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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Listening & Speaking modules

Having trouble understanding lectures? Do you lose concentration half-way through or get lost when a tutor makes jokes? Academic listening is a very active process and there are many techniques you can apply to get the most out of your lectures and seminars. You will have an opportunity to learn about verbal cues and signals, enhance your note-taking skills and explore various strategies for awkward situations so you can develop confidence in your ability to engage with spoken language. This module is especially useful for international students whose first language is not English.

 Key words: spoken vs written English, listening for purpose, engagement 


Public speaking can be a hard nut to crack; however, this module will help you to gain more confidence and deliver your ideas more effectively. It covers aspects such as time management, structure, delivery, plus dealing with questions and managing anxiety. We provide a safe space for you to practise your presentation skills with guidance from an experienced tutor. There will be pair work and group work which will help you build your communication skills and feel comfortable with exposure to an audience. This module is for any student struggling with writing or delivering their presentations. 

 Key words: speaking, voice, visuals

Seminars give students the opportunity to share their understanding of lecture content and their thoughts on a given topic. Seminar discussions involve debate and disagreement, and this makes some students anxious. Learn to love seminars! In this module, we will teach you some techniques to keep a conversation going and help you to develop different strategies to present your input. You’ll practise how to politely question, how to challenge, and even how to agree with others in a way that opens up the discussion. If you are new to university study or worried about participating in seminars, or even if you just want to practice debates and discussions in English, this module is for you.

 Key words: arguments, opinion, disagree 

If English is not your first language, you might find certain words or sounds in English difficult to say. Perhaps you find English speakers impossible to understand? This short course allows you to develop a greater awareness of English sounds and practise word stress, speech rhythm, connected speech and natural intonation. You will be twisting your tongue and deciphering sounds on a weekly basis, so that you can gain more confidence in your pronunciation and in your ability to understand authentic English. If you wish to gain even more practice sign up to EAL4650 Effective Presentations in the second part of the semester.

 Key words: speaking, confidence, British English


If English is not your first language, it can sometimes feel difficult communicating with others in real-life situations. Perhaps you get nervous when someone starts some small talk or asks you what you think about the British government? This module gives you the chance to practise ‘real English’ from starting a conversation to dealing with digressions or giving encouragement. You’ll learn some typical conversational phrases and perhaps have a giggle about misunderstandings as well as learn different idiomatic expressions. These two different courses are aimed at international students and run in both semesters. You can take these modules in any order to build confidence in your speaking and listening as well as meet students from different backgrounds.

Key words: speaking practice, communication strategies, cultural differences


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