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Unit information: Foreign Language Skills for Graduate Students in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Foreign Language Skills for Graduate Students
Unit code MODLM0020
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Foster
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide students with the opportunity to study a foreign language, at an appropriate level, in the context of the MA in Comparative Literatures and Cultures. Students who choose this unit option will be placed in an existing Applied Foreign Language (AFL) class in the School of Modern Languages, appropriate to their language level at point of entry (benchmarked against the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR). The School of Modern Languages’ applied foreign languages portfolio includes French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Czech, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

This unit will be open to students wishing to learn a new language or develop their language skills as part of their postgraduate training; it will therefore not be possible for students to take this unit in their mother tongue.

The unit will include:

  • General communication skills
  • Academic listening and note-taking skills
  • Academic and sub-technical language
  • Academic reading and writing skills
  • Subject specific language
  • Oral presentation skills
  • Cultural and social aspects of the language
  • E-learning opportunities

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will:

a) improve their language skills, relative to their entry point, and be able to communicate orally and in writing with a reasonable degree of accuracy and fluency.

b) be able to work at appropriate level with material in the target language and retrieve necessary information.

c) have acquired knowledge and awareness of the general social and cultural background of the target language.

d) be able to understand and interpret written texts at an appropriate level.

e) be able to respond to written texts at an appropriate level.

Teaching Information

The communicative approach will be used; learners will be involved in a variety of interactive and stimulating activities with maximum use of the target language. This will be supported by e-learning opportunities; a Blackboard site, wikis, blogs and use of self-study facilities.

Assessment Information

The four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are assigned equal weighting for the purposes of assessment (25% each).

For reading and writing there is a formal examination in the summer examination period, which comprises 25% of the total mark. This assesses ILOs a-e.

Listening is assessed by continuous assessment, consisting of listening assignments and class tests, which comprise 25% of the total mark. Both assess ILOs a and b.

Speaking is tested by continuous assessment, consisting of marked coursework (oral presentation) and an oral test. Both assess ILOs a, b and c.

Reading and References

Reading lists are specific to the language and level, and will be provided by the unit coordinator.