Spoken Communication in seminars and tutorials

Course overview

This course aims to develop students’ ability to understand academic speech and discussions on a variety of academic topics and participate actively in seminars and tutorials. Students will be involved in a variety of speaking tasks designed to improve their use of English in academic settings. These activities include simulations of seminar discussions and tutorials, role plays and problem-solving tasks. Small group/pair work maximises opportunities for interaction, thus giving individual students as much ‘speaking time’ as possible. Students will receive regular feedback on their performance and be helped to identify their strengths and weaknesses and monitor their progress.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the salient features of the Oxford University tutorial system 
  • Discuss and describe your discipline 
  • Present a clear case or position with evidence 
  • Give an educated opinion with evidence  
  • Defend your argument using justifying/evaluating language 
  • Join in confidently and contribute your ideas in a persuasive manner 
  • Speculate and hypothesize / Agree and disagree / Practise question and answer techniques 
  • Invite contributions from others / Connect your ideas to other people’s ideas (bridging techniques) / Bring a group to a consensus 
  • Interrupt politely and ask for clarification / Ask for more information / Return to the topic after an interruption 
  • Keep the discussion focused on the topic 
  • Use techniques for improving listening comprehension through the use of various media 
  • Improve your pronunciation through classroom input and self-study while working towards a goal of comfortable intelligibility 

A certificate of attendance is available upon request if you have attended at least 80% of the course

Enrolment information


For Learners with an Oxford University SSO (Single Sign-On) simply click on the enrol button next to the class that you wish to join. 

For Learners without an Oxford University SSO, or who are not members of the University, please email admin@lang.ox.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Email address and phone number
  • The name of the course you wish to study
  • The start date and time of the course
  • Your connection to Oxford University, if any (to determine course fee)

We will then provisionally enrol you onto the course and send you a link to the Oxford University Online Store for payment. Once payment is received we will confirm your place on the course.