Course objectives




This chief objective of this course is language improvement with the emphasis on the development of productive skills -- i. e. speaking and writing. Research shows that English language learners usually have their receptive skills (reading and listening) developed on a slightly higher level in contrast to their productive skills. Morever, Slovak learners of English as a foreign language almost invariably feel particularly weak at speaking, i.e. being able to express themselves on a range of topics, in varied social environments, with appropriate language register for those situations. This is also the reason why in this course students devote two thirds of the entire course workload is devoted to speaking (8 weeks) with rest of the course (4 weeks) spent on the development writing. The speaking activities and homework assignments in the first 8 weeks focus on extending the range, accuracy and appropriacy of oral expression. That is why the key component of this course is vocabulary acqusition. Students are asked to study extensive lists of new vocabulary as part of their homework assignment then they are presented with opportunities to practice it in class with the emphasis on production in less teacher-controlled activities. The writing part of the course focuses on argumentative writing. This is one of the most neglected areas in writing in English as a foreign language in Slovakia. Argumentative expression has not been part of the writing tradition in this country and this style of writing is still largely unfamiliar to Slovak students. This is unfortunate as being able to defend your point of view in writing is one of the basic skills of every educated citizen in a democratic country. Moreover, the command of this writing skill is required for all internationally-recognized certificates of English as a second or foreign language (IELTS, Cambridge, TOEFL). The basic starting point to agumentative writing is the five-paragraph essay -- the quintessencial form all British and American students are drilled to master before they apply to study at university.