What you will study
This is an English for academic purposes module for the digital age. It will improve your performance in contemporary university study through the medium of English.
To succeed at university, you need to be able to read and think about a wide range of study material, make useful notes, and write assignments that ‘answer the question’. This module will help you to develop the skills and language for doing this. You’ll explore how university study materials are organised and how academic language is used in them. You’ll work with student assignment texts to see how other students have used reading and listening materials to produce written and spoken assignments. Finally, you’ll put into practice what you’ve learned. Throughout the module, you’ll be asked to reflect on your own way of writing and how this compares with the academic texts you are studying.
The module is made up of 40 per cent reading, 40 per cent writing, 10 per cent listening and 10 per cent speaking.
You’ll work with authentic materials from a range of Open University modules which cover areas of academic study such as: science, the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and health studies. You’ll look at the similarities and differences in language across these areas. This will give you the chance to develop the particular language and skills you need for your own chosen areas of study.
Most of the work – including your interactions with the study materials, your tutor and other students on the module – will be online and online communication is an important component of the module. In order to exchange ideas and experience, you’ll be able to manipulate and discuss study materials; contribute writing for comment from other students; and read, listen to and comment on fellow students’ work. You’ll be able to submit drafts of your work and receive feedback from your tutor and fellow students.
Because the module is online, you’ll look at some of the aspects of academic English that come into focus in a global online environment. This includes the growing importance of multiple media in academic study (i.e. the combination of written language, images, graphs, and audio/video input).
You will learn
At the end of the module, you’ll have developed your understanding and practice of:
- communicating more effectively in a global and academic work environment
- using language for a range of academic communicative purposes, including: description, causal analysis, comparison, explanation, evaluation, persuasion, problem solving, and argument
- reflecting on and critiquing your own and others’ academic context and practices
- selecting online data and information and ideas from different sources and presenting it in an appropriate fashion to support an academic argument
- analysing situations, taking into account a range of interpretations; identifying problems and proposing solutions on the basis of evidence and theory.