module specification

OEL068 - Fundamentals of Academic English (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Fundamentals of Academic English
Module level Level 4/5/6 (99)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
0 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
126 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 50%   Individual presentation on a given or agreed topic (15 minutes).
Coursework 50%   Written assignment: essay or report on a given or agreed topic (750-800 words)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning
Autumn semester North Monday Morning
Autumn semester North Thursday Evening
Spring semester North Thursday Evening
Spring semester North Tuesday Evening

Module summary

This module is designed for students to advance their academic English skills up to the level required for their study. The module focuses on key aspects of academic English language use including structuring writing, using academic conventions, selecting and referencing suitable sources, and developing argumentation and critical thinking. There is a strong focus on academic communication via both writing and presentations, with chances for vocabulary development and acquiring effective learning strategies. The module is adaptable to the language abilities of students, making it suitable for both learners of English and those with English as their first language, and can be taught to students studying in different years.

Students will:
• develop their spoken and written English, express opinions and take part in discussions and activities at a B2 level
• read and listen within a variety of subject areas and identify both main points and details
• expand their passive and active vocabulary
• identify and use the appropriate register in written texts and speaking.
• develop their knowledge of academic English in relation to their studies with a specific focus on clear structure and following academic conventions such as referencing

Prior learning requirements

Ease test 40 or B1 Common European Framework


The module will cover key aspects of academic writing such as paragraphing (LO1), reading strategies (LO3), essay structure including thesis statements (LO1), features of academic writing (LO1, L04), referencing, paraphrasing and evaluating sources (LO1, LO3), developing an argument (LO3, LO4), and preparing presentations (LO2, LO4) and academic essays (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered through a blended learning strategy. Information and activities to support and further develop the skills required to pass the module will be offered in the classroom and through media. Students will be given optional weekly tasks and activities on Weblearn in order to support their independent learning experience.

Students will be provided with individual and group feedback throughout the term. Opportunities to reflect on learning and progress are built into the module. In particular, students will have the chance to share their reflections and provide peer-to-peer feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will:

  1. Identify and apply the methods and conventions of academic English structure, paraphrase and referencing.
  2. Research a given topic using electronic and paper-based resources.
  3. Use critical thinking to analyse texts, evaluate sources, and support an argument.
  4. Apply their knowledge of academic English to demonstrate flexibility in writing and presentation for the needs of a specific target audience.

Assessment strategy

As the learning outcomes for this module are based on the development of language skills, the assessment instruments were chosen because of their practical characteristics.

The individual presentation offers a clear opportunity to assess the achievement of a B2 level (CEFR) of oral communication. It also requires the student to familiarise themselves with relevant literature and evaluate their usefulness for the task. More importantly, this task allows the student to adopt an independent role in their choice of topic as they can research an area of their own interest.

Similarly, the written assignment is a useful tool in the assessment of writing conventions and use of academic English at a B2 level. As with the oral presentation, students are free to research a relevant topic of their choice, which will enable them to familiarise themselves with specialised vocabulary and different types of academic sources (e.g., journal articles, monographs, conference proceedings, and more).