The Upper Intermediate English program builds language skills necessary for participation in a wide range of social and vocational activities.

Upper Intermediate

Newcastle (Callaghan Campus)
Sydney CBD
10 weeks
Contact hours
25 hours per week (Monday - Friday)
The Upper Intermediate English program builds language skills necessary for participation in a wide range of social and vocational activities. During this course some work on English for Academic Purposes is introduced. Students who pass Upper Intermediate (EAP) can gain direct entry into Newcastle International College (NIC) at the University of Newcastle.
Entry requirements
To enter the Upper Intermediate English Course students must have:
  • a pass in the Language Centre Intermediate English Course, or
  • equivalent results in the class placement test given on entry to the Language Centre; or
  • an overall test score of 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Students with an offer for Undergraduate programs may enter Upper Intermediate English with an IELTS score of 5.0.

Expected outcomes
  • Read and comprehend newspaper items and general articles
  • Differentiate between main points and supporting information in texts
  • Use reading skills to extract meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary
  • Understand the meaning of referents
  • Use understanding of syntax to comprehend longer texts
  • Use a variety of sentence types to convey meaning
  • Use and recognize coordinators and subordinators
  • Write narratives, descriptions, responses to questions, etc.
  • Write a plan for a paragraph
  • Write well-structured paragraphs showing unity and coherence
  • Follow the gist of audio and video material
  • Identify key points from a lecture and audiovisual material
  • Use context to generate meaning from unfamiliar texts
  • Recognise levels of formality in spoken discourse
  • Understand most social conversations at a natural rate of utterance
  • Use spoken English to fulfil all routine social needs
  • Participate in discussions
  • Draw on adequate vocabulary and conventions of English to communicate in a range of settings
  • Prepare and deliver oral presentations to the class on familiar topics.
Course content

The course has an integrated syllabus which is predominantly skills-based, with grammar and culture components, and is organized into nine unit themes.

  • Predicting
  • Inferring
  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Chunking
  • Understanding vocabulary in context
  • Understanding cohesive devices – referents, link words
  • Understanding text structure - topic sentences and supporting information
  • Interpreting/understanding graphs and tables
  • Inferring meanings of unknown words
  • Simple note-taking skills
  • Introduction to research skills
  • Sentences - Simple, complex and compound sentences, dependent and independent clauses/of time, reason and purpose
  • Paragraph structure
  • Essay structure-Discussion essay, editing, planning- brainstorming and outlining
  • Mini Report-research skills, introduction to referencing, paraphrasing, internet and library research
  • Listening for gist/detail
  • Inferring/Predicting
  • Listening for text structure-main idea and supporting detail
  • Extracting for key information
  • Understanding discourse markers-Verbal (linking words, patterns) and Vocal (intonation and stress)
  • Note-taking
  • Using appropriate language with correct stress and pronunciation
  • Oral Presentations-Impromptu / Formal
  • Interviewing/ Reporting
  • Discussing/Giving opinions in small and large groups
  • Initiating a conversation
  • Review of tenses/Parts of speech
  • Passive Voice
  • Requests
  • Reported speech
  • Gerunds and infinitives
  • Countable/uncountable nouns
  • Articles/quantities
  • Conditionals
  • Modals
  • Relative Pronouns/ Clauses
  • Appropriate Remedial Work
  • Grammar Review

Cunningham, S., & Moor, P. New Cutting Edge: Upper Intermediate. Pearson and Longman
ISBN 1-405-85230-5

Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills are assessed. Marks are weighted as follows: 25% assessment tasks in week 7; 25% class marks; 50% end of course assessment tasks.

Passing the course

Students must obtain 65% or more in three of the four skills. One may be in the 60-64% range. Each of the four components is of equal weighting. Students who pass the course are eligible to commence the English for Academic Purposes Course. Students who have an offer for an undergraduate program may progress if they have 60% or more in all four skills.

A pass in Upper Intermediate English gives students direct entry into some NIC programs.