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University Academic Skills

If you are an international student attending an undergraduate or postgraduate course at a University in the U.K and you wish to refine your academic and speaking skills, this 4-week course is for you.

The aim of the course is to help you to produce well-constructed essays and presentations. You will feel more comfortable presenting your ideas in both written and spoken form.
You will improve your understanding of essay structures, referencing and how to use (using) sources effectively in a university environment.

Start date: week commencing 10th February 2020

Course length: 4 weeks

Hours in total: 24 hours (6 per week) + 1 hour one to one personal feedback & advice.

Max. students per class: 12

This course is divided into 2 separate modules :

Reading and Writing (module 1) and Speaking (module 2).
You can choose to study both modules together or to take one. You will attend the school twice a week. Each session is 3 hours with a 15-minute break.  You will receive 24 hours of teaching plus an hour of tutorials in 4 weeks.

Tutorials

The course will also include 3 one-to-one tutorials:
1) 15 minutes at the start of the course – to help you to make achievable goals for the course and your future studies
2) 15 minutes in the middle of the course – your tutor will provide extra study suggestions to achieve your goals.
3) a final tutorial of 30 minutes at the end of the course – this is a useful opportunity to reflect on the progress you made during the course and your tutor will suggest how you can apply these skills to your university studies.

First tutorial:

Pre-course Tutorial Pre-course Tutorial
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Purpose To give you the chance to make your goals and aims clear to your teachers:
E.g. To improve my essay writing; to show my arguments in a clearer way.
To give you the chance to make your goals and aims clear to your teachers:
E.g. To feel more comfortable speaking in classroom discussions; to feel more comfortable asking my teachers questions in university.

Mid-course tutorial:

Mid-course tutorial Mid-course tutorial
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Purpose To review your goals from the first tutorials and give advice on how to meet them or improve in certain areas.
E.g. I wanted to improve my use of sources-I have done this; I wanted to show my voice in academic writing better-I still need to improve.
To review your goals from the first tutorials and give advice on how to meet them or improve in certain areas.
E.g. I wanted to be able to give my opinions in class- I can do this and I feel more confident when I state my views;  I wanted to be able to interrupt my classmates in a polite way-I still need to improve this.

Final tutorial:

Mid-course tutorial Mid-course tutorial
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Purpose 1. To give feedback on your purpose in the class.
2. To discuss if you met your aims.
3. To discuss how you can continue to improve.E.g. I think I can write essays better and I know how to use structure to signpost my arguments.
I need to continue working on how to find good and reliable sources
1. To give feedback on your purpose in the class.
2. To discuss if you met your aims.
3. To discuss how you can continue to improve.
4. To give you individual feedback on your final presentation.E.g. I am happy that I can show facts to support my ideas in class discussions. I need to continue to use cautious language

Use of Sources

Weekly Aims: To review how to use sources effectively and appropriately and to introduce how to state fact or opinion:

  • To review the rules of citations, in text and in a bibliography/reference list.
  • To present your arguments in spoken English in a well-constructed and academic manner.
  • To be more confident taking part in class discussions.
  • To find quality sources that support your arguments.
Tuesday  14.00-17.30 Friday 14.00-17.30
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Content

Use of sources

  • Searching for academic sources;
  • Finding academic sources that are relevant and reliable;
  • Paraphrasing, summerising and quoting.

Seminar Skills

  • Fact or opinion
  • Using sources to explain your ideas (E.g. According to…/Jones claims……)
Break Break
  • Presenting sources in your bibliography/reference list
  • In text citations
  • Relating sources to your topic
  • Interrupting politely (E.g. I would like to add…; Excuse me, but…);
  • Hedging/cautious language.

Argumentation 1

Weekly Aims: To distinguish between different academic voices both when giving presentations and in academic writing.

  • Review how to show your voice vs. the voice of different authors
  • To signpost when giving formal presentations.
  • To open and close a presentation appropriately.
  • To demonstrate critical thinking in spoken and written work.
Tuesday  14.00-17.30
Friday  14.00-17.30
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Content

Argumentation 1

  • How to represent the author’s voice.
  • Showing your voice.
  • Structuring paragraphs in academic writing.
Presentation skills 1

  • Signposting
  • Presentation techniques -e.g. how to use notes, jokes and other peoples’ arguments effectively.
  • Using quotes in presentations.
Break Break
  • Critical thinking and questioning ideas.
  • Countering and presenting arguments in academic writing.
  • Engaging your audience.
  • Concluding and introducing your presentation.

Argumentation 2

Weekly Aims: To be able to distinguish between the requirements of written and spoken arguments in an academic context.

  • To review register for formal and more informal contexts in universities.
  • To review ways to structure your arguments and parts of essays by showing criticality.
  • To present facts and figures to support your arguments.
  • To review presentation techniques.
Tuesday  14.00-17.30
Friday  14.00-17.30
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Content Opinion or fact argumentation 2

  • Hedging and cautious language.
  • Signposting
  • Connectors and linkers.
Presentation Skills 2

  • Spoken vs. written argumentation.
  • Register
  • Presenting facts and figures.
Break Break
  • Writing conclusions
  • Writing introductions
  • Projecting your voice.
  • Body language.

Essay structures and giving presentations

Weekly Aims: To consolidate the course and prepare you for giving a presentation and submitting essays.

  • To give you a chance to present and get feedback from your teachers.
  • To review the fundamentals of essay writing e.g. structure, ideas, voice, signposting and synthesis.
  • To introduce you to writing a literature review in preparation for writing your dissertation.
Tuesday  14.00-17.30
Friday  14.00-17.30
Skills Reading and Writing Speaking
Content Essay writing

  • Essay structure

-Review of voice.
-Presenting ideas.
-Signposting
-Synthesis in academic writing.

Presentations and feedback
Break Break
  • Literature reviews and how to write them.

-Structure.
-How these sources relate to my work.

Presentations and feedback
University Academic Skills
2 modules £240
1 module £120
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