This is an outline of the generic English Language Support Programme (ELSP) for UEA students. It has the theme and learner outcomes for each session.

Some sessions are accompanied by online activities. Look for the ⭐ Extra activities links.

For more information, see the ELSP page on the UEA website.


1. Introductions

Be familiar with how lectures commonly begin and how to use this information to facilitate understanding of the content.

Extra activities

2. Digressions

Be aware of how lecturers commonly digress from the core content and how to identify these digressions.

3. Data & statistics

Be aware of the common use of statistics and data are used in lectures. Be more familiar with the ways of presenting data as support for claims.

Extra activities

4. Lecture structure

Be aware of common patterns of organisation of information within lectures and how this facilitates better comprehension of the content.

Extra activities

5. Conclusions

Be familiar with how lectures commonly end and how to use this information to facilitate understanding of the previous content.


1. Phonemes

Raise awareness of phonemes in British English focusing on vowel sounds. Look at ways of developing independent learning strategies for improving pronunciation of phonemes.

Extra activities

2. Word stress

Identify how spelling relates to phonological units in multi-syllable words. Recognise common stress patterns in two-syllable and multi-syllable words.

Extra activities

3. Sentence stress

Identify stress patterns at sentence level. Examine how stress can influence meaning in longer utterances.

Extra activities

4. Intonation

Review how change in pitch can influence meaning in English. Practise common intonation patterns.

5. Connected speech

Identify some key features of connected speech. Practise weak forms and liaison features of spoken English.


1. Strategies for improving comprehension

Understand the importance of prediction in reading. Be able to use text clues to assist comprehension of academic articles.

Extra activities

2. Importance of vocabulary knowledge in reading

Be aware of the relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension. Understand the importance of general reading to improve vocabulary. Be able to use context and co-text to understand lexis.

Extra activities

3. Critical Reading I: Argument (position and reasoning)

Understand what a critical approach to reading is. Be able to identify an argument in an academic text

Extra activities

4. Critical Reading II: Conclusions (explicit and implicit)

Understand the difference between conclusions and overall argument. Be able to identify both explicit and implied conclusions within academic texts

5. Critical Reading III: Framing an issue

Understand how figurative language is used to frame concepts/theories/ideologies. Be able to identify conceptual metaphor within academic texts.


1. Experiences of learning English. Motivation for learning English

Be aware of common difficulties in learning and speaking a second language. Be able to communicate and reflect on own difficulties. Understand the role of motivation in improving speaking ability.

2. Intercultural communication. Functional English

Understand the inherent problems with communicating across cultures. Understand the functional aspect of communication and use associated strategies to speak more effectively.

3. Giving definitions/explanations

Understand common ways of defining and explaining academic terms. Be able to define and explain abstract and complex terms using a variety of strategies.

4. Agreeing and disagreeing

Understand the conventions of agreeing and disagreeing in academic English. Be able to use language and strategies to contribute to discussions more effectively.

5. Presenting

Learn how to give an effective, clearly structured and designed presentation that elaborates on content and uses appropriate gestures, body language and visual aids. Learn how to recognise and respond to questions from the audience.


1. Academic style/Text types

Understand the basic conventions of academic writing style. Be able to recognise the main types of written text that academic courses commonly require.

Extra activities

2. Academic vocabulary

Identify the difference between formal and informal vocabulary. Be able to use tools to help build up a working vocabulary for their discipline.

Extra activities

3. Using sources of information

Become familiar with the reasons and conventions for using other people’s work in your own writing. Understand the role of synthesis in using sources.

Extra activities

4. Hedging

Be aware of the use of and reasons for hedging in academic writing. Be able to understand and use hedging language in your own writing.

Extra activities

5. Taking a critical approach

Understand what defines a critical approach to writing. Be able to understand and use evaluative terms and phrases in your own writing.

Extra activities