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Unit information: Foreign Language Skills for Semester Abroad Students in 2020/21

Unit name Foreign Language Skills for Semester Abroad Students
Unit code MODL20018
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Foster
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will provide students with the opportunity to study a foreign language in the context of their existing BA (Hons) programme and their preparation to study abroad for one semester in Year Two. Students who choose this unit option will be placed in an existing University-wide Language Programme (UWLP) 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). It is expected that this will be in French, German, Spanish or Italian. However, the School of Modern Languages’ UWLP portfolio also includes Russian, Czech, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese and there may be cases in future where a semester abroad will be facilitated by taking a class in one of these languages.

This unit will not be open to students wishing to learn a new language, as a single semester is insufficient preparation for study abroad. It is expected that students will have some prior learning of the language concerned, typically an A level or equivalent. Similarly, it will 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
  • Oral presentation skills
  • Cultural and social aspects of the language
  • E-learning opportunities

Intended learning outcomes

Students will:

  1. be able to communicate both orally and in writing with a reasonable degree of accuracy and fluency.
  2. be able to work at the relevant level with authentic material and retrieve necessary information.
  3. have acquired knowledge and awareness of the general social and cultural background of the target language
  4. be able to understand and interpret written texts at the relevant level
  5. be able to respond to written texts at the relevant level

The level of the intended learning outcomes will be benchmarked against the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages as indicated in the UWLP unit on which the student is registered.

Teaching details

Learners will be involved in a variety of synchronous activities, mostly interactive with maximum use of the target language, but with attention devoted also to explaining the fundamentals of the target language’s structures. These activities will be supported and amplified by asynchronous e-learning opportunities and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

*In-class tests of Reading, Writing and Listening – 75% - assesses ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 *In-class Presentation / Speaking exercise to assess Oral – 25% - assesses ILOs 1, 2 and 3

Reading and References

As indicated in the UWLP unit on which the student is registered: materials developed in house by the relevant Language Department. Reading and reference material will be provided on Blackboard.