IL3APIRN-Advanced Oracy Skills for Politics and International Relations

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

Module 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 designed 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 advanced spoken communication skills (‘oracy’ skills) required for effective communication, both in formative and summative academic contexts, and in a range of employment contexts related to Politics and International Relations (PIR).


This module aims to support undergraduate PIR students in the development of, and familiarity with, the physical, linguistic, cognitive, and social / emotional oracy skills needed to successfully complete a range of Level 6 spoken communicative assessments.

This developmental enhancement has been designed to be transferrable, not only to other modules and assessments, both concurrent and future at the University of Reading and at MGIMO Moscow, but also to a range of employment contexts related to PIR. Thus, the module helps facilitate the students' assessment task(s) and overall performance in their undergraduate PIR studies and aims to enhance students' oracy self-confidence.

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

  1. Identify, analyse and use ‘Physical’ oracy skills, including, but not limited to, fluency, pace, tonal variation, clarity, voice projection, and body language.

  2. Identify, analyse and use ‘Linguistic’ oracy skills, including, but not limited to, vocabulary choice, register, grammar, structure and organisation.

  3. Identify, analyse and use ‘Cognitive’ oracy skills, including, but not limited to, critical examination of concepts, reasoned support for arguments, and consideration of audience level/type.

  4. Identify, analyse and use ‘Social and emotional’ oracy skills, including, but not limited to, speaking confidence (self-assurance, liveliness, and flair).

  5. Employ relevant text-mediating strategies to communicate ideas and arguments from a range of PIR sources orally, including:

    1. Strategies for explaining concepts: linking to previous knowledge, breaking down complicated information and adapting language.

    2. Strategies for simplifying a text: ‘unpacking’ a dense text or streamlining a text.

  6. Employ relevant oracy skills to help plan, organise, and deliver content of spoken genres such as presentations, debates, and discussions.

  7. Identify oracy techniques used by expert speakers to communicate (complex) ideas clearly and effectively.

  8. Use tools and techniques to analyse language, and how it is used to construct stance and argument, in a range of PIR sources. 

Assessable learning outcomes:


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Classes will have the following foci:

  1. Reflection on how oracy is summatively assessed, including analysis and review of marking descriptors and rubrics from a range of spoken assessments.

  2. Characteristics of key spoken-language genres (such as presentations, debates and discussions).

  3. Analysis and application of key physical, linguistic, cognitive, and social / emotional oracy skills using systemic functional linguistic toolkits where applicable.

  4. Exemplars of key spoken-language genres, analysed to explore aspects of oracy, fluency, and proficiency.

  5. Language for constructing stance and argument in disciplinary sources.

  6. A cycle of formative oracy practice tasks and reflective feedback.

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 blend a ‘genre’ approach, taking the social purpose of exemplars as the starting point to explicate organisation / structure features, with a ‘systemic functional linguistics’ approach to discourse analysis and language features.

It takes a discipline-specific task-based approach to language and literacy development using example rubrics and published PIR-specific sources in classroom tasks as a cycle of input and practice.

Teaching will be learner-centred, taking a task-based approach to:

  1. analysis of example texts and transcripts from the target genres.

  2. guided ‘noticing’ of key organisational and linguistic features in context.

  3. exercises practicing use of relevant lexical/grammatical items.

  4. scaffolded reading-to-speak exercises.

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

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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