School of Arts

Academic Learning in English

Effective Writing and Research for the Social Sciences 

INTRODUCTION to Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 110 and Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 120

As new students in an academic institution, you will probably realise that you are not exactly sure how to write in a way that your lecturers expect of you and what they would accept as good academic writing. If you develop this knowledge, know what is expected of you and how to fulfil those expectations, then you will be better equipped to participate in the academic world. If you know both how to structure your academic writing and to use language according to existing conventions in the university, then you will achieve better marks for academic writing. You will be able to gain access to, participate in, and have influence and power in the academic environment.

However this module is based on the well-established principle that before effective writing can be achieved, it is essential that every-one has to learn to read with understanding and comprehension especially of academic texts (which are factual and not stories). Therefore this course will carefully and thoroughly analyse a number of texts in order to expose the structure and language of standard academic writing. The content of the texts is of an easily understood nature, as this is not the focus of the course, but is, of course, relevant.

It is essential that you attend all classes. This module is a ‘cumulative’ one where each class builds on the last and missing one class can seriously affect your performance and your final result. If you miss a class which discusses and defines a concept which is used all the time through the course, you will always be behind and eventually will lack understanding. One of the best predictors of failure in this type of course is bad attendance. Another good predictor of failure is not handing in the written work required on time (or not at all). The course requires very definite commitment.

NOTES ON Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 110 AND Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 120

  1. Both these modules will be offered this first semester and second semesters.
  2. You must do and pass Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 110 be-fore you can register for Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 120.
  3. Make sure what you are registering for at the beginning of the year. Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 110 or Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 120 or both. If you register for both don’t forget to come to the Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 120 classes in the second semester! A lot of students did this last year! On the other hand if you only register for Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 110 it does not mean that you will automatically be admitted to Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 120.
  4. This course is not like “English” at school. It is here to help you understand what is required of you to read and write at university. It is not a literature course, like English studies here at university. It is an academic literacy course which should help you to get better marks in your other subjects.
  5. If you are registering for the PPL program, Academic Learning in English (ACLE) 110 is compulsory.
  6. The module is taught in small groups of about 20 students and you are required to add your name to one of the groups which will be on display in the old main building in the corridor around room 7 and the temple room 29. These sheets will be put up early in the 1st week of term. Keep looking – first come first served. You need to select a group whose class times do not clash with your other subjects. No absence for clashes will be allowed.
  7. It is essential that you attend all classes. Each class is built on the previous one and missing one will seriously affect your performance and results. You are required to commit to this course: it is not a sloppy soft option!
  8. The ‘duly performed’ requirement of these modules which will allow you to write the final exam is a passing class mark of 50% or more. It will be extremely difficult to achieve this if you don’t hand in all the written work required.
  9. Lectures for these modules will start in the 2nd week of term.

Why should I take Academic Learning in English (ACLE)?

During the course you will develop skills that will set you up for academic success!

By the end of this module you will understand:

  • The purposes of the academic genre
  • How these purposes determine the structure and language of the genre
  • What is required and expected of you in academic writing
  • How language choices affect the way a message is received
  • The purpose and requirements of basic referencing.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Read with understanding of what writers are trying to do with their structural and language choices
  • Write effectively and coherently within the structural and language conventions of the academic genre
  • Write with an understanding of the impact of your structural and language choices





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John 12, OMB0332606169PMB
Neer Chetty (Admin) 16, OMB0332606169PMB