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The University of Southampton

PRES0059 Independent Learning (LTTC + Southampton Pathway – Business)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of the Pre-sessional LTTC Taiwan-Southampton 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. Within the Independent Learning module, you will develop a set of skills, strategies and techniques that will collectively contribute to your understanding of learner autonomy in a UK higher education environment. This professional skills set is transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but also in your further education and employment. The Independent Learning module follows the University of Southampton Pre-sessional B Business Independent Learning syllabus during your time at the University of Southampton, and is also an integral part of the LTTC syllabus.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The LTTC + Southampton Pathway (Business) Independent Learning module is part of an integrated programme designed to allow you to learn and practise the skills you will need to succeed in your future university study. Throughout the module, you will be strongly encouraged to develop your independent learning skills so that you are prepared for the study challenges you will be expected to undertake in your future programme. The University of Southampton recognises the importance of independent learning, with its emphasis on student-centeredness, as an integral part of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programmes. This independent learning module is a core part of the University of Southampton Pre-Sessional programmes. Its rationale is to provide a scaffold for you to develop your independent study skills. The Pre-sessional Independent Learning module is designed to equip you with the transferable study skills that you need to be successful on not only the Pre-sessional programme but also within the wider university context. The module is designed to work in partnership with the Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking modules. Alongside the weekly study skills session you can also attend advising sessions when in Southampton. Together with the compulsory elements of the module, you also have the option to attend conversation cafés and drop-in clinics. Independent learning is also prioritised on the LTTC syllabus (prior to arriving in Southampton); however, sessions are based around developing online research skills, language development skills, engagement with learning, referencing and developmental resources.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand what is expected of you as an autonomous learner in the UK higher education system
  • Efficiently and effectively identify reliable sources appropriate for your discipline
  • Employ critical researching skills
  • Reflect on your individual learning styles and employ methods to aid your own learning
  • Understand strategies for learning such as time-management, organisation and motivation
  • Employ referencing conventions and have a general knowledge of referencing management software
  • Understand and effectively use digital tools and systems to enhance your learning


PART 1: LTTC (TAIWAN) Independent Learning on part one of the Pre-sessional Taiwan-Southampton Pathway (at the LTTC) offers an introduction to independent learning, engagement with expectations of autonomy in a university context and development of skills and thinking that are continued and expanded upon during your studies on Pre-sessional Course B in Southampton. Learning activities involve daily two-hour timetabled sessions for individual study (with computer access) and a weekly workshop where students engage with ideas and practices of independent study, particularly in relation to points A, B, E, G, H, I and K set out below. At the LTTC, independent learning is closely connected with ongoing tasks and assignments, such as collaborative or individual research and developing language skills and knowledge with the aid of various resources available to you during your studies. PART 2: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON READING SYLLABUS PRE-SESSIONAL B (BUSINESS) A. INTRODUCTION TO INDEPENDENT LEARNING 1. Understanding the importance of IL during the course and in a UK university. 2. Developing awareness of classroom expectations. 3. Learning the importance of VLEs (e.g. Blackboard) in UK university study. 4. Becoming familiar with Library services. B. LEARNING RESOURCES Appreciating how the range of materials and resources available to you at both universities (NTU and Southampton) can be best applied for independent learning. C. INTRODUCTION TO BLOGGING 1. Engaging with blogging as a form of reflective writing. 2. Learning how to use Wordpress. D. DEVELOPING AWARENESS OF CRITICAL THINKING IN YOUR SEMINAR SKILLS 1. Reviewing of the concepts of critical thinking such as analysis, argumentation, questioning, evaluation and reflection. 2. Reviewing seminar skills such as preparation and active participation. E. RESEARCHING SKILLS 1. Introduction to researching effectively. 2. Planning and directing your research. 3. Using library databases. 4. Learning how to effectively plan a library session using the Library’s online search engines. 5. Using search engines and the internet effectively and critically. F. REVIEWING REFERENCING 1. Using and citing resources in an academic context. G. USING FEEDBACK AND REFLECTION TO IMPROVE LANGUAGE LEARNING 1. Identifying feedback as a resource. 2. Responding positively to feedback. 3. Implementing feedback. 4. Developing strategies to improve. H. ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Identifying and implementing successful active learning/studying strategies. 2. Recognising and reflecting upon key comparisons between active and passive learning/studying. I. TIME-MANAGEMENT, ORGANISATION AND MOTIVATION 1. How to manage time and how to manage it more effectively. 2. Considering cultural norms in relation to time keeping. 3. Introduction to different methods of organisation: paper based and electronic. 4. Sampling reference management software (e.g. Endnote) 5. Learning about what motivates you and how to keep motivated throughout the course. J. CRITICALLY ASSESSING RESOURCES 1. Critically assessing resources. 2. Peer reviewing. 3. Developing rigorous research methodologies K. ESSAY PLANNING 1. Linking all sessions. 2. Planning time, collecting data, organising resources, utilising reading strategies, making critical assessments, reviewing basic essay, paragraph and sentence structure advice, and referencing. L. EXAM STRATEGIES 1. Exploring approaches and attitudes to exams in the UK including collusion and cheating. 2. Identifying and discuss examination strategies. 3. Identifying needs and targeting needs. 4. Using appropriate study strategies and learning resources. 5. Improving time-management skills. 6. Managing exam stress/nerves. .

Special Features

This Independent Learning module forms part of Pre-sessional B (Business) and as part of an integrated syllabus with the Academic Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking modules.

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 texts; Independent Learning workshops; self-directed independent study and tutorials.

Independent Study6
Total study time12

Resources & Reading list

Cottrell. S. (2008). The Study Skills Handbook. 

Lowes, R. Peters, H. and Turner, M. (2004). The International Student’s Guide: Studying English at University. 

Northedge, A. (2005). The Good Study Guide. 

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2010). Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide. 


Assessment Strategy

Part 1: LTTC (Taiwan) The Independent Learning module is not assessed, but you are expected to engage in activities and attend timetabled sessions. Part 2: PSB Business (Southampton) The Independent Learning module is not assessed, but you are expected to engage in activities and attend timetabled sessions.

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