English Language Education

Seminar Discussion Skills

The course has been designed to help you improve your fluency and accuracy in giving and responding to opinions and theories in an academic context.

For many international students, particularly those recently arrived in the UK, attempting to participate actively in academic seminar discussion groups can be a challenging and frustrating experience. The course has been designed to help you improve your fluency and accuracy in giving and responding to opinions and theories in an academic context. By the end of this course, we hope that you will feel more confident about participating in and even leading seminars at university or in a professional setting in the future.

Course Details

Course content

The course aims to cover key communication strategies commonly employed when engaging in seminar discussion. These will include:

  • Agreeing and disagreeing with opinions
  • Researching and forming ideas
  • Presenting an argument
  • Explaining and supporting your argument
  • Citing sources
  • Persuading others of your opinion
  • Making suggestions
  • Interrupting
  • Asking questions
  • Responding to questions

In the final week of the course, you will have the chance to put the skills you have developed into practice by leading a (short) seminar discussion on a topic of your choice from your own academic field to a small group of students.

Teaching Methods

The tutor will provide selective feedback on grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

Class size

There will be up to a maximum of 12 students in a class.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should:

  • have a greater awareness of the role of the student and the tutor within seminar discussion groups in UK universities
  • have gained confidence in participating in and even leading seminar discussion groups in the future
  • have learned some useful academic discussion phrases that can be used on their programmes in seminars or tutorials
  • be more aware of any pronunciation problems that might hinder communication

Timing and Location

Mondays from 23 October 2017 14:10pm-16:00pm (6 weeks)

Wednesdays from 25 October 2017 14:10pm-16:00pm (6 weeks)

Paterson’s Land, Holyrood Road.

Eligibility

All international undergraduate or postgraduate students currently studying at Edinburgh University. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration

Please complete and submit the following online form:

ELSIS Registration Form

The application deadline is Friday 13 October 2017.

Independent study materials