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Module QXS-1003:
Speaking and listening

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Ms Emily Morris

Overall aims and purpose

To raise students' spoken English competence so that they can communicate with other learners of English and with native English speakes in a general, professional or academic setting.

To raise students' listening comprehension so that they can understand native English speakers discussing topics of general, professional and academic interest.

Course content

This course is only available to students whose native language is not English and who have not passed the Cambridge Advanced level examination.

This is a single module, taught during the first term of the university year. The course is thematically organised around topics of general interest and wide academic application. Each unit comprises a video or audio tape and exercises and speaking activities based on it. The exercises used are approximately equivalent to Cambridge Advanced level, ALTE level 4, corresponding to 'Competent User' in the Council of Europe framework. Tapes and videos are at levels from Advanced to native speaker level to reflect the needs of students' other study at this university.

Assessment Criteria


55% A student has achieved a good standard of competence in coursework and examination relating to the learning outcomes above (equivalent to IELTS 6.5). A student has good ability to listen and understand spoken English and is able to respond appropriately and effectively, although there may be occasional errors of grammar and vocabulary. S/he may occasionally require the interlocutor to repeat or explain unfamiliar or idiomatic expressions but this will rarely impede communication.


70% A student has achieved an exceptional standard of competence in coursework and examination relating to the learning outcomes above (equivalent to IELTS 7.0 or above). A student has excellent ability to listen and understand spoken English and is able to respond appropriately and effectively with very few errors of grammar and vocabulary. S/he will only rarely require the interlocutor to repeat or explain unfamiliar or idiomatic expressions but communication is excellent and approaching that of native speakers in pace and content.


40% A student has achieved the minimum acceptable standard of competence in coursework and examination relating to the learning outcomes above (equivalent to IELTS 6.0). A student has a basic ability to listen and understand spoken English and is usually able to respond appropriately, although there may be some errors of grammar and vocabulary and s/he may require the interlocutor or repeat or explain expressions. Pronunciation may be heavily accented.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to: Understand and complete general and academic exercises using listening material designed for student at IELTS 6.0 and above. Understand the gist of listening material at native speaker level and to make appropriate comments and responses. Be familiar with English spoken in a variety of accents. Hold conversations on general topics with other English learners and with native speakers of English.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Interview Assignment

Students interview a native English speaker about their experience of learning a second language. Their essay reports on the interview and compares the interviewee's experience with their own.

ORAL Spoken Exam

Students are asked to discuss a given topic in small groups or pairs.

EXAM Listening Exam 33.3

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

Teaching consists of a two-hour interactive class each week for 12 weeks. Each week, students are encouraged to communicate with each other and with the teacher in English only. There are considerable number of speaking activities in which the students are required to engage with other class members to give ample opportunity for fluency practice within a comparatively sheltered environment. Each week, students are expected to complete exercises related to the work covered in class, to research in the library and on the internet in preparation for their assignments and to undertake specific communication exercises with native English speakers.

Individual Project

An assessed project in which students interview a native English speaker - in English - about their experiences of learning a foreign language. Students then use the interview to write an essay comparing their experience of learning English with that of their interviewee. The interviewee must not be/have been learning the student's native tongue.

Private study

Students are expected to use their class experience to improve their production of English outside the classroom. They are encouraged to record new vocabulary or slang and bring them to class for discussion.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in


Resource implications for students


Reading list


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: