The English 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 1 English language provision is to both raise English language proficiency to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2-, and prepare students for academic study in their future degree programmes. To support them in this transition period, most Year 1 students take the Y1 Core Pathway, which has two semester-long, 10-credit general EAP modules.
The fundamental approach to teaching in Year 1 modules is communicative, and students are encouraged to be active learners who take control of their study rather than being passive recipients of knowledge. Year 1 English classes comprise 20-25 students, ensuring that tutors can give students individualised attention in order to enhance their development.
Provision in the first semester aims to build on the English language skills acquired in high school, while also helping students make the difficult transition to using English in an academic context. Receptive (listening and reading) and productive (writing and speaking) skills are integrated in class, with students working on a series of assignments across the semester.
Provision in the second semester is focused on developing general academic skills that students will need for their Year 2 academic disciplines. 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 in both semesters, 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.
Students who demonstrate a sufficiently high level of English language ability during the English Placement Test at the beginning of the year, have the option of taking the Year 1 Advanced Pathway. Instead of focusing more on language, this pathway primarily aims to further develop students’ academic skills. This Pathway has two semester-long, 5-credit general EAP modules and students can also choose between a variety of optional modules, including modules on languages other than English and modules from academic departments.