Distance Learning






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English Language

Syllabus for pre-PhD Distance learning course on English Language

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Developed by Lusine Grigoryan, Ph.D, Associate Professor
Yerevan State University, Distance Learning Laboratory

I. Introduction
The development of the internet has now turned the computer into a communication centre. The general use of email has created new opportunities for teachers to assist learning at a distance. The course introduces and discusses the most important aspects of teaching English: teaching speaking, grammar, listening, reading and writing skills. Principles of developing the syllabus are: scientific, relevance, systematic, actual, contextual, flexible and comprehensive. The syllabus is competence- and content-based (thematic or topical) with three levels of competence: elementary, intermediate and advanced. The syllabus is learner-centered and provides students to get skills from speaking no English at all to being able to fulfill basic communication needs (giving personal information, describing daily routines, or the world around them, etc.), develop relatively strong reading abilities, synthesizing and analyzing abilities and general skills of listening, speaking, writing, and grammar. Reading is the receptive skill. Reading is focused on building vocabulary that helps listening comprehension at the later stages, particularly. Writing is the productive skill. It is focused not just at graphic representation of speech, but at the development and presentation of thoughts in a structured way. Interactive speaking situations are based on face-to-face conversations introduced in listening and speaking tasks. When we speak of listening what we really mean is listening and understanding what we hear. Two kinds of listening situations are introduced in the course: interactive (face-to-face conversations), and non-interactive (CD-s, electronic audio-visual materials).

II. Aims of the Course
The aim of the course is two staged:

  1. The goal of the fundamental stage is to teach basic knowledge of English, to have students strictly trained in fundamental language skills, and to foster students' ability to use the language for real situations, good study style and correct learning methods, and to lay a solid foundation for their studies at the advanced stage.
  2. The goal of the advanced stage is to continue the basic skills training, equip students with specialized knowledge and specialty-related knowledge, to further broaden their knowledge scope, and to better their comprehensive use of English.

III. Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course students are expected to be able to:

  1. Reading skills: recognize vocabulary; pick out key words; figure out the meaning of the words, including unfamiliar vocabulary; recognize basic syntactic patterns; get the main point or the most important information; distinguish the main idea from supporting details, etc.
  2. Writing skills: put words together in correct word order; use vocabulary correctly; use the style appropriate to the genre and audience; make the main ideas distinct from supporting ideas or information; make the text coherent, so that other people can follow the development of the ideas, etc.
  3. Speaking skills: pronounce the distinctive sounds clearly enough so that people can distinguish them; use stress and intonation patterns clearly enough so that people can understand what is said; use the correct forms of words; put words together in correct word order; use vocabulary appropriately; make the main ideas stand out from supporting ideas or information; make the discourse hang together so that people can follow what you are saying, etc.
  4. Listening skills: discriminate among the distinctive sounds in the English language; recognize stress and rhythm patterns, tone patterns, intonation contours; recognize vocabulary; detect key words; guess meaning from context; recognize basic syntactic patterns, etc.
  5. Grammar skills.

Beginners
- The Noun (singular, plural and exceptions)
- Use of articles (exceptions): a lot of, a great many, go for a walk, in the evening, in the afternoon, in the morning, at night, go to bed, go to school
- The Adjective (degrees of comparison, comparative structures) many, much, good, bad, little as… as, not so … as 
- The Adverb (degrees of comparison, comparative structures)
- The Pronoun mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs (personal pronouns)
some/any, every, no, something, somebody, somewhere, anybody, anything, anywhere, everybody,   
everything, everywhere, nobody, nothing, nowhere  (indefinite pronouns)
- The Numeral
- The Preposition about, after, with, till, behind, between, among, before, during 
- The verb (tenses)
- Present Indefinite
- Past Indefinite
- Future Indefinite
- Present Continuous
- Past Continuous 
- Present perfect
- Modal verbs - can, may, must, could
- Types of questions (general, special, alternative, disjunctive, reply)

Intermediate
- The Noun 
- Use of articles 
- The Adjective 
- The Adverb 
- The Pronoun
- The Preposition (prepositional phrases)
- The verb (tenses)
- Present Indefinite
- Past Indefinite
- Future Indefinite
- Present Continuous
- Past Continuous 
- Future Continuous
will+future,  be going to+future
- Present Perfect 
- Past Perfect
- Future Perfect
- The Passive Voice
- Modal verbs 
- Non-Finite forms of the verb: Infinitive, Gerund, Participle (I, II)
- Phrasal Verbs
- Conjunctions
- Conditional Sentences (I, II)
- Complex Object
- Sequence of Tenses
- Reported Speech

Advanced
- Word building (suffixes, prefixes, conversion, compound words)
- Adjective or Adverb (special cases)        
short - shortly    present - presently
high – highly    hard – hardly
close – closely    near – nearly
late – lately    deep – deeply
wide - widely

- Modal Verbs and Expressions
- Phrasal Verbs
- Infinitive, Gerund (-ing or to), Participle 
- Infinitive without to
would rather, had better + verb
let, make + verb
hear, see, feel, watch, notice + verb
why (not) + verb

- Expressions with Gerund
It’s a waste of time/money….    It’s a waste of time making him study.
It’s (not) worth…    It’s not worth visiting.
Give up …    He will never give up smoking.
Go on / keep on/ carry on…    Go on reading.
Can’t help …    I can’t help laughing.
Put off …    Put off working and relax.
Feel like …    I feel like going out tonight.
Look forward to …    I am looking forward to meeting you soon.
Be used to …    He is used to living in cold climate.
Be good/bad at …    He is so good at playing chess.

- Syntax
- Word order - subject + predicate + object 
- Punctuation 
- Complex subject           
- Complex object
- Conditional Sentences (I, II, III)
- Reported Speech (verbs of reporting)
tell, command, instruct, request, require, demand, order (commanding)
ask, beg invite (requesting)
ask, inquire, question (questioning)
advise, recommend, suggest (advising)
announce, report, declare, propose (announcing)
admit, accept, agree, assume believe (agreeing)

- Constructions with verbs of reporting
reporting verb + to + Infinitive
He refused to give any information.
reporting verb + that + clause
She announced that the meeting would be held at the head office.
reporting verb + verb + ing
He admitted giving the information.
reporting verb + object + to + Infinitive
They asked her to make a report.

- Adverbial clauses (cause and reason, place, purpose, manner, result, time, etc.).
- Talking about people, things, places, the time.
(asking for and giving opinions)    
Do you think/believe/consider/feel, that …
Don’t you think, that … (asking for opinions)
I’m sure/convinced, that … (certainty)
I think, believe/consider/feel, that … (certainty)
It’s likely, that … (probability) 

 - Connectors and sequence markers

IV. Methodology and Assessment
     Assessment of performance will be carried out through written assignments, specifically weekly essays and final research paper.
     Performance of students will be evaluated as follows:

  • Weekly tasks – 60%
  • Final test - 40%

V. Course content

Beginners

Week 1.  Tell me about yourself
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 2.  My personality
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 3.  Me and my family
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 4.  People around me
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 5.  My interests
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 6.  My home
 Reading, listening, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 7.  Clothes
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 8.  Shopping
Reading, listening, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 9.  Telephone Conversations
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 10. Travel and transport
Reading, listening, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 11. How much do you know about other countries
Reading, listening, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 12. Welcome to Armenia
Reading, listening, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 13. Sport and games
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 14. Health
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 15. Famous people
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.
Week 16. Final Test
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar exercises.

Intermediate
Week 1. Me in the World
Reading, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 2. How I Manage My Time
Reading, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 3. I am a Great Communicator
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 4. Appearance and Personality
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 5. Television vs. Computers
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 6. I Have Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit 
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 7. Education
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 8. I am a Tiny Part of the Universe 
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 9. I Really Enjoy Various National Cuisines
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 10. I Really Love Art and Music  
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 11. I Like Travelling and Exploring the World
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 12. I Live in a Global World
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 13. We Ought to be Nature-Wise
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 14. Generation Gap
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 15. Politics is One of the Most Discussed Topics
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 16. Final Test
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.

Advanced
Week 1. Personality Types
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 2. What is Intelligence?
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 3. What is E-learning?
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 4. Jobs and Professions
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 5. Careers Using Languages
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 6. Literary Movements
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 7. The Tourist Trade
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 8. Technology-Based Society
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 9. Nanotechnology
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 10. Biotechnology
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 11. Genetic Engineering
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 12. Environmental Class. Sustainable Development
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 13. Natural Disasters
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 14. The Impact of War on the Environment and Human Health
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 15. Business Class
Reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar exercises.
Week 16. Final test
    
References:
- Lusine Grigoryan, English Textbooks, Antares 2008-2011.
- Barron’s TOEFL, 2007.

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