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Academic English 

Foundation Academic English is designed to up-grade your abilities across the four language skills of reading, listening, writing and speaking to enable you to thrive in university study. The course will also introduce you to the most up-to-date academic and professional skills you need to succeed in study and work. These include teamwork, decision making, cognitive flexibility and cross-cultural understanding.

Our curriculum integrates both classroom technologies and the Moodle Learning Management System to best support the development of independence and technology enabled learning.

The assignments have been developed in close consultation with academics from UNSW so that they focus on the most vital capabilities assessed at university, including presentation and discussion skills, research and reporting, group work, annotated bibliography, and reflection on learning. These assignments have been integrated into a course which offers you specific abilities across the full range of language skills:

  • Reading: strategies for finding information quickly, comprehending main points, and interpreting the meaning of unknown words; seeing relationships between ideas; and recognising the reliable sources by identifying bias, attitude and purpose.
  • Listening: following and understanding the structure of an academic talk or discussion; understanding stress and intonation patterns; recognising words or phrases that guide the listener to the most important of information; and taking effective notes.
  • Writing: producing well-structured and academically appropriate texts for a range of purposes; sustaining a research strategy through note-taking, summarizing, paraphrasing and referencing to produce thoughtful and critically developed assignments.
  • Speaking: becoming familiar with English spoken in an Australian academic context; participating effectively in small and large group discussions and debates; and preparing engaging presentations.  


Assumed knowledge

Foundation Academic English assumes achievement of the IELTS skills level (or equivalent) required for entry into the Foundation Program the student has enrolled in. An ability and willingness to work both collaboratively and independently is required.


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