Foundation Academic English is a skills-based subject which contextualises content within the four macro skills of reading, listening, writing and speaking. The subject focuses on the development of English language skills appropriate for entry into an undergraduate university. It combines theoretical knowledge with practical language development activity.
Topics vary according to the Program and from year to year. All topics are chosen for their suitability for developing the four macro skills as shown below:
- Reading: skimming and scanning; comprehending main points; recognising styles appropriate to different contexts and purposes; critical reading; understanding relationships between ideas; understanding the meaning of unknown words; identifying bias, attitude and purpose; comparing and evaluating.
- Listening: following and understanding the structure of an academic talk or discussion; comprehending the main points of a lecture or talk; taking effective lecture notes; recognising styles appropriate to different situations; understanding stress and intonation patterns; recognising marker words or phrases that indicate the level of importance of information; recognising the stage of information in a lecture; identifying the relationship between ideas.
- Writing: producing a well-structured paragraph; essay-writing in an appropriate academic style at both paragraph and essay level; practising various written genres; developing primary and secondary research skills; note-taking; summarising, paraphrasing, acknowledging and referencing; developing bibliographies; incorporating evidence of critical thinking skills.
- Speaking: becoming familiar with English spoken in an Australian academic context; participating effectively in a debate; participating effectively in small and large group tutorial discussions; preparing and presenting Summary and Seminar 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.