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Description of the course
This course is an introduction to the study of skills that are essential for a university student. In particular, this course will concentrate on developing students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as providing an overview of basic concepts of English grammar.
This course will give you the opportunity to develop and strengthen skills in reading academic texts, writing essays, listening to lectures and preparing presentations for your classes. It should also improve your grammar, as we are going to have grammar topics in the main course book and some additional materials for individual study. This is a practice-oriented course, so be prepared to engage in various activities both in the class and outside. Mastery in four skills is essential for university students as they proceed to sophomore, junior and senior years, when they will have to read longer texts, write longer essays, listen to longer and more difficult lectures, and prepare longer presentations. Although, some of you may find the number of additional material to be frustrating, believe me it will serve you good as you see the rewards later in your studies.
This is a practical course which intends to introduce students to the basics of academic skills required of a university student. You will get acquainted with basic reading strategies, essay writing rules and conventions, listening tactics and techniques, and methods of making effective presentations. This course aims to help you make most of your study at a university by improving related skills. By the end of the semester, all students should be able to:
· read and understand texts in English
· write a paragraph/an essay on any appropriate topic
· listen to lectures and take notes
· prepare basic types of presentations
· properly use English grammar in each of the above activities
Evaluation will be based on a number of aspects, such as student’s attendance on the course, written assignments, quizzes and exams, and oral presentations.
Attendance (10%): Attending all classes is a minimum requirement of the course. According to the regulations of Suleyman Demirel University, students who miss more than 30% of classes (23 hours in this case) automatically fail the course.
Assignments (20%): home assignments include extra readings, presentations, essays and grammar/vocabulary exercises. The weekly home tasks, presentation and essay topics and their deadlines are indicated in the schedule.
· Extra readings: the book that you are going to read is (we will choose it together).
· Presentations: throughout the semester you will be supposed to make 2 presentations.
The first one is going to be individual and will include any grammar and/or vocabulary topic assigned by the teacher from the course book. As future teachers you should practice basics of preparing material, explaining and presenting it; and speaking in front of the public.
There should be following points:
- Clear definition of the topic
- Lesson plan
- Ice breaking activities
- Speaking activities
- Grammar exercises
- Vocabulary exercises or activities
- Reading texts
- Group work and/or pair work.
The second one is going to be done in pairs and the topic is: “My SDU: How I see It”. The aim is to show SDU from any interesting angle as freshmen and you can deliver your message through presentation, photos or video.
Tips for success:
- Talk about what is interesting to you
- Otherwise, if you are not interested in what your presentation is about, no one will be
- Do not try to talk about EVERYTHING about your topic. You will not have enough time anyway and it will be difficult for your listeners to remember EVERYTHING
- Practice your presentations in any way you like. If you are comfortable with standing in a mirror and imagining you are in front of an audience, do not miss such an opportunity. Remember – practice makes perfect!
- Have one or two friends whom you can get feedback from. This way you will be aware of your strong sides and areas which need improvement.
· Essays: Just as to build a house you need bricks, to write an essay you need paragraphs. However, to learn to write good essays you will first need to learn to write good paragraphs. For this purpose, you are going to study individually a book called “Academic Writing from Paragraph to Essay”. It will help you write essay on the book that we will read.
As the book states, throughout your university life you will need to complete a lot of assignments that can be one from paragraph to several pages long. You should know how to structure a paragraph/essay to make it understandable and easy to read. This book should help you to do it.
· Survey: As a part of the Unit 9 on opinions, you will have to make survey among SDU students and be able to analyze the results and present them. The theme should be discussed with the teacher.
· Grammar/vocabulary exercises: remember that one of the purposes of this course was to improve your grammar. This book is designed just for that. It includes an overview of basic tenses and some other themes that an intermediate student is supposed to know.
As this is also going to be about your individual effort to study, you should plan your time wisely, because during the course we will have three consolidation exams that are based on the information in the book.
Important note: the book contains answer keys! For this reason, if you really care about your learning, it is essential that you use answer keys only for that purpose. What I mean is, there is no need to memorize the answer keys for exams, as they will do you no good in the long term. Instead, devote time to practicing your grammar until it becomes perfect.
Quizzes (10%): Learning a new language is a long and a difficult process. Throughout a semester you will have quizzes that will check your understanding of the material. They will also provide you with some statistics to see whether you are doing any progress.
The quizzes will be conducted at the end of each unit in and there will also be quizzes from additional material (reading and writing). As was mentioned earlier, all of your assignments, including the chapters from extra books that you need to finish, will be indicated in the schedule. Please refer to it as soon as you have a question about when to expect the next exam.
Midterm exams (20%): As the name suggests, these two exams are taken somewhere in the middle of the semester. They will include all the material from the main course book studied until that time. So it means that if by the time of the 1st midterm we have finished 3 units, the 1st midterm will contain questions that are based on the information from those units.
Final Exam (40%): students at the university often consider final exams to be the most important. This may be because according to the rules and regulations of Suleyman Demirel University, a student who fails the final exam also fails the course.
The final exam, being the last exam you take in any course, will be based on the topics and themes covered from the beginning of the semester.
NOTE: for extra points and to develop your creativity while using English, you can in groups perform “English Theatre” thus staging any pieces or works from world classics.
Mark Percent Letter
Excellent 95-100 A
90-94 A -
Good 85-89 B +
75-79 B –
Satisfactory 70-74 C +
60-64 C –
< 50 F
- Excellent attendance is expected from everyone. Due to the nature of the course, you are expected to be present at all the classes. If by any reason you are not able to come, please inform me by sending an email at least a day before the class. Please also keep in mind that notifying me is a sign of respect and it does not excuse you from being absent. The moment you manage to make it to the university, it is your responsibility to show me a written documentation (in case of an illness).
- Try to come on time for the lesson. The beginning of the lesson is when an instructor prepares the students for what is going to come. At least I do so. If you want to understand the material for that day, please try to come to class before me. However, no matter how hard you try and you are still running late, please knock on the door and kindly ask a permission to come in. At the end of the lesson, it is your responsibility to make sure you are marked as present.
- Participation is a must! This class is practical in nature and is intended to improve your communicative competence in speaking as well as in other skills. For this reason, even if you are a shy person, you will have to do your best and contribute to class discussions or when you are asked a question.
- Noise pollutionis an enemy to this class. Before the lesson begins make sure you turn everything that rings and makes noise on a silent mode. A silent mode even without vibration is preferred. There will be times when you get a very important call. Unfortunately, you will not be able to answer it, unless it is an emergency. Please ask your parents, relatives and friends not to call you during lessons and not to get angry if you do not pick up the phone.
- I am very strict about late assignmentsand I usually do not accept them. Try to finish your works on time and bring it to class on the day it is scheduled. As for the missed exams, you will be permitted to take it only if you have a written documentation with the dean’s office stamp on it.
Texts / Materials
1) Straightforward Intermediate by Philip Kerr & Ceri Jones, MacMillan Education (main coursebook)
2) Basic Skills for the TOEFL IBT by Moraig Macgillivray & Kayang Gagiano, Compass Publishing
3) Academic Writing from Paragraph to Essay by Dorothy E. Zemach & Lisa A. Rumisek, MacMillan Education
4) Intermediate Language Practice by Michael Vince, MacMillan Education