Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

English I

English I
First semester
ESARQ Module
English 1
Main language of instruction: English

Teaching staff

By appointment


The aim of this programme is primarily to provide students with the skills and knowledge to practice and perform linguistic tasks related to areas of architecture at an academic level and with a multicultural and international scope.

The programme contains 3 elements that include class-based lessons, tutorials and self study. The teacher-led lessons focus on developing students’ academic skills through critical reading, lecture attendance and note-taking, delivering oral presentations and transmitting ideas and design proposals as well as interacting with fellow students. Tutorials will focus on student development and interpersonal skills and will include an evaluated group project. The final part being the self study or ‘distance learning’ element which primarily focuses on developing listening skills, consolidating grammar, specific lexis 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

Preferred 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 Architecture.

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.

Self Study:

To develop reflective writing skills through journal writing, develop listening skills for academic lectures, carry out individual and group work related to a variety of themes within the field of architecture. In addition, students will learn how to utilize ICT and internet based resources in order to learn a language independently.


  • 70 - Ability to understand the main ideas in complex texts, both on specific or abstract topics in English, as well as participate in technical discussions in the professional field of architecture.
  • 71 - Ability to speak to native speakers of English with a certain degree of fluency and spontaneity and without strain for the speakers.
  • 72 - Ability to produce clear, detailed text in English in a wide range of topics, especially on architecture and express a point of view in English on an issue stating the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Learning outcomes

Linguistic competencies in English

Students will be able:

1.    (70) To understand the main ideas in complex texts in English.

2.    (70) To carry out technical discussions in English.

3.    (71) To express oneself reasonably fluently in English.

4.    (72) To write about a variety of themes related to architecture in English.

5.    (72) To express points of view on a variety of themes in English.


Language skills applied to an academic context:

Students will learn to describe buildings spatially, to read floor plans, deal with the major types of plans, sections and elevations commonly used in the profession, to become familiar with the discourse particular to an architect’s account of a building, to recognize and use the vocabulary specific to the main areas in architecture, to present and transmit ideas and design proposals and interact with fellow students or professionals.

Language knowledge:

Students will revise/consolidate present tenses, past tenses, the future, the passive, the conditional form, question forms, comparative and superlative forms of adjectives, linkers, prepositions, and the language of description.


Teaching and learning activities

In person

Students will become actively engaged in the process of reading material related to the world of architecture and of writing about what they read as well as listen to simulated lectures on a variety of themes relevant to their professional field. Students will be exploring the ideas individually, in discussion groups and will share these ideas with their colleagues in order to stimulate reflection and discussion.

Emphasis will also be given to preparation for self-study using distance learning tools and internet materials, and this will form an essential part of the course, equipping and motivating students for the life-long learning of English


Class exhibition
70 71 72 0,79
Class participation
70 71 72 0,53
Clase practice
70 71 72 0,53
70 71 72 0,53
Individual or group study
70 71 72 2,63

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person


% final grade

Learning outcomes


Attendance & class participation





Written assignment





(72) To write about a variety of themes related to architecture in English



Progress tests





(70) To understand the main ideas in complex texts in English








(71) To express oneself reasonably fluently in English



Group work




                                                                                                        (72) To express points of view on a variety of themes in English

(70) To carry out technical discussions in English



Final exam





(70) To understand the main ideas in complex texts in English


Given the nature of the course, students are reminded that attendance and participation in class, and continuous evaluation are fundamental to passing the course in the first sitting.

  1. Students who have not attended 80% of the subject in the first sitting do not have the right to take the final exam in that same sitting.
  2. Students with a final mark between 4 and 5 in the first sitting only have the right, in the second sitting, to make up the material that was failed or not handed in.
  3. 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 producing and defending a dossier before a tribunal and taking a final exam.
  4. Passing grades (5 and above) cannot be improved in any sitting.
  5. In all situations and in all sittings students must show a B1 level in English to pass the subject.

Bibliography and resources


-An English-English dictionary of the student’s choice.

-A Thesaurus of the student’s choice.

-Brett, Peter.  An Illustrated Dictionary of Building. Butterworth Heinemann: 1997.

-Ching, Francis D. K. A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. Van Nostrand Reinhold: New       York, 1997.

-Maclean James H. and Scott, John S. The Penguin Dictionary of Building: 1995

-Putman R. E. and Carlson G. E. Diccionario de Arquitectura Construcción y Obras Públicas: Paraninfo, 1999.

-Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. MOMA papers: New York, 1966.


Class-based materials will be provided by the teacher.

Intranet and internet based materials for self study:

Distance Learning Programme (intranet forum)

Student English File Resources (bcn) (intranet forum)