Academic English for International Students

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Aims of the courses

Academic English for International Students is provided for non-native speakers of English who are studying on full time degree courses or on exchange schemes at Royal Holloway. The courses are designed to help students meet the challenges of academic work, including writing an essay, following lectures, taking part in academic discussion and giving presentations.

Are the courses appropriate for me?

Our courses are mostly aimed at those with IELTS scores of below 7. However, many students with higher IELTS scores, who have never studied in the UK before, have found our courses very useful for their studies. Each student is allowed to take up to 3 courses per term.  

For further information please see the course descriptions (below) and FAQs (link on left of this page). 

How to register

Make sure you have your own timetable with you so that you know when you are available to take a course. 

Choose a course

  1. Use the interactive flow chart to help you find the right course(s) for you.
  2. Read the course descriptions below and choose your course(s).
  3. Look at the Acadmemic English Timetable and check that you will be able to attend all the classes of the course(s) chosen.
  4. Decide whether you want to take a 4-week course before or after Reading Week (the course will be exactly the same)
  5. Then click here to register, or click the red Register button on the right hand side of this page.

You can register for a maximum of 3 courses per term. 

Please be aware that courses can run in three different ways:

  • Some courses run for 8 weeks
  • Some courses run for 4 weeks BEFORE Reading Week
  • Some courses run for 4 weeks and start AFTER reading week

If you would like help deciding whether a course is right for you, please come along to a drop-in in the first week of term:

  • Wednesday 11th January, 1-3pm in INTER-001
  • Thursday 12th January, 1-3pm in INTER-001

Understand the terms & conditions

  • You can only register for a maximum of 3 courses per term. 
  • Courses may not run if fewer than eight students register, but you may be able to join a group at another time of the week.
  • If you do not attend the first class, you may be automatically de-registered from the course so that your space can be given to someone on the waiting list. 
  • If you are unable to attend the first class due to illness and wish to continue on the course, you should email cedas-skills@royalholloway.ac.uk in advance of the class in order to avoid your registration being cancelled.
  • If you have a disability which you feel your tutor needs to be aware of, or you require special access arrangements, please email: CeDAS-Skills@royalholloway.ac.uk in order for us to discuss any arrangements which need to be made to ensure that you can fully participate in your chosen course.

If you have any queries regarding which course to take, please email cedas-skills@royalholloway.ac.uk.

Course descriptions

To find out more about the courses on offer to all students, select the appropriate category below.

Use the interactive flow chart to help you find the right course for you.

If you attend a course, you will be eligible to receive Royal Holloway Passport Points.

Reading & Writing courses

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR ACADEMIC READING 

4-week course - 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I feel overwhelmed by the amount of reading I need to do.
  • I have difficulties extracting useful ideas from my reading.
  • As I am reading, I have trouble making useful notes. I often forget the information and lose my ideas.

This course is designed to help you to understand how make the most of your reading. It will help you to understand your reading and writing needs, set your own reading goals for a particular course, select the most relevant materials, find information quickly and effectively, read actively and critically, and make useful notes. 

 

A TO Z: KICK-START YOUR ACADEMIC WRITING                     

8 week course – 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  •  I have not written (many) essays in English in a university setting before
  • I need to learn how to use reading in my writing and to reference my reading.
  • I would like to have practice of the whole process of researching and writing an essay

The aim of this course is to teach you all key elements of academic writing. The course contains input on the stages of the writing process, structure and organization, understanding essay titles, planning and drafting an essay, introductions, conclusions, taking notes from sources, paragraphing, avoiding plagiarism, paraphrasing, summarising, combining sources, references and quotations, using libraries, and using internet sources.

 

WRITING WITH SOURCES AND DEFEATING PLAGIARISM         

4 week course – 2 hours per week – REGISTER NOW!

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • When I write a paper, I am never sure whether I am plagiarising or not
  • I would like to improve my paraphrasing and summarising skills
  • I am not sure how to combine information and ideas from different writers

The aim of this course is to enable you to make effective use of published sources in your essay writing. This will include input on how and when to use direct quotations, how to refer to sources both within your essay and in the bibliography, how to paraphrase and summarise effectively from texts, and how to combine information/ideas from different writers within one paragraph. The course will also focus on knowing what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, for which all of the above-mentioned skills will be useful.

 

DEVELOPING YOUR CRITICAL THINKING                

4 week course – 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I do not know how to balance ideas and arguments in my essays
  • I do not know how to put my viewpoints across in an academic way.
  • Feedback on my essays often says ‘not analytical enough’ or ‘not critically engaged’.

 The aim of this course is to help you improve your critical and analytical thinking. It will focus on understanding some of the key features of critical thinking, understanding how these features are used in academic writing, detecting bias, recognising flaws in arguments, and building up strong critical arguments in your own writing through effective use of sources. 

 

ADVANCED ACADEMIC WRITING: BECOME AN INSIGHTFUL WRITER    

4 week course – 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I understand the basics of academic essay writing (for either UG or PG coursework tasks)
  • I need to develop more sophisticated  ways to approach my academic writing tasks
  • My writing level is at least equivalent to IELTS 6.5 

This course aims to take students beyond basic essay-writing skills through in-depth analyses of the features of good coursework essays including example writing from a wide range of disciplines (History, Psychology, Management, Linguistics and PIR). Focus will include paragraph purpose, flow between sentences and paragraphs, academic grammar, evaluative writing (writer ‘voice’), argument, debate, and use of primary and secondary sources.

 

ACADEMIC GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY Part A: GETTING IT RIGHT

4 week course – 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I am often told that my sentences are not clear enough.
  • I often struggle to improve my grammar based on feedback.
  • I want my writing to sound more academic. 

This course aims to provide students with knowledge and practice of the key elements of grammar and vocabulary for academic writing. It covers the areas where students tend to make mistakes, but also gives them an opportunity to assess their individual needs, as well as to become familiar with the tools to enhance learning independently. It is particularly useful for students who have a writing score of IELTS 6.0 or below (or equivalent). Part A focuses on academic style, tenses, sentence structure, vocabulary range and accuracy, and error correction. 

 

ACADEMIC GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY Part B: EXPRESSING YOUR IDEAS CLEARLY   

4 week course – 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I want to use my basic knowledge of grammar more effectively in my writing.
  • I want to express my ideas more clearly in my sentences.
  • I want my writing to sound more academic.

This course aims to provide students with further knowledge and practice of the key elements of grammar and vocabulary for academic writing, and further enhance independent learning skills. It is particularly useful for students who have a writing score of IELTS 6.0 or below (or equivalent). Part B focuses on writing definitions, using modal verbs and cautious language, using connectors and reference words, using the student’s own voice (e.g. using persuasive language), researching and referencing vocabulary, and making improvements independently. 

Oral Communication courses

BUILDING PRONUNCIATION SKILLS: TRICKY SOUNDS    

8 week course – 1 hour per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I often mispronounce individual words or sounds.
  • Other people sometimes misunderstand words I say in English.
  • I would like to understand what my own pronunciation difficulties are.

This course focuses on the pronunciation of many English sounds, e.g. vowel sounds, like short ‘i’ and long ‘ee’, and groups of consonants, like ‘str’, ‘kt’ and ‘spl’. It also looks at how native speakers link spoken words together. The course includes time to practise speaking and to record your own voice to improve your awareness of your own pronunciation.  

General English courses

ENGLISH THROUGH THE MEDIA Part C: POPULAR TOPICS IN THE UK

4 week course – 2 hours per week

This course is suitable for you if you agree with at least two of the following statements:

  • I feel that my listening, reading and discussion skills would benefit from some more practice
  • I would like to develop my existing knowledge about popular topics in the UK
  • I would like to do some information hunting and to be able to think critically about what I am reading or watching

This interactive course follows on from ETTM A and B by focusing on popular topics in the UK. A range of online resources is used to develop a wider comprehension of the current issues covered.  Students will develop their understanding of these issues by using a variety of academic and language skills, and there will be many opportunities for discussions and debates.  

 Don't just take our word for it! This is what students said last year:

" I have really developed my critical thinking ability."

"I [now] have a clear picture of academic writing."

"The teacher's material is informative and helpful."

" Everything, every single thing [on the course] was helpful!"
 

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23/08/2017
Contact Us

CeDAS Office:

International Building 002

 

Telephone: +44 (0)1784 443368

Email: 

CeDAS-Skills@royalholloway.ac.uk

 

Twitter: @cedasrhul

 

Facebook: 

facebook.com/cedasroyalholloway

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To register for a course, click on the link above and sign in using your Royal Holloway username and password, then at the top left of the page click on 'Book by Category' and select either 'Academic Reading & Writing' or 'Oral Communication'.