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 will develop academic English by turning academic reading and listening into academic writing and speaking. You will explore how university study materials are organised and how academic language is used in them. You will work with student assignment texts to see how other students have turned reading and listening into writing and speaking. Finally, you will put into practice what you have learned. Throughout the module, you will be asked to think about your own ways of writing and how they compare with the academic ways 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 will work with authentic materials from a range of Open University modules. These materials are divided into two broad areas of academic study: science, maths, computing and technology; and the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and health studies. You will look at the similarities and differences 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. Online communication is an important component of the module. You will be able to manipulate and discuss study materials, contribute writing and recordings for comment from other students, and read, listen to and comment on fellow students’ work in order to exchange ideas and experience. You will be able to submit drafts of your written and oral work to, for example, a forum and receive feedback from your tutor and fellow students.
Because the module is online, you will 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, audio and video input).
You will learn
At the end of the module, you will have developed your understanding of:
- your own way of communicating and working in academic situations
- a wide range of academic texts, including: description, cause and effect analysis, comparison, explanation, evaluation, persuasion and argument
- text, paragraph and sentence structure
- academic vocabulary
- how to make the most of your computer in academic study
- how to communicate more effectively in a global academic and work environment.