EU Articulation Scheme

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1 EU Articulation Scheme Studying in English at the University of Abertay Dundee Information for English Language departments at EU partner institutions 2008 edition

2 Introduction Dear English language teacher As you may know, the EU Articulation Scheme provides opportunities for EU students to spend one or two years studying at the University of Abertay Dundee. Students are given entry with advanced standing to our degree programmes on the basis of ECTS credits achieved at their home university. If they successfully complete the years of study at UAD they are awarded the relevant degree and 60 ECTS credits, which are normally recognised by their home university. Thus students are able to obtain a double degree. EU students are only admitted with advanced standing if they have relevant academic experience, certified by the International Office (or other authorised authority) of their home university, and the English language ability necessary to undertake a degree that is taught entirely in the English language. Because students are being recommended by their home university, we do not require them to provide any further proof of their academic abilities we believe that their home university will not recommend an under-prepared student. This also applies to the English language skills of students we don t expect a home university to recommend a student who does not have the language skills necessary to succeed at a UK university. However, we know that one of the most important determinants of a student s success in completing a degree in the UK, is the ability to use the English language effectively in their studies. We have, therefore, compiled this booklet to provide you with information on the kind of academic tasks your students are likely to undertake when they come to study at the University of Abertay Dundee and the level of English they will need. The booklet also provides details of the additional English language classes they can attend, and the English language support that we offer our EU students. I hope you find the booklet helpful. Please let me know what you think of it and get in touch if you have any questions. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss EFL matters with you. Catherine Rice (EFL Co-ordinator) telephone: (direct) (switchboard) 2

3 CONTENTS English proficiency requirements 4 Academic tasks 7 Lectures Tutorials Coursework English classes at Abertay 8 English Language Placement Test Pre-sessional Programme for International Students English for Study classes 1:1 support A The Pathway in English for Business Communication 9 Contact details 9 3

4 English proficiency requirements The University of Abertay Dundee (UAD) normally requires international students to present proof of their English proficiency in the form of IELTS (6.0), TOEFL (600) or other internationally-recognised certificates (listed on our website). For EU Articulation Scheme students, the standards required are the same but students do not need to provide certificates. Instead, the University asks that the relevant person at the applicant s home university provides a reference and signs the Application Form to confirm that the student has, or is expected to have by the time they begin their studies at UAD, the ability to study a course that is taught entirely in the English language. We therefore expect students to be at this level by the September in which they start their studies at UAD. Even if your students do have the required standard of English, you may think it appropriate for them to take advantage of the Pre-sessional Programme (see below) to improve their skills in English and for university level study in a UK context. We also recommend that students without internationally recognised certificates in English take our English Language Placement Test when they arrive here in September. We use this test to place students in English support classes most appropriate for their existing abilities. The question of writing Many students find writing coursework the most difficult task they have to undertake in English. As a guide to English language staff at our partner institutions, we provide the following information on the academic writing skills we expect from our students in the form of samples of student writing. These samples are taken from our English Language Placement Test at different proficiency levels. We use the test to place each student in and English support class at the right level. The pass mark is 9/15. Students who fail are strongly advised to enrol on our English support classes, even if they pass the reading and listening components. Marking criteria for the writing part of the Test are: Relevant and appropriate content: does the student answer the question and provide evidence? Structure: is the argument presented in a logical and coherent way, with adequate paragraphing and use of connectors? Language: is the range of vocabulary and choice of grammar appropriate for university writing? Is the language accurate enough for easy comprehension? Mechanics: spelling, punctuation, use of capitals and layout. 4

5 Writing samples The question set was as follows: Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following subject: Education today should be mainly concerned with training students for work. Learning traditional academic subjects (eg history, physics) will not help students find jobs or be relevant to their careers. Do you agree with this statement? You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience, give reasons for your opinions and support your argument with examples and relevant evidence. You should write at least 250 words. You are advised to spend no more than 40 minutes on this section. Sample 1 First of all I would answer the question shortly: no, I don t. Let s have a look on the reasons. In my opinion the education should not only prepare students to find a good job, but it would also make people to get a wide-view. If in the school you are teached only practical (they mean: which help you to reach earn a lot of money) knowledge you will be an adult at the age of 12 and have no childhood. When you are young you should take it easy and shouldn t always be in a crisis, like what will be happened with me when I will grew up. I think it s the normal way of life This is a fair attempt at arguing the case, but difficult to follow at some points ( a wide-view ; the last sentence). This student is likely to have considerable difficulty with coursework. Sample 2 I think that every person should know main facts from the history of his or her country. We should know where every country is located (it is helpful for instance during studying abroad, when we meet a lot of new people from different countries and cultures it is good to know something about them). We should also know what reptile is and can tell, what differences are between heart and stomach. I rembered about certain facts but I think about idea. I know many people form abroad, who do not know where X is. Usually they say that it is somewhere in Asia, maybe it is the part of Syberia. I think it is sad. Grammar and vocabulary are basic, there is no argument and the writer wanders from point to point. This student is likely to have very serious difficulties with coursework and should probably not have started degree level at this stage 5

6 Sample 3 Education is as far as I understand the meaning of this word something more than just training given for students that is to help them to get the job. As for me school is more about broadening one s horizons, is a place where one can find a life-long hobby or interest. If I were a principal, I wouldn t let to narrow school s programme just to the modules and things that might be useful for students in their future career. Why? First of all because every student wants to get a different job so you can not forbid students to learn what they reckon is interesting. Moreover if somebody want to become a top manager it won t be possible without wide knowledge about life. Cogently argued, idiomatic and mostly accurate use of English.This student should cope with coursework, but would benefit from the highest level English course. 6

7 Academic tasks Students at UAD are expected to work on course related activities for 40 hours per week. Nevertheless, they are sometimes surprised by the differences, in teaching & learning styles and course structures, between British universities and their home universities. In a normal week, a student at UAD will attend four one-hour lectures and four one-hour tutorials or practicals. The rest of the time, students are expected to read in the Library and work on coursework on average for 28 hours per week. Students are thus responsible for much of their own learning although they are guided by tutors through lectures and tutorials. Lectures vary considerably according to subject, stage and the lecturer s own style. Nearly all lecturers at the UAD use PowerPoint, and upload their PowerPoint slides onto the intranet, either just before or just after each lecture. But, of course, students need to attend lectures because the slides may give only a bare outline of the lecture. They also need to take notes for the key points, the argument (i.e. links between points) and to record important examples and evidence. Lectures form the core of each module and assessments, especially examinations, are based on the information and theoretical frameworks presented in tutorials. Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to discuss topics related to the lecture; to show that they have understood; to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical, real-life examples. Students are expected to answer questions, to ask questions and to talk about their reading, opinions and experiences that may be relevant. Coursework: each student is likely to have at least one piece of coursework for each module per semester around four. Coursework is most likely to be an essay (around 2,500 words in stages 3 and 4), but may be a case study report and in some subjects a computational exercise. Students are given a question to research by themselves, together with a reading list. Sometimes, students are asked to prepare a paper on a topic that they have identified. This is almost always the case for honours year dissertations which may also involve the student in completing some primary research. Dissertations are normally expected to be about 12,000 words in length. Coursework is expected to be submitted on time (there are penalties for late submission), typed and neatly laid out, with references in the text and a complete reference section at the end and written in formal English. 7

8 English classes at Abertay Latest information on English programmes and support is available on our website: Here, we summarise what we do for EU students Pre-sessional Programme for International Students Every summer, we run a preparatory course for students who will be starting degree courses in September. There are 2 blocks of 4 weeks and students can enrol for 8 weeks or 4 weeks depending on their level of English. The Pre-sessional Programme is full-time with 20 hours per week of classes and supervised study. Classes focus on study skills, with guest lectures on contemporary and Scottish topics, project work and coursework writing. There is a full programme of visits and cultural activities. In 2007, students were given a guided tour of Dundee Football Club, learned silk-screen printing at Dundee Contemporary Arts and visited the ancient university (and golfing) city of St Andrews. English Language Placement Test Most students first contact with the EFL service at Abertay will be when they are informed about the Placement Test during Orientation Week or Induction, in September. This test is designed to assess students proficiency in Listening, Reading and Writing for academic purposes so that we can place students who need to improve their academic English in the appropriate in-sessional class (English for Study). The test lasts for 1 and a half hours and consists of a reading comprehension section, an essay section and a short listening test. The format is similar to IELTS but the test is produced in-house. English for Study courses Courses in Reading and Writing for Study and Listening and Speaking for Study run throughout the year, for 10 weeks each Semester. Courses are free and offered at two levels of proficiency. Students may enrol for 4 hours per week 1:1 support We can also offer 1:1 sessions to students who need specific help with coursework. 8

9 A Pathway in English for Business Communication The English for Business pathway develops students practical English skills in a Business context to an advanced level. Students can take one module each Semester from stage 3. The pathway syllabus covers language knowledge (vocabulary, register) appropriate for professional discourse and communicative skills for a wide range of business contexts. At stage 3, these include personal presentational skills such as designing cvs, producing reports and presentations for internal audiences. Students also study language use and communication within companies, such as the language of advertising. At stage 4, the focus shifts to the international context and intra-business relations. Students develop skills for presenting and discussing their own company and for playing an active role in leading discussion, decision-making and formulating proposals. Students will enhance their knowledge and understanding of intercultural communication and of the use of English as the international language of business. Contact details EFL Co-ordinator: Dr Catherine Rice Address: Dundee Business School University of Abertay Dundee Bell Street Dundee DD1 1XH Telephone: Office Room 2008, Old College. English at Abertay on the University s website: 9

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