Syllabus for english language (First and Second Semesters)

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(First and Second Semesters)

Course coordinator: Elena Velikaya

Class teachers: Jennifer Lockshin, Helen-Mary Owen, Mark Dunnett, E. Velikaya, N. Koliadina, Glenn Hough, Manjit Mann, Brodey Milburn, Marina Balakireva
Course description:
The aim of the syllabus is to prepare students to use English in their further academic study on the University of London external programme. This is understood as being a “competent user” as defined by the Association of Language Testers in Europe Level 3 and realized as IELTS band 6 (the student has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstanding; can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations) or a “good user” – IELTS band 7 (the student has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstanding in some situations; generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning).
Course objectives:
The main objectives of the syllabus are:

  • to broaden and expand the students’ proficiency and knowledge of English;

  • to provide material for the students to revise, consolidate and extend their command of English grammar and vocabulary;

  • to develop the students’ reading skills to enable them to skim the text for main idea, to scan the text for specific information, to interpret the text for inferences, attitudes and styles, to deduce meanings from the context;

  • to develop the students’ writing skills to enable them to respond to input applying information to a specified task, to elicit, to select, to summarize information in a range of writing activities, such as essays, articles, reports;

  • to develop the students’ listening skills to enable them to understand and apply specific information from the input;

  • to develop the students’ speaking skills to enable them to use general, social and professional language, to negotiate, report, explain, summarize and develop a discussion;

  • to develop the students’ general capacity to a level that enables them to use English in their professional and academic environment granted that they are provided with the specific notions and vocabulary of economics, mathematics, statistics, banking and finance in the course of their studies;

  • to develop the students’ ability to apply knowledge of the language system, to develop their social competence skills, to form their behavioural stereotypes and professional skills necessary for successive social adaptation of graduates.

The methods:
The English course is based on academic skills development and comprises:

  • Academic Reading

  • Academic Listening

  • Academic Writing

  • Academic Speaking

In total the course includes 220-352 hours of classes (from 6 to 10 per week depending on the entry level of the students’ competence). The course starts with a 2-week intensive course in September (the main purpose being preparation of the students for their professional studies in the first semester and development of their English language skills) and finishes with a 2-week intensive course in June (IELTS exam preparation).

Main reading:
This syllabus may be accomplished on the basis of textbooks and training materials, original special supplementary materials published by British, American and Australian publishing houses. The usage of up-to-date authentic materials will help students to obtain the necessary skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, develop their abilities in making presentations and participating in discussions and form the students’ much higher level of social and professional adaptation.
Teaching materials for skills development:

  • Spratt, Taylor (1997). The CAE Course. Cambridge University Press.

  • O’Connell, S. (1999). Focus on Advanced English. Longman.

  • O’Connell, S. (1996). Focus on Proficiency. Longman.

  • Joseph, F., Travis, P. (1999). Fast Track to CAE. Longman.

  • Greenall, Swan (1997). Effective Reading. CUP.

  • McGovern (1994). Reading. Prentice Hall.

  • White, McGovern (1994). Writing. Prentice Hall.

  • Trzeciak, Mackay (1994). Study Skills for Academic Writing. Prentice Hall.

  • Rignall, Furneaux (1997). Speaking. Prentice Hall.

  • Lynch (1983). Study Listening. CUP.

  • Lynch (1992). Study Speaking. CUP.

  • Glendinning (1992) Study Reading. CUP.

  • Hamp-Lyons (1997). Study Writing. CUP.

  • Jordan (1999). Academic Writing Course. Longman.

  • Oshima, A., Hogue, A. (1999). Writing Academic English. Longman.

  • Master, P. (2004). English Grammar and Technical Writing. US Dep. of State.

  • Zemach, D., Rumisek, L. (2005). Academic Writing from Paragraph to Essay. Oxford: Macmillan.

  • Hopkins, D. Cullen, P. (2010). Grammar for IELTS. CUP.

  • Lane, S. (2011). Instant Academic Skills. CUP.

  • Cullen, P. (2012).Vocabulary for IELTS Advanced. CUP.

  • Academic Reading (supplementary exercises) [Текст]: учебно-методическое пособие/Под ред. Е.В. Великой. – М.: «Прометей» МПГУ, 2009.

  • Великая Е.В. Academic Reading [Текст]: учебно-методическое пособие; Гос. Ун-т-Высшая школа экономики. – М.: «Прометей» МПГУ, 2010.

  • Великая Е.В. Essay Writing in English (recommendations) – М.: Национальный книжный центр, 2011.

  • Великая Е.В. Academic Reading (supplementary exercises): учебно-методическое пособие. – М.: Национальный книжный центр, 2012.

  • Великая Е.В. Учебно-методическое пособие по развитию академических навыков чтения и письма. - М.: Национальный книжный центр, 2014.

Teaching materials for ESP:

  • Yates, C.St.J (1992). Economics. Prentice Hall Int.

  • Roberts, M. (2012). English for Economics in Higher Education Studies. Reading: Garnet Publishing Ltd.

  • The Economist. Weekly issues.

Teaching materials for IELTS preparation:
  • Practice Tests for IELTS 1 – 9. CUP.

- Hallows, Lisboa, Unwin (2006). IELTS Express. Thomson ELT.
Supplementary reading:

  1. Pye, D., Greenall, S. (1996). Cambridge Advanced English Reading Skills. Cambridge University Press.

  2. Pye, D., Greenall, S. (1996). Cambridge Advanced English Listening and Speaking Skills. Cambridge University Press.

  3. Phillips, T., Anna Phillips, A. (1994). Key Writing Skills for CAE. Macmillan Publishers.

  4. Walton, R., O’Connell, S. (1996). Focus on Advanced English. Grammar Practice. Longman.

  5. Self-access materials for IELTS preparation.

Grade determination:
This syllabus is designed basing on the belief that testing and teaching are closely interrelated. A test is seen as a natural extension of classroom work providing teacher and student with useful information that can serve as a basis for improvement.

The following system of tests will be used:

The entrance test – a criteria-reference test within placement to find out what a student can actually do with the language. The purpose of such testing is to classify students according to whether or not they can carry out a set of tasks satisfactorily and therefore are eligible for admission to the ICEF.
Mid of the 1st semester exam – a diagnostic test used to identify the students’ progress, their strengths and weaknesses, intended to ascertain what further teaching is necessary.
End of the 1st semester exam – an achievement/attainment test designed to show mastery of the syllabus, directly related to language courses, the purpose being to establish how successful the students have been attaining objectives. It shows the standard one student has reached in relation to another at the same stage based on IELTS band. Students can be regrouped according to the results of this exam; it will also form the main means for the end of the first semester assessment.
Mid of the 2nd semester exam – an achievement/attainment test designed to show the students’ progress, their competence in academic skills and their strengths and weaknesses in IELTS exam preparation.
End of the 2nd semester exam – a proficiency test designed to measure a student’s competence in the form of the IELTS Academic Module taken externally and administered by the BKC IELTS Examination Centre. Students must achieve a minimum overall Band 6 to be deemed successful in their first year studies and to be considered capable of successfully pursuing their second year studies.
The final grade is composed of the following parts:
In the 1st semester:

November Mock exam – 30%

Home assignments – 20 %

December exam – 50%

In the 2nd semester:

1 semester – 25%

Home assignment – 15%

April Mock exam – 20%

Final IELTS exam – 40%
Course outline:

The content of the English syllabus is based on preliminary testing and grouping the students into several groups (depending on the number of students admitted): strong advanced, advanced, upper-intermediate, mid-intermediate, lower-intermediate, pre-intermediate). This approach helps students in low groups to obtain needed competence and students in high groups to perfect their knowledge of English.

Skills development
Students are taught to develop their skills in:
Reading which includes:

Predicting, skimming, scanning, detailed reading, guessing unknown words from context, understanding text organization, recognizing argument and counter-argument; distinguishing between main information and supporting detail, fact and opinion, hypothesis versus evidence; summarizing and note-taking.

Writing includes:

  • Essay content and structure (patterns of organization, paragraphing, discussion – argument/counter-argument, advantages and disadvantages, topic sentence and supporting ideas, coherence and cohesion, punctuation, quoting and referencing, avoiding plagiarism, bibliographies).

  • Functions (generalization, definitions, exemplification, classification, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, process and procedure, interpretation of data).

  • Style (passive constructions, avoiding verbosity)

  • Punctuation.

Listening includes:

  • General comprehension (listening for gist, listening for detailed information, recognizing relevant/irrelevant information, signposting and importance markers, recognizing sentence connections: reference, addition, contrast, cause and effect, listing; evaluating the importance of information).

  • Lectures (identifying the topic and main themes, identifying relationships among major ideas, comprehending key information, identifying supporting ideas and examples, retaining information through note-taking, retrieving information from notes, inferring relationships between information supplied in a lecture, taking efficient notes from a lecture).

Speaking includes:

  • Seminar skills (agreeing and disagreeing, clarifying, questioning, persuading, emphasizing, concluding, interrupting; evaluating ideas and actions, presenting solutions, recommending action, comparing and contrasting, probability and possibility, cause and effect, criticizing).

  • Presentation skills (introductions and stating the purpose, signposting, creating interest and involving audience, using rhetorical questions, emphasizing and highlighting key points, preparing the audience for visuals, how to use an OHP, summaries, conclusions and closing courtesies; body language and non-verbal communication).

The students’ competence in skills development is measured by their ability to understand and produce written and spoken language in an educational context, to perform the following academic tasks:

  • reading and understanding written academic language;

  • writing assignments in an appropriate style for university study;

  • listening to and comprehending spoken language in both lecture format as well as formal and informal conversational style;

  • speaking to colleagues and lecturers on general and given topics in formal and informal situations.

The purpose of ESP course (done basically during the first intensive course) is to prepare the students for doing Economics in English.

Development of the students’ restricted knowledge in economic terms and topics includes: economic problems, the production possibility frontier, markets, microeconomics and macroeconomics, economic analysis, supply and demand, price, income, output, supply, money and banking, central banking, international trade.

The students’ competence in ESP is measured by their ability to use ESP in their professional and academic work to the level whereas they are able to:

  • understand and interpret information presented in verbal, numerical or graphical

  • explain contemporary events and familiar phenomena in terms of relevant principles;

  • make meaningful generalizations about data;

  • select and apply laws and principles to familiar problems presented in novel and familiar manner;

  • distinguish between statements of fact, statements of value and hypothetical statements;

  • make valid inferences from materials presented;

  • organize ideas and present them in an appropriate manner;

  • evaluate the reliability and accuracy of the material;

  • detect logical fallacies in arguments;

  • check that conclusions drawn are consistent with given information;

  • organize and present ideas and statements in a clear, logical and appropriate form.

Teaching hours for topics and activities:


Topics titles

Hours per week

Intensive course (September)


General English



Professional (ESP) English



Grammar & Vocabulary (in low groups)



1st semester (September – December)


Academic Listening & Speaking



Academic Reading & Writing



Grammar & Vocabulary (in low groups)



2nd semester (January - April)


Academic Listening & Speaking



Academic Reading & Writing



Grammar & Vocabulary (in low groups )



Intensive course (May - June)


IELTS preparation


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