2023-2024 / LANG3999-1

English (Level A)


45h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in education (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


Martin Polson

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

All year long, with partial in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course focuses on reading comprehension of texts relating to education in the broadest sense.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. extract information from a controlled vocabulary text in English by
o mobilising useful linguistic and pragmatic resources,
o choosing one or more reading strategies appropriate to the task,
o adopting an appropriate attitude to reading in English as a foreign language.
This is done with a perspective of possibily integrating this information into a personal research project.

In addition, the course develops the ability to
2. reflect on their method of learning English and adapt it to make it more effective.



Learning outcomes of the learning unit


The acquisition of sufficient specialised vocabulary is a central objective of the LANG 3999 course.
By the end of the course, students will be able to :
1. mobilise sufficient lexical resources based on the 600 or so vocabulary items in the course related to the following lexical fields :
- educational sciences in the broad sense,
- the role, mission and objectives of a teaching or teaching-related research institution,
- the impact and role of the teacher,
- learner motivation,
- assessment,
- description of a school system
- the use of technology in education.

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 a polysemous word targeted in the course (be aware of the polysemy of a term).
1.3. choose the appropriate definition of a polysemous word according to the context
1.4. identify a synonymous or antonymic relationship between words.
1.5. Fill in a blank sentence with the right word according to the context.
1.6 Identify a correct definition of a word or associate a word with its definition.

2. Infer the probable meaning of an unfamiliar word in a text based on contextual clues, i.e:
- 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, for example "a cause" and "to cause")
- the semantic field of the sentence, paragraph or passage.
3. Make sense of a compound word (e.g. "learning strategy", "performance assessment", etc.)

Sentence level

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, including relative clauses reduced to -ed and -ing.
1.2 Identify a subject built 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 which element(s) of the text a reference word refers to (for example: this, that, those, such, the former, which, etc.).
2. 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).
3. Identify the functional value of sentences (assertion, explanation, example, hypothesis, generalisation, deduction, conclusion, etc.).

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

This course is not intended for pure beginners. It is an intermediate level English course in the broad sense of the term, targeting a range of Council of Europe proficiency levels, from advanced beginner A2+ to independent intermediate B1+. Students will therefore already have acquired the basics of English grammar (affirmative, negative and interrogative sentence structure in the past, present and future tenses) and basic vocabulary, for example in secondary education, evening classes, etc. Students are expected to have a receptive knowledge of the auxiliaries "have" and "be" in the past, present and future tenses, the most common irregular verb forms and at least a command of the 560 most frequent words (see the New General Service list and the learning tools provided on the website).
However, a number of fundamental basics are reviewed in the first part of the course.
This course can be supplemented by evening classes or @lter classes. For more information, go to www.islv.ulg.ac.be.



Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The schedule (every other week over both quadrimestres) enables us to use time as a learning factor. This class is based on the one hand on regular autonomous work outside of the in-person sessions and, on the other hand, on in-person activities based on students' autonomous work and introducing new content. The course is based on the reading, analysis and linguistic explanations of education-related written or audio documents(ISLV Level-A coursebook for students in the master's in educational science) and an English grammar book (GAB ISLV or GABi).

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

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Biweekly 3 hour-class.

Thorough preparation of the given assignments is key to students' progress. Here is an overview of the different tasks students will need to perform:

1° Vocabulary exercises (definitions, synonyms,...)

2. In-depth study of some grammatical structures and introduction of new elements.

2° Communicative teaching/learning entails interacting a lot. This means that students are expected to participate actively in in-class discussions. And this is only possible if students prepare classes by doing some homework.

Recommended or required readings

  • Level-A English for students in the Master's in Educational Science (ISLV), available on eCampus.
  • Reading File for students in the Master's in Educational Science (ISLV) (Readings file for the written test in January and the exam in June); available on eCampus.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Additional information:

Partial written test in January (40% of the final mark for the 1st session)

  • A reading comprehension exercise based on one or more texts from a reading file.
    Questions testing your lexical and syntactic resources in relation to the documents covered in the first term.
    Students who fail this test in January have the opportunity to retake this part in the second session (only).
Written exam in May/June (60% of the final mark for the 1st session)

  • A reading comprehension exercise based on texts not seen in class and one or more texts from a reading file
  • Questions testing your lexical and syntactic resources in relation to the documents covered in the first four months.
Second session:

The second session exam covers all the vocabulary, skills and reading files from the year (quadrimester 1 + 2), as well as a text not seen in class and not prepared beforehand.
The exam consists of :
* questions testing your lexical and syntactic resources developed throughout the course (quater 1 + quater 2).
* reading comprehension questions based on one or more texts from the reading packs ( quadrimester 1 + quadrimester 2), as well as on a text not seen in class and not prepared beforehand.

Final grade:
Students pass the course if they obtain a final mark of at least 10/20, regardless of their results in each part. However, both parts(January + June)  must be presented in order to pass the course. If the final mark (January + June) is less than 10/20 in the first session, students sit a second session examination covering the whole course (see above).




Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Pascal MAQUINAY, ISLV, English teacher, p.maquinay@uliege.be
Martin POLSON, ISLV, English teacher, mpolson@uliege.be
ISLV Office: Trifac building (B33) Level -1
04 366 46 52


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