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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

English Communication Perspectives

Category 'Best Course for Career Development'
Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Area of studies: Linguistics
When: 2 year, 1-3 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Instructors: Alexandra Nagornaya, Sergey Ryabchun, Лондарева Елена Владимировна
Master’s programme: Иностранные языки и межкультурная коммуникация
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5

Course Syllabus


The overarching objective of the course is to enhance critical thinking skills, which are essential for competent communication in a variety of professional settings. These skills are developed through an in-depth conceptual and language analysis of authentic texts and video materials covering a wide range of social issues: from income inequality to educational reform. Students are systematically taught to critically assess the content of provided materials, to construct logically sound and well-reasoned arguments, to detect bias and describe their perspectives on the issues under study. Special emphasis is laid on enhancing speaking and writing skills. Students are supposed to improve and expand their specialist vocabulary and master speech patterns most commonly used in social discourses. Of particular relevance is the development of translation and rendering skills, which will be required in the students’ future professional activities.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To teach the students basic critical thinking skills through selection, analysis and discussion of materials within the framework of the course;
  • To enhance general speaking skills, to expand and improve speaking and writing vocabulary;
  • To develop reasoning skills when discussing topical social issues;
  • To develop translation and rendering skills;
  • The objective is to develop the skill of constructing a research paper.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To further develop the students’ critical thinking skills through selection, analysis and discussion of materials within the framework of the course;
  • To enhance general speaking skills, to expand and improve speaking and writing vocabulary;
  • To further develop translation and rendering skills;
  • Understand the issues underlying social problems;
  • Explain an issue comprehensively;
  • Employ evidence from different sources in conducting an analysis of an issue;
  • Describe their perspectives on the issues under consideration;
  • Construct logically sound and well-reasoned arguments;
  • Employ specialist vocabulary in oral and written speech;
  • Render original articles from Russian into English with the use of course vocabulary;
  • Conduct debates on the issues under study;
  • Produce a 3-page (1200 – 1500 words) abstract of his/her graduate paper (exploration) constructed in accordance with the norms of academic written discourse
  • Provide an introduction containing a discussion of the context of the research;
  • Provide a rationale explaining the choice of the research topic;
  • Provide a description of the aim of the research;
  • Discuss the methods used (only naming the methods is not accepted);
  • Be able to interpret the findings;
  • Be able to provide a conclusion;
  • Give a 10-minute talk on the topic of his/her graduate paper (exploration) constructed in accordance with the norms of academic spoken discourse;
  • Know business english lexical items (words and collocations) relating to the topic specified in the programme;
  • Know speaking etiquette clichés cliche in the context of business english communication
  • Know grammar structures used in the business english discourse
  • Know types and features of cultures relevant to the cross-cultural communication
  • Understand the main idea of the business texts as well as listen for specific details
  • Understand the main idea of authentic business texts, publicistic texts
  • Read publicistic texts and business correspondence for details
  • Start, maintain and end business dialogues
  • Participate in a dialogue using phrases for emphasis and reinforcement, agreement and disagreement, asking for information, expressing opinion, backtracking and correcting
  • Participate in a dialogue keeping in mind the speaking etiquette
  • Respond to the speaker's questions
  • Respond to the speaker's questions
  • Prepare and deliver presentations
  • Use lexical and speaking skills to participate in a discussion, role-play, case-study
  • Use the strategies for effective reading (reading for gist, reading for details, reading for specific information) and listening for gist and specific information
  • Use compensatory competence to solve the problems in communication caused by sociocultural issues
  • Use linguocultural knowledge about the rules of business communication in different countries
  • Use the strategies of applying the comparative analysis of cultural aspects
  • Use self-study activities to work with linguistic material (lexis, grammar, phonetics)
  • Use different resourses and literature: monolingual dictionaries, thesauruses, and dictionaries of collocations
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • 2nd year. Critical Thinking. Section 1: Inclusive Society: A Vision of the future.
    The notion of social inclusion. Mechanisms of social inclusion. Minority rights. Disability, homelessness, old age, migration and social integration. Urban environment and social inclusion. Inclusive education.
  • 2nd year. Critical Thinking. Section 2: Body Positivity: Embracing variety or justifying negligence?
    Standards of beauty in the globalized world. Body positivity as a trend, its types and forms. Media and body positivity. Body positivity and obesity, health negligence and self- promotion. Body modification.
  • 2nd year. Critical Thinking. Section 3: Early Childhood Education: Pros and Cons.
    Education in the changing world. Mental, psychological and social development. Educational systems for younger children. Early learning and social success in adult life. Early learning and mental health. Teaching skills or developing a personality.
  • 2nd year, Research English, A. General principles of academic research.
    Here we discuss the components of academic research and its general principles. The students will learn about academic honesty, plagiarism, collusion.
  • 2nd year, Research English, B. Getting started with a research project
    Getting started with a research project is never easy. There are, however, clearly identifiable stages of any research which can help a young scholar. The students will learn how to start working on the chosen topic.
  • 2nd year, Research English, C. Constructing your paper.
    Here we discuss the structure of a research paper – a term paper, a thesis, a journal paper etc. The students will learn how a paper is organised, what mistakes should be avoided.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 1. Working across cultures.
    Brief introduction to the course, Cultural awareness. The role of small talk in international business. Cultural differences in communication. Interrupting strategies. Keeping conversation going-intonation strategies. Case-study: Working across culture.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 2. Taking part in meetings.
    Managing the discussion. Sharing ideas. Presenting arguments. Dealing with interruptions.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 3. Management.
    Management and leadership styles. Work and motivation. Developing influencing skills.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 4. Networking.
    Keeping up a conversation. Paying and receiving compliments. Weak ties as the key to get a job. Case-study: Networking at an international conference
  • 2nd year, Business English, 5. Employment.
    Employment trends. The future of work. Company structure. Recruitment. Interview.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 6. Review of the main points
    Lexical test. Role-play
  • 2nd year, Business English, 7. Negotiating.
    Stages of negotiations. Negotiating styles. Dealing with conflicts. Establishing compromise Case-Study: Wildcat strike
  • 2nd year, Business English, 8. Presentations.
    Making impact in presentations. Giving formal presentation. The importance of presentations in Marketing. Analysing the voice in presentations Case-study №1: Relaunching the brand Case-study №2: Promoting new product
  • 2nd year, Business English, 9. Online Business.
    E-marketing. Customer relationship management. Dealing with complaints.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 10. Communicating on phone. Teleconferencing.
    Telephoning: communication strategies. Solving problems on phone. Holding a teleconference.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 11. Shaping the future.
    Corporate Social Responsibility. Scenario Planning. Risk management.
  • 2nd year, Business English, 12. End-of-course test.
    Review of the course. End-of-course test.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Critical Thinking
    The currents grade for the Critical thinking aspect is the average mark of all the elements of the course: test, classroom participation (aud.), homework.
  • non-blocking Research English
    The currents grade for the Research English element is the average mark of all the elements of the aspect: homework, performance in class, tests.
  • non-blocking Exam
    Итоговый экзамен представляет собой итоговую контрольную работу, выполняемую дома. Собеседование по результатам контрольной работы проводится на платформе https://us04web.zoom.us/ . К экзамену-собеседованию необходимо подключиться согласно расписанию ответов, высланному преподавателем на корпоративные почты студентов накануне экзамена. Компьютер студента должен удовлетворять требованиям: наличие рабочей камеры и микрофона, поддержка Zoom. Для участия в экзамене-собеседовании студент обязан: поставить на аватар свою фотографию, явиться на экзамен согласно точному расписанию, при ответе включить камеру и микрофон. Во время экзамена студентам запрещено: выключать камеру, пользоваться конспектами и подсказками. Кратковременным нарушением связи во время экзамена считается нарушение связи менее минуты. Долговременным нарушением связи во время экзамена считается нарушение минута и более. При долговременном нарушении связи студент не может продолжить участие в экзамене. Процедура пересдачи подразумевает использование усложненных заданий.
  • non-blocking Business English
    The currents grade for the Business English element is the average mark of all the elements of the aspect.
  • non-blocking Online
    An introduction to academic and business writing for English Language Learners, focusing on grammar, vocabulary, structure, editing, and publication. The students take the online course. The average mark of all the tests and assignments is calculated.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.25 * Critical Thinking + 0.5 * Exam + 0.25 * Research English
  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.2 * Business English + 0.2 * Critical Thinking + 0.3 * Exam + 0.1 * Online + 0.2 * Research English


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Klodawsky, F., Shaw, M., Viswanath, K., Whitzman, C., Legacy, C., & Andrew, C. (2013). Building Inclusive Cities : Women’s Safety and the Right to the City. Hoboken: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=547130
  • Wallwork, A. (2011). English for Writing Research Papers. New York: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=371393
  • Wallwork, A. (2016). English for Writing Research Papers (Vol. Second edition). Cham: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1175370
  • Гумовская Г.Н. - Английский язык профессионального общения. LSP: English for professional communication - Издательство "ФЛИНТА" - 2018 - 320с. - ISBN: 978-5-9765-2846-8 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЛАНЬ - URL: https://e.lanbook.com/book/89880

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Halpenny, A. M. (2013). Introducing Piaget : A Guide for Practitioners and Students in Early Years Education. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=634701
  • J Brown, The Little Brown H, & Th Edition. (2010). Required Texts: Text distributed via email or WebCT that needs to be printed They Say I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Graff and Birkenstein. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.135FDC9C
  • Nickerson, C., & Planken, B. C. (2016). Introducing Business English. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1067517