Academic language skills

How can I understand lectures, and make use of them?

What am I really expected to do in seminars?

How can I cope with that enormous reading list?


You will not be alone if you feel a little nervous about the day-to-day business of university study – and native speakers are often just as worried as you are! This course shows you how you can meet the challenges ahead of you.

Language guide: for this course, we recommend at least these levels of English: 6.5 (IELTS) / 110 (TOEFL iBT) / C1 (CEF) / CAE.


What are academic language skills?

As an introduction to the course, you’ll be looking at the scope of academic English and how it ties in with general study skills.



How will you cope with a long reading list? Here you’ll find out how you can absorb information quickly and effectively.



In an academic context, listening skills relate largely to lectures. You’ll pick up some really valuable tips for listening well, and also for taking useful notes.



For many subjects, you’ll have to write essays. Today, you’ll be working at improving your approach to essays, and to other pieces of academic writing.



Most university courses will require you to attend seminars, possibly to take a lead role, but certainly to say something! This unit will help you to gain the confidence needed to take advantage of seminars.


Preparing for a seminar (a)

For the remainder of the course, you’ll be working on a seminar in which everyone in the class will take part. But first of all, you need to use your reading skills (and possibly your listening skills) in order to prepare.


Preparing for a seminar (b)

The preparations continue as you plan the points you’ll be making and the questions you’ll be asking.


The seminar

Now it’s over to you and your classmates to conduct the seminar you’ve been preparing for.