Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Academic English Skills

Academic English Skills
Second semester
English for academic purposes
Main language of instruction: English

Teaching staff

By appointment


The aim of this subject is primarily to provide students with the lexicon and basic structures in the field of Communication Science. Emphasis is given to developing academic reading skills within a professional context. Additionally, the course focuses on the linguistic skills of listening and speaking using a communicative approach. Short writing tasks are used to deepen their knowledge and understanding of language structures and use of new vocabulary

The programme contains 3 elements that include class-based lessons, group work and self study. The teacher-led lessons focus on listening and speaking activities related to professional topics within the field of communications – audiovisual communication, advertising and journalism. Reading activities focus on developing reading comprehension in a professional academic environment. Group work will focus on student development and interpersonal skills and will include three evaluated group projects. The final part being the self study or ‘distance learning’ element which primarily focuses ondeveloping academic writing skills, vocabulary building and listening skills, consolidating grammar and increasing the autonomy of the learner with respect to learning a foreign language.

All three elements have been specifically designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and resources that will increase their confidence in order to communicate effectively in English.

Pre-course requirements

Recommended minimum global level is that of a B1+ before the start of the course.


To prepare and equip students with the necessary lexical and grammatical knowledge and understanding in order to become effective communicators in English within the professional field of Communication Science.

To reinforce the receptive skills of reading and listening through practice, using a variety of stimuli and to facilitate the development of the productive skills of speaking and writing.

To develop students’ interpersonal skills and ability to work with others in both native and an additional language.

To further practice academic reading with a focus on main ideas, rhetorical purpose and organizational patterns, writing to consolidate grammar usage and sentence structure and train students’ in how to learn a language independently.



  • 04 - The ability of self assessment and professional self management
  • 05 - The ability to learn autonomously
  • 06 - The ability to act autonomously and responsibly
  • 07 - The ability to work in a group
  • 09 - Lingustic ability in Catalan, Spanish and English
  • 13 - Reading skills
  • 14 - Ability to analyse
  • 19 - The ability to memorise
  • 22 - The ability to generate debate and reflection
  • 97 - To be able to read and understand literature in the field of communication in the English language
  • 98 - To skillfully manage terminology in English related to Communication
  • 99 - To be able to understand the principal ideas in a conference in the English language

Learning outcomes

Students are expected to:

1. To read and understand the bibliography and literature from the field of Communication in English at a B1.2 level or above.

 2. To know and use the terminology and linguistic structures of the English language related to the field of Communication at a B1.2 level or above.

 3. To understand the main ideas in conferences and lectures given in English at a B1.2 level or above.

 4. To carry out oral and/or written presentations in English at a B1.2 level or above.

 5. To analyse and synthesise information both orally and written at a B1.2 level or above.

 6. To demonstrate the ability to work in a team.

 7. To demonstrate the capacity for autonomous language learning.

 8. To demonstrate the ability to plan and organise work.

 9. To demonstrate interpersonal skills.



The course material is divided into five packs organized by themes, each pack is covered in approximately 3 weeks  The pack of material focuses on reading and listening skills. The online writing and group projects are also related to the 5 themes.


Teaching and learning activities

In person


Coaching (CO) 4 hours – Brief occasional meetings with students on an individual basis to comment on and work on individual problem areas with the English language. For example, commenting on pronunciation, vocabulary, use of language and writing skills.

Seminars (SM) 14 hours – Working in small groups in the classroom with an emphasis on speaking skills through small group debates and informal discussions.

Tallers (TA) 8 hours – Teacher-guided work in small groups expanding on core materials found in the packs  with an emphasis on speaking skills and interaction.

Workshops (WO) 4 hours - Panel discussions where students show their understanding and development of different themes and topics related to the material found in the packs. Students also need to show their ability to express themselves in English as well as a  correct use of language and pronunciation.

Clases Magistrales (CM) 30 hours – Introduction of and working with the themes using  the  four thematic packs.  Guided whole-class listening and reading comprehension exercises and additional exercises in English as related to the material and students’ needs and interests.

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.
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.
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.
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).
Workshop. Advanced and intensive workshops of a longer duration, led by lecturers and/or foreign professionals, in which the language used is English. These culminate in the creation of a professional or semi-professional product which is also produced in English.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Mid-term exam– 10%

Competences 5,6,12,53,54

Writing, reading and listening comprehension exam based thematically on materials studied throughout the course.

Final exam – 20%

Competences 6,10,53,54

Reading and listening comprehension exam based thematically on materials studied throughout the course.

3 small group projects - 30 %

Competences 2,4,5,6,10,11, 12,13,24,53

2 writing tasks and 2 online activities - 20%

Competences 2,5,6,12,13,24,53,54

Consists of 4 exercises thematically related to the packs. Students must upload these to the Moodle platform within the dates set.

Class participation – 20%

Competences 10,11, 12,53

Consists of actively participating in and collaborating with classroom activities and discussions.


Criteria for further Sittings

Students with a final mark between 4 and 4,9 the right to repeat or make up any work not passed in the subject during the first sitting. 

Students with a mark that is less than a 4 in the first sitting will have to make up 100% of the subject in the second sitting by doing the following:

  • Final exam (40%)
  • A research paper of 2,000 words based on material from the course. (30%) 
  • An oral presentation related to the research paper (30%)

The third sitting is the same as the first with exceptions made for students who cannot attend the face to face classes because of a scheduling conflict.

 The fourth sitting is the same as the second sitting.

 In all sittings, students must show a B1.2 level in English to pass the subject. 

Bibliography and resources

 -Class-based materials:

Class materials have been developed from a wide range of internet based resources, including: online professional journals, documents from research institutes and professional media outlets, newspaper articles and editorials.


Additional support material will be given by the teacher to meet the learning objectives of the programme.