The Albertian English Language Programme

Course Coordinator: Dr. Sapna Miranda

Credit: 2

Contact Hours: 30

Mode of Assessment: Oral & Written

Course Overview:

This course is designed for students learning English at different levels to acquire and develop the English language knowledge and skills. The course is defined within the Common Reference European Framework and is divided into Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels.

The aim of the syllabus is to prepare students to use English for their studies in college and consequently for their professional needs in real life and work. This preparatory course will further give the students the opportunity to speak on general topics, to communicate in Business environment and to understand texts on general topics.

The English Language Programme course incorporates 3 basic components:

  1. General English
  2. Spoken  English
  3. Business English

The course aims at developing a wide range of skills:

  • Communication skills, especially spoken skills which cover communication situations.
  • Language Development, which involves grammar and extensive vocabulary learning.
  • Writing skills, which have a specific focus on literacy and short essays, memoranda, notes.
  • Reading, which involves study of instructional business-related texts of topical relevance.
  • Listening, which includes comprehension of gist and detailed information.

Course Objectives:

The main objectives of the syllabus are:

  • to develop the students’ speaking skills to enable them to use general, social and professional language;
  • to provide material for the students to learn pronunciation of the English sounds, to learn to read, write, and to know the fundamentals of English grammar and vocabulary;
  • to develop the students’ reading skills to enable them to skim an adapted text for main idea, to scan an adapted text for specific information, to interpret an adapted text for inferences;
  • to develop the students’ writing skills to enable them to respond to input applying information to a specified task, to elicit, to select, to summarize information in essays (140-160 words);
  • to develop the students’ listening skills to enable them to understand and apply specific information from the input;
  • to develop the students’ general capacity to a level that enables them to use English in their professional and academic environment.

Methods of assessment:

Assessment is by coursework, which integrates the following:

  • Oral interactions (including pair work)
  • Individual and group oral presentations
  • Written tests and tasks of various length (memoranda, notes)
  • Essays
  • Listening/ viewing
  • Communicating the gist of simple reading passages
  • Translation of simple texts.

 A measure of classroom participation, progress and motivation will account for the overall assessment. A final exam will comprise of an oral topic, listening comprehension, and an extract for rendering into English.

Main reading:

This syllabus may be fulfilled on the basis of textbooks and training materials, original special supplementary materials adapted for the elementary level. The usage of up-to-date adapted materials will help students to obtain the necessary skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Course Outline

The content of the English syllabus is based on preliminary testing and grouping the students into three streams: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels. This approach helps students in the lower-level groups to achieve the needed competence and students in the more advanced groups to perfect their knowledge of English.

  1. General English

The students learn to pronounce, read and write. They acquire their knowledge of fundamental grammatical structures and functions (e.g. sentence types, tenses, voice, parts of speech, word order, expressing possibility, obligation, necessity, prohibition, criticism; expressing preferences, making assumptions; asking for/ refusing/giving permission; making offers, suggestions, etc.) They acquire their fundamental vocabulary to fulfill the above mentioned functions in roles, topics and discussions. Listening texts include monologues and interacting speakers. They are taught to focus on understanding the gist, the main points, look for detail or specific information, and deduce the meaning.

  1. Spoken English

The students are taught to be able to converse on different topics (people, jobs, places to visit, festivals/celebrations, disasters/accidents, eating habits, sports/hobbies, environment, education, entertainment, transport, crime, etc.).

 The students learn to understand spoken language.

            Spoken skills will be further enhanced with the help of reading assignments and giving students oral tasks based on the reading material. The students are offered adapted/instructional reading material and are encouraged to learn to use different strategies for different reading purposes: identifying the main points in a text, looking for detail, locating specific information in a text, understanding a text structure, etc.

  1. Business English

The students are acquainted with the basics of business vocabulary. Spoken skills at the work place including greetings, requests, apologies, interview skills, group discussions, etc. will be given importance.

The course aims to:

  • develop the students’ comprehension of business vocabulary and aid them with role plays to enhance their spoken skills;
  • develop the students’ listening skills in the field of business;
  • provide the students with opportunities to express business concepts by reformulating them in their own words while summarizing.

The students’ competence in this aspect is measured by their ability to demonstrate their communication skills in the key business areas of meetings, negotiations, telephoning and social English, as well as the ability to write memos, notes.

Skills development

Students are taught to develop their skills in

Listening:

  • General comprehension (listening for gist, listening for detailed information, evaluating the importance of information).
  • Lectures (identifying the topic and main themes, identifying relationships among major ideas, comprehending key information).

Speaking:

  • Basic spoken skills like introducing oneself, talking about daily routine, likes & dislikes, opinions, matters of general interest, etc.
  • Seminar skills (agreeing and disagreeing, clarifying, questioning, concluding).
  • Presentation skills (introductions and stating the purpose, signposting, highlighting key points, summaries, conclusions).

Reading:

Skimming, scanning, detailed reading, guessing unknown words from context, understanding text organization, recognizing argument and counter-argument; distinguishing between main information and supporting detail, fact and opinion, hypothesis versus evidence; summarizing and note-taking.

Writing:

The students are expected to learn to produce written texts of various types: formal / informal / transactional letters, argumentative essays (expressing opinions, for and against), narration (story writing), memoranda and notes.

  • Essay content and structure (patterns of organization, paragraphing, discussion – argument/counter-argument, advantages and disadvantages, topic sentence and supporting ideas, coherence and cohesion, punctuation).
  • Functions (generalization, definitions, exemplification, classification, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, process and procedure, interpretation of data).
  • Style (passive constructions, avoiding verbosity)
  • Punctuation

The students’ competence in skills development is measured by their ability to understand and produce written and spoken language in an educational context, to perform the following academic tasks:

  • Speaking to colleagues and lecturers.
  • reading and understanding written academic language;
  • writing assignments in an appropriate style for university study;
  • listening to and comprehending spoken language;

Topics and activities (should include but may not only be restricted to)

  • Myself
  • My family
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Opinion on various topics
  • Meeting people. Making Contacts
  • A city. Getting about town
  • Our flat. Home life
  • Going abroad
  • Going through Customs
  • At a hotel
  • Shopping
  • Eating out
  • Making a phone call
  • A modern office
  • Discussing business
  • Interview Skills
  • Memos, letters, reports, proposals
  • Job applications, cover letter, resume
  • Presentation Skills, GD Skills