Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 2 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • This module is only available to students whose mother-tongue is not English. It is designed specifically for Erasmus exchange students but will be open to international students studying for Durham degrees with departmental agreement. Students must speak English to a level equivalent to IELTS 6.0 or above.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This is an advanced language and contextual-based course that will help students achieve proficiency in English while obtaining a greater understanding of how the language is used internationally by the media to express issues of current concern.
  • Students will also engage with a local use of English in their immediate environment and will obtain a greater understanding of contemporary British Society and how it impacts upon language.


  • This module is designed to help students whose mother tongue is not English achieve a level of proficiency that approximates to C1/B2 in the European Language Portfolio.
  • It will look at language through how it is used in the media and in the wider community, helping students increase their language knowledge through the application of techniques in text analysis.
  • It will help students to enhance their oral/aural skills and their formal writing.
  • It will also provide background support in giving presentations and in the qualitative research techniques that will be used to produce a community-based project about language use.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students will be able to:
  • express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions;
  • produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices;
  • use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students will be able to:
  • recognise implicit meaning;
  • conduct a research project in English;
  • develop qualitative research skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through three seminar style classes which will meet twice weekly.
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and to provide students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and from recorded material.
  • Small group teaching is particularly suitable for the development of oral/aural skills as it offers all students the chance to participate in role-play and other speaking exercises.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • Self-access technologies will be used to extend classroom learning as will activities that foster contacts with the community.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students' level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).
  • It will be biased more to language performance than content knowledge. However, the presentation component and the community research project on which it is based will expect content knowledge, as this is partly demonstrated through some understanding of qualitative research techniques.
  • The ability to improvise and produce language to deal with complicated topics in unplanned settings will be dealt with by Q & A in the presentation components.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 40 Two per week 2 Hours 80
Fieldwork 20 20
Preparation and Reading 300
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Project Component Weighting: 67%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
written presentation of project 50%
oral presentation 50%
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 33%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
coursework portfolio 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given writing, reading and listening assignment to reinforce or prepare for each class. Students will be given structured activities to pursue in an independent learning frame, web-based research for example, grammar repair activities, work with concordancers.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University