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PRES0015 Academic Speaking (Pre-sessional LLM)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of Pre-sessional LLM Programme in which you study academic speaking, academic listening, academic reading and academic writing. 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. This unit is intended to give you a basic understanding of how to participate in Law seminars and how to plan and deliver individual and group presentations. The unit will provide practice in seminar and presentation discourse, with video feedback on delivery.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The academic speaking module on the Pre-sessional LLM Programme 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 an effective academic presentation. You will also be taught how to engage effectively in an academic discussions and how to develop critical thinking about relevant topics. The aims of the module are to: ï‚· help you to understand the norms and conventions of speaking during a seminar type discussion, including the roles of all involved, the levels of language used by participants, and what the nonnative speaker needs in terms of delivery; ï‚· help you to understand the norms and conventions of making an informal individual presentation in a seminar, including possible formats and useful structures/vocabulary to signpost stages, the need to use some form of visual aid and the need for good time-keeping; ï‚· help you to understand how to lead a discussion in a seminar: the need to have a plan to give structure to the discussion; ways of soliciting views and re-phrasing where necessary; ways of summing up and drawing conclusions; ï‚· help you to understand the norms and conventions of making a formal group presentation including assigning roles and making one presentation as a group rather than a number of individual presentations; ï‚· give you advice on how to improve their pronunciation in English, in terms of the pronunciation of words used in their presentations and their stress and intonation patterns ï‚· introduce you to the pronunciation of some legal terminology.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan and structure your writing appropriately for different tasks including ‘Discuss’ and ‘Problem’ question essays
  • familiarity with the features of seminar discussions and the roles and responsibilities of participants
  • familiarity with delivering informal individual presentations
  • familiarity with delivering formal group presentations
  • familiarity with the pronunciation of some legal terminology
  • familiarity with the means of assessing individual pronunciation, stress, and intonation needs and with how to make improvements


Three main skill areas are taught and practised in the speaking module: pronunciation skills, presentation skills, and seminar 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. SEMINAR SKILLS: The areas you will cover include how to: - research and prepare for a seminar - refer to your research in the seminar - 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

Special Features

This speaking module forms part of the Pre-sessional LLM Programme and is taught alongside academic listening, academic reading and academic writing. The speaking module also includes separate pronunciation classes.

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 tutorials. Teaching methods include: Taught sessions, seminars, presentations, case reading sessions and workshop individual support through your academic advisor and listening and speaking tutor. Learning activities include: Individual study, group and pair work, preparing presentations and discussions in small groups and tutorials.

Independent Study2
Total study time7

Resources & Reading list

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

E Williams (2008). Presentations in English. 

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

D Bell (2008). Passport to Academic Presentations. 

University of Warwick.

S Cottrell (2008). The Study Skills Handbook. 

J Smith and A Margolis (2009). English for Academic Study: Pronunciation. 

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

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

M Powell (2002). Presenting in English. 

English Club.

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

International Debate Education Association.

Ship or Sheep.

UEFAP Speaking.

J McCormack and S Watkins (2009). English for Academic Study: Speaking. 

British Council phonemic chart.

C Campbell and J Smith (2009). English for Academic Study: Listening. 


Assessment Strategy

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


Individual Presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion 50%
Presentation  (15 minutes) 50%
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