Successful academic study at University level requires the ability to communicate clearly and accurately using
a range of academic skills such as writing, reading, listening and speaking. It can also be a developmental
learning process as you may now begin to think, write and communicate in new ways. This In-sessional skills
support programme offers you additional academic language and skills support to develop and extend your
English language, academic literacy and study skills abilities during your studies at the University of
Southampton. The different language skills classes aim to provide you with opportunities to practise and
extend your ability to communicate more effectively in the UK higher education, academic environment.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- How to identify the structure of lectures and produce well-organised mini presentations e.g. introduction, conclusion.
- How to engage in social chit chat e.g. start conversations, interrupt, extend or change topic
- How to write clear, detailed text supporting your points with academic evidence e.g. in text citation.
- How to write essays and reports of different styles e.g. compare and contrast, case study.
- How to construct an academic essay, which involves the use of sources e.g. Organisation, summary and synthesis.
- How to take an active part in discussions and to sustain a point of view e.g. seminars, debates
- How to plan a PG dissertation and/or PGR thesis e.g. scoping the question, the literature review, organisation and development of discussion
- The relevant conventions followed in academic English (both written and spoken) e.g. referencing and citation.
- How to efficiently identify, analyse and evaluate source material appropriate for your discipline e.g. usefulness, relevancy and reliability.
- How to summarise and synthesize content coherently to support opinion e.g. use of library or other sources and identification of particular attitudes or viewpoints.
- How to process extended speech and follow fairly complex lines of argument
- How to identify the main and supporting points in discussions and lectures e.g. signposting language, discourse markers.
- How to deliver academic presentations e.g. preparation, structure, flow
Transferable and Generic Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Work as a member of a team by cooperating with others, negotiating, listening to others in a group, sharing responsibilities & tasks.
- Apply a range of reading and critical thinking strategies to help you to read and examine text efficiently and critically.
- Listen to, understand and take notes in seminars, discussions and general conversation.
- Set and monitor individual goals, reflect on your own learning and feedback, and have the confidence to seek help when needed.
- Prepare and deliver individual oral presentations.
- Actively participate in discussions, debates and general conversation.
- Employ a range of general and academic vocabulary appropriately.
- Produce writing in appropriate academic genres and follow required conventions, including referencing.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Locate resources for your subject area. E.g. Use of the Hartley and Avenue Library, Avenue Learning Resources Centre (LRC) and online more efficiently.
- Express facts.
- Interpret and analyse a range of information from different sources more effectively e.g. evaluation of suitability.
- Recognise and understand academic vocabulary e.g. Awareness of the Academic word list.
- Extract, paraphrase and synthesise key information from written and spoken sources more effectively.
- Present reasoned and structured arguments, both orally and in written form more effectively.
- Identify appropriate sources of information for your subject area.
The following topics will be covered in classes offered during the academic year:
- Academic writing skills
- Grammar skills for writing
- PGT Dissertation writing skills (semester 2)
- PGR Thesis writing skills (semester2)
- Critical Thinking skills
Critical Thinking and Argument skills for Post Graduate students
- Speaking skills
- Everyday English skills
These classes provide you with opportunities to attend to the areas of English that are most in need of
development. Each skills class will consist of one 2-hour lesson each week. Classes take the form of short 5
or 6-week courses during semester 1 and 2. The variety and scope of language skills support classes can vary
during the year to follow your changing requirements and skills provision needs. Additional skills classes or
skills workshops may also run if there is sufficient demand.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The learning and teaching uses methodology currently in use in the United Kingdom (e.g. related to critical
thinking, discussions, listening, task work etc.). We also offer a variety of language skills practice. Teaching
will focus on specific skills areas and use academic contexts to add relevance to the language skills practised
and developed in each class.
The structure and content of the In-sessional English for Academic Purposes programme provides an
opportunity to develop and extend a range of cognitive skills through practise of various academic languagerelated
activities and tasks. From the outset of the programme, cognitive skills are developed in
communicative learning activities such as task work, seminars and presentations. In-class discussion develops
the skills of processing, evaluating and summarising information (internally and through note-taking). Critical
thinking skills are also developed as you learn how to recognise subjectivity, analyse arguments objectively
and to apply these skills in your own work. You further develop cognitive skills through discussion, argument
and writing in various programme classes.
Informal oral in-class feedback is given to help you to identify any gaps in cognitive skills. This allows the
development of effective skill use to build on strengths and address weaknesses or gaps in conveying
subject- specific knowledge, or processing relevant concepts.
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Resources & Reading list
This is how we’ll give you feedback as you are learning. It is not a formal test or exam.Formative Assessment