FB2CAL-English for Science

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr Aaron Woodcock

Email: a.e.w.woodcock@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module is for international students whose first language is not English and who have arrived on Part 2 or Part 3 as visiting students or as part of a 2+2 programme. The module recognises the need to continue language development for students whose first language is not English, and to develop their academic and professional skills in a UK Food Science context.


The aims of this module are to develop and enhance students’:

  • productive knowledge of language and vocabulary specific to Food Science

  • ability to communicate ideas specific to Food Science in English through a range of media for a variety of purposes and audiences 

  • ability to interact fluently and spontaneously in various situations specific to Food Science

  • ability to understand and use information specific to Food Science from a range of sources appropriately in English

  • career management skills so as to provide a foundation for future career development

In addition, this module hopes to develop students’:

  • ability to find and evaluate a variety of information sources 

  • ability to collaborate effectively in pairs and small groups

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completing this module, students should be able to:

- use both orally and in writing a broader range of language and vocabulary specific to Food Science more fluently and accurately

- write and speak about familiar Food Science ideas in English in their own words

- explain, argue, suggest and persuade in English in a clear and detailed manner 

- interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity in situations specific to Food Science

- use their knowledge of register and genre to communicate more effectively (both orally and in writing) in a variety of situations and to a variety of audiences

- use their knowledge of structure and cohesion to produce coherent texts

- use their knowledge of academic practices to use information sources more appropriately

Additional outcomes:

On completing this module, students should also be able to:

- find and evaluate sources, including books and journal articles, more effectively

- collaborate more effectively with peers 

Outline content:

Language and vocabulary:

  • Spelling and pronunciation
  • Collocation and word grammar
  • Prefixes and suffixes
  • Constructing noun phrases
  • Cohesive devices in science writing
Writing and speaking:

  • Reports, essays, posters, CVs and covering letters
  • Presentations, videos, tutorials, meetings and interviews
  • Explanation, argumentation, recommendation and persuasion
  • Genre, register, structure and cohesion
Reading and listening:

  • Journal articles, job adverts and lectures
  • Finding and evaluating sources

Global context:

This module develops international students’ ability to communicate in English in a variety of contexts specific to Food Science and the UK workplace, which will help them adapt to the UK work and study context and develop their intercultural competence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning is facilitated through a combination of Task-Based Learning (TBL), guided analysis of texts, library and careers workshops, a practical session and feedback on assessment tasks.

A Task-Based Learning approach is used to develop communication skills and productive vocabulary knowledge.  In class, students participate in task cycles in which students: (1) study target vocabulary within a spoken or written text; (2) use the target vocabulary in a writing or speaking task; (3) reflect on/review their performance; (4) repeat the writing task/speaking task.  This task cycle is complemented by guided independent learning of connected vocabulary and language outside class.

Guided analysis of model texts is used to develop knowledge of register, genre, structure and cohesion. This includes, for example, comparing spoken texts with written, and comparing texts written for an expert audience with those written for a non-expert audience.

Some classes are replaced by workshops led by the Library and the Careers Centre.  These are used, in conjunction with formative and summative assessment tasks, to develop information finding and career management skills.  One class is replaced by a chemistry practical session led by a Food Science tutor.  This is used to develop collaboration skills and also forms the basis of some of the English classes and assessment tasks of the Autumn term.

The feedback cycle on formative and summative oral and written assessment tasks is used to bring these strands together and to develop the ability to use information from outside sources appropriately.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30 30 3
Guided independent study 67 70
Total hours by term 97.00 100.00 3.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 35
Oral assessment and presentation 30
Class test administered by School 35

Other information on summative assessment:

To help students develop their communication skills over the duration of the module, summative assessment will be spread out over three terms as follows:

Autumn Term Written Assignment 1 (report, essay, poster, CV or letter) 10%
  Oral Assessment 1 (presentation, video, meeting or interview) 15%
Spring Term Written Assignment 2 (report, essay, poster, CV or letter) 25%
  Oral Assessment 2 (report, essay, poster, CV or letter) 15%
Summer Term Class Test (vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing) 35%

Spreading assessment out gives students the opportunity to respond to feedback and make improvements. 

Formative assessment methods:

Because much of the content will be delivered through Task-Based Learning, students will be given many opportunities to work towards the assessable learning outcomes in a formative manner.  At each of these points, there will be an opportunity for formative feedback from peers and from the tutor.  In addition, the Written Assignments will be undertaken in two drafts, with the first draft being formatively assessed.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    overall mark of 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment will comprise of coursework carried out over the summer period and another class-based test in the event of a student failing their degree programme overall.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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