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The University of Southampton

PRES0031 Academic Speaking (Pre-sessional Course B - Business)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of Pre-sessional Course B – Business 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 B - Business 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 presentation. You will also be taught how to engage effectively in academic discussions and how to develop critical thinking about relevant topics.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

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. 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 • interrupt politely • make suggestions • summarise a discussion and report back • lead/chair a discussion

Special Features

This speaking module forms part of Pre-sessional Course B - Business 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

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

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

International Debate Education Association.

British Council phonemic chart.

E Williams (2008). Presentations in English. 

UEFAP Speaking.

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

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

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

University of Warwick.

BBC Learning English.

D Bell (2008). Passport to Academic Presentations. 

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

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

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

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

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

English Club.

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

Ship or Sheep.

S Cottrell (2008). The Study Skills Handbook. 


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%
Presentation  (8 minutes) 50%
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