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LS1415 English for Academic Studies (online) 3.0 credits

The English used at university differs from the English used in other parts of life. This fully online course is ideal for students who are beginning or preparing to begin academic studies in English. The course has no meetings, but it does have six weekly deadlines for discussion postings, quizzes, and other work. Constructive feedback is given on written assignments. The rich bank of material in the course can serve as a reference throughout a student’s education in English.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus LS1415 (Autumn 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course is web-based without timetabled meetings and is organized around six themes that are treated in modules of the course:

  • Academic culture, language and assessment
  • Types of academic English
  • Core functions of academic language
  • Academic identity
  • Criticality
  • Learning optimisation

Students will produce a portfolio of work focused on improving their academic linguistic proficiency

General content: Differences between general English and scientific English - Strategies for moving from competence to excellence - Key academic vocabulary - Strategies for vocabulary learning

Academic culture: Collaborating with other students - Making use of university and departmental resources - Defining academic dishonesty and plagiarism - Understanding different assessment schemes - Becoming a member of a discourse community - Interpreting teacher's feedback - Efficient note-taking

Listening comprehension for academic studies: Identifying common lecture structures - Distinctive features of spoken English that can affect comprehension - Listening for gist and detail - Dealing with different speaking styles - Developing active listening skills - Preparing for optimal listening to lectures

Speaking and presenting at academic studies: The purpose of academic discussion and debate - Strategies for preparing for and participating in academic seminars and discussions - Structuring scientific talks and presentations - Presentation technique - Audience awareness - Presenting visual data - Developing and expressing critical viewpoints - Presenting and defending a degree project - Anticipating and answering questions on presentations - Giving constructive feedback to other students - Strategies for improving speaking skills

Reading comprehension for academic studies: The different types of academic texts - Strategies for reading academic writing - Identifying coherence and cohesion in texts - Differences between reading for information and critical reading - The functions of multi-modal items in texts - Understanding arguments in texts - Strategies for understanding difficult texts

Academic writing: The role of academic writing - Different Genres of academic writing - Writer and reader responsibility - Key skills for good academic writing - The IMRaD structure - Finding, evaluating, selecting, using and referencing other sources - Referencing systems- Genre, audience, purpose and organization - Paragraph and sentence structure - Writing with coherence and cohesion - Distinguishing between voice of author and voice of sources - Techniques for paraphrasing - Different concepts of criticality - Critically and respectfully expressing a viewpoint- Critically reflecting on one's own work and the work of others - The writing process from planning to proofreading - Ways of producing writing - Responding to feedback on writing

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to develop the student's language proficiencies and global competence for efficient work-related communication.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • participate actively in discussions, meetings and negotiations in multicultural workplaces and culturally heterogeneous groups
  • explain and defend his/her opinions in work-related discussions
  • identify differences in linguistic style between everyday and work-related communication, and adapt his/her oral and written production according to the target group
  • write letters and documents that are used in the industry and business 

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

General admission requirements

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • LEXA - Continuous Assessment, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

All course components passed.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Jamie Rinder

Profile picture Susanna Zeitler Lyne

Profile picture Jane Bottomley

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web LS1415

Offered by

ITM/Learning in Engineering Sciences

Main field of study

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Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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