University of Technology Sydney

013983 Learning Academic English

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Applied Language and Literacy Studies
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is designed to develop students' academic English and academic literacies. The subject assists students in the task of reading and analysing relevant academic texts and supports students to develop the genres and grammar of academic writing. The subject additionally develops competence in spoken communication in English-speaking settings.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Read critically and identify relevant information in academic texts
b. Locate and evaluate relevant texts to support an academic argument
c. Recognise the generic stages and features of academic texts written in English
d. Produce written texts appropriate to the register and genres of academic writing
e. Reflect critically on the application of academic literacies in educational and professional contexts

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject addresses the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

1. Professional Readiness

1.3 Graduates have an advanced understanding of the theoretical basis of their professional practice.

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry

2.2 Graduates are reflective practitioners who are able to critique their own practice, and identify and respond to their own learning needs in changing workplace and social contexts.

2.3 Graduates are able to maintain active engagement with research in the field and execute a quality research based project.

3.International and Intercultural Engagement

3.1 Graduates are linguistically and culturally sensitive professionals with a broad knowledge of international practice in the field of teaching practice.

6. Effective Communication

6.1 Graduates have strong communication and interpersonal skills to mediate complex knowledge and skills for a variety of audiences.

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students will engage in a variety of learning activities, including lecture, discussion, pair and group tasks, language exercises, reading and reflection. The lecturer scaffolds the reading of research-based texts and students participate in collaborative pair/group tasks to discuss, analyse, and critique the readings. Students also analyse samples of academic assignments. Based on lecturer input and self-study, students complete weekly tasks to check their learning on key aspects of academic reading, writing and referencing. Formative feedback will be provided on tasks completed in class and outside class time.

In addition to weekly lectures and learning activities, students will read prescribed texts, locate appropriate academic resources to support written assessment tasks, and write, revise and edit their assignments. Students will access and study a range of academic learning materials available online and on the UTS Library website. They will reflect on their development as learners, and on the ways in which their knowledge from this subject can be applied across a range of academic contexts and in their professional practice as educators.

Content (topics)

The subject consists of three components as follows:

  • Understanding academic culture
  • Locating, evaluating, and analysing academic readings
  • Analysing and producing academic writing and argumentation


Assessment task 1: Summary and analysis of a journal article


a, c, d and e

Weight: 50%

1200 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Identification of generic stages and features of the text 20 a, c 2.3
Effectiveness of summary and paraphrasing 20 c 3.1
Relevance of links to academic and professional experience 20 e 2.2
Appropriateness of written academic style 20 d 6.1
Accuracy of in-text citations and reference list 20 a, d 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Literature review


a, b, c, d and e

Weight: 50%

1500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness of selected academic resources 20 b 1.3
Effectiveness of thematic synthesis of various authors’ views 20 c, d, e 3.1
Appropriateness of written academic style 30 d 6.1
Accuracy of in-text citations and reference list 30 a, d 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Recommended texts

Set textbook:

Brick, J. et al. (2016). Academic culture: A student’s guide to studying at university (3rd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.

[n.b. the earlier edition of this textbook (2011) is also acceptable]


Morley-Warner, T. (2010). Academic writing is: A guide to writing in a university context. Association for Academic Language and Learning.?

Oshima, A. & Hogue, A. (2006). Writing academic English (4th ed.). Pearson.?

Swales, J.M. & Feak, C.B. (2012). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills. University of Michigan Press.?

Other resources

Referencing: APA 7th

UTS: HELPS (Higher Education Language and Presentation Support)

UTS: Library: