Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

Language is at the core of all university study in Australia, regardless of the major. English language proficiency and communication skills are key to success in a university environment in Australia.

This unit is designed to develop, to an intermediate level, the English language proficiency and communication skills needed for successful study in ACU diploma or degree programs. The unit offers practice in four macro skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and dedicated study of grammatical and lexical structures, within the context of a range of topics and issues relating to study at university in Australia. This unit will develop students’ understanding of and about language as well as help them to learn strategies to assist them in learning through language.

The aim of this unit is to instruct and support students in their understanding and use of academic language and conventions, and to develop the skills required for effective communication in their further study.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe grammatical terms and vocabulary in an academic context. (GA9).

LO2 - Communicate academic concepts using easily understood spoken English, both individually and as a member of a group. (GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate listening and reading strategies to analyse and respond to a range of spoken and written texts. (GA4)  

LO4 - Construct coherent, medium length academic texts which demonstrate grammatical and lexical accuracy at an intermediate level of (GA4, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • Introduction to grammatical terms and common academic vocabulary.
  • Understanding the language and structure of academic essay writing.
  • Communicating effectively in a range of speaking contexts at university.
  • Language and communicative strategies to succeed in group projects and assignments.
  • Poster presentation skills.
  • Pronunciation development with a focus on intelligibility.
  • Note-taking skills: strategies for effective note-taking and guidance in how notes are used to further understanding and for assessments.
  • Test-taking strategies. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Attendance: Workshops on Campus. 10 hours per week.


Duration: 10-week Term

This unit facilitates an active and multi-modal approach to learning. Workshops include expert input, but are student focused and collaborative, and are designed to maximize opportunities for students to interact with the English language in various contexts as well as interact with each other. Students are required to actively participate in workshops and assigned learning activities to achieve the learning outcomes. Students will be encouraged to build on past experiences of learning and using the English language and assisted in transferring this knowledge to new learning contexts. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks are scaffolded and in part designed to prepare students for the type of assessments encountered in an undergraduate university setting. The tasks are designed to assess students’ understanding of academic English in a range of university contexts and their readiness for further studies of Academic English at a higher level. 

The LEO quizzes are a weighted formative assessment that allow both the student and tutor to monitor understanding and progress at regular intervals. This allows for early intervention should any student appear to be at risk. This assessment task also prepares students for similar tasks in their future course.

The paired poster presentation provides the students with an opportunity to work together to meet goals. Students will be guided through the process.

The final examination allows for assessment of students’ overall proficiency before moving on to the next level (Academic English 2). 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

LEO Quizzes

These short quizzes on weekly content through weeks 2-8 are designed to monitor students’ understanding of the unit outcomes as the unit progresses. Question types include multiple choice and short answer. The assessment task is also designed to introduce students to assessment conducted in an online space in undergraduate study. 




Paired Poster Presentations

Group work is a common assessment task in undergraduate programs. This task requires students to work together in pairs to present basic academic concepts with easily understood English and clear visual presentation of ideas. 


LOs 2, 3

GAs 4, 7, 9, 10


(Reading, Listening, Writing – timed essay)

The exam is designed for students to demonstrate their level of academic language proficiency in a real time setting and to assess preparedness for progression to Academic English 2. Students will be assessed on their ability to respond appropriately to a range of academic texts, tasks and prompts. 


LOs 3,4 

GAs 4, 9

Representative texts and references

Dummett, P., & Hird, J. (2015). Oxford EAP: A course in English for academic purposes. Pre-Intermediate/B. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Oshima, A., & Hogue, A. (2006). Writing academic English, White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.

Thaine, C. (2012). Cambridge academic English: An integrated skills course for EAP (Intermediate). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Vicary, A. (2014). Grammar for writing. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing. 

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