Department of English

Courses offered by the UPE

The Unit for Professional English offers courses and workshops for Uppsala University employees. These can take various forms: long-term courses (roughly 15 hours over the course of two months), short-term courses (roughly 15 hours over the course of two or three weeks), and workshops (half-day or full-day).

We design and offer new courses as our resources permit and as interest is expressed. We also develop custom courses for specific departments within the university. If our current courses do not suit your needs, feel free to contact us to discuss what courses you would like to see offered. Here are the regular courses we currently offer. See below for more information about each of them.

Registration

To register for a course, download the course application here, print it, fill it in, and have your head of department (or the equivalent) sign it, guaranteeing that your department will pay the fee for the course. Then scan the form in and send it to upe@engelska.uu.se from your own university email address. This is important, since we have to be able to respond to your application.

Rules that apply to all regular UPE courses

  • Course registration works on a first-come, first-served basis. A participant is not considered to be registered until they have submitted an application form signed by their head of department or equivalent. It is fine to express interest in a course prior to getting the head of department’s signature, but everyone submitting a completed form will be placed ahead in the queue.
  • A participant may withdraw from the course and receive a full refund up until the day the course begins. At that point, their department will be billed, regardless of whether that individual attends the course or not.
  • A participant who failed to complete a course in the past may apply to re-take the course in the future. In the event that there is an open spot on the course when it starts, s/he may take the course without paying the fee again.
  • A participant must be present for at least 66% of the classroom hours and complete all of the course assignments in order to qualify for a certificate of completion.

Mastering Academic Writing

Description

At Uppsala University, researchers in a wide variety of academic disciplines are asked to communicate and publish in English. Being able to successfully produce academic texts in English has thus become increasingly important.

This course is designed to help university staff improve their writing in formal English genres such as research articles. The course focuses on text structure, grammar, vocabulary and register awareness. The course also introduces corpora (i.e. large databases of language data) as a tool to help participants improve their academic writing in English. During this course, participants produce texts and submit these for feedback (which focuses on language proficiency and the effectiveness of the presentation, rather than on the subject of the text). Upon completing the course, participants will have enhanced their understanding of:

  • General English proficiency (how to find the right word or avoid common grammatical errors)
  • Register (how to write in a style that is appropriate for academic discourse)
  • Reader-friendliness (how to write an accessible text)
  • Structure (how to organize a text)
  • Genre-specific texts (how to write clear and effective abstracts, for example)

Format

This course consists of five meetings of three hours each, spread out over three weeks. The meetings involve a combination of lecture, discussion, and practical language training. Participants do homework assignments after each class, ranging from shorter texts to grammar exercises. Participants should be prepared to do approximately 20 hours of work, in addition to the time spent in class.

Terms

The course is open to all university employees and can accommodate up to sixteen participants. The cost per participant is 4000 SEK, to be paid by the employing department.

When the course is offered next

This course will be taught next by Tove Larsson in April 2018, on the following dates: 10/4, 12/4, 17/4, 24/4, 26/4. The deadline for application is 27 March. If you are interested in receiving course announcements, please contact us.

Mastering Spoken Communication

Description

This course is designed for university staff who would like to improve their skill in spoken communication in English. The course, which is appropriate for individuals at any level of proficiency, has four main areas of focus: vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, and sensitivity.

Participants work on mastering the most common and useful words and phrases in spoken English, with a focus on conversation and important functions such as making requests. Participants also study and practice the sounds of English, with a focus on the more challenging ones, and work on improving their prosody (intonation, stress, and rhythm). Comprehension exercises feature samples of speech from speakers with different dialects and different first languages, in order to expand participants’ comprehension of different types of speakers and different rates of speech. Emphasis is placed on dealing with potentially problematic scenarios, and sensitivity to norms of language behavior which can vary between cultures.

Each lesson is grounded in a relevant area of linguistic theory, which is explained clearly to help participants achieve a better understanding of how language works. Throughout the course, there are opportunities to practice, in order to increase participants’ comfort level in speaking English. However, the course is not primarily a conversation course. The aim of the course is to equip participants with a better understanding of how spoken English works and with tools for continuing to develop their proficiency.

Format

This course consists of seven meetings of two hours each, meeting once a week for seven weeks. The meetings involve a combination of lecture, class discussion, and group exercises for warming up and practicing the material. Participants do six homework assignments, ranging from making recordings to writing and practicing dialogues. Participants should be prepared to spend about 15 hours on the course in addition to the time spent in class.

Terms

The course is open to all university employees and can accommodate up to sixteen participants. The cost per participant is 4000 SEK, to be paid by the employing department.

When the course is offered next

The course will be taught next by Gregory Garretson in March 2018, on the following dates: 26/2, 1/3, 5/3, 8/3, 13/3, 15/3, 19/3. The deadline for application is 12 February. If you are interested in receiving course announcements, please contact us.

Writing in English at Work

Description

The university has always been an international work environment and never more so than today. The importance of English as a working language has grown with Uppsala University’s internationalisation programme, and this can be stressful for many staff members. The Unit for Professional English has designed a course for administrative staff which focuses on written communication in typical work-related situations. Course participants will reactivate and develop general English skills, as well as learn and practice current university terminology and conventions for email correspondence.

Format

This course consists of seven weekly meetings of two hours each. Much of the material is generated by the participants themselves. The meetings involve a combination of lecture, discussion, and practical language training. Participants do three written homework assignments. Participants should be prepared to spend about 20 hours on the course in addition to the time spent in class.

Terms

The course is open to all administrative staff and can accommodate between four and fifteen participants. The cost per participant is 4000 SEK, to be paid by the employing department.

When the course is offered next

This course will be taught by Christer Larsson in March/April 2018, on the following dates: 8/3, 15/3, 22/3, 5/4, 12/4, 19/4, 26/4. The deadline for application is 22 February. If you are interested in receiving course announcements, please contact us.

Speaking English at Work

Description

Designed specifically for administrative staff, this course focuses on spoken communication in common work-related situations. Course participants will learn and practice spoken English for professional purposes, including current university terminology. Situations such as making and answering phone calls, introducing oneself or others and being polite in English will also be addressed. Due to the growing importance of English as a working language at Uppsala University, the course also teaches and practices strategies for managing live spoken communication with the aim of building confidence and improving fluency and clarity in speech.

Format

This course consists of seven weekly meetings of two hours each. Much of the material is generated by the participants themselves. The meetings involve a combination of classroom instruction, discussion, and practical language training. Participants prepare and deliver one short presentation, do smaller spoken class assignments and participate in classroom discussions. Participants should be prepared to spend about 15 hours on the course in addition to the time spent in class.

Terms

The course is open to all administrative staff and can accommodate between four and fifteen participants. The cost per participant is 4000 SEK, to be paid by the employing department.

When the course is offered next

This course will be taught by Christine Mackay Tircomnicu in March/April 2018, on the following dates (Tuesdays): 6/3, 13/3, 20/3, 27/3, 10/4, 17/4, 24/4. The deadline for application is 20 February. If you are interested in receiving course announcements, please contact us.

Delivering Successful Research Presentations

Description

This course is designed to teach effective presentation techniques and strategies for scholars presenting their research in English. Presenting papers at international conferences is a central activity by which researchers communicate with a wider academic community and elicit feedback on their work. It is a very demanding undertaking which requires the ability to express ideas with authority and credibility in English, under severe time constraints and in the manner expected by the international community. The aim of this course is to prepare researchers to give such presentations by increasing their awareness of best practices in content selection, clarity of presentation, visual support, verbal delivery, body language, and dealing with questions.

Format

This course consists of six meetings of two (occasionally three) hours each, over the course of three weeks. The meetings involve a combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on practice, culminating in full-length conference presentations under simulated conference conditions. Participants prepare and deliver two presentations (one 5-minute and one 20-minute presentation), and do five short homework assignments. Participants should be prepared to spend about 20 hours on the course in addition to the time spent in class.

Terms

The course is open to all research personnel (professors, lecturers, researchers and doctoral students) and can accommodate between four and sixteen participants. The cost per participant is 5000 SEK, to be paid by the employing department.

When the course is offered next

This course will be taught by Gregory Garretson in April 2018, on the following dates: 9/4, 12/4, 16/4, 20/4, 26/4, 3/5. The deadline for application is 26 March. If you are interested in receiving course announcements, please contact us.

Writing Research Proposals

Description

Writing research proposals has become a routine activity in academia today. This is made harder for many by the requirement that most research and funding applications have to be written in English. The Unit for Professional English has designed a workshop-based course to help employees at Uppsala University with the linguistic and rhetorical skills required to write research proposals in English. 

The course focuses on the rhetorical strategies used in different parts of research proposals (such as summary, description, analysis, discussion, reflection and statement), each of which demands a certain kind of vocabulary, register, and written style. The workshops will focus on the genres of writing that are most often required in research proposals: project summaries and descriptions, methodology sections, literature surveys, articulations of the relevance of the proposed research, and neutral descriptions of the competence of the researcher or research team. 

Participants may use actual research proposals as the material circulated for the workshops or they can practice these forms of writing in a hypothetical proposal. The course does not help participants with the content of their proposals but, rather, aims to develop the skills required to write clear, convincing proposals in English.

Terms

The course is open to all research personnel (professors, lecturers, researchers and doctoral students) and can accommodate between four and ten participants. The cost per participant is 6000 SEK, to be paid by the employing department.

When the course is offered next

There are currently no plans to offer this course during the 2017-2018 academic year.