2023-2024 / LANG1002-1

English applied to Public Health


10h Th, 10h Pr, 10h Mon. Read.

Number of credits

 Master in public health (120 ECTS) (new programme)2 crédits 


Jérôme Gaillard, Martin Polson

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course is intended for students of the Master's degree in Public Health Sciences.

A placement test is organized at the beginnning of the second semester. This test aims at (1) giving students a chance to assess their level and (2) creating groups based on the students' level and adapting the teaching method (same material, same final exam but different teaching methods based on each group's needs and possibilities).

The course is based on a syllabus and consists mainly in analysing and discussing various texts and articles as well as their linguistic content.


Learning outcomes of the learning unit


The acquisition of sufficient specialised vocabulary is a central objective of the course.
By the end of the course, students will be able to :
1. mobilise sufficient lexical resources on the basis of the 300 or so vocabulary items in the course related to the following lexical fields:
* public health in the broad sense
* the role, mission and objectives of public health institutions or public health-related research,
* careers in public health
* epidemiology
* vaccination
* cancer
* mental health

description of graphics/visuals/ trends

These lexical items are tested as follows:
1.1 Identify an intruder word among a group of words belonging to the same semantic field (identify synonyms targeted in the course).
1.2. identify the different possible meanings of the same polysemous word (be aware of the polysemy of a term).
1.3 Identify a synonymous or antonymic relationship between words.
1.4. Complete a fill-in-the-blank sentence with the right word according to the context.
1.5 Identify a correct definition of a word or associate a word with its definition.

2. Infer the probable meaning of an unknown word encountered in a text on the basis of contextual clues, namely:
* its morphology (affix, root) and/or proximity to French
* whether or not it is associated with another noun (compound word)
* its function in the syntax of the sentence (i.e. to distinguish when a word is used as a noun or a verb, e.g. 'a cause' and 'to cause')
* the semantic field of the sentence, paragraph or passage.
3. Making sense of a compound word (e.g. "health outcome", "performance assessment", etc.)
Sentence level
1. Understand sentence syntax, i.e. work out who does what (to what, to whom in the sentence).
1.1. Differentiate between a main clause, a subordinate clause and a relative clause.
1.2 Identify a subject based on a nominalisation (e.g. "Reading is important"), including in complex sentences.
1.3. Determine whether a sentence is active or passive.
1.4 Identify the modality used by the author. (must, should, may, might, etc.) and its meaning.
1.5 Identify the meaning of the cohesive elements that mark the relationship that the author establishes between the information in the sentence (linking words: although, because of, despite, etc.).
Paragraph level
1. Identify the relationship that the author establishes between the information in the text (i.e. identify the meaning of his/her use of adverbs of addition, contrast, causality, judgement or degree of agreement with the truth of the statement).
2. Insert a sentence or clause in the right place, using contextual clues and the logical organisation of the text.

In terms of text attack skills
1. Locate important information or identify the main ideas in a text, i.e. those around which the text is structured,
Using in particular
* elements of the paratext
* knowledge of the usual paragraph structure and conventions of the text in question.
Operationalisation :
1.1 Identify the main ideas (e.g. by associating a subtitle with a paragraph, producing a subtitle for a paragraph, selecting an appropriate title).
1.2 Identify a correct summary of the text or part of the text, including the important information or main ideas.
1.3 Identify a correct paraphrase of a passage.
1.4 Identify an idea missing from the text or part of the text.
1.5. identify a correct inference from the information in the text.

2. Choose and apply one or more reading strategies appropriate to the task in hand, i.e. previewing, skimming, scanning, close reading, rereading or omitting parts of the text, using the dictionary, etc.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Considering its objectives, the course cannot be regarded as an introduction to the basics of the English language. Therefore, it is essential for anyone taking the course to have a basic grounding in general English language and grammar (secondary school level).

For those who would meet with some difficulties because of a lack of knowledge of the English language, they can use the following options to consolidate their learning:

- @LTER & Conversations: Our distance learning programme for foreign languages (for further details: https://www.islv.uliege.be/cms/c_10389626/fr/islv-cours-en-ligne or 04/366.55.17)

- GABi (Grammaire Anglaise de Base Intercative), available on eCampus.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Reading and systematic anylisis of authentic literature in your field of specialty. Highlighting language structures and vocabulary specific to scientific literature in English.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The course takes place during the 2nd semester in two-hour sessions.

On top of these two-hour weekly sessions, students are expected to work weekly on their own (preparation of texts and exercises, study of the grammar, revision of the vocabulary learned in class). Such preparation work varies in time depending on the students' previous knowledge.

Although the majority of sessions are in person, some activities may take place online.

Recommended or required readings

- Coursebook English for Public Health Studies, availbaible on the course's eCampus page as of February 1st.
-Students can also purchase the Grammaire anglaise de base (with exercises and keys) written in French (ISLV, ULiège Edition). It is available on the Sart-Tilman campus (Magasin des Presses Universitaires).

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Additional information:

June exam, second session in August:

Written exam consisting of:

  • reading comprehension of an unseen article (True/Falses, MCQ).
  • MCQs on the language highlighted in class (vocabulary and grammar).
  • The final grade is calculated with the standard setting system.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

2 groups taught on Friday in the second part of the year.


Jérôme Gaillard (course coordinator and teacher), jgaillard@uliege.be 
Martin Polson (teacher), mpolson@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs