12987 - English Language (Third Language)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The students know the elements of English language and culture and are able to understand written texts and simple oral discourses.

Course contents

This reading and writing course is for students who wish to upgrade their reading and writing skills for educational and/or employment purposes. The course is designed for students who have experience writing expository paragraphs and reasonable control of grammar and sentence structure. This course emphasizes reading longer passages at a reasonable rate, taking notes for study purposes, and writing for different purposes. Students will work on improving composing and organizational skills for writing 5-paragraph academic essays, and revising, editing, and proofreading skills. Students will be introduced to simple research skills, such as finding appropriate sources and documenting source materials.

Reading Skills

1. Following the ideas and information in readings

  • Follow written instructions
  • Use active reading strategies with long textbook chapters (e.g., surveying, skimming, and sectioning)
  • Recognize purpose and/or issue, organization, overall key idea, main ideas, and key details in expository readings
  • Identify writer’s overall point of view, tone, bias, supporting argument and evidence in opinion readings

2. Determining meanings of unfamiliar words in course materials

  • Use an English-English dictionary, thesaurus, index, glossary, Wikipedia
  • Use word analysis (word families and affixes)
  • Use context clues within sentences and in surrounding sentences (vocabulary in context)

3. Using library resources to locate materials

4. Using study skills

  • Place text material into visual form
  • Interpret visuals such as graphs and tables
  • Prepare for objective tests (T/F, multiple choice) and essay tests using a variety of strategies
  • Learn content from text/class materials concerning economic, political, cultural, and socially relevant topics

5. Recognizing cultural differences and show awareness of the general features of own culture and associated world views

Writing Skills

1. Writing informally

  • Write reflectively about course readings
  • Summarize ideas and information from readings

2. Writing formal summaries

  • Take accurate notes from an assigned article
  • Paraphrase accurately
  • Write one-paragraph summaries of texts of one to two pages

3. Writing essays


  • Understand assignment instructions, including audience, purpose, and format
  • Generate ideas from readings on economic, political, cultural, and socially relevant topics
  • Select and narrow topics
  • Create essay outlines, which include focused thesis statements, body paragraphs with main ideas, and support
  • 3.2.Writing
  • Write well-structured introductions
  • Develop unified, specific support in body paragraphs, reviewing paragraph structure as necessary
  • Incorporate source material, showing understanding of plagiarism by paraphrasing, quoting, and citing appropriately
  • Create coherence within and between paragraphs
  • Write well-structured concluding paragraphs
  • 3.3.Revising
  • Redraft and revise on own
  • With peer and limited teacher feedback, re-draft and revise
  • Edit and proofread


These references are intended to supplement readings and exercises offered by the instructor. Students are welcome to carry on additional independent but instructor-supervised practice with any of them.

Engelhardt, Diane. 2013. Practice makes perfect. Advanced English reading and comprehension. [s.l.]: McGraw-Hill Education.

Khashoggi, Khalid & Arianna Astuni. 2020. SAT reading: History passages. [s.d.]: [s.p.]. ISBN 9798618218191

Meltzer, Erica Lynn. 2019. The complete guide to SAT reading, 4th ed. [s.l.]: The critical reader. ISBN-13: 978-0997517873

Roche, Marc. 2019. Business English writing. [s.d.]: [s.p.]. ISBN 9781793353894

Settele, Mike. 2019. SAT Reading & writing packets (2020 Edition): Practice materials and study guide for the SAT evidence-based reading and writing sections. [s.d.]: [s.p.].

ISBN 9781697714203 Swales, John M. & Christine B. Feak. Academic writing for graduate students. Essential tasks and skills, 3rd ed. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472034758

Swick, Ed. 2009. Writing Better English for ESL learners, 2nd ed. [s.l.]: McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 9780071628037

Teaching methods

The course will offer a mixture of theory and practice. Every class meeting will present theoretical concepts regarding English and communication, but will also apply a hands-on approach to improving English writing, speaking, and comprehension with the help of audiovisual material, group work and discussions/debates in class.

Assessment methods

Learning assessment scale

30-30L Excellent. The candidate possesses excellent translation/language skills, with a very high level of competence in the target language /(or) in the language and culture being studied.

27-29 Above average. The candidate makes only minor errors, and shows a solid command of the required skills and competences.

24– 26 Generally sound. The candidate displays a number of shortcomings, indicating a reasonable command of the required skills and competences.

21-23 Adequate. The candidate displays significant shortcomings and only an adequate command of the required skills and competences.

18– 20 Minimum. The candidate only meets the minimum level required and shows a minimal command of the required skills and competences.

< 18 Fail. The candidate’s does not meet the required standard and shows a wholly inadequate command of the required skills and competences.


All students are required to attend at least 70% of course sessions. Those who cannot attend because they are in Erasmus need to contact the instructor in advance and take at least the final written exam. This final exam of the English language module (third language) consists of a single written test (100%), which will focus on a topic chosen by the students.

The grade of the course will be based on a minimum of five tests: two comprehension tests (40%, each for 20%) and two writing tests (40%, each for 20%), plus a fifth revision test (20%), which each student will choose from those practiced during the course. At the beginning of the course, all students will take a level test, evaluated for information purposes only, to discover the starting point and adapt the contents to their needs.

Office hours

See the website of Ricardo Munoz Martin