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Academic English I 2012

First Semester 2012
Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences
Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Instructor: Charlotte Benham

Course Description and Objectives:
This course will build on the foundations of the four and a half week introductory course and continue the emphasis on creating a fluid and cumulative learning experience. The first semester will also introduce the Academic Word List, developed by Averil Coxhead at Victoria University of Wellington, to increase the students` working vocabulary. The course will provide students with a solid foundation in English grammar, and will run concurrently with the other course subjects by sourcing reading and writing exercises from these subjects. The students will also be introduced to some of the thematic contexts within which the social sciences are embedded. This will make the classes more realistic, practical, and cognitively engaging for the students. A generative approach will be encouraged, where the students will consistently apply the English they are learning on a regular basis and incorporate the skills into their daily work. At the completion of the course the students will display the ability to read academic texts for gist and interpret this information into written summaries in their own words. Furthermore, they will be able to reflect upon their own context through the lens of the various texts and theories they are exposed to during the course of the first semester.

Course Requirements:
Students should remember that the key to learning any language is practice, and therefore the course requirements for this particular course are strict.
Class Attendance and Participation: Classes will meet for 90 minutes twice a week. Students should be present and engaged in class every day. Participation in classroom discussions is mandatory, and in addition to attendance, accounts for 10% of the final grade.
Students will be expected to give one group presentation over the course of the semester summarizing assigned texts. The presentation scores will be considered part of each student’s participation grade. In addition, the students will have a mandatory supplementary tutorial once a week.
Writing Assignments: Students will be responsible for six written assignments over the course of the semester which will account for 40% of the final grade. The style of each assignment (summary, reflection, critical analysis) will correlate to the class’s consideration of each style of writing. Word count will be determined by the writing style of the assignment.
Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Students will be provided with homework exercises to improve their understanding of important vocabulary and grammar structures in academic English. The exercises will be due every other week as indicated in the class schedule. These exercises will account for 10% of the final grade.
Final Paper: A 2000 word (exact word count has still to be decided) essay of a writing style (summary, reflection, critical analysis) to be determined by the progress of the class. Assignment of topics will be determined further into the semester. The final assignment will account for 40% of the final grade.

 

Class Schedule:
Week 1
Monday, February 13, 2012
Class 1: Introduction to the Course

Friday, February 17, 2012
Class 2: Grammar: Countable/Uncountable Nouns – Singular Plural Nouns

 

Week 2
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Class 3: Reading and Note-taking

Friday, February 24, 2012
Class 4: Grammar: Articles

 

Week 3
Monday, February 27, 2012
Class 5: Written Assignment 1 Due
Student Presentation
Contextual Understanding: The Enlightenment
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 1A

Friday, March 2, 2012                                                                        
Class 6: Grammar: Possessives, determiners, quantifiers
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 2A

 

Week 4
Monday, March 5, 2012
Class 7: Writing: Summarizing
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 3A

Friday, March 9, 2012
Class 8: Grammar: Noun section review
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 4A, Grammar (Noun section review)

 

Week 5
Monday, March 12, 2012
Class 9: AWL Homework 1-4A and Grammar Due
Reading and Note-taking
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 1B

Friday, March 16, 2012
Class 10: Grammar: Present Verb Tenses
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 2B, Grammar (Present Verb Tenses)

 

Week 6
Monday, March 19, 2012
Class 11: Written Assignment 2 Due
Writing: Summarizing/Reflecting
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 3B

Friday, March 23, 2012
Class 12: Student Presentation
Contextual Understanding: Liberalism
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 4B

 

Week 7
Monday, March 26, 2012
Class 13: AWL Homework 1-4B and Grammar Due
Reading and Note-taking
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 1C

Friday, March 30, 2012
Class 14: Grammar: Past Verb Tenses
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 2C, Grammar (Past Verb Tenses)

 

Week 8
Monday, April 2, 2012
Class 15: Written Assignment 3 Due
Writing: Reflecting
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 3C

Friday, April 6, 2012
Class 16: Grammar: Subject-Verb Agreement
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 4C, Grammar (Subject-Verb Agreement)

 

Week 9
Monday, April 16, 2012
Class 17: AWL Homework 1-4C and Grammar Due
Student Presentation
Contextual Understanding: Communism and Socialism
Homework: AWL Vocabulary Review

Friday, April 20, 2012
Class 18: Grammar: Active vs. Passive Voice
Homework: AWL Vocabulary Review, Grammar (Active vs. Passive Voice)

 

Week 10
Monday, April 23, 2012
Class 19: Reading and Note-taking
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 1D

Friday, April 27, 2012
Class 20: Grammar: Verb Section Review
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 2D, Grammar (Verb Section Review)

 

Week 11
Monday, April 30, 2012
Class 21: Written Assignment 4 Due
AWL Homework 1-2D, Review, and Grammar Due
Writing: Reflection
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 3D

Friday, May 4, 2012
Class 22: Grammar: Adjectives
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 4D, Grammar (Adjectives)

 

Week 12
Monday, May 7, 2012
Class 23: Reading and Note-taking
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 1E

Friday, May 11, 2012
Class 24: Student Presentation
Contextual Understanding: The 20th Century – Modernism, The World Wars, Post-Modernism
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 2E

 

Week 13
Monday, May 14, 2012
Class 25: Written Assignment 5 Due
AWL Homework 3-4D and 1-2E and Grammar Due
Writing
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 3E

 

Friday, May 18, 2012
Class 26: Grammar: Adverbs
Homework: AWL Vocabulary List 4E, Grammar (Adverbs)

 

Week 14
Monday, May 21, 2012
Class 27: Reading and Note-taking
Homework: AWL Vocabulary Review

Friday, May 25, 2012
Class 28: Grammar: Prepositions
Homework: AWL Vocabulary Review, Grammar (Prepositions)

 

Week 15
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Class 29: Written Assignment 6 Due
AWL Homework 3-4E, Review, and Grammar Due
Writing

Friday, June 1, 2012
Class 30: Student Presentation
Contextual Understanding: Globalization

 

Week 16 to 18
Monday, June 4 to Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Final Assignment Period (Details of the final assignment will be announced at a later date)