Academic and Professional Speaking Skills

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Credits
6
Types
Elective
Requirements
This subject has not requirements, but it has got previous capacities
Department
THATC
This course aims to help students to develop their speaking skills to communicate orally in English in academic and professional settings at B2 level of the Common European Framework (CEF). Taking into account the international context in which we are, the course will provide resources to improve students' listening and speaking skills for successful participation in activities related to their university studies and the professional field. Emphasis is placed on strategies to help students become more effective listeners and to develop their fluency and accuracy in English as they interact orally in different situations

Teachers

Person in charge

  • Antonia Soler Cervera ( )

Others

  • Maria del Carme Bordera Perez ( )

Weekly hours

Theory
2
Problems
2
Laboratory
0
Guided learning
0.4
Autonomous learning
5.6

Competences

Transversal Competences

Third language

  • G3 [Avaluable] - To know the English language in a correct oral and written level, and accordingly to the needs of the graduates in Informatics Engineering. Capacity to work in a multidisciplinary group and in a multi-language environment and to communicate, orally and in a written way, knowledge, procedures, results and ideas related to the technical informatics engineer profession.
    • G3.3 - To conduct an oral presentation in English and answer questions from the audience. To work effectively in an international context, communicating orally in English with people of different nationalities.

Objectives

  1. To understand and apply the principles of academic and professional communication in engineering
    Related competences: G3.3,
  2. To recognize oral genres in English in academic and professional contexts
    Related competences: G3.3,
  3. To recognize the importance of pronunciation in professional and academic communication
    Related competences: G3.3,
  4. To identify basic segmental and suprasegmental aspects of English phonetics in order to improve pronunciation skills
    Related competences: G3.3,
  5. To develop active-listening skills in English to improve listening comprehension
    Related competences: G3.3,
  6. To understand and interpret information from oral sources and to use information efficiently
    Related competences: G3.3,
  7. To develop speaking fluency and to use the correct kind of language for different communicative functions in English
    Related competences: G3.3,
  8. To exchange technical information orally and to discuss topics related to computer science appropriately
    Related competences: G3.3,
  9. To participate in academic and professional situations effectively using the correct kind of language and level of formality: a seminar, a job-seeking interview
    Related competences: G3.3,
  10. To plan an oral presentation for academic or professional purposes, using a problem-solving approach
    Related competences: G3.3,
  11. To deliver an oral presentation, using appropriate language, signposting and body language
    Related competences: G3.3,
  12. Evaluating an oral presentation according to planning and delivery criteria, making comments and suggestions for improvement
    Related competences: G3.3,

Contents

  1. Fundamentals of academic and professional communication in engineering
    Problem-solving and genre. Academic and professional oral genres. Communicative function and strategy
  2. Guidelines for effective pronunciation
    The importance of pronunciation for intelligibility. English phonetics: basic aspects about the English sound system, stress and intonation. Strategies for dictionary use and for improving pronunciation
  3. Strategies for effective listening comprehension and speaking practice in computer science
    Techniques for active listening. Understanding lectures: semantic markers and signposting. Note-taking practice. Listening and speaking practice: spoken academic English in computer science
  4. Interaction in communicative activities: language functions and usage
    Levels of formality. Communicative function and language usage to participate in academic and professional activities effectively: telephoning, giving technical explanations and instructions, discussing and negotiating
  5. Speech organization and genre: skills to participate in academic situations
    International seminars: academic discussion. Oral presentations: the process of designing an oral presentation (planning, delivery and evaluation). Strategies and techniques for effective presentation. Visuals, signposting and body language
  6. Speech organization and genre: skills to participate in professional communicative situations
    Job-seeking skills: a CV and a job interview. Strategies for successful interaction

Activities

Activity Evaluation act


Understanding the principles of technical communication

Becoming familiar with problem-solving approaches for communicative purposes and genre. Analyzing examples of oral genres in academic and professional contexts and the general communicative strategy used
Objectives: 1 2
Contents:
Theory
2h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
6h

Recognizing the importance of pronunciation for oral interaction in English

Identifying features of English pronunciation in contrast to Spanish and Catalan pronunciation
Objectives: 3 4
Contents:
Theory
2h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
2h
Autonomous learning
4h

Practice in recognizing and pronouncing the sounds of English and some features of English stress and intonation

Recognizing basic phonetic transcription. Becoming familiar with word stress and sentence stress. Recognizing tones
Objectives: 3 4
Contents:
Theory
3h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
6h

Developing active-listening skills to improve listening comprehension

Listening for specific information. Understanding the general idea. Listening for discourse markers (signposting) and keywords. Taking notes
Objectives: 3 5 6
Theory
4h
Problems
4h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Practice in gathering and exchanging technical information orally

Selecting information from oral sources and using the information effectively to discuss a topic related to computer science
Objectives: 4 5 6
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
3h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Mid-term test


Objectives: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Week: 8
Type: problems exam
Theory
0h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
6h

Interacting in oral communicative activities effectively

Becoming aware of levels of formality. Adapting English usage to level of formality. Using functions of language appropriately for telephoning, giving technical explanations and instructions, discussing and negotiating
Objectives: 6 7 8
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
3h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Participating in an international seminar and practicing the appropriate interaction

Discussing lectures and readings. Participating in academic discussion: supporting views, presenting ideas orally
Objectives: 6 7 8 9
Contents:
Theory
2h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
6h

Preparing an oral presentation for academic or professional purposes

Applying a problem-solving procedure: planning, delivery and evaluation. Devising strategy at the planning stage (informing / persuading). Selecting information and structuring the presentation
Objectives: 7 8 10
Theory
3h
Problems
3h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Delivering an oral presentation and evaluating it

Preparing the speech. Designing visuals. Choosing the correct kind of language. Considering signposting. Using body language and gesture. Applying evaluation criteria for oral presentations. Self-evaluation and peer evaluation
Objectives: 7 10 11
Contents:
Theory
3h
Problems
3h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Participating in a job-seeking interview using the appropriate strategy

Writing a CV for a job application. Participating in a job interview. Anticipating questions and preparing explanations according to protocol, using the right kind of language and level of formality
Objectives: 7 9
Contents:
Theory
3h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
2h
Autonomous learning
7h

Final test


Objectives: 2 4 5 6 7 9 10
Week: 15 (Outside class hours)
Type: final exam
Theory
0h
Problems
0h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
2h
Autonomous learning
9h

Delivering and evaluating an oral presentation

Students deliver their oral presentations in class and they evaluate their partners
Objectives: 10 11 12
Week: 14
Type: problems exam
Theory
0h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
0h

Teaching methodology

Class session combine content presentation by teacher, extensive practice and students' participation. Students' participation and involvement are critical for the development of course activities
The work on the course contents is based on the development of tasks.
The activities are based on problem-solving tasks with practical exercises and analysis of samples

Evaluation methodology

Course assessment is based on continuous assessment tasks (course assignments and class participation) and written tests with the following percentages:

-Mid-term test
-Class participation: Students are expected to complete activities and tasks and bring their answers to class for discussion. They are also expected to work in collaboration with others.
A combined mark from these two items (mid-term test and class participation) is calculated, worth 30% with the following defined maximum: max (25% EP + 5% PC, 20% EP + 10% PC).
-Oral presentation: 20%
-Speaking activity: 20%
-Final test: 30%

Students need to complete all the continuous assessment tasks in order to cover all the contents of the course and successfully perform in the exams.
Students will not get a participation mark if they do not attend a minimum of 50% of the course sessions.

Bibliography

Basic:

  • Course workbook: academic and professional speaking skills - Secció d'Anglès (UPC), Cpet, 2012.

Complementary:

Previous capacities

In order to carry out academic and professional activities in English, students are recommended to have acquired B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) or higher.

Addendum

Contents

No s'han introduït canvis significatius als continguts.

Teaching methodology

S'ha establert un 40-50% de sessions presencials. Aquestes sessions poden cobrir una petita part de teoria, tot i que estaran dedicades a la part pràctica principalment. Es concentraran sessions presencials per cobrir la part del curs que requereix més interacció i feedback immediat per tal de millorar les destreses de comunicació oral. La resta de les sessions (60-50%) seran no presencials i seran principalment síncrones (Google Meet, per exemple). Es dedicaran a realitzar activitats (teoria o pràctica) que requereixen una temporització determinada, una resposta individual o un guiatge específic. En general, l'assistència a les classes és fonamental per la correcta realització de totes les activitats del curs.

Evaluation methodology

Es mantenen els actes d'avaluació que figuren en aquesta guia, però s'han modificat lleugerament els percentatges sobre la nota final - Examen parcial del curs (presencial): 25% - Examen final del curs (presencial): 25% - Presentació oral (presencial): 20% - Activitat d'interacció oral: 20% - Participació i a classe i lliuraments d'activitats de classe: 10%

Contingency plan

Metodologia docent. Si la situació ho requereix, la metodologia s'implementarà en mode online per la totalitat de les sessions. La interacció a les classes presencials s'adaptarà a mode no presencial amb les eines de què disposem pel treball online: - ús d'Atenea per facilitar l'accés al material (apunts, materials externs, solucions d'exercicis) i lliurament de treballs. - ús de videoconferència per les classes de teoria - ús de fòrums i videoconferència per la resolució de dubtes Mètode d'avaluació. Els exàmens (parcial i final) es programaran en mode presencial inicialment. Si la situació sanitària ho requereix, els exàmens es realitzaran en mode no presencial i consistiran en: (a) activitats lliurades a Atenea / Racó, i (b) prova realitzada de manera síncrona (a Google Meet, per exemple). La prova síncrona podrà incloure una part oral. La resta d'activitats avaluables del curs també s'adaptaran a mode no presencial si és necessari, i es realitzaran gravacions d'àudio i vídeo per la presentació oral i per l'activitat d'interacció oral.