Skills: Academic English

2019-2020

Course Objective

The aim of the course is to develop students’ writing skills in the
direction of the C1 level of the Common European Frame of Reference
[CEFR]. Here are the main specific learning outcomes for students who
successfully complete the course.
- You can write a well-structured English text in a formal style about a
subject related to your own degree. The text is free of serious lexical
and grammatical mistakes that have a negative effect on the readability
of your text.
- You have insight into the strengths and weaknesses in your own English
writing skills, and know how you can go about expanding the strengths
and reducing the weaknesses.
- You have knowledge of the structure and register of academic texts in
your discipline, and you have insight into how the use of specific
linguistic devices contributes to textual coherence.
- You know the most frequent difficulties that people have with English
grammar, you can name them, describe them and avoid them in your own
writing.
- You have insight into your own strengths and weaknesses in grammatical
terms, and know how to go about resolving the weaknesses.

Course Content

The lectures in the course cover the following topics: the nature of
written academic English and English usage; the patterned structure of
complex sentences in English; selected aspects of English grammar
relevant for writing [relating to types of construction, verb phrases
and noun phrases]; the essentials of English punctuation.
The seminars in the course will involve discussion and reworking of
submitted text plans, as well as discussion of exercises relation to
grammar, punctuation and sentence construction

Teaching Methods

Lectures: four hrs per week in weeks 1-3 [2 hrs grammar, two hrs
writing]
Seminars: four hrs per week in weeks 1-3 [2 hrs grammar; two hrs
writing], plus 2 hrs in week 4 [grammar + writing]
Attendance at all classes is obligatory.

Method of Assessment

The grammar component is assessed by means of an online multiple-choice
test. The writing component is assessed by means of a 1000-word essay on
a topic related to courses followed in periods 4 and 5.

Literature

Obligatory literature: the contents of the ELS-online website:
www.vu.nl/fgw/els-online
Recommended literature: Hannay, M. & J.L. Mackenzie (2017). Effective
writing in English: a sourcebook. Third edition. Bussum: Coutinho.

Target Audience

This course is only available to first year Philosophy students
following the English language track.

Explanation Canvas

The course manual and other course materials will all be made available
on Canvas.

Recommended background knowledge

English grammar and writing skills at level B2 of the CEFR. This is more
or less the level attained by students who have successfully completed
the Dutch secondary school VWO programme.

General Information

Course Code W_BA_ACEN
Credits 6 EC
Period P6
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M. Hannay
Examiner prof. dr. M. Hannay
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M. Hannay
dr. M.C. Sherwood-Smith
M. Klene MA

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: