English Conversation for Non-Native Speakers English conversation image

This course which is aimed at non-native speakers of English is intended to give participants the chance to discuss a variety of topics, including items in the news and also subjects of personal interest. A list of suggestions of subjects for discussion will be given ahead of time, and some materials provided, for instance newspaper articles, information from the internet, pictures, video clips, in order to stimulate discussion. Participants will also be invited to suggest topics for conversation. Language structures in support of a variety of situations will be covered, such as giving an opinion, agreeing and disagreeing. Pronunciation is also a key part of all classes and problems will be addressed as they arise.

This intermediate course is suitable for anyone who has passed the Cambridge First Certificate in English or equivalent.

If you are unsure whether this course is suitable for you please do contact the teacher PRIOR to enrolment for advice to avoid disappointment.

Course Programme

[Autumn Term 2015]

Week 1. Topic: Communicating with other people

  • Basic grammar check: modals; some and any; prepositions
  • Levels of language, formal and informal
  • First introductions
  • Nationalities, languages etc. in the class
  • Pronunciation: silent letters
  • Pronunciation of place names on the tube map
  • Starting a conversation
  • Discussion: what is useful or of interest in the area where you live?

Week 2. Topic: Life in London and living in London

  • Social situations vocabulary: in a bank
  • Introductions; establishing level of relationship
  • Use of pronouns
  • Pronunciation: vowel sounds
  • Countries, nationalities and languages: the use of 'the'
  • The weather: vocabulary
  • Discussion suggestion: What you expected, and what surprised you, about life in the UK

Week 3. Topic: Life in the UK and cultural differences

  • Introductions and social occasions
  • Relationships: liking and disliking
  • The prefix ‘ex-‘; the suffix ‘-mate’
  • Family and relations: your family tree
  • Personal information, comparison of adjectives
  • Say or tell?
  • Stress check
  • Discussion suggestion: What you expected, and what surprised you, about life in the UK

Week 4. Topic: Better communication

  • Asking for help in different situations
  • Comparative of adjectives: giving personal information
  • Ear training: odd one out
  • Invitations
  • Refusing / accepting
  • Text: A Greek wedding
  • Discussion suggestion: national customs or wedding ceremony

Week 5. Topic: What do we mean?

  • Approval / disapproval, use of absolutely
  • Words concerned with feeling and opinions, word building
  • Using vocabulary in situations concerned with feeling
  • Pictures indicating feelings: identifying feelings
  • Using feelings vocabulary in given situations
  • Discuss your feelings at certain happenings
  • Ear training: odd one out
  • Discussion suggestion: bring in and describe something from your country, explain the significance, meaning. Differences and similarities of cultures

Week 6. Topic: Making conversation

  • Agreeing: levels of agreement
  • Disagreeing: use of 'but'
  • Using modals
  • Giving an opinion
  • Ear training: odd one out
  • Telling the truth?
  • Discussion suggestion: Speak about an interesting place you have visited in London

Week 7. Topic: Making conversation 2

  • Polite exchanges between strangers
  • Problems: what do you say/answer?
  • Everyday expressions/organising a conversation
  • Using everyday expressions
  • Levels of agreement
  • Discussion suggestion: Speak about an interesting place you have visited in London

Week 8. Topic: Jobs, skills and characteristics

  • A job interview
  • Qualities and skills
  • Comparison of features of jobs
  • Comparison of adverbs
  • Skills, qualifications and characteristics: using modals
  • Jobs vocabulary word building
  • Discussion suggestion: advertise your chosen job to the class. Who is interested in applying? Would you employ them?

Week 9. Topic: Jobs and being out of work

  • Advantages and disadvantages: the milkman
  • Used to / didn't use to
  • Out of a job vocabulary
  • Some meanings of 'get'
  • Qualities, skills and characteristics: guessing the job
  • Jobs vocabulary: word building
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Your opinion of various jobs
  • Discussion suggestion: Making a CV and finding a job

Week 10. Topic: Holidays and celebrations

  • Invitations in different situations
  • Offers and promises
  • Adjectives and collocation
  • Christmas in London
  • A Christmas pudding recipe
  • Discussion suggestion: Christmas or celebrations in your country

[Spring Term 2016]

Topics will be suggested after Christmas. Please listen to announcements in class.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to Ms Su Peneycad (course tutor), s.peneycad@imperial.ac.uk.

Enrolment infos

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.