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English Language and Communication Skills for Public Services

Level 4, 20 Credits.

Available Dates:

Not Presently Available.

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This course will raise awareness of linguistic issues that have a bearing on effective and professional communication within UK Public Services. It will cover comprehension of public service texts and dialogue, appropriate and correct use of English including vocabulary associated with public services and idiomatic expressions and professional communication skills like telephone and letter writing techniques. It will also raise awareness of students’ own accents and UK regional accents.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are fluent in English but wish to improve their communication skills for the purpose of working for or interacting with UK public services including as public service interpreters. It may help students who are considering sitting the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) examination to assess whether their English is at a level compatible with passing the examination.

Learning and Teaching

Students will work on translations into English of public service texts from past DPSI papers and receive feedback on their written English. Through role-plays, they will practice dialogues that include terminology frequently used in public service scenarios. They will be given term banks that they can continue to develop through reading and research of unfamiliar terms they encounter in translations or role plays. They will practice paraphrasing of terms that have no direct equivalent in other languages. They will also practice telephone techniques and formal letter writing. Their class contributions will be monitored to help them develop public speaking skills and confidence through summarising, explaining and describing as well as the use of idiomatic English and different levels of formality.

Coursework and Assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

You will not have formal examinations but you may have class tests. You may be asked to write assignments, keep a course journal or put together a portfolio. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.

For this course students will be asked to write a formal letter, answer questions on a speech to test aural comprehension and participate in role plays, class or group discussions, readings or presentations to assess oral competence and public speaking.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

Students are advised to read articles on public service topics that can be found in the media or the websites of specific public service bodies.

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on (029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.