Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Students who have English as an additional language and aspire to study the Humanities or Liberal Arts in the Australian higher education context require advanced communication skills and learning strategies as a foundation for their future studies. This unit offers instruction in identifying, describing, and then communicating in, a variety of academic text types while maintaining grammatical and semantic accuracy. Students will also examine the role of culture and context in communication. Students will extend their understanding and use of academic vocabulary and language structures, and further develop the skills required for research-based tasks and for creating evidence-based arguments.

The aim of this unit is to develop the communication and academic skills of students who have English as an additional language, and to develop in students the cultural awareness and proficiency that is necessary to effective communication in the Australian academic context.

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 - Demonstrate knowledge of the conventions of academic writing and referencing (GA5) 

LO2 - Recognise and analyse a variety of text types in an academic context (GA8) 

LO3 - Communicate in a variety of text types while maintaining grammatical and semantic accuracy. (GA9) 

LO4 - Utilise information literacy and critical thinking skills to create an evidence-based argument (GA4, GA8, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

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


Topics will include: 

  • Independent learning and critical thinking skills 
  • Academic conventions in tertiary studies 
  • Understanding the role of culture and context in communication 
  • Oral and non-verbal communication 
  • Writing genres: Essays and reports  
  • Research techniques  
  • Identifying and analyzing text types, their purpose and function  
  • Extracting and synthesizing information from multiple sources 
  • Providing evidence and referencing sources 
  • Written and oral expression: accuracy, coherence and fluency  
  • Effective peer-assisted learning 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is taught in face-to-face classes that feature active learning. Active learning strategies will be used to assist students to:  

1)build an understanding of the content covered in the unit.  

Students will participate in active learning activities such as class discussion and class group activities whose goals are to encourage understanding of class content and materials. 

2)develop the communication and research skills that will provide a foundation for future tertiary study. 

Active learning strategies including a range of individual and group in-class activities will assist students develop skills such as oral, non-verbal and written communication in an academic context, as well as critical thinking skills and research techniques. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy for this unit consists of a structured sequence of learning tasks designed to promote achievement of the unit’s Learning Outcomes. The unit has a Hurdle Task that develops knowledge of academic conventions and the fundamentals of information literacy (LO 1), knowledge on which further learning and assessment in the unit will be based. The first weighted assessment task is an oral presentation task, normally completed as a group activity, that requires students to demonstrate their research techniques, critical thinking, and their oral and written communication skills (LO 1-4). The second weighted assignment, a discussion essay, builds on the research and writing skills of the oral presentation, and challenges students to develop an extended argument in essay form built on independent research, critical thinking, and a firm grasp of the genre of the academic essay (LO 1-4). The final assessment task is an examination that assesses summative knowledge and the application of the content and skills integral to the unit (LO 1-3). 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Task: Quiz on Academic Conventions  




Oral presentation 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Discussion Essay  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Final Examination 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Brick, J., Herke, M., & Wong, D. (2016). Academic culture: A student guide to studying at university. (3rd ed.). South Yarra, Vic: Macmillan. 

Cox, K. & Hill, D. (2011). EAP Now! English for academic purposes: Students’ book. (2nd ed). French’s Forest, NSW: Pearson. 

De Chazal, E. (2014). English for academic purposes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Hancock, M. (2012). English pronunciation in use: Self-study and classroom use (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Hewings, M. (2007). English pronunciation in use. Advanced. Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press. 

Hyland, K., & Shaw, P. (2016). The Routledge handbook of English for academic purposes. New York, NY: Routledge.  

Liyanage, I., Walker, T. (2014). English for academic purposes (EAP) in Asia. Rotterdam: Sense. 

Oshima, A., & Hogue, A. (2009). Writing academic English. (Revised 4th ed.). New York: Pearson. 

Nesi, H., & Gardner, S. (2012). Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in higher education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Pallant, A. (2012) English for academic study: Writing, Reading, UK: Garnet. 

Slaght, J. (2012). English for academic study: Reading & writing, Reading, UK: Garne. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs