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Language Acquisition 1: From Scratch to Script


Admission Requirements



1. Writing and use of English. 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 students need to become an accurate writer. We will expect the course participants to prepare writing, spelling and punctuation, style and grammar tasks at home, which we will then discuss in tutorial. They will also 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.
2. Language laboratory. The aim of the first pronunciation sessions is to help students improve their 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, students’ English will gradually sound more natural. At the test, pronunciation is tested.

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;

  • Are able to indicate the most frequent pronunciation errors in English of Dutch learners and to recognize these in their own pronunciation of English, and they try to avoid these errors in their own pronunciation.


The timetable will be available from July 1 onwards on the Department website.

Mode of Instruction

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


  • Written test with multiple choice questions on the grammar, punctuation, spelling and stylistics covered in Kolln and in the lectures (30%).

  • Pronunciation test in the language laboratory (40%).

  • Average mark of a number of writing assignments, handed in during term (30%).
    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.


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Davidson, G. ed. (2004) Roget’s Thesaurus of English words and phrases. London: Penguin, meest recente druk.

  • Kolln, M.J. & Gray L.S. (2010) Rhetorical Grammar: International Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

  • Longman dictionary of English Language and Culture, (3rd rev. ed.). (2005). Harlow: Pearson Education.

  • From Scratch to Script: Texts and assignments Language Acquisition 1, Reader available from the Studiepunt Geesteswetenschappen.

  • McIntosh, C. Francis, B. & Poole, R. (2009). Oxford collocations dictionary: for students of English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Students can register through U-twist.

Register for ‘Contractonderwijs’ via:

Contact information

English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or mail: