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Language Acquisition 1: From Scratch to Script



  1. Writing: This introductory course to writing aims to familiarise you with the grammatical and stylistic features of formal texts in English. Some of the topics we will be dealing with are formal register, cohesion, writing introductions and conclusions, using reference books, and acknowledging one’s sources. Furthermore, we will discuss those areas of English grammar that you need to become an accurate writer. We will expect you to prepare different writing, spelling and punctuation, style and grammar tasks at home, which we will then discuss in tutorial. You will also be asked to frequently hand in short writing assignments; these will be commented upon and marked. The weekly lectures provide invaluable background information to topics relevant to the writing process. We hope that at the end of the course you will feel more confident about your writing skills.
    1. Language laboratory: The aim of the first semester Language lab sessions is to help you improve your pronunciation of English consonant and vowel sounds by means of practice. However, practising individual sounds is obviously not enough. We will therefore also look at words that are often mispronounced, and we will practice stress. In this way, your English will gradually sound more natural. Finally, you will practise your listening comprehension at home by doing exercises on Blackboard. At the test, your pronunciation and listening skills are tested.

Teaching method

One-hour lecture and two-hour seminar per week.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students

  • are aware of the differences between spoken and written English;

  • have knowledge and understanding of the grammatical and stylistic features of academic texts and they have acquired the terminology needed to discuss these features;

  • are able to write short academic essays in grammatically and stylistically appropriate English.

Required reading

  • Davidson, George. ed. Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. London: Penguin, most recent edition.

  • Gussenhoven, C. & A. Broeders. English Pronunciation for Student Teachers. Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff: meest recente druk. [Brits Talenlaboratorium]

  • Kolln, Martha. Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects. New York: Pearson Education, 2007.

  • Laaken, M. van der et al. Writing Better English. Bussum: Uitgeverij Coutinho, 2001.

  • Lea, Diana. Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English. Oxford: Oxford University Press: meest recente druk.

  • Longman’s Dictionary of English Language and Culture, meest recente druk.

  • From Scratch to Script: Texts and Assignments Language Acquisition 1, reader available at Studiepunt Letteren.

Test method

  • Written test with multiple choice questions on the grammar, punctuation, spelling and stylistics covered in Kolln and in the lectures (40%).

  • Pronunciation test in the language laboratory (15%).

  • Listening test in the language laboratory (10%).

  • Sverage mark of four writing assignments, handed in during term (35%).
    If the mark for one of these four course components is lower than 5.0, this component cannot be compensated. The student will be allowed to resit the failed course component in August.

Time table

The timetable will be available from June 1st on the Internet.


English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or by mail:


Students can register through U-twist before 15 July. After 15 July students can only register through the Departmental Office.


There will be a Blackboard site available.