IL1ASLN-Academic Skills and Language for Postgraduate Success

Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Ms Gill Kendon

Module Co-convenor: Mr Anastasios Asimakopoulos

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides induction into UK academic culture and expectations, and enhancement of the academic skills and practices needed for successful participation in taught postgraduate degree-programme study.  

Students will become more aware of the types of writing assignments, or ‘genres’, they will likely encounter on their degrees, and associated academic values, practices and processes, e.g. academic integrity, planning and reading-to-write.   The module will develop students’ awareness of the characteristics of research texts within their intended disciplinary field and how to critically evaluate published research. They will also gain understanding and practice of the spoken communication demands of their degrees, be introduced to the independent learning expectations of UK postgraduate study, and gain confidence and experience using Reading’s learning platforms and digital resources. Self-awareness and reflection are also integral features of the module.

Students will be invited to submit two formative, assessment-for-learning focused tasks, a written Critical Review and an Individual Presentation, on which they will receive criteria-based feedback designed to help them to effectively apply learning from the module in their degree-programme coursework. 


This module aims to enhance students’ ability to successfully engage with UK Postgraduate degree programme study through awareness of academic values, expectations (including genre awareness) and associated academic literacies, practices and processes e.g. academic integrity, planning and reading-to-write.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Attribute sources accurately within texts they produce using appropriate in-text and end-of-text citation methods

  • Select, understand and appraise academic research critically

  • Use genre-appropriate organisational and linguistic features to complete a written Critical Review.

  • Use appropriate language to describe, compare and evaluate research

  • Apply the correct terminology for describing academic research e.g. empirical vs review research paper, and sections of the research article genre.

  • Make connections between academic texts to show how new knowledge is generated in a disciplinary topic

  • Drawing on a range of oracy skills, deliver an individual oral presentation reflecting on their own academic practices and implications for future learning

  • Use appropriate listening andmediation skills to discuss information from video interviews with University of Reading academics within an individual oral presentation.                                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Ask and respond appropriately to questions about specific points following a presentation.

Additional outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to: 

  • Recognise what academic integrity is and the steps to engage with this

  • Demonstrate an awareness of common research methods in their academic discipline

  • Appreciate disciplinary differences in citation practices

  • Exercise autonomy and initiative in time management

  • Use a variety of strategies and resources for the purpose of independent language study

  • Become a confident user of the university’s VLE [Blackboard], submission and assessment tools e.g. Feedback Studio, and other learning technologies e.g. Office 365

  • Reflect on the skills and language needed to continue developing and understand how to use tutor feedback to identify areas for improvement

  • Use the UoR library tools effectively to search for related academic literature

Outline content:

The module will help students to acquire the skills and knowledge to engage effectively with tasks common to UK postgraduate degree programmes by:

  • Raising students' awareness of the range of coursework genres used for assessment on UK university degree programmes, their social/communicative purposes and related structural and linguistic features. 

  • Analysing the purpose, stages and features of key genres through samples by proficient speakers/writers.

  • Analysing a sample research article in terms of structure, strengths & weaknesses to replicate this process for their article choices.

  • Applying given evaluation criteria for analysing research articles/studies

  • Selecting appropriate articles from a reading list

  • Producing sections of the tasks with guided supported practice i.e. improving the response through tutor feedback on draft work

  • Constructing the final response to the tasks independently [of the tutor] for final assessment.

  • Practice of language appropriate for the context of the oral (presentation) and written (a Critical Review) genres and topics.

Global context:

This module supports internationalisation at Reading by facilitating successful and equal inclusion of students whose first language is not English in UK degree programme study.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will take a task-based, contextualised approach which integrates practice and development of receptive (listening, reading) and productive (speaking, writing) academic English communication skills around the students’ intended disciplinary field as well as discussing international student experiences.

The module will adopt an overall ‘genre’ approach, taking the social purpose of texts as the starting point to explicate organisation/structure a nd key language features.

The Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) framework, which links language to purpose and genre, will guide the teaching of linguistic and discoursal features of academic communication.

The module consists of practical classes and guided independent study tasks. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 3
Seminars 57
Guided independent study:      
    Advance preparation for classes 12
    Preparation for presentations 12
    Preparation for seminars 30
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 36
Total hours by term 0 0 150
Total hours for module 150

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Formative assessment methods:

There are two formative assessments: A critical review and an individual oral presentation. Students will receive feedback mapping to detailed assessment criteria on both draft and final submissions. 

Penalties for late submission:


Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:


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: 7 March 2023


Things to do now