Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

General English

General English
First semester
English for academic purposes
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 practise and perform the linguistic tasks related to themes and tasks related to the degree programme.  Emphasis is given to the linguistic skills of speaking, listening and writing whilst short texts are also used to deepen their knowledge and understanding of language structures and use of new vocabulary.

The programme consists of 3 elements that include class-based lessons, group work and self study. The teacher-led lessons focus on speaking, listening, writing and reading through working on tasks based on activities related to different aspects of the degree program being studied. Group work will focus on student development and interpersonal skills and will include two evaluated group projects. The final part being the self study element which allows for further consolidation of the material covered in class as well as 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 in everyday personal, academic and work-related contexts.
  • To reinforce the receptive skills of reading and listening through practice, using a variety of stimuli and to facilitate the improvement of the productive skills of speaking and writing.

Group Work:

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

Self Study:

  • To further develop abilities of both the receptive and productive skills as well as consolidate grammar usage and train students’ in how to learn a language independently using ICT and internet based resources.


  • 06 CG - The ability to read, analyze and synthesize
  • 08 CG - The ability to reflect and memorize.
  • 15 CE - Lingustic ability in Catalan, Spanish and English
  • 41 CE - The ability and capacity to interact in the environment

Learning outcomes

The competences mentioned above must be achieved at a B1 level.

Students are expected to:

  1. To read and understand the bibliography and literature from the field of Journalism in English at a B1.1 level or above.
  2. To know and use the terminology and linguistic structures of the English language related to the field of Communication media at a B1.1 level or above.
  3. To understand the main ideas in conferences and lectures given in English at a B1.1 level or above.
  4. To carry out oral and/or written presentations in English at a B1.1 level or above.
  5. To analyse and synthesise information both orally and written at a B1.1 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.


Material created by the teaching staff and uploaded in Moodle is used as the basis for this course. This material consists of 5 Themes, with each theme taking approximately  3 weeks. There is an emphasis placed on real life situations, language and contexts that students could encounter in their field of study or future careers. While the course is project based, all themes contain exercises and practice with grammar and vocabulary, as well as listening and reading comprehension.

The theme topics are:

Introduction to the course, which includes skills for autonomous learning and presentations, and the history of communication.

Theme 1 - ‘Print’ - Focus on newspapers and magazines, with the related vocabulary and language skills, grammar of question formation, narrative tenses and passives.

Theme 2 -‘Audio’ - Focus on radio and podcasts, with the related vocabulary and language skills, grammar of indirect questions and reporting verbs.

Theme 3 -’Promotion’ - Focus on advertising and marketing, with the related vocabulary and language skills, grammar of prepositions, articles and comparisons.

Theme 4 - ‘Visual’ - Focus on television and film, with the related vocabulary and language skills, including that about filming and documentaries, grammar of modals, verb patterns and future tenses.

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 role-playing, small group debates and discussions.

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

    Workshops (WO) 4 hours - Presentations where students show their understanding and development of different themes and topics related to the material found in the course. 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 themes and language though the use of material found in Moodle. Guided whole-class listening and grammar explanations and a focus on the skills needed for improving spoken and written English. 

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.
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.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Evaluation of the Subject

Mid-term exam – 10%

Competences 4,5,6,12,53,54

An exam that test vocabulary and grammar from temes 1, and 2 respectively and include listening and reading comprehension.

Final exam - 30%

Competences 6,10,53,54

Consists of an end of course exam that tests grammar and vocabulary from the book and includes reading and listening comprehension on themes related to those found in the course.

4 projects in small groups - 30 %

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

Consists of 4  projects in small groups. The topics of the presentations are based on the contents of the course.  Groups must work independently and then give a short 10 to 15 minute presentation to the class. Speaking, organization and group work are assessed.

2 on-line speaking activities - 10%

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

Consists of 2 short speaking exercises thematically related to the book. Students must upload the recording  to the Moodle platform within the dates set.

2 in class writing - 10%

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

Consists of two short essays written in class, thematically related to the course. 

Class participation – 10%

Competences 10,12,53

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


Criteria of Second Sitting

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.
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%)

 In both sittings, students must show a B1.1 level in English to pass the subject. 


Bibliography and resources


Class Materials:

Materials that are found in Moodle. 

  • Additional support material will be given by the teacher to meet the learning objectives of the progamme.
  • Intranet and internet based materials for self study.