IF1NUA-English for Atmospheric Science

Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Semesters in which taught: Semester 1 / 2 module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Ms Laura Connolly
Email: l.connolly@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will equip you with the lexical knowledge and communication skills you need to learn your subject at Level 4 in English. It will also equip you with tools and techniques you can use to develop your linguistic knowledge and competence throughout your university career and beyond.

This module is intended for students with an entry level of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in general English of B2, but an entry level of CEFR B1 when communicating specifically within or about their field of specialisation.  On successful completion of the course, you will have achieved CEFR B2 when communicating within or about your field of specialisation. 

Any students with entry levels that fall outside these parameters will be identified and supported so that they can achieve their best on this module.


This module primarily aims to build your:

  1. Discipline-specific vocabulary

  2. Spoken and written communication skills

  3. Explaining and summarising skills

  4. Self- and inter-personal awareness

It also aims to build your:

  1. Tools and techniques for developing vocabulary independently

  2. Listening and reading comprehension

  3. Techniques for producing written and spoken discourse

  4. Collaboration and adaptability skills

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completing this module, you will have successfully demonstrated you can:

  1. Use the main discipline-specific vocabulary of your field with generally high accuracy and fluency 

  2. Communicate discipline-specific ideas effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences through a range of media

  3. Without recourse to a dictionary or a machine translator

    1. Explain familiar discipline-specific concepts and processes in your own words 

    2. Summarise discipline-specific data and texts effectively in your own words

  4. Articulate what and how you have learned, awareness of your strengths and areas to develop, and commitment to learning language

Additional outcomes:

On completing this module, you will also have successfully demonstrated you can:

  1. Use a variety of tools and techniques to continue your development of discipline-specific vocabulary independently

  2. Understand in detail propositionally and linguistically complex discipline-specific texts

  3. Identify some of the techniques expert writers use to produce clear, smoothly flowing, complex texts for audiences with specialist knowledge of your discipline

  4. Collaborate effectively and adapt to different work or study contexts

Outline content:

Content will include:

  • Key discipline-specific vocabulary and its usage, e.g. multiple-meanings, pronunciation, collocations and word forms

  • Key structure, discourse and language features used for communicating your subject, e.g. given to new information flow, summary noun phrases and expressing degrees of confidence

  • Key strategies for summarising texts and data, e.g. amplifying and streamlining

  • Basic frameworks for reflection and critical analysis

  • Useful tools and techniques for developing your discipline-specific vocabulary independently, e.g. discipline-specific dictionaries, word-list apps and concordance line tools

  • A range of discipline-specific texts aimed at specialists and non-specialists

  • Basic theories and research on learning vocabulary and working in a team

Global context:

This module develops your ability to communicate in English in a variety of contexts specific to your subject and the global context, helping you adapt to different work and study environments.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

We will use an overall ‘genre’ approach, taking the social purpose of texts as the starting point to help you understand key structure, discourse and language features. We will use written and spoken texts from your subject to develop your receptive and productive disciplinary language knowledge and skills. 

Teaching and learning will be student-centred and task-based:

  • Guided Learning (teacher presentation + individual task s), e.g.

    • analysis of example texts from target genres

    • exercises practicing use of target vocabulary

  • Interactive Learning (group work with teacher present), e.g.

    • scaffolded reading-to-write and reading-to-speak exercises

  • Independent Learning (individual + group work without teacher present), e.g.

    • reading collaboratively and in teractively, using Academic Reading Circles (ARC)

    • individual reflection on your progress and language development needs

Contact hours:
  Semester 1 Semester 2
Practicals classes and workshops 42 42
Guided independent study:    
    Wider reading (independent) 8 8
    Wider reading (directed) 16 16
    Revision and preparation 8 8
    Group study tasks 16 16
    Reflection 10 10
Total hours by term 100 100
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Portfolio 70
Class test administered by School 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment Method Length Semester
Vocabulary Test 1 In-class test 1 hour 1
Reflective Journal 1 Portfolio 1,000 words 1
Video Tutorial Portfolio 10 minutes 1
Vocabulary Test 2 In-class test 1 hour 2
Reflective Journal 2 Portfolio 1,000 words 2
Poster Presentation Portfolio 10 minutes 2


Formative assessment methods:

The guided learning and interactive learning will provide you with weekly teacher-directed opportunities to improve your performance, whilst the independent study/learning will provide you with weekly self- and peer-directed opportunities to improve your performance. The in-class test is positioned mid-term, so that feedback from the test provides you with another timely opportunity to improve your performance. The written assignment offers you regular opportunities to reflect on your performance and identify areas for improvement.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that 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: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/cqsd-old-site-documents/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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

In the event of a student failing this module overall, reassessment will comprise of resubmission of any individual piece of assessment for which the student received a mark lower than 40.

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: 22 September 2022


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