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FSAE001 Academic English 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit builds on the notion that improved English language proficiency is key to success in a university environment in Australia.

This unit is designed to develop, to an upper-intermediate level, the English language proficiency and communication skills needed for successful study in ACU undergraduate courses. 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 university studies and life in Australia. The unit also introduces the skills necessary to begin to incorporate academic sources into writing and introduces students to concepts of academic honesty at ACU.

The aim of this unit is to build on the knowledge and skills attained in Academic English 1, and to introduce students to more complex concepts in academic language and regarding Australian academic culture.

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 - Use accurate grammatical and lexical features of academic expression (GA9)

LO2 - Communicate academic concepts with clear and accurate spoken English in multimodal contexts (GA7, GA9, GA10)

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

LO4 - Summarise and synthesise information from a range of academic sources (GA8, GA9)

LO5 - Write academic essays with upper-intermediate grammatical and lexical accuracy (GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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:

  • Developing understanding and use of language in an academic context.
  • Extending understanding of appropriate language and techniques in academic essay writing.
  • Developing effective communication strategies for a range of academic contexts.
  • Pronunciation development – with a focus on intelligibility and use of intonation, stress and pausing to communicate a range of meanings. 
  • Strategies to assist in understanding spoken and written texts in an academic context.
  • Basic research and referencing skills.
  • Critically thinking about reading and listening texts.
  • 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 build on skills developed in Academic English 1. The tasks are scaffolded and in part designed to prepare students for the type of assessments encountered in a 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 speaking and peer review task encourages students to engage with multimedia and explore peer and self-review techniques for personal development. The guided academic essay allows for students to develop understanding of university expectations surrounding this kind of assessment, students will be supported through the different scaffolded stages including: idea generation, research, planning, synthesising sources, structuring and writing. The final examination allows for assessment of students’ overall proficiency before moving on to the next level (Tertiary Literacy). 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Speaking and Peer Review Task

Students will individually record a short response to a given prompt. This will be uploaded to the LEO unit. Within the unit a peer will be guided through a structured review process. 


LO1, LO2

GA7, GA9, GA10

Guided Academic Essay

Students will be guided through the necessary steps in creating an academic research essay. Students will be provided with appropriate texts that they will synthesise and summarise as part of a discussion essay. The writing component will be conducted under exam condition in the classroom. 


LO1, LO4, LO5

GA8, GA9 


The exam is designed for students to demonstrate their level of academic language proficiency and understanding of the academic strategies and skills covered during the term. Students will be assessed on their grammatical and vocabulary knowledge and accuracy as well as their ability to respond appropriately to a range of academic texts and prompts. 


LO1, LO3, LO5

GA4, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

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

Hewings, M. (2012). Cambridge academic English: An integrated skills course for EAP (Upper-Intermediate). Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University press.

Huntley, H. (2006). Essential academic vocabulary: Mastering the complete academic word list. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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

Paterson, K. (2013). Oxford grammar for EAP: English grammar and practice for academic purposes. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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