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Information for staff – University of Reading

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  • Helping your students succeed

    The AEP provides academic language and skills training to international and EU students throughout their degree

Information for staff

Ensure your international and EU students receive the support they need to fully participate in their studies and to demonstrate their true academic ability in their written and spoken work.

The International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) runs the Academic English Programme (AEP), which provides: 

  • tailored courses for specific degree programmes
  • academic English courses open to all students
  • one-to-one writing and speaking tutorials
  • courses for PhD students.

AEP takes an English for specific purposes (ESP) approach: we identify the key texts, tasks and communicative situations your students will encounter and design lessons that teach the organisational structures and language needed to successfully engage with these.

Our applied linguistic expertise means we are able to explicate how particular language features help achieve key academic purposes, such as explanation, argumentation, stance and criticality.


The AEP is currently working within 16 departments to provide discipline-specific academic language courses for particular cohorts and degree programmes. Each department and programme has unique needs, and we are able to respond flexibly, providing both credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing courses with different durations and foci. For example, we provide:

  • a credit-bearing module delivered in the autumn term for 3rd year Chemistry (NUIST 3+1) students arriving from China
  • weekly writing workshops in autumn and spring for first-year Psychology students as part of the credit-bearing PY1SK "Skills for psychology" module
  • discipline-specific vocabulary, reading and writing tuition in autumn and spring for first-year Finance students
  • argumentative essay writing for PGT Law students in autumn
  • reflective writing in autumn and dissertation writing in summer for PGT CME students.

For more information, contact Dr Karin Whiteside, AEP Programme Director:


telephone: +44(0) 118 378 5392 (internal 5392)


Our courses cover a range of subjects including:

  • basic academic writing skills
  • academic grammar
  • successful source use
  • the language of stance and criticality
  • dissertation and thesis writing
  • listening and speaking
  • presentation skills
  • social English.


All international and EU students can book two individual consultations per term and receive feedback on their writing or speaking from experienced academic English tutors. Students can submit three pages in advance of writing tutorials and get advice on accuracy, academic style, source use, structure and argumentation.


Within the Graduate School, we provide basic and more advanced level thesis writing courses in autumn, spring and summer. Registration for these courses is organised by the Graduate School.

Contact for more details.

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