English for Effective Communication: Listening and Speaking

Home Admissions Course Guide English for Effective Communication: Listening and Speaking

This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.


English for Effective Communication: Listening and Speaking

Welcome to ENGL 1110EED English for Effective Communication I: Listening and Speaking.

ENGL 1110EED is a three-credit, 1000-level course which emphasizes both understanding of the English language as a system for communication and the development of listening and speaking skills to apply in practical contexts. These two components are integrated in both teaching and assessment through practice and use in simulated study, work and social contexts.

Before you begin to study the course content, you need to understand how ENGL 1110EED operates and how its various parts fit together. You will find the answers to these questions in this Course Guide. Please read it thoroughly now and refer to it while you are studying the course.

ENGL 1110EED aims to develop your:

  • basic skills and knowledge in English listening and speaking;
  • English proficiency in listening and speaking in academic, social and workplace contexts.

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Communicate more efficiently in English in study, work and social contexts using a variety of listening and speaking skills;
  2. Identify main and supporting points in spoken texts;
  3. Demonstrate your understanding of the characteristic features of spoken text organization and of a coherent organization;
  4. Use key features of pronunciation to increase intelligibility and persuasion;
  5. Present your views orally on information presented in spoken texts.

The following table provides an overview of the course and suggests the amount of time to allow for completing each unit. However, as we each have our own pace of study, this schedule is only a guide. You can adjust it to fit your personal needs more closely. The estimated time, on average, which you need to spend on this course is eight to ten hours per week – although this will clearly vary depending on your proficiency in English. This estimate includes time for reading the study units and carrying out the practice activities in them, listening to/watching the audio-visual materials, writing your assignments, reviewing the study materials, attending the tutorials and preparing for your final examination.


UnitTitleWeeks of workAssessment
1First encounters in social and work settings3 weeks 
2Aids to understanding in spoken texts3 weeksAssignment 1
3Working on intelligibility3 weeks 
4Academic listening and speaking skills3 weeksAssignment 2
5Speaking publicly with assurance and purpose3 weeks 
 Revision1 week 
Total 16 weeks2 assessments

ENGL 1110EED consists of this Course Guide, five study units, assignments, audio recordings and video clips — all of which are provided by HKMU.

The Course Guide tells you briefly what the course is about, what it contains and how you can work through it. It also gives you some information about tutorials and assessment.


Study units

As you saw in the 'Course overview', ENGL 1110EED contains five study units involving three to four weeks' work each. In total, the course involves seven two-hour tutorials which add up to 14 contact hours.

Units 1 to 2 deal with communication in the social context including in academic or work environments as well as in less formal situations such as gatherings with friends. The general focus is on developing active listening skills and an understanding of text organization in order to become a more coherent and confident communicator.

Unit 3 introduces English pronunciation features. The focus of the unit is on intelligibility with the aim of developing effective telephone communication skills as well as effective oral presentation skills, especially when talking about occupational areas.

Units 4 and 5 are concerned with both academic and work-related English. The focus is on developing the necessary skills to listen to and understand lectures or shorter talks as well as on learning to make an effective contribution in group discussions, whether in tutorials or in business meetings. Interview skills and oral presentation skills are also covered in these units.

Each unit includes specific objectives as well as a very wide range of practice activities to help you to improve your English language skills and develop effective communication skills in academic, work and social settings.


Set text and recommended books

There is no recommended set text for the course.

However, for ENGL 1110EED — and indeed all your degree courses in English — you will need a good English dictionary. We recommend either the current edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English or Collins Cobuild English Dictionary or the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

Also, if you feel the need to improve your grammar, we suggest you consult: Collins Cobuild English Grammar English (2011), London: HarperCollins.


Audio-visual material

The course includes audio recordings which give you an opportunity to practise speaking and listening skills, and you are directed to them at the appropriate points in each unit. This course also includes video clips which are used primarily to develop your skills in non-verbal communication.

These recordings and videos can be accessed via the Online Learning Environment (OLE) under 'multimedia'.


Assignment File

This file gives you details of what is required in your assignments, their due dates, how many marks each is worth, and how each will be graded. Assignments must reach your tutor on or before the due date. Please read the Student Handbook for the University's policy on late assignments.

Your tutor

Before the course starts you will be advised by the HKMU Registry of the name, address and phone number of your tutor. Your tutor will:

  • conduct tutorials for your group;
  • organise discussion forums on the OLE (Open Learning Environment) to which you are expected to make active contributions;
  • assess and comment on your assignments;
  • be available at certain times to help you by phone. (You will be advised of these times separately.)


There are seven tutorials of two hours to be conducted at regular intervals throughout the course. They are intended to supplement what has been studied in the units, especially the development of speaking skills which is a key aim in this course. Tutorials also provide the conditions for developing a community whose aims are to support independent learning efforts, collaboratively find answers to questions or problems, and generally motivate learning. For this reason, students are strongly encouraged to attend the tutorials.

The first session will be an introduction to the course and may take a different form from that of the other tutorials. The times, dates and locations of the tutorials will be sent to you before the semester starts, and you will receive a Tutorial Manual which will outline topics and activities for your tutorial group and tutor to work on at each session. To benefit fully from the tutorials you will need to have studied the relevant unit(s), including the practice activities, beforehand.

We recommend the following strategies for working through ENGL 1110EED. Remember to contact your tutor for assistance and advice if required.

  1. Read this Course Guide thoroughly.
  2. Organize a study schedule. Refer to the course overview and to the suggested Study Schedule provided by your Course Coordinator for more details. Note the minimum time you are expected to spend on each unit and how the assignments relate to the units. You need to gather together all this information in one place, such as your diary or a wall calendar.
    When you have created your own study schedule, do all you can to stick to it. The major problem that students face is falling behind with the course work. If you get into difficulties with your schedule, please let your tutor know before it is too late to help.
  3. Turn to Unit 1 and read the overview for the unit.
  4. Work through the unit, carrying out the activities including taking part in the forum discussions on the OLE. Use the audio-visual material when indicated. Attempting the activities, and checking your responses against the feedback provided, is very important for developing your language skills. Check your understanding at the end of each section of the unit.
  5. Keep a note of any problems that you encounter and discuss them with your tutor as soon as possible. We also recommend that you form a study group with students on the course to practice with, discuss course content with or get support from when you are facing some difficulties or lack of motivation. It is important to create a strong support network when studying alone and to gather several types of advice or ideas, including that of the tutor.
  6. Follow the same strategy for each unit in the course, submitting the assignments when required. You will learn a lot by doing the assignments and by studying carefully your tutor’s comments on them.  We also recommend as far as possible that you practise your assignment speaking tasks in front of a real audience, with your study group for example. This will give you confidence and practice for the final speaking examination as well as a real sense of the communication task at hand. The assignments have been designed to help you to meet the objectives of the course, and therefore to pass the examination. The assignments are also closely linked to the activities in the units so you get several opportunities to practice before submitting your assignment tasks.
  7. After completing the last unit, review the course and prepare for the final examination.

To complete ENGL 1110EED successfully you are required to pass both the continuous assessment (the assignments) and the examination.



There are two assignments for continuous assessment purposes in this course. Each assignment accounts for 20% of the total course grade. Detailed information on the questions, how to approach them and the submission dates are provided in the Assignment File.

In addition, students are expected to participate in the online forum discussions set by the tutor throughout the course on the Online Learning Environment (OLE) platform. Active participation will help them to meet the overall course objectives as well as to get useful practice in gathering ideas, answering questions and developing a point for the final speaking examination.


Final examination

The examination at the end of ENGL 1110EED has a value of 60% of the total mark for the course.

The final examination assesses listening and speaking skills. If you have completed the assignments, have actively participated in the online discussion forums and have acted on the tutor's feedback on your assignments, you should be well prepared for it. Further information about the examination, including a specimen examination paper, will be sent to you later in the course.

We hope that you find the course interesting and useful. The effort you put into studying it will be worthwhile, as good communication skills can help you to perform more effectively in academic, work and social situations.

We wish you the best of luck with your studies.

Ms Lorraine de Beaufort (BA, PGCE, MA, Master 2) taught English for seven years at the Centre for English and Additional Languages at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Before that, she worked as a language instructor and teacher trainer in China, South Korea, England and Macau in a variety of educational settings including universities, teacher’s colleges, secondary schools and language centres. Her professional centres of interest are: independent learning including student motivation and attitudes towards independent learning, learner training, online tutoring and the role of advisor in self-access centres, designing online materials and resources for self-access learning.

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