Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Effective Speaking Skills

Effective Speaking Skills
Second semester
Main language of instruction: English

Teaching staff

Students may contact the teacher via e-mail.


The course "Effective Speaking Skills" focuses on the development of various oral abilities in order to make the communication in English efficient at different registers and with the use of multiple linguistic devices. It is organised around  a series of everyday topics and with determined communicative objectives to offer students a wide range of linguistic and pragmatic strategies to effectively communicate in English. 

Pre-course requirements

Recommended level of English B1 - B2


- Become aware of the importance of the communicative strategies which ensure an effective production and interaction in English.

- Learn formulaic language typical for the everday situations and more formal settings, at the receptice and productive levels.

- Learn about some rethorical strategies used to give public presentations and practice them in class.



  • 12 CG - The ability to listen
  • 15 CE - Lingustic ability in Catalan, Spanish and English
  • 17 CE - The ability to produce spoken and written texts for journalistic projects

Learning outcomes

At the receptive level, students will improve the ability to understand English in different situations and with different accents.


The following aspects will be specifically covered:

- collocations

- idioms

- pragmatic features and conversational patterns

more efficient understanding of the information through the work on pronunciation (at the segmental and suprasegmental levels)


At the productive level, students will be able to communicate efficiently in different situations, using different degrees of fomality and the appropriate intonation and pronunciation. They will get familiar and will use the rules of communication within the English culture.

Finally, several techniques of public presentation will be presented and practiced throughout the course which will end by an individual presentation of the students in class.



The content is divided in four main areas: socialisation, formulaic sequences, monologic practice and pronunciation.

I. Socialisation

  • Impressions
  • Showing your home / your place around
  • Expressing interest and surprise
  • Social expressions
  • Reacting to surprising news
  • Expressing exaggeration
  • Being polite

II. Formulaic language

  • Generalising and making exceptions
  • Exclamations
  • Correcting and restating
  • Expressing doubt
  • Moving off topic
  • Asking for a favour
  • Interrupting
  • Telephone conversation

III. Telling an anecdote (monologic practice) on the topics covered in class

IV. Pronunciation workshop (vowels and consonants, isolated words, sentences and texts; stress, rhythm and intonation)

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Seminar. This activity will consist of taking an in-depth look at specific up-to-date topics in a monographic manner-in some cases these topics will have been debated socially-, via active work in small groups. 1.2
Practical workshop. A highly practical working activity, where students can acquire skills that are practical or also theoretical (intellectual skills, logical skills, critical skills, intellectual learning skills, study skills, quoting skills, etc). 1.2
Coaching. Monitoring how students learn the content of the subject, either individually or in groups. In the coaching sessions, mistakes will be corrected, queries answered, and exercises and activities to achieve the established objectives will be suggested. 1.2
Lectures. In lectures, lecturers/professors not only transmit content or knowledge, but also, and above all else, attitudes, motivation, skills and values, etc. They also ensure that participants can express their opinions and arguments to the other students. 2.4

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person


Work in class     10% (Attendance and group work)

Course tests      30% (3 tests)

Presentation      20% (15-minute presentation at the end of the course)


Oral exam*         20%

Written exam      20%

 * It is necessary to pass the oral exam in order to pass the course.


I. All mid-term tests that were failed 20% (in case there are not any, the average mark of the three passed tests will be counted)


II. Students will have to take both written and oral exams again.

Oral exam*       40%

Written exam    40%

* It is necessary to pass the oral exam in order to pass the course.

Bibliography and resources

  • Baker, A. (1997, 2003). Ship or Sheep? An Intermediate Pronunciation Course. 3rd ed. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Gore, S., Gordon, D. (2007). English for Socializing. Oxford Business English: Oxford Series. Oxford: OUP
  • Grussendorf, M. (2016). English for Presentations. Oxford Business English: Oxford Series. Oxford: OUP
  • James, L., Smith, O. (2007). Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual. 3rd ed. London: Business & Technical Communication Services Ltd.
  • Kay, S. Jones, V. (2015). New Inside Out. Upper-intermediate level - Useful phrases
  • King, D. (2005). Socialising. Delta Publishing.
  • Kirkpatrick, B. (2004). English for social interaction. Social expressions. Learners Publishing Pte.
  • Marks, J. (2017). Pronunciation in Use: Advanced. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Marks, J. (2017). Pronunciation in Use: Elementary. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Marks, J. (2017). Pronunciation in Use: Intermediate. Cambridge: CUP.
  • O’Dell, F., McCarthy, M. (2002). English Idioms in Use: Advanced. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Shofield, J. (2012). Collins Workplace 1: Collins English for work. Collins.
  • Shofield, J. (2012). Collins Workplace 2: Collins English for work. Collins.
  • Soars, J. & C. (2011). New Headway: Upper-Intermediate: Student’s book. 4th ed. Oxford: OUP.