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The University of Southampton

PRES0023 Academic Reading (Pre-sessional LTTC Taiwan-Southampton)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of the LTTC Taiwan-Southampton Pre-sessional Pathway. Part 1 is based at the Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC) at National Taiwan University and Part 2 is based at the University of Southampton. On this pathway, you study academic speaking, listening, reading and writing, and also attend independent learning workshops to further develop critical thinking and study skills necessary to succeed at the University. The academic reading module is taught in conjunction with the academic writing module, as these skills often overlap; for example, the ability to read critically is also an important skill for effective academic writing. As a result, you will be expected to practise a range of skills in the same class. You will follow the LTTC Reading and Writing syllabus for your studies in Taiwan (part 1) and the University of Southampton Pre-sessional Course B Reading and Writing syllabus for your time at the University of Southampton (part 2).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The academic reading module is part of an integrated programme designed to enable you to learn and practise the academic reading skills you will need to succeed in your future university study. Throughout the module, you will be strongly encouraged to develop your independent reading skills so that you are prepared for the challenges of the extensive reading you will be expected to undertake in your future programmes of study.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use appropriate reading strategies for your purposes
  • Efficiently identify reliable sources appropriate for your discipline
  • Employ critical reading skills
  • Understand the structure of academic texts at whole text and paragraph level
  • Understand academic English writing structures and vocabulary at sentence and paragraph level


PART 1: LTTC TAIWAN READING SYLLABUS On part one of the Pre-sessional Taiwan-Southampton Pathway (at the LTTC), the reading syllabus primarily focuses on strategies of expeditious reading, which involve skimming and searching for relevant information, which is followed by a focus on careful reading to extract detailed information as required. You should develop your ability to obtain relevant information from texts and demonstrate comprehension of extracted information which can then be applied to your wider studies (e.g. presentations and assignments). Areas that you will cover include: • Introduction to expeditious reading and searching • Incorporation of reading into topic exploration, idea mapping and summarising • Recognising and using textual features and structures to aid comprehension and effectiveness of reading • Developing and practising synthesising skills • Focusing on the purposes of reading and applying appropriate strategies accordingly PART 2: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON READING SYLLABUS (PRE-SESSIONAL COURSE B) A. FINDING INFORMATION IN A TEXT 1. Reading for gist; identifying general information in a text – skimming techniques. 2. Locating specific information –scanning techniques. 3. Distinguishing between main ideas, subsidiary ideas and supporting information/examples. 4. Reading intensively for detailed understanding and implied information. 5. Understanding the structure of academic texts at whole text and paragraph level. B. CRITICAL READING 1. Identifying reliable/unreliable sources. 2. Identifying writer, intended audience and purpose. 3. Recognising bias and vested interest. 4. Making judgements about central claims of text and context for text. 5. Evaluating argument presented (reasoning, evidence and conclusions). C. UNDERSTANDING OF ACADEMIC ENGLISH WRITING STRUCTURES AND VOCABULARY AT SENTENCE AND PARAGRAPH LEVEL 1. Processing sentences with complex noun phrases, clauses and clause markers. 2. Understanding of discourse markers at paragraph and text level. 3. Developing knowledge of academic word list and verbs of reference. 4. Enhancing your ability to work out the meaning of unknown vocabulary. 5. Recognising synonyms used in a text. 6. Distinguishing between nuances of meaning (ie precise understanding). 7. Understanding meaning referred to by pronouns and other reference phrases in specific contexts. D. USING ACADEMIC READING TEXTS FOR ASSIGNMENTS 1. Recognising and recording source details. 2. Using notes to record information from texts, including quotations. 3. Completing summaries based on notes and text information. 4. Recognising acceptable/ non-acceptable paraphrase from a text.

Special Features

This academic reading module forms part of LTTC Taiwan-Southampton Pre-sessional Pathway and is taught alongside academic writing, academic listening, academic speaking 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; individual, pair and group work in class; set tasks to be completed outside class; use of authentic reading texts for exploitation; Independent Learning workshops; and self-directed independent study and tutorials (normally in pairs with your tutor).

Resources & Reading list

Cottrell, S. (2011). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. 

Caplan,N. (2012). Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers. 

Burnapp, D. (2009). Getting Ahead as an International Student.. 

Bailey,S. (2011). Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. 

General resource. Extra reading and writing resources can be found in the Language Resources Centre (LRC) and Avenue Library – both located at Avenue Campus – as well as at the RTC and Hartley libraries in Southampton.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

Academic Writing in English (AWE) Finnish Virtual Language Centre.

Bailey, S. (2011). Academic Writing for International Students of Business. 

Anglia Ruskin University.


Assessment Strategy

Note that summative assessment tasks are conducted in Southampton on Pre-sessional Course B, as the LTTC 5-week Programme is preparatory only (i.e. not formally assessed).


Reading task


MethodPercentage contribution
Reading task  (1.5 hours) 50%
Reading task  (1.5 hours) 50%
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