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Language Acquisition 1: From Scratch to Script


Admission requirements



This introductory course to writing aims to familiarise students 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 different writing, spelling and punctuation, style and grammar tasks at home, which we will then discuss in tutorial. The weekly lectures provide invaluable background information to topics relevant to the writing process. materials used. Finally, the course participants submit two short essays for comments and marking.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students

  • 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.


The timetable will be available by June 1st at:

Mode of instruction

One 45-minute lecture and one 90-minute tutorial per week.

Assessment method

  • Written test with multiple choice questions on the grammar, punctuation, spelling and stylistics covered in Kolln and in the lectures (50%).

  • Average mark of the two short writing assignments, handed in during term (50%).

Students should get at least a 5 for each of these two components.


This course is supported with Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Davidson, G. (Ed.) Roget’s thesaurus of English words and phrases. Londen: Penguin. [Most recent edition]

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

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

  • Longman dictionary of English Language and Culture, Harlow: Pearson Education. [Most recent edition].

  • McIntosh, C. Francis, B. & Poole, R. Oxford collocations dictionary: for students of English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Most recent edition].


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Studentcounsellor Bachelor: Ms. S.H.J. Bollen, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103B.
Coordinator of Studies Master: Ms. K. van der Zeeuw-Filemon, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.