The Upper Intermediate English program builds language skills necessary for participation in a wide range of social and vocational activities. During this course some work on English for Academic Purposes is introduced. Students who pass Upper Intermediate (EAP) can gain direct entry into Newcastle International College (NIC) at the University of Newcastle.
To enter the Upper Intermediate English Course students must have:
a pass in the Language Centre Intermediate English Course, or
equivalent results in the class placement test given on entry to the Language Centre; or
an overall test score of 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Students with an offer for Undergraduate programs may enter Upper Intermediate English with an IELTS score of 5.0.
Read and comprehend newspaper items and general articles
Differentiate between main points and supporting information in texts
Use reading skills to extract meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary
Understand the meaning of referents
Use understanding of syntax to comprehend longer texts
Use a variety of sentence types to convey meaning
Use and recognize coordinators and subordinators
Write narratives, descriptions, responses to questions, etc.
Write a plan for a paragraph
Write well-structured paragraphs showing unity and coherence
Follow the gist of audio and video material
Identify key points from a lecture and audiovisual material
Use context to generate meaning from unfamiliar texts
Recognise levels of formality in spoken discourse
Understand most social conversations at a natural rate of utterance
Use spoken English to fulfil all routine social needs
Participate in discussions
Draw on adequate vocabulary and conventions of English to communicate in a range of settings
Prepare and deliver oral presentations to the class on familiar topics.
The course has an integrated syllabus which is predominantly skills-based, with grammar and culture components, and is organized into nine unit themes.
Understanding vocabulary in context
Understanding cohesive devices – referents, link words
Understanding text structure - topic sentences and supporting information
Interpreting/understanding graphs and tables
Inferring meanings of unknown words
Simple note-taking skills
Introduction to research skills
Sentences - Simple, complex and compound sentences, dependent and independent clauses/of time, reason and purpose
Essay structure-Discussion essay, editing, planning- brainstorming and outlining
Mini Report-research skills, introduction to referencing, paraphrasing, internet and library research
Listening for gist/detail
Listening for text structure-main idea and supporting detail
Extracting for key information
Understanding discourse markers-Verbal (linking words, patterns) and Vocal (intonation and stress)
Using appropriate language with correct stress and pronunciation
Oral Presentations-Impromptu / Formal
Discussing/Giving opinions in small and large groups
Initiating a conversation
Review of tenses/Parts of speech
Gerunds and infinitives
Relative Pronouns/ Clauses
Appropriate Remedial Work
Cunningham, S. and Moore, P. New Cutting Edge: Upper Intermediate Longman.
Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills are assessed. Marks are weighted as follows: 25% assessment tasks in week 7; 25% class marks; 50% end of course assessment tasks.
Passing the course
Students must obtain 65% or more in three of the four skills. One may be in the 60-64% range. Each of the four components is of equal weighting. Students who pass the course are eligible to commence the English for Academic Purposes Course. Students who have an offer for an undergraduate program may progress if they have 60% or more in all four skills.
A pass in Upper Intermediate English gives students direct entry into some NIC programs.