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The University of Southampton

PRES0005 Academic Speaking (Pre-sessional Course A)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of Pre-sessional Course A in which you study Academic Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. You also attend Independent Learning workshops to further develop critical thinking and study skills necessary to succeed at the University. The speaking module is taught in conjunction with the Listening module as these skills often overlap; for example, knowledge of pronunciation is also an important tool for effective listening. As a result, you will be expected to practise a range of skills in the same class. The speaking module follows the University of Southampton Pre- sessional Course A Speaking and Listening syllabi.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The Pre-sessional academic speaking module is part of an integrated programme designed to allow you to learn and practise the academic speaking skills you will need to succeed in your future university study. Throughout the module, you will be strongly encouraged to develop your speaking skills and confidence to deliver effective academic presentations. You will also be taught how to engage effectively in academic discussions and how to develop critical thinking about relevant topics.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • prepare and deliver an effective presentation
  • prepare and participate in academic discussions.
  • participate in class discussions
  • communicate confidently with your University staff and fellow students
  • identify ways in which to improve your pronunciation.


The speaking syllabus helps you develop strategies for improving your academic speaking skills, and focuses in particular, on how to develop your speaking skills during group work, academic discussions, and presentations. Three main skill areas are taught and practised in the speaking module: pronunciation skills, presentation skills, and academic discussion skills. A. PRONUNCIATION The areas you will cover include work to improve: • individual sounds • pausing and chunking • sentence stress • intonation • fluency • word stress. B. PRESENTATION SKILLS The areas you will cover include how to: • select presentation content • structure a presentation • open and close a presentation • organise the body of a presentation • use signposting language • deal with questions • prepare and use visual aids and notecards • engage audience through body language. C. ACADEMIC DISCUSSSION SKILLS: The areas you will cover include how to: • research and prepare for an academic discussion • refer to your research in an academic discussion • listen and participate actively • exchange opinions • agree and disagree • explain and support your points • ask for and give clarification • show your understanding of others’ points • interrupt politely • make suggestions

Special Features

This speaking module forms part of Pre-sessional Course A and is taught alongside academic listening, academic reading and writing, and independent learning.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will experience a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including: full class teaching; seminar discussions; individual and group presentations; individual, pair and group work in class; set tasks to be completed outside class; self-directed independent study and group tutorials.

Independent Study4.42
Total study time8.5

Resources & Reading list

C Fletcher (2013). Skills for Study level 3. 

E Williams (2008). Presentations in English. 

A McNair and F Gooch (2013). Language for Study level 3. 

M Hancock (2008). English Pronunciation in Use Intermediate. 

K Anderson, J Maclean and T Lynch (2004). Study Speaking. 

British Council phonemic chart.

S Cottrell (2008). The Study Skills Handbook. 

C Thaine (2012). Cambridge Academic English Intermediate Student’s book: An integrated skills Course for EAP. 

D Bell (2008). Passport to Academic Presentations. 

J V Emden and L Becker (2004). Presentation skills for students. 

M Hewings (2010). English Pronunciation in Use Advanced. 

R Lowes, H Peters and M Turner (2004). International Students Study Guide. 

R Pears and G Shield (2004). Cite them right: The essential referencing guide. 

English Club.

BBC Learning English.

UEFAP Speaking.

J McCormack and S Watkins (2012). English for Academic Study: Speaking. 

International Debate Education Association.

M Powell (2011). Presenting in English. 

B Chivers and M Shoolbred (2007). A Student’s Guide to Presentations: Making your Presentation Count. 

J Van Emden and L Becker (2010). Presentation Skills for Students. 

University of Warwick.

L Lansford (2014). Unlock Listening and Speaking Skills 4. 

A Baker (2006). Ship or Sheep: An Intermediate Pronunciation Course. 

Ship or Sheep.

J Smith and A Margolis (2012). English for Academic Study: Pronunciation. 

S Ostrowska (2014). Unlock Listening and Speaking Skills 3. 


Assessment Strategy

Informal tasks designed to provide formative feedback on: • pronunciation • oral presentations • discussion participation • speaking skills in general.




MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion  (20 minutes) 50%
Individual Presentation  (8 minutes) 50%
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