Learning Outcomes & Academic Component

LEARNING OUTCOMES

A2 level
On completing the course, the student:

[Skills]

  • communicates rather easily on topics and tasks connected with daily activities and typical social situations,
  • identifies information in a variety of simple texts, necessary to fulfil non-linguistic objectives,
  • makes analysis, synthesis and interpretation of information contained in simple texts and everyday material,
  • presents, both orally and in writing, facts and opinions, giving reasons, in a simple way, for taking decision,

[Knowledge and Social Comptences]

  • makes use of knowledge of culture of a given linguistic region, acquired during the course,
  • cooperates effectively within the group, assigning tasks for himself/herself and others,
  • recognizes his/her own learning style and chooses ways for continuing self-development,
  • accepts a variety of attitudes and opinions in interpersonal contact.

 


 

B1 level
On completing the course, the student:

[Skills]

  • communicates effectively, both orally and in writing, using basic vocabulary, in familiar topics concerning personal and professional interests and daily activities,
  • describes orally facts and ideas on the basis of simple diagrams, charts and notes referring to TV programmes, information from the Internet and the press,
  • writes conventional personal and formal letters, such as emails, invitations, CV, application letters,
  • narrates past, present and planned events relating to his/her own life, both orally and in writing, using basic vocabular,
  • understands and paraphrases information, instructions referring to tasks, including test tasks, which he/she has read or heard, sums up and draws conclusions,

[Knowledge and Social Competences]

  • makes use of knowledge, acquired during the course, of culture of a given linguistic region,
  • cooperates effectively within the group, assigning tasks for himself/herself and others,
  • recognizes his/her own learning style and chooses ways for continuing self-development,
  • accepts a variety of attitudes and opinions in interpersonal contacts.

B2 level
On completing the course, the student:

[Skills]

  • explains, both orally and in writing, information presented in a graphic way, as long as it relates to a familiar topic,
  • expresses, with a degree of fluency, his/her own opinions on familiar topics and those related to the subject of studies of professional career, presenting appropriate arguments in a debate,
  • makes a synthesis of a text (written or spoken), eg. a lecture, an instruction to perform an examination task, presentation, TV programme, relating to a wide range of topics of social, academic or professional life,
  • writes a coherent and logical text on familiar topics, eg. a description, an essay, a report, a formal and an informal letter,
  • gives a presentation, using an appropriate form and phrases, on professional and academic topics,
  • enters into a conversation on everyday topics in a rather fluent and comprehensible way, using culturally accepted verbal and non- verbal means and an appropriate register in both formal and informal situations,

[Knowledge and Social Competences]

  • makes use of knowledge, acquired during the course, of culture of a given linguistic region,
  • cooperates effectively within the group, assigning tasks for himself/herself and others,
  • recognizes his/her own learning style and chooses ways for continuing self-development,
  • shows tolerance towards a variety of attitudes and opinions in interpersonal contacts.

C1 level
On completing the course, the student:

[Skills]

  • expresses himself/herself in a precise and comprehensive way, using effectively various kinds of oral or written discourse in social, academic and professional contacts and matters,
  • adopts the style of oral and written discourse to a potential recipient, making an appropriate use of the rules of discourse organization,
  • makes analysis, synthesis and interpretation of information, instructions to perform various tasks, including testing instructions, both heard or read, from a wide range of longer, complex texts on general subjects as well as those relating to his/her subject of studies,
  • participates actively and spontaneously in conversations, discussion and lectures, conducted by native and other users of the language,
  • uses a wide range of vocabulary enabling precise expression of emotions and formulating ideas and opinions on abstract, complex and unfamiliar topics,
  • solves few communication problems independently, consulting dictionaries or asking the speaker to explain details,

[Knowledge and Social Competences]

  • makes use of knowledge, acquired during the course, of culture of a given linguistic region,
  • cooperates effectively within the group, assigning tasks for himself/herself and others,
  • recognizes his/her own learning style and chooses ways for continuing self-development,
  • shows tolerance towards a variety of attitudes and opinions in interpersonal contacts.

C2 level
On completing the course, the student

[Skills]

  • expresses himself/herself with ease, precision, fluency and spontaneity on all topics, both orally and in writing,
  • adapts the style of oral and written discourse to a potential recipient, applying logical structure which enables the recipient to find relevant or significant points,
  • summarizes and reviews critically any information, heard or read, in the press , specialist or literary texts,
  • makes analysis, synthesis or appropriate interpretation of instructions to perform e.g. test tasks, specialist lectures and presentations, including colloquial phrases as well as unfamiliar specialist terminology,
  • uses a wide range of idiomatic and colloquial phrases which enable expression of various shades of meaning in a precise way,
  • solves independently few communication problems, paraphrasing expressions in a subtle, unnoticed way to the recipient,

[Knowledge and Social Competences]

  • makes use of knowledge, acquired during the course, of culture of a given linguistic region,
  • cooperates effectively within the group, assigning tasks for himself/herself and others,
  • recognizes his/her own learning style and chooses ways for continuing self-development,
  • shows tolerance towards a variety of attitudes and opinions in interpersonal contacts.

ACADEMIC COMPONENT

Courses at the Warsaw University Centre for Foreign Language Teaching, unlike those offerred by other language schools, equip students with skills necessary to use a foreign language effectively both in academic and professional environment.

Teaching a foreign language for academic purposes can be discussed under the following headings:

A. Principles

B. Aims

C. Competences

D. Skills

 

A. PRINCIPLES

The following principles underly the aims, content, methods and assessment of the learning outcome:

  • teaching is geared at activity and communication
  • teaching process is student-centred
  • learning a foreign language involves acquiring knowledge about other cultures
  • language courses are customised to students’ professional needs
  • teaching aids student’s independent learning

B. AIMS

In the pursuit of the above principles our aims and objectives are to

  • teach and develop language competence and skills necessary for studying abroad
  • develop the skills for students’ future academic and professional career
  • enable students to use foreign media and resources for learning and as aid in writing a dissertation
  • introduce students to the culture of the region where each language is spoken
  • enable students to initiate contact with foreign universities
  • prepare and motivate students to pursue self-study

C. COMPETENCES

In the pursuit of the above-mentioned aims and objectives we should strive to develop the following competences:

  • effective reading of academic texts
  • note-taking at lectures and from research reading
  • writing academic essays ( summaries, arguments, reports etc.)
  • effective search for and assessment of information
  • participating in academic debates and discussions
  • preparing papers and presentations for seminars
  • expressing opinions
  • successfully passing examinations

D. SKILLS

Foreign language courses at our Centre involve teaching all language skills, with added value of academic component.

Listening Comprehension

  1. situations in academic community
  2. academic presentations, lectures, reports, debates

Speaking

  1. situations in academic life
  2. debates
  3. presentations

Reading Comprehension

  1. reading specifications
  2. criteria for text selection
  3. reading techniques
  4. reading versus other skills

Writing

  1. writing versus other skills
  2. aims
  3. types of writing
  4. who, what, why

 

Listening comprehension

The student should be able to

  1. understand the general meaning as well as particular elements ( in a monologue or dialogue) of an utterance or communication typical of academic life, such as- dialogue at a dormitory reception regarding payment, arrival or departure, type of room etc.- conversation at the dean’s office about registration for classes, courses offerred, ETC points, make-up examinations, tutors’ duty hours, participation in a conference etc.- conversation with a teacher about the date of exam, the material covered etc.

    – inquiry at the library about the opening hours, regulations, book search and availability,

    fines for overdue books etc.

    – conversation in a canteen regarding coupons, terms of payment etc.

  2. Understand the general meaning, the speaker’s attitude and relation between facts in the following situations:- lecture or presentation, if the topic is related to the student’s subject of studies- audiovisual material used in class- topical debate

    – using audiovisual resources for studying

Speaking Skills

  1. An example of the activities that improve students’ speaking skills are situational scenarios in which a student has a problem to solve related to his academic life (e.g. student-lecturer). Interlocutors have different personal aims and the discussion is to some extent unexpected. Such activities can be conducted in the form of role-plays:
  • A conversation at the Foreign Language Teaching Centre. A student received the minimum passing score on the foreign language examination which is going to be his language of instruction. The student would like to attend an additional course, although it is not obligatory, as he/she does not believe his/her language skills are developed enough. His/Her task is to discuss the situation with the Head of the Centre.
  • A conversation in the library: there is a problem with borrowing a book, its renewal, etc.
  • Looking for a flat to rent.
  • A conversation about the deadline extension for paper submission.
  • A discussion about exam results.
  • A discussion about the change of place of residence.
  • A conversation between a student and his/her lecturer about the student’s research plans.
  1. The ability to participate in debates and discussions. The introduction and practice of vocabulary used in discussions:
  • Giving opinions;
  • Interrupting;
  • Agreeing and disagreeing;
  • Giving the reason for something;
  • Expressing certainty, doubts;
  • Making suggestions;
  • Asking questions;
  • Answering questions;
  • The ability to make presentations. Presentations are useful and necessary to students as they can lead to discussions and the presentation of different points of view. The ability to give presentations is required in many university courses and the professional life. The integral components of presentations include the following:

– Structure of presentation: clear, divided into sections with headings, subheadings;

– Introduction, Body and Conclusion: how to get your audience’s attention;

– Style and the language used: adjusted to both the audience and the type of presentation;

– The way of giving presentations: pronunciation, pace, stress, pauses;

– Audiovisual aids: charts, photos, posters, films, Power Point, etc.;

– Signposts: repeating main points, using linking statements, summarising your talk;

– Non-verbal elements: eye contact, postures, gestures, etc.

 

Reading comprehension

  1. Characteristics of the reading skill

a) it can be learnt independently

b) it can aid the other skills

c) the reading technique affects the choice of texts

d) it is an interactive skill in which one’s general and linguistic knowledge contributes to one’s ability to infer the meaning

 

– for academic purposes : it prepares students to study in a foreign language

 

2. Criteria for text selection

– the text should correspond to the purpose of learning

– the text should be interesting

– the text should be adapted to the students’ level

– texts should offer a variety in terms of topics, forms and language register

  • scientific articles, reports, instructions, announcements, extracts from literature
  • newspaper articles using scientific data
  • articles describing statistics
  • letters, forms, signboards, brochures, tickets etc.

 

3. We teach how to read to master vocabulary; in other words, analitycal reading.

– fast reading : skimming and scanning

– cloze and multiple choice gap filling

– recognising styles, registers and author’s attitude

– identifying lexical and structural relations within the text

– independent work, pair and team work on a whole text or extracts

– effective use of the internet as a source of information

 

4. Combining reading with other skills ( for academic purposes)

We can read for pleasure, but in most cases we read in order to pass information, note it down or compare the text with an oral communication, thus combining reading with listening and speaking.

In academic situations, it is note-taking, summarising, completing data tables, answering questions relating to the text, expressing opinions on the subject-matter etc.

 

Writing skills

1. Writing against other language skills

From all language skills Writing is most difficult to learn, because it is a productive skill (on par with Speaking), which is thoroughly acquired and tightly encrypted.

When developing competence in Writing, it is essential to first get a grasp of basic elements underlying the process of writing (the alphabet, spelling, vocabulary, grammar structures) and only later proceed to practising the skill.

First of many rules useful in learning Writing is practising the skill using the language content that has been introduced earlier through auditory, visual and oral materials and exercises. Thus, the best sequence for learning writing is then listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Generally, learning Writing is restricted to writing holiday cards, writing letters and filling in various types of forms. However, the role of Writing competence for professional or academic purposes increases significantly.

2. The function of writing

During the course of studies and later on in their professional lives students will use Writing as a tool to:

  • act and communicate
  • learn and develop professional skills

 

3. Types of documents a) transactional writing b) academic writing

a) The documents of the first type concern the following situations:

  • enrolling and filling in membership cards
  • preparing students’ own curricula / syllabuses within a course or programme framework
  • preparing a portfolio
  • filling in visa applications
  • writing requests, formal letters (to the faculty authorities, course organizers etc.)
  • writing CVs
  • writing letters of application
  • writing postcards and letters
  • replying to private correspondence
  • taking notes based on a heard or read text 

b) Academic writing for cognitive and professional purposes should focus on practising in a foreign language, thoroughly or partly only, such formats as:

  • taking notes from lectures, books, articles
  • summaries
  • essays
  • reviews
  • academic papers
  • reports
  • for and against essays
  • opinion essays
  • articles
  • presentations and speeches
  • test tasks
  • dissertations ( BA, MA or PhD level)
  • journalistic texts (columns, interviews, coverages)
  • polemic texts
  • advertisements
  • referring to resources

 

Each form of writing possesses a characteristic format, structure and style.

4. Who? What? For whom? Why? Which style?

The main focus of developing Writing competence could be summarized in the answers to the following questions: Who? What? For whom? Why? Which style?

 

The questions below can help revise new structures and vocabulary, thus making learning Writing more efficient.

  • Which type of vocabulary from the list mentioned below can appear in a similar piece of writing and why?
    • vocabulary expressing stance, opinions and thoughts;
    • vocabulary introducing citations
    • vocabulary increasing text coherency

– vocabulary expressing assessment

  • vocabulary showing time frame and time references
  • vocabulary presenting the sequence of reasoning
  • vocabulary helping maintain relation with a reader
  • counterargumentative vocabulary

 

APPENDICES