Learning to use 'academic English' is a challenge for all students, whatever their first language.
It is also important to understand that many students need more English study after getting an IELTS score at the required level. The IELTS Guide shows that 7.0 and 7.5 are the acceptable scores for most academic courses. Even then there are other issues such as academic conventions that need to be learnt and adhered to.
Frequently asked questions are answered below, and the right-hand downloads give further details of DLP: staff handbooks and recent annual meetings for departmental staff and ELTC tutors.
What can your department expect?
DLP is flexible, negotiable English language study within departments to help students succeed with their studies by familiarising them with the language and communication styles of their academic field. Courses can be tailored to specific modules and to the requests of students and departmental staff.
What are the course objectives?
Objectives vary according to department and student need. They typically include reading and understanding assignments, avoiding plagiarism, paraphrasing and summarising, writing reports and practising presentations. Often the focus is on academic reading and writing, but listening and speaking may also be included.
Who is DLP for?
Usually students are international students, though some home students can benefit, especially if English is not their first language. Academic English is, of course, nobody's first language!
Students may refer themselves or staff may recommend that they attend. The format also varies between classes and individual tutorials. Experience shows that it is better to separate UG, PGT and PGR students because they have different needs.
How much DLP can a department have?
The new allocation model has come into being this year. Departments get a base 40 hours that can be increased depending on a number of factors. These include: number of PGT students; number of overseas students and engagement with the PLA. This will be reviewed in a couple of years time.
Who organises DLP?
Each department needs to nominate a Departmental Language Coordinator (DLC). They play a key role inside the department in gathering and disseminating information to help DLP to succeed. They liaise with Alice Lawrence at the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) in order to bid for provision. After that, they liaise with the ELTC teacher to design the course and monitor how it is going. This teacher is known as the Departmental Language Teacher (DLT).
What are DLCs responsible for?
- Putting DLP on students' main timetable so that everybody knows about it
- Booking an information session about language development opportunitities each September during Intro Week
- Informing and reminding students about DLP and other types of English study at the ELTC
- Informing and reminding staff and discussing Departmental language needs with them
- Selecting students who would benefit from the course
- Gathering information for the DLT to help with course design: for more information see the download on the right-hand side
Further information is in the DLC handbook, available as a download in the top right-hand corner of this page.
What are Departmental Language Teachers (DLTs) responsible for?
- Designing a course based on input from departmental staff and negotiation with students
- Keeping records of attendance and work covered
- Reporting attendance and work covered to DLC regularly - to be agreed (weekly, monthly or termly)
- Writing a report each semester for the DLC, covering attendance and work covered and making suggestions for improvements
For more details, see the DLS Teacher's handbook
(in the top right-hand corner of this page).
What responsibilities do DLC and DLT share?
- Identifying what is expected of students module by module
- Identifying how the DLT can help students to succeed
- Drawing up course outline based on the above
- Timetabling, but the DLC is responsible for putting DLS on all timetables to avoid clashes
- Monitoring attendance