1. Access EAP. Foundations: Course Book (2010) Sue Argent and Olwyn Alexander. Garnet Publishing Ltd
2. English for Academic Study - Listening: Course Book (2012) Colin Campbell and JonathanSmith. Garnet Publishing Ltd
3. English for Academic Study - Speaking: Course Book (2012) Joan McCormack and SebastianWatkins. Garnet Publishing Ltd
4. Cambridge Academic English. An integrated skills course for EAP (2012) Craig Thaine. Cambridge University Press
5. Presentations in English (2008) Erica J. Williams. MacMillan

Assessment will evaluate the main learning outcomes of the course:
Understanding and taking notes from an academic lecture (30%);
Participating in a seminar (30%);
Giving a formal presentation on an academic topic (40%);
Feedback will take the form of peer and instructor comments, and video-recordings of the presentation.