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Language Acquisition 3: Academic Vocabulary in Use


Admission Requirements



In your future position, you will need to use academic and other professional vocabulary. While Language Acquisition 4 looks at various professional disciplines, Language Acquisition 3 specifically urges you to build vocabulary as used in an academic context. Students do activities during the tutorials and practise using the right words in the right places in sentences. Each week, students study the words from certain chapters and prepare an assignment at home (e.g., discover and describe the lexicographic background of a word, or design a number of graphs explaining a certain linguistic or cultural phenomenon). During the tutorials, some students will be asked to present what they have prepared, and this – and the participation to discussions – will count towards their grade for participation. Two interviews (between students) will be recorded during the tutorials, for a grade. Your progress in pronunciation and grammar will be part of the interview grade, as they should be sufficient by now and should improve through self-study. At the end of the course there is a vocabulary exam, during the exam period.

Course Objectives

  • increasing active and passive academic vocabulary

  • explaining complex systems and phenomena

  • creating awareness of your own and other students’ use of academic language

  • practising and improving grammar and pronunciation


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

Mode of Instruction

One hour seminar per week.


  • Class participation (20%)

  • Interviews (40%)

  • Written vocabulary exam (40%)


This course is supported by Blackboard. Students should sign up before the beginning of the semester.

Reading list

Michael McCarthy & Felicity O’Dell (latest edition) Academic Vocabulary in Use. Cambridge University Press.


Students can register through uSis. Students should sign up before the beginning of the semester.

Register for ‘Contractonderwijs’ via:

Contact information

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