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2020/2021

Basic English Usage

Code: 103409 ECTS Credits: 12
Degree Type Year Semester
2500245 English Studies FB 1 A
2501902 English and Catalan FB 1 A
2501907 English and Classics FB 1 A
2501910 English and Spanish FB 1 A
2501913 English and French FB 1 A
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.

Contact

Name:
Irene Tort Cots
Email:
Irene.Tort@uab.cat

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Yes
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
No
Some groups entirely in Spanish:
No

Teachers

Arnau Roig Mora
Gonzalo Iturregui Gallardo
└ngel Barranqueras Martinez
Jennifer Rose Ament
Laura Jane Styles
Eva Codˇ Olsina

Prerequisites

A CEFR C1 level of general English is required to be able to optimally follow the course. 

Students are also advised to attend the "English Academic Skills" pre-sessional course offered by the Department of English and German in September (2020). 

Objectives and Contextualisation


The main purpose of this course is to furnish students entering the BA in English Studies or any combined BA with English with the linguistic and communicative tools to successfully follow their university studies. This is a foundational course, focused on boosting the students' formal and academic register, both oral and written. A C1 level of English (CEFR) is assumed.

 

Specific course objectives. At the end of the course students should be able to: 

-Express themselves orally in a correct manner, both grammatically, lexically and at the level of basic pronunciation and intonation, following the requirements of the formal and academic registers.

-Understand authentic oral materials from the fields of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Note-taking. Identifying main and secondary ideas, as well as their organization and interrelation.

-Produce argumentative texts of around 300 words that are formally well structured, linguistically correct, and have a depth of content appropriate to higher education. 

-Understand authentic written materials from the fields of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Reading for gist. Reading in detail. Identifying author's stance. 

Competences

    English Studies
  • Demonstrate they know a wide variety of texts in English language of any mean (oral, written, audiovisual) and recognising implicit meanings.
  • Executing in oral and written form a flexible and effective use of the English language with academic, professional and social purposes.
  • Produce clear and well structured and detailed texts in English about complex topics, displaying a correct use of the organisation, connection and cohesion of the text.
  • Utilising new technologies in order to capture and organise information in English and other languages, and applying it to the personal continued training and to the problem-solving in the professional or research activity.
    English and Catalan
  • Demonstrate they know a wide variety of texts in English language of any mean (oral, written, audiovisual) and recognising implicit meanings.
  • Executing in oral and written form a flexible and effective use of the English language with academic, professional and social purposes.
  • Produce clear and well structured and detailed texts in English about complex topics, displaying a correct use of the organisation, connection and cohesion of the text.
    English and Classics
  • Demonstrate they know a wide variety of texts in English language of any mean (oral, written, audiovisual) and recognising implicit meanings.
  • Executing in oral and written form a flexible and effective use of the English language with academic, professional and social purposes.
  • Produce clear and well structured and detailed texts in English about complex topics, displaying a correct use of the organisation, connection and cohesion of the text.
    English and Spanish
  • Demonstrate they know a wide variety of texts in English language of any mean (oral, written, audiovisual) and recognising implicit meanings.
  • Executing in oral and written form a flexible and effective use of the English language with academic, professional and social purposes.
  • Produce clear and well structured and detailed texts in English about complex topics, displaying a correct use of the organisation, connection and cohesion of the text.
    English and French
  • Demonstrate they know a wide variety of texts in English language of any mean (oral, written, audiovisual) and recognising implicit meanings.
  • Executing in oral and written form a flexible and effective use of the English language with academic, professional and social purposes.
  • Produce clear and well structured and detailed texts in English about complex topics, displaying a correct use of the organisation, connection and cohesion of the text.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Carry out oral presentations in English about a variety of topics of public interest.
  2. Carrying out oral presentations in English about a variety of topics of public interest.
  3. Demonstrating they comprehend and distinguish a wide variety of non-colloquial auditory material in standard British and American English of high difficulty level about specialised and non-specialised topics, in face-to-face interaction with a level C1 or in materials coming from the media.
  4. Demonstrating they know English specialised and non-specialised texts of high difficulty level, and interpreting them in a critical manner.
  5. Draw up brief argumentative essays in English about non-specialised topics of average difficulty.
  6. Drawing up brief argumentative essays in English about non-specialised topics of average difficulty.
  7. Locating and organising relevant information in English that is available on the Internet, in databases, etc.
  8. Show comprehension of a wide variety of (non-colloquial) auditory material in standard British and American English, whether in face-to-face interactions at C1 level or from the media, on specialist and non-specialist topics of high difficulty.
  9. Summarising in written form the main content of an oral discourse about specialised and non-specialised topics of high level difficulty.
  10. Using the English language with the appropriate expression (correctness, fluency, pronunciation, communicative strategies) in formal (presentations, debates, formal interactions) and informal contexts (conversation) with a level C1.
  11. Using the English language with the appropriate expression (correctness, fluency, pronunciation, communicative strategies) in formal (presentations, debates, formal interactions) and informal contexts (conversation) with a level C1.

Content

This course is structured into two distinct blocks. The focus of the first block is on written skills (reading and writing). The focus of the second block is on oral skills (speaking and listening). Despite this division of labour, relevant grammatical structures and lexis of a C1 level belonging to the formal and academic registers will be examined and discussed, either in class or independently, through assigned self-study materials.

Block 1 (semester 1): Writing and Reading for Academic Purposes (WRAP)

  1. Characteristics of written academic discourse. Differences between formal and informal registers. Writing in English. Main differences in relation to Catalan/Spanish writing.
  2. The writing process. Brainstorming and generating ideas. The paragraph. Types of paragraphs. The argumentative essay.
  3. Coherence and cohesion in discourse. Sentence fragments. Run-on sentences. Parallel structures. Agreement. Punctuation.
  4. Reading academic texts. Main and secondary ideas. Reading forgist and reading for detail. Identifying writer's stance. Hedging. Textual analysis.
  5. Citing and referencing. Plagiarism. 

Block 2 (semester 2): Speaking and Listening for Academic Purposes (SLAP)

  1. Introduction to the sounds of English. Main differences between the consonant and vowel systems of English and Catalan/Spanish. 
  2. Relationship between spelling and pronunciation in English. Homophones. Basic spelling-pronunciation rules in English. Frequently mispronounced words. 
  3. Oral expression and fluency. Spontaneous and semi-spontaneous speech. Short informal presentations. Reading aloud fluently. Imitation and dialogue practice.
  4. Introduction to academic oral presentations. Preparation. Organization and structure. Delivery. Pace. Synonymy and paraphrasing. Emphasis and repetition. Intonation. 
  5. Characteristics of oral academic discourse. Understanding and note-taking. Structure, signposting and discourse markers. Main and secondary ideas. Forms of argumentation. 
  6. Gender-neutral language. 

Methodology

The methodology will be based on the following activities:

  • Directed activities (30%)
  • Supervised activities (15%)
  • Autonomous activities (50%)
  • Assessment activities (5%)

 

Activities

Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Guided exercises 90 3.6 8, 2, 6, 10
Type: Supervised      
Supervised work 45 1.8 10
Type: Autonomous      
Self-study. Exercises and assignments. Use of ICTs 150 6 8, 7, 6

Assessment

The following criteria must be taken into account:

  • Any non-submitted assignments will be graded with a 0.
  • Students will obtain a Not assessed/Not submitted course grade unless they have submitted more than 30% of the assessment items.
  • Since this is a course that assesses students' level of English, students will have to obtain 60% (exam average) to pass Block 1 and Block 2.
  • To calculate the exam average for each block, students will be required to have a minimum of 4,5 in each part of Block 1 (reading comprehension and essay) and Block 2 (oral exam and written exam). They will have to resit those items with a grade lower than 4,5. 
  • Only if/when students pass Block 1 exams and Block 2 exams will continuous assessment marks and other evaluation activities be taken into account. 
  • To pass the course students need to:
    • pass Block 1 exam average and Block 2 exam average with 60%.
    • a course average of 60%.

Re-assessment

  • Only the two Block 1 exams and the two Block 2 exams can be re-assessed, provided that the average in each is ≥ 35% and < 60%.
  • If the average of either block (1 or 2) is lower than 35%, the student will not be allowed to re-assess that block and will therefore fail the course.  
  • It is only possible to re-assess failed items. 
  • Block 1 exams can only be re-assessed in the end of the second semester. 
  • The maximum grade obtainable after reassessment is PASS.

Evaluation activities excluded from re-assessment

The following continuous assessment activities are not eligible for reassessment:

  • written exercises (Block 1)
  • mock listening (Block 2)
  • pronunciation test (Block 2)

It is also not possible to reassess the activity of oral academic production (Block 2) and self-study and active contribution (Blocks 1 & 2).

 

Procedure for reviewing grades awarded

On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

 

IMPORTANT:

  • In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

    In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives. 

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Active contribution 5% 2.5 0.1 7, 11, 10
Activity of oral academic production 10% 0.5 0.02 2, 1, 7, 11, 10
Continuous assessment 30% 3 0.12 4, 8, 3, 7, 6, 5, 11, 10
Self-study 5% 3 0.12 7, 11, 10
Written and oral exam Block 2 25% 3 0.12 8, 3, 2, 1, 11, 10
Written exam Block 1 25% 3 0.12 4, 6, 5, 9

Bibliography

Course textbooks

Estebas Vilaplana, Eva (2014) Teach Yourself English Pronunciation: An Interactive Course for Spanish Speakers. Madrid: UNED.

Kennedy-Scanlon, Michael, Juli Cebrian & John Bradbury (2009) Guided Error Correction: Exercises for Spanish-Speaking Students of English. C1 Level, Book 1. Bellaterrra: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Servei de Publicacions.

Warwick, Lindsay & Louis Rogers (2018) Skillful 4: Reading and Writing (2nd ed). London: Macmillan Education. 

  

Recommended references

Hewings, Martin (2017) Advanced Grammar in use (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Hewings, Martin & Craig Thaine (2012) Cambridge Academic English. An Integrated Skills Course for EAP. C1 level. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kennedy-Scanlon, Michael, Elisabet Pladevall & Juli Cebrian (2012) Guided Error Correction: Exercises for Spanish-Speaking Students of English. B2 Level. Bellaterrra: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Servei de Publicacions.

McCarthy, Michael & Felicity O’Dell (2016) Academic Vocabulary in Use (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Swan, Michael (2016) Practical English Usage (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Complementary references

Baker, Lida, Robyn Brinks Lockwood & Kristin Donnalley Sherman (2018) Grammar for Great Writing. Boston, MA: National Geographic Learning.

Hancock, Mark (2017) English Pronunciation in Use. Intermediate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pathare, Emma & Gary Pathare (2018) Skillful 4: Listening and Speaking (2nd ed). London: Macmillan Education.

 

Dictionaries

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, OUP.

Collins Cobuild English Dictionary,Harper Collins Publishers.

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, CUP.

Collins English-Spanish/Spanish-English Dictionary, 6th ed., Grijalbo.

Longman Language Activator. Longman.

Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman.

 

Recommended websites

English for Academic Purposes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/gothedistance/studyskills

https://www.academic-englishuk.com/

https://www.eapfoundation.com/

 

Online dictionaries

https://www.ldoceonline.com (Longman Dictionary of Contemporay English)

https://www.merriam-webster.com(Merrian-Webster dictionaries on line)

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/(Cambridge dictionaries on line)

http://www.freecollocation.com/ (Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English)

https://www.lexilogos.com/english/dictionary.htm (A comprehensive set of resources for the study of the English Language)

 

Pronunciation

Department of Phonetics and Linguistics UCL - Identify the symbol:http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/johnm/flash/findrp.htm

The International Phonetic Association: http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/ipachart.html

Sheep or ship? (vowels): http://www.shiporsheep.com/

Phonetics: The sounds of spoken language (English and Spanish),University of Iowa: http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/# (consonant profiles)

TypeIPA phonetic symbols: http://ipa.typeit.org/

 

Others

www.flo-joe.co.uk (Cambridge official examination practice)

www.pbs.org (American public television. Documentaries. American English)

https://www.ted.com/talks