Leeds College of Art Pre-Sessional English Course 2017


July – September 2017 (specific dates TBC)


Profile of students and expectations

Students are prospective students at Leeds College of Art. They will all have achieved at least a 4.5 in IELTS before joining the pre-sessional programme at Leeds English Language School. By the end of a ten week programme of study the students will have achieved an equivalent of a 5.5 in IELTS (B2 Level)

Leeds College of Art Students receive a 10% discount on tuition fees. 

Overview of timetable and description of course elements


09:00am – 10:30am 10:45am – 12:15pm 1:00pm – 2:30pm 3pm – 4pm
Monday General English General English Academic Skills IELTS preparation
Tuesday General English General English Academic Skills
Wednesday General English General English Academic Skills Speaking club
Thursday General English General English Academic Skills
Friday General English General English


General English


The school uses the latest course books which teachers adapt to make relevant to their learners’ needs. A communicative approach is used with students working in pairs and groups to increase the amount of practice they have. Grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are taught in a way that helps students communicate in real life situations. Students can expect to learn new grammar and vocabulary every day.




  • To expand students’ active vocabulary – giving them the key words and phrases they need to talk about a variety of topics such as Media, Health, Environment, Jobs, Culture.
  • To encourage dictionary work and good learning habits when recording, reviewing and learning vocabulary.
  • To revise pre-intermediate level grammar points and extend students’ grammatical knowledge to points covered in the Intermediate level outline, including verb tenses, question forms and other structures.
  • To give oral and written controlled and freer practice of the grammar points covered.
  • To develop students’ confidence and ability in speaking skills – focusing at different times on fluency and accuracy.
  • To provide help to improve all aspects of students’ pronunciation (stress, intonation, phonemes and connected speech).
  • To develop students’ reading skills – both for gist, specific detail and pleasure.
  • To encourage students to read faster using skimming and scanning skills.
  • To encourage students to guess the meaning of words when reading.
  • To increase students’ ability to write accurately in the context of simple written exercises related to the topics covered.
  • To increase students’ writing speed to prepare them for future IELTS writing lessons/tests.
  • To raise awareness of the importance of brainstorming, planning and research when writing an essay and to encourage the use of linking words and paragraphs. The course aims to provide initial practice of writing questions that they might see in the IELTS exam such as discursive essays, describing a process and a graph/table.
  • To encourage learner autonomy and accuracy in writing by asking students to correct their own mistakes.


Academic Skills


The afternoon lessons each focus on a different academic skill: reading, writing, listening or speaking.



  • To practise planning and delivering presentations and taking part in discussions
  • To develop note-taking skills when listening to lecture/presentations
  • To develop understanding of complex texts
  • To learn about essay structures and develop techniques for constructing paragraphs


NB: There is no set textbook for the afternoon classes. Instead the course is taught using supplementary materials.


IELTS Preparation


The IELTS preparation classes focus on a different section of the exam for one hour each week, with a strong focus on improving the academic reading and writing skills which are tested in the exam.


Speaking Club


This is a mixed ability session which takes place once a week to improve fluency, pronunciation and listening skills in a more relaxed environment with the guidance and supervision of a different teacher each week.


Syllabus mapping of our intermediate level to approximate IELTS 5.5 / B2 level  


IELTS positive descriptors

Speaking (bands 5-6)

Couse elements, including assignments and extra classes
Is willing to speak at length Weekly speaking club

Week 2 taking your audience and purpose into consideration (week 2)


Uses a range of connectives and discourse markers Week 5 – Expressing support for an argument (pm)
Usually maintains flow of speech Week 1 – making and maintaining conversations (pm)

Week 7 – structure of a presentation (pm)

Week 8 – expressing opinions – organising the main content (pm)

Has a wide enough vocabulary to discuss topics at length and make meaning clear
Generally paraphrases successfully
Topic vocabulary from morning classes weeks 1 to 10 e.g. relationships (week 1), organisation (week 3), business (week 4), technology (week 5),
Manages to talk about familiar and unfamiliar topics Week 6 – describing yourself and turntaking (pm)
uses a mix of simple and complex structures
Mistakes with complex structures rarely cause comprehension problems
Week 2 – writing news report (linkers: as soon as, while, etc.)

Week 8 – relative clauses (am)

Week 10 – verb patterns (am)

Uses a range of pronunciation features with mixed control ƒ can generally be understood throughout. Intonation:  politeness – week 1 (am), week 4 – emphasis (am), week 5 – requests and question tags, week 9 – showing interest (am)
Connected speech: linking week 3 (am), weak forms week 4- have to, week 6 – pronouns, week 9 – was, were etc.(am), week 10 – auxiliaries, to for that etc. (am)
Stress: sentence stress week 4 (am), stress patterns week 7 (am), compound nouns week 8 (am0


IELTS positive descriptors

Speaking (bands 5 – 6)

Couse elements, including assignments and extra classes
presents a relevant position Week 6 – the structure of an essay (pm)
presents relevant main ideas Week 6 – the structure of an essay (pm
arranges information and ideas coherently and there is a clear overall progression Week 1 – identifying good supporting sentences (pm)

Week 2 -definition paragraphs (pm)

Week 4 – opinion paragraphs (pm)

Week 5 – problems and solution paragraphs (pm)

Week 8 – writing introductions (pm)

Week 9 – academic conclusions (pm)

uses cohesive devices effectively Week 3 – describing a process (pm)
uses paragraphing Week 6 – the structure of an essay (pm)

Week 7 – role of paragraph in an essay and paragraph structure (pm)

uses an adequate range of vocabularyƒ   Topic vocabulary from morning classes weeks 1 to 10 e.g. relationships (week 1), organisation (week 3), business (week 4), technology (week 5),
attempts to use less common vocabulary Week 3 – idioms (am)

Week 6 multi-word verbs (am)

errors do not impede communication Regular spot testing in odd weeks

Fortnightly tests in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8..

Regular feedback on written homework tasks (2 written homeworks a week with feedback)


uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms ƒ Week 2 – writing news report (linkers: as soon as, while, etc.)

Week 8 – relative clauses (am)

Week 10 – verb patterns (am)


Reading CEFR B2 descriptors
Can understand articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular stances or viewpoints Assignment

Week 2 – (pm)

Week 3 – (pm)

Week 8 – (pm)

Week 10 – (pm)

Can scan longer texts in order to locate desired information, and gather information from different

parts of a text, or from different texts in order to fulfil a specific task.

Week 1 – scanning for names (pm)

Week 7 – longer texts (pm)

Can use a variety of strategies to achieve comprehension, including reading for main points; checking

comprehension by using contextual clues.

Week 2, week 5, week 6 – reading for detailed understanding (pm)

Week 4 – predicting and sequencing (pm)

Week 5 – predicting content, skimming and scanning form information, identifying a purpose (pm)

Week 6 – detailed understanding  (pm)

Week 7 – making inferences (pm)

Week 9 – skimming for gist and reading for specific information (pm)

Week 10 – distinguishing between facts,speculation and reported opinions (pm)


Relevant Listening CEFR B2 descriptors
Can follow extended speech and complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar,and the direction of the talk is sign-posted by explicit markers. Week 1 Listening for cause and effect (pm)

Week 2 Text organisation features (pm)

Week 5 Explanations of new or difficult words (pm)

Week 7 – Signposting (pm)

Week 8 – Distinguishing between fact and opinion (pm)

Week 9 – Recognising causes and solutions (pm)

Can follow the essentials of lectures, talks and reports and other forms of academic/professional

presentation which are propositionally and linguistically complex

Week 4 recognising context, listening for specific information (pm)

Week 6 – listening for gist and specific information (pm)



Students are assessed on the basis of project work and a final exam. The assessment and the final test are equally weighted.



Students are assessed through a project which they carry out over the 10 weeks. In the final week they submit a piece of written work and give a presentation to their class and tutors. The project is assessed by tutors.

The project will be based around a topic of the students own choosing. Students will be asked to create a piece of writing of 500 words in length which incorporates research the student has done during the course from written sources. These sources must be appropriately referenced in the written assignment.


Weeks Project outline
Weeks 1 and 2 Students choose an appropriate topic and begin background reading.
Week 3 and 4 Students research the topic with the help of their tutors and provide tutors with their notes.
Weeks 5 and 6 Students write up a first draft of their paper. This is marked by tutors with feedback.
Week 7 and 8 Students write up and submit their final text for assessment
Week 9 and 10 Students prepare their presentations to be delivered at the end of the course.


Final test
The final skills test covers reading, writing and listening and is conducted in week 10 after class. The writing element will be an essay question of 200 to 250 words in length on a topic they have studied during the course. 

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