IL2APIRN-Academic Skills and Language for Politics and International Relations

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

Module Convenor: Mr James Wylie

Module Co-convenor: Mr Daniel Devane

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This non-credit-bearing module is delivered at the University of Reading for students who are studying degrees delivered by the Department of Politics and International Relations (PIR) at undergraduate level. It is primarily for international students whose first language is not English, and who are studying for a double degree at the University of Reading and at MGIMO Moscow. The module recognises the need to focus primarily on the key PIR written coursework genre, the essay.


This module aims to develop the students' familiarity with, and linguistic ability to perform effectively, the key PIR written coursework genre, the essay, and also the spoken genre, the presentation. This developmental enhancement has been designed to be transferrable to other modules, both concurrent and future, and thus help facilitate the students' assessment task and overall performance in their undergraduate PIR studies at the University of Reading. It aims to enhance students' academic English self-confidence.

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

  • Write a PIR essay

  • Recognise common essay command words

  • Apply appropriate use of voice, including techniques for guiding and involving the reader

  • Relate source synthesis to essay writing

  • Relate argument to essay structure

  • Write a thesis statement

  • Apply critical evaluation to a PIR critique

  • Produce a persuasive PIR presentation

  • Distinguish between spoken presentation and written language

  • Break down a presentation into comprehensible

Assessable learning outcomes:


Additional outcomes:

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

  • Plan assignments

  • Use Blackboard and Turnitin

  • Carry out classroom tasks with peers

  • Carry out interaction with university staff

  • Appraise their ongoing language needs and take appropriate developmental action

Outline content:

The content of this module is divided into two strands of learning:

Strand 1: Essays

Strand 2: Presentations

The course will conclude with 1:1 consultations, during which students will receive feedback and have the opportunity to ask questions

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 adopt an overall ‘genre’ approach, taking the social purpose of texts as the starting point to explicate organisation/structure and key discourse and language features.

It takes a discipline-specific approach to language and literacy development using example student texts and published PIR-specific sources in classroom tasks. 

Teaching and learning is facilitated in a generally task-based approach through a combination of reflective and productive activities, guided analysis of extracts of example PIR student essays and published texts, and peer and tutor feedback. The guided analysis of texts involves 'noticing' of key organisational and linguistic features in context, and productive activities are appropriately scaffolded. Interactive communicative tasks are regularly included, both longer presentation tasks and shorter reflective and discussion tasks.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Guided independent study: 0 0 0
Total hours by term 16 0 0
Total hours for module 16

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Formative assessment methods:


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: 22 September 2022


Things to do now