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Reference Information (excerpted from syllabus)

English Communication Skills

This course is offered at three different levels (Basic Reinforcement, Intermediate, and Advanced) for undergraduate students. Below is one example.

Course Name English Communication Skills (Advanced, Faculty of Economics) Semester Summer
Course Category General education, Foreign language, Basic Day/Period Wed, 4
Instructor Credit 2
Language of Instruction English


Course Overview

Last updated: 2013-04-15

This course is delivered by teachers from the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and is organised in small groups of around 15 students. The course is a topic based, modular, integrated skills course with an emphasis on effective communication. There are 3 modules:

  • ・current affairs
  • ・topics related to students faculties (Economics, Law and Social Sciences)
  • ・presentation skills.

Topics covered will be related to students’ lives and studies to provide an interesting, motivating and enjoyable context for language development. Students will cover the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, though effective and confident oral communication will be highlighted. The course will also include topic based vocabulary development. Grammar and pronunciation may also be included although this will be primarily on a remedial basis. Language will be challenging and level appropriate for the students and there will be an emphasis on using less common vocabulary and more complex grammar. Students will be encouraged to speak English in class at all times. Discussion and debate skills will be integrated into the lessons in the first two modules, and in the third module the students will work on presentation skills.


Goals & Methodology

Last updated: 2013-04-15

The goal of the course is to challenge students to further develop their ability to express their ideas effectively in English and as a result further build students’ confidence to communicate in the language. In practical terms the goal of the course is for the students to be able to give a coherent and linguistically precise presentation and to be able to engage effectively in high level discussions at the end of the course.

Lessons will be student-centred and the teacher will ensure maximum time for practice to ensure students become comfortable with using the language they learn. As the course is topic-based, students will learn vocabulary and practise skills through topics that are relevant and useful for their lives and studies. Students will be expected to regularly review the lessons alongside completing homework in the form of writing practice, vocabulary development and language consolidation exercises. There will be regular review stages in lessons to ensure that students are able to retain and use language studied on the course.

Topics / Schedule

Last updated: 2013-04-15

Lessons 1- 4 Module 1: Current Affairs and Discussion Skills
Sample Topics:

  • ・nuclear energy
  • ・aging societies
  • ・social networking
  • ・political issues

Discussion Skills: Expressing ideas and opinions clearly and precisely, agreeing and disagreeing effectively and politely, checking and clarifying, summarising, involving others, interrupting politely.

Lessons 5-8 Module 2: Topics related to the Faculty of Economics and Discussion and Debate Skills
Sample Topics:

  • ・comparison of different views on economics
  • ・globalisation
  • ・“free market” economies
  • ・current microeconomic issues

Discussion Skills: effectively persuading, emphasising and minimising, supporting your argument coherently, intonation – using your voice for emphasis, balancing your argument.

Lessons 10–12 Module 3: Presentations Skills
Planning your presentations, opening, closing, signposting, dealing with questions, using visuals, effective body language, clarifying, linking, quoting, using attractive language, emphasising, engaging your audience.

Lesson 13-15: Presentations and Discussions
Students will make their presentations to the class on an issue they are interested in related to their studies. After the presentations the teacher will facilitate a class discussion on the topic. The teacher will give feedback on students’ performance.