Students in this level will have working proficiency in academic English and be able to deal with most routine institutional situations. The focus of this level is to help learners develop both grammatical complexity and finer shades of meaning in their academic writing and speaking and gain higher proficiency in dealing with lectures and academic texts. This is a low advanced Academic English course and will help students improve their accuracy, fluency, and critical thinking at the college or university level.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to a particular field of interest
synthesize and evaluate information and arguments from several sources
write an essay or report that develops an argument systematically
use a wide variety of linking words efficiently to mark the relationships between ideas
clearly signal the difference between fact and opinion

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

scan quickly through long and complex texts, locating relevant details
read with a large degree of independence, adapting style and speed of reading to different texts and purposes
differentiate between facts and opinions in a lecture or text
understand the main ideas of propositionally and linguistically complex speech on both concrete and abstract topics

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

adjust to the changes of direction, style and emphasis normally found in conversation
intervene appropriately in discussion, exploiting appropriate language to do so
present and respond to complex lines of argument convincingly
account for and sustain views clearly by providing relevant explanations and arguments
answer follow-up questions with fluency and spontaneity

Mode of delivery

The majority of instruction and class time will be spent on-site. In-person delivery will include lectures, seminars, workshops, small group work and partner activities. Occasionally, students will attend alternative learning field trips to nearby destinations such as libraries, museums and cultural events to immerse themselves in the English language and apply skills learned in the classroom. Sessions can be divided into academic writing, critical listening and reading, and oral presentation and discussions, with skills overlapping when necessary or preferred at the discretion of instructors.

Resources and Required Texts

A number of texts will be provided in PDF form or via links to online sources. You should have your own copy of the following texts:

Perspectives: Academic Reading Skills and Practice by Marina Rozenberg (click here)
LEAP 3 - Listening and Speaking by Dr. Ken Beatty (click here)


Students will need 75% to continue on to the next level. Students will be assessed on graded completion of formative weekly tasks and assignments assigned at the discretion of their instructor. There will be two scheduled summative exams students will complete midway through and at the end of term. All exams and assignments are assessed according to rubrics and answer keys.
In addition to the midterm and final exams, grades will be based on a combination of the following, at the discretion of the course instructor(s).

Active participation in seminar work: this means that students are expected to contribute orally in the (possibly virtual) classroom meetings for the courses, which are called ‘seminars’. In-class contributions can include one or several of the following: responding to questions from the teacher, being active in small-group discussions with other students, demonstrating knowledge and understanding of relevant pre-seminar materials.
Weekly tasks and assignments: these will be smaller assignments, completed either during or outside of class time, and are designed to evaluate focused skills such as note-taking, reading comprehension, or critical thinking.
Written assignments: most commonly a writing task set by the teacher, to be completed by an individual student and submitted electronically by a specified hand-in date and time). Assignments may include academic reports, essays, and/or case studies.
Peer-review – a student review of some work (often a writing assignment) by another student (peer). Typically, this is a critical review where students assess in an objective way the merits of the work (its structure, language, the connection of ideas in the text), and not a personal response to the work where students simply explain, for example, what was liked or disliked.
Oral presentations – a sustained oral presentation on a specific topic, often given in the seminar classroom by an individual or a group to the teacher and fellow students (they can take the form of a recorded audio-video or on-line film presentation depending on the task). Presentation genres may include exposition, persuasion, or procedure.

Suggested Breakdown of Grading

Component Percentage
Attendance and participation 15%
Weekly tasks and assignments 25%
Midterm Exam 10%
Final Exam 20%
Written Assessments 20%
Speaking Assessments 10%
Total 100%