The Language Centre delivers English for Academic Purposes to Year One
EAP classes at XJTLU are subject-focussed, meaning that students learn the vocabulary and academic skills needed to study in their own discipline.
EAP Year One
The Language Centre delivers credit-bearing English language modules as part of the first year of most students' degree programmes, depending on their academic and English language qualifications.
The aim of Year One English language provision is to prepare students for academic study on their chosen undergraduate degree from Year Two onwards, as well as supporting engagement with subject-specific modules in Year One itself:
- The fundamental approach to teaching in Year One modules is communicative, students are encouraged to be active learners who take control of their study, rather than being passive recipients of knowledge
- Year One English classes contain around 20 students, ensuring that tutors are able to give students individualised attention in order to enhance their development
- Provision in the first semester aims to build on English language skills acquired in high school, while also helping students make the difficult transition to using English in an academic context. Receptive and productive skills are integrated in class, with students working on a series of assignments across the semester
- Provision in the second semester is focussed on using English in specific academic contexts related to students' degree programmes. Students engage in project work, with a strong emphasis on applying English language skills for authentic tasks such as group discussions, presentations, and extended essays and reports.
- In addition to classroom contact hours, students also engage in a comprehensive programme of guided English language self-study through the University's virtual learning platform. Students’ progress on these self-study activities is monitored on a regular basis by class tutors.
EAP Year Two
The second year of study at XJTLU brings with it many challenges, as students not only begin to learn abstract concepts and new ideas, but do so in English. To support them in this period of growth and transition, the vast majority of second year students take one of six year-long, 10-credit EAP modules, which are generally linked to their degree programme’s subject cluster.
These modules all use an integrated-skills approach and focus on subject-specific tasks, employing language and literacies as they are used in the students’ academic disciplines, which promotes deeper learning and encourages learners to use the higher order cognitive skills that characterise study at university level. Although the content, skills and assessments vary from module to module, all have the same aim:
To extend students’ general and discipline-specific English language and study skills, with an emphasis on critical thinking and independent learning, in order to allow them to function more effectively in other university modules, as well as in their overall academic career, and to raise their language skills to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) B2+ level, with a general level of ability that is broadly comparable to SEEC (Southern England Consortium for Credit Accumulation and Transfer) Level 4.
Students who have demonstrated a sufficiently high level of English language ability before entry into Year Two, whether through their performance in their Year One module or other equivalent methods, have the option of moving into the advanced stream. This stream moves away from a discrete language focus and instead aims to increase both the breadth and the depth of students’ academic skills. In semester one, all students on this path take a module entitled “Advanced Skills for Academic Success”, which trains students in a range of skills applicable across all academic disciplines. In semester two, students choose between a variety of optional modules, including modules in other languages and modules jointly delivered with academic departments.