The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong

English for Communication I (LCE1010)

Class contact hours in Term I : 4 (2 x 2 hour tutorials) Credits: 3

Course exemption

A student can, on application, be exempted from taking LCE1010 English for Communication I if he/she has obtained in IELTS an overall band score of 7 or above with no subtest score below band 6.5 .

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Important Notes

  • Completion of LCE1010 is a prerequisite of taking LCE1020.
  • Completion of LCE1010 and LCE1020 is the prerequisite of taking LCE2010.
  • It is recommended that students who fail LCE1010 and/or LCE1020 should retake the course(s) in the 2nd year of their study and they should not drop the required courses of LCE1010, LCE1020 and LCE2010 except for students who are granted credit transfer/course exemption.
  • Completion of LCE1010, LCE1020 and LCE2010 is the prerequisite of taking any of the English free-elective courses offered by CEAL, except for LCE303. [Exchange students, either for one term or one year, will be exempted from this requirement. However, if these exchange students are taking LCE1010, LCE1020 or LCE2010, they will not be allowed to take any English electives offered by CEAL.]
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Course Introduction

Welcome to LCE1010 English for Communication I. We hope that you will find this course interesting, stimulating and useful for your academic studies at Lingnan and for your future professional development. Before you begin this course, there is some important information for you below. If you have any questions about this course, any member of CEAL staff will be happy to answer them.

LCE1010 English for Communication I is a 3-credit English enhancement course in tutorial mode. There are four hours of tutorial classes per week (2 x 2 hours). Class size is about 20 and you will be encouraged to both actively participate in class and to study English independently.

This course is the first of three courses to prepare you to participate in your liberal arts education at Lingnan by improving your communication skills in English. The follow-on course is LCE1020 English for Communication II, which will be offered in the second term.

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Aims

The aims of this course are to:
  • consolidate and enhance your ability to express your ideas, thoughts, opinions and knowledge through speaking and writing in English;
  • consolidate and enhance your ability to gain knowledge and information through reading and listening to English texts;
  • prepare you for dealing effectively with your academic studies while at University;
  • equip you with the necessary English language skills for your immediate and future academic and professional development;
  • foster and cultivate an awareness of your own proficiency levels in the four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) as well as in grammar and vocabulary;
  • introduce you to concepts, skills and techniques necessary for learning and improving your language skills independently in preparation for life-long language learning, and;
  • help you to communicate in English with an increased ability to think logically and critically as part of the liberal arts education.
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Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify a weakness in your language ability and use this to set a learning goal and devise a plan to reach this goal via self-selected learning activities.
  • communicate with University faculty members in writing via email by using the correct salutation, appropriate vocabulary, tone and register and a clear and concise message.
  • write a critical review of a documentary movie consisting of a summary or synopsis of the movie content followed by your opinion of the topic or issues presented in the movie using appropriate language, grammar and organization.
  • orally recount a story from their own experience such as might be expected in an interview or language proficiency test such as IELTS. The story told will be relevant to the expected topic with clear pronunciation, appropriate choice of vocabulary and grammar structures and organized in a logical sequence.
  • read a variety of texts on a range of topics for gist, global meaning and specific information.
  • listen to speech on a range of topics for gist, global meaning and specific information.
  • identify and correct your own and others’ language errors related to a variety of grammar structures and functions.
  • make use of concepts, skills and techniques necessary for learning and improving your language skills independently in preparation for life-long language learning.

More specific and detailed Intended Learning Outcomes for each Unit are shown below.

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Key Content

There are 4 teaching units:

Unit One - Self-directed Language Learning (I)

Unit Two - Communicating at University

Unit Three - Critical Writing

Unit Four - Recounting Experiences

These units focus on developing language and study skills students are likely to need and use in their academic and future professional life. These skills include being able to:

  • identify a gap in knowledge and plan to fill this gap by learning independently;
  • communicate in writing using appropriate language and an appropriate level of formality;
  • summarize a text in writing and offer an opinion and recommendation on the content of that text;
  • recount personal experiences at length and in detail using appropriate language and a well organized structure; and
  • comprehend and extract relevant information from written texts or speech such as newspapers and magazines, movies, TV shows, interviews and news stories on a variety of topics.
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Measurement of learning outcomes

Coursework Assessment: 60%
Final Examination:40%

The learning outcomes will be measured through assessments that will be administered throughout the course and during the final examination period. Due to the integrated approach of the course, the assessments will focus equally on all four main language skills plus the Self-directed Language Learning component as follows:

  • Writing Coursework 1 –Given instructions for the content, write an email to a University faculty member using the correct salutation to address the recipient, appropriate vocabulary and grammar and an appropriate level of formality (10% of final mark).
  • Writing Coursework 2 – After watching a documentary movie of your choice, write a critical review of the movie including a synopsis or summary of the main points of the movie and your opinion of the topic or issue presented in the movie. Use appropriate language, verb tenses and logical structure when recounting the events of the movie. Express your opinion of the topic or issue as presented in the movie with examples and information drawn from the movie to support your opinion (16% of final mark).
  • Speaking Coursework – Given a topic and some time to prepare, recount a story of your own experience that is relevant to the topic provided. Choose a range of appropriate language and grammar structures to recount your story which should be delivered with clear pronunciation, intonation and stress to add meaning and be logically organized (20% of final mark).
  • Final reading exam (multiple choice) – Selected reading texts to assess the reading learning outcomes introduced and practiced throughout the course (20% of final mark).
  • Final listening exam (multiple choice) – Selected listening texts to assess the listening learning outcomes introduced and practiced throughout the course (20% of final mark).
  • Self-directed Language Learning will be assessed by submission of a learning plan and evidence of participation in at least three activities or programmes provided or organized by the CEAL English Language Support Services (4% of final mark) and completion of ten online reading and listening exercises (10% of final mark).
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Unit Intended Learning Outcomes and Teaching and Learning Activities

LCE1010 - Unit 1: Self-directed Language Learning (I)

What you will learn in this Unit

Self-directed language learning is an important component of CEAL’s 3 core courses. In LCE1010, you can focus on an aspect or two aspects of English that you would like to improve. The aspect(s) of English will be your learning goal for Term One and you will use CEAL English Language Support Services (ELSS) to reach your goal. Also, there is a self-access online reading and listening course (ORLC) consisting of ten exercises in this unit. The exercises will provide you with regular practice of essential reading and listening skills throughout the term.

Why this is useful for you:

At University

Since you are required to demonstrate a certain level of English upon graduation by taking a compulsory English exit test (i.e. IELTS), this unit will give you an opportunity to start working on aspects of English that you have idenfitied as your weak areas and to have regular practice on your listening and reading skills. Make the best use of your time and the resources available to you and aim to become a more effective user of English.

In the Workplace

Being able to set goals, plan and work independently towards a goal and to a deadline are all essential skills in the workplace. Employers like staff who can work autonomously without the need for constant supervision. Taking responsibility for your work and carrying it out independently are good qualities to have in the workplace.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

By the end of this Unit you will be able to

  • create a Learning Plan for your Self-directed Language Learning
  • become familiar with the English Language Support Services (ELSS) at CEAL

    Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs)

    In this Unit you will:

  • watch a video about Independent Learning and CEAL English Language Support Services
  • do a group activity to identify your English language learning needs and explore language learning resources available at Lingnan
  • take the Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA) test
  • learn how to read a personalized report from the Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA) test.
  • learn how to choose a learning goal from your learning needs
  • learn how to choose activities to take you to your learning goal

LCE1010 Unit 2: Communicating at University

What you will learn in this Unit:

In this Unit, you will learn how to communicate with university staff in writing. You will learn how to write an email using the correct greeting, appropriate tone and register (appropriate vocabulary and a formal style of writing) and accurate, well organized writing to convey your message clearly.

How it will be useful to you:

When you study at university, communication with your instructors, professors and staff of different units which provide academic and administrative support to students is very important if you want to be successful in your studies. Communication by email is very important both at university and later in the workplace, so knowing how to write a clear email in an appropriate style is a useful skill to have.

Also, as you are required to demonstrate a certain level of English upon graduation by taking a compulsory English exit test (i.e. IELTS), the tasks throughout the unit and the writing practice at the end of the unit will help you identify and correct your own and others’ language errors related to different grammar structures and functions. Being able to use a range of structures accurately will strengthen your proficiency in both writing and speaking.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

By the end of this Unit, you should be able to:

  • write an email to a member of University staff using
    • appropriate language and
    • appropriate structure and organisation.

Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs)

In this Unit, you will:

  • read some advice on how to use email to communicate with University staff.
  • learn how to compose a meaningful email subject line.
  • learn how to use a proper greeting to open an email.
  • learn how to choose formal language to compose an email.
  • practice correcting common writing errors in emails.
  • practice organizing an email using paragraph breaks and numbered points.
  • write an email to a member of University staff using the language and organization introduced and practiced in the Unit.

LCE1010 Unit 3: Critical Writing

What you will learn in this Unit:

In this unit, you will learn how to write a critical review of a documentary movie. The review will include a synopsis or summary of the plot of the movie and your opinion on the movie including the topic or issues as presented in the movie, supported by examples taken from the movie. To this end, it is important that you choose a documentary movie to watch instead of other genres of movies. You will study the vocabulary and grammar you will need in order to write this movie review.

Why this is useful for you:

At University

At University, you are expected to think critically and to express your opinion in writing and speaking. Learning how to write a critical review of something will help you practice a number of writing skills that you need to be successful at University including: doing some background research to check the facts of what you are writing about; organizing information in a logical order; using verb tenses consistently throughout a paragraph; using descriptive language to make your writing more expressive; using the correct special language to write about a topic; summarizing or paraphrasing information and ideas from a text.

This unit introduces a variety of vocabulary which should enhance your ability in understanding academic reading passages in the IELTS. Also, the ability to develop a point of view clearly with relevant supporting details would also contribute to success in the discursive writing task.

In the Workplace

In the work environment, you may be asked to watch or read something and summarize it, add your opinion and/or recommendation and send to your manager or supervisor. This is known as an executive summary and is a very common form of written communication in many types of workplace.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

By the end of this Unit, you should be able to:

  • write a critical review of a documentary movie including:
    • a summary of the main points of the movie.
    • your opinion of the movie, supported by details described from the movie.
    • a recommendation to your reader whether to watch the movie or not with a supporting reason.

Teaching and Learning Activities

In this Unit, you will:

  • talk about different kinds of movies.
  • study and practice verb tenses used to recount narratives.
  • study terminology used to talk about documentary movies.
  • study descriptive language used to show opinions.
  • write your own review of a documentary movie of your choice.

LCE1010 Unit 4: Recounting Experiences

What you will learn in this Unit

In this Unit you will be learn how to tell a story from your own experience. You will learn how to structure your story so that the person listening can understand your story clearly. You will learn how to use language to present and connect your ideas so that your story is interesting and easy to follow. You will listen to, read, think and talk about the stories of some successful people to get some ideas about ways to tell your story and langauge to use.

Why this is useful for you

It is an important skill to be able to describe your own experiences in detail:

Examinations. Being asked to talk about a topic you have been given is common in English proficiency exams, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). In the second part of the three-part speaking test in IELTS, you will be given a topic, allowed time to prepare to talk about it, then given a fixed amount of time to talk about the topic. Not only will you have to take the IELTS test if you want to go on an exchange programme while you are at University, you will need to attain a satisfactory result in IELTS as an exit test as well in order to graduate.

Interviews. While you are at University, you might apply to Service Learning Programmes, Study Abroad Programmes, Internships or other programmes where you will be interviewed. After graduation, you will be interviewed for jobs. During interviews, candidates are often asked to talk about their past experiences to show why they are suitable for the programme. This is often used as both a test of your language and to test your ability to relate your own experiences to the position you are applying for.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

By the end of this Unit you will be able to:

  • present orally a story of a time you were successful in your life, using:
    • the grammar and language points practised in the Unit;
    • appropriate language; and
    • appropriate structure and organization

Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs)

In this Unit, you will:

  • study an example of a personal story to learn the structure
  • learn to use words to connect your ideas together
  • practice the appropriate use of stress in speaking
  • ask and talk about present events with appropriate and accurate use of verb tenses
  • identify and correct grammatical errors related to verb tenses in your own speaking, as well as the speaking of peers
  • prepare and present a story of a time you were successful in your life using:
    • the grammar and language points practised in the Unit;
    • appropriate language; and
    • appropriate structure and organisation
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Course Guidelines

Homework

The Lingnan University Guidelines for learning state that “For each hour of class contact, the expectation is that students will undertake 2 additional hours of personal study. Personal study may include preparation for in-class activities, completing assignments, and/ or revision, etc.” (http://www.ln.edu.hk/reg/info/englearning.pdf ). LCE1010 has four hours of class contact per week, meaning that you should spend 8 hours each week for personal study related to LCE1010. You will be given homework to do, there is the online reading and listening course to complete, there is one out of class writing coursework assignment to complete and the Independent Learning Unit also provides tasks for you to complete outside class time throughout the term.

Attendance

Generally, illness is the only reason to miss classes. If you are going to miss a class for any other reason, you should get approval from your instructor before you miss the class. In case of illness preventing attendance at classes, students must present a doctor’s letter or other acceptable documentary evidence. Every student is expected to attend a minimum 80% of classes, even taking illness and approved absences into account. Students are also expected to be punctual in attending all classes and consultations. Late coming will be noted and lateness of more than 15 minutes will result in your being marked absent from that hour of the class. An unsatisfactory attendance or habitual lateness is likely to result in failure of the course. It is not the responsibility of your instructor to remind you about your attendance and/or to warn you if your attendance is low. It is your own responsibility.

Assessment Policy

Any student who fails to be present at an in-class assessment because of illness will be given one further opportunity for assessment, provided there is sufficient documentary evidence justifying his/her absence and it is administratively possible. Only in cases approved by the class instructor and the Head of the CEAL, will students be allowed to take a make-up assessment.

Students who disagree with the awarded grade for any assessment should meet with their instructor and appeal within 5 working days after receiving the disputed grade. Appeals made after this time are not likely to be considered. When making an appeal, justification for a change of mark should be presented.

Late Submission Penalties

For each assessment, there are deadlines. Five per cent (5%) of the total possible mark will be deducted for submission each day (including public holidays) after the due date. This penalty applies to all work that is not submitted on the due date without prior approval and/or failure to produce supporting documentary evidence such as a doctor’s certificate in the case of illness.

Presentation of Work

At the beginning of each Unit of this course, there is a Task Sheet that describes the main task to be carried out in the Unit. Pay close attention to the instructions in the task sheet that tell you the task specifications and requirements. Some of your work will be submitted through Moodle. Your instructor will show you how to do this in class and there will be other support available.

Plagiarism

Please read carefully this important message from the University:

“[You should] be aware of the University regulations about dishonest practice in course work and the possible consequences as stipulated in the Regulations Governing University Examinations.”

Plagiarism is the use of other written or Internet sources without permission or acknowledgement of the author or source. This includes copying, semi-copying, re-working, or re-phrasing without acknowledgement of the author or source. The university handbook specifies harsh penalties for plagiarism. If plagiarism is demonstrated, the student concerned may receive a zero mark on that assignment and dishonest practice cases may be referred to the Student Disciplinary Committee. If you have any doubts about a piece of submitted work, you should discuss the work with your instructor before officially submitting it.

To understand more about plagiarism, what it is and how to avoid it, study and complete the mini-course “Online Tutorial on Plagiarism Awareness” on https://pla.ln.edu.hk/.

Problems with your Studies

To be successful at University, you must learn to communicate effectively with your Instructors. Your CEAL Instructor for this course is not only there to teach you in the classroom during your tutorials, they are also there to help, guide and support you in your studies. If you have any questions or problems regarding your LCE course or any other aspect of your life or studies at Lingnan, do not hesitate to tell your Instructor. Your Instructor should provide their contact details such as their office room number, telephone number and email address. You can also find the contact details of all CEAL staff here: http://www.ln.edu.hk/ceal/staff/index.php. CEAL Instructors have a certain number of Office Hours each week for student consultation. That time is intended for you to meet your Instructor, so make good use of it. The sooner you communicate any difficulties you are having, the more help your Instructor and the University will be able to give you.

Important Notes:

  1. Students are expected to spend a total of 12 hours (i.e. 4 hours of class contact and 8 hours of personal study) per week to achieve the course learning outcomes.
  2. Students shall be aware of the University regulations about dishonest practice in course work, tests and examinations, and the possible consequences as stipulated in the Regulations Governing University Examinations. In particular, plagiarism, being a kind of dishonest practice, is “the presentation of another person’s work without proper acknowledgement of the source, including exact phrases, or summarised ideas, or even footnotes/citations, whether protected by copyright or not, as the student’s own work”. Students are required to strictly follow university regulations governing academic integrity and honesty.
  3. Students are required to submit writing assignment(s) using Turnitin.
  4. To enhance students’ understanding of plagiarism, a mini-course “Online Tutorial on Plagiarism Awareness” is available on https://pla.ln.edu.hk/.

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