The University of Newcastle, Australia


Newcastle (Callaghan Campus)
Sydney CBD
10 weeks
Contact hours
20 hours per week (Monday - Friday)
The Intermediate English program develops communication and language skills to a level where students can function effectively in an English speaking environment.
Entry requirements
To enter the Intermediate Course, students must have:
  • a pass in the Language Centre Elementary English Course, or
  • equivalent results in the class placement test given on entry to the Language Centre; or
  • an overall test score of 5.0 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Expected outcomes
  • Can demonstrate understanding of main points of short articles about current and familiar topics, especially if they are illustrated.
  • Can find and demonstrate understanding of specific information needed in short texts, brochures and leaflets relating to personal interests or topics being studied.
  • Can identify and demonstrate understanding of the main points and details in straightforward texts well enough to talk about them afterwards.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of extended texts (such as simple and short stories) targeted at correct level and follow story lines with some effort and the use of a dictionary.
  • Can write short, comprehensible cohesive texts on familiar topics.
  • Can write simple texts about experiences or events - real or imaginary.
  • Can write simple texts to describe feelings and reactions.
  • Can write short emails about everyday things to known people.
  • Can follow short clearly spoken talks on familiar topics or topics in context, especially if accompanied by visuals.
  • Can extract specific details from short clearly spoken talks after second listening.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of main points of clear speech on familiar topics with the aid of some repetition or clarification.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of main points of classroom discussion on familiar topics and everyday conversations when people speak clearly, but sometimes help is required to understand details.
  • Can give descriptions on familiar topics related to interests.
  • Can ask questions and give opinions in informal discussions while agreeing and disagreeing politely.
  • Can start, maintain and finish a face to face conversation on simple topics with some hesitation.
  • Can ask questions and briefly explain and justify opinions in informal discussions on familiar topics in a polite manner.
  • Can express and respond to feelings and attitudes
  • Can give a short prepared or impromptu presentation on a familiar area and answer clearly asked questions. Sometimes repetition of questions may be required.
Course content

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

  • Predicting
  • Scanning and skimming
  • Identifying text structure and layout
  • Reading for detail and main ideas
  • Guessing vocabulary in context
  • Recognising prefixes and suffixes
  • Recognising referents
  • Understanding discourse markers
  • Writing simple, compound and complex sentences using co-ordinating conjunctions (and/so/but/or) and subordinators of time, reason and condition.
  • Using present simple and continuous, past simple and continuous, present perfect simple and future forms.
  • Linking sentences using basic transitions showing time order, contrast and additional information (eg first, then, after that).
  • Using adverbs and adjectives to create interest in story narration (eg suddenly, unfortunately, finally).
  • Listening for gist
  • Listening for main idea
  • Listening for key vocabulary
  • Listening for detail
  • Understanding discourse markers (including signal words and linking words)
  • Conveying information, opinions and feelings
  • Holding conversations using opening and closing techniques
  • Turn taking in conversations and discussions
  • Asking and responding to questions
  • Self- correcting
  • Tenses – Simple Past, Present Perfect, Present Simple and Continuous, Future Tense / Conditional
  • Quantity
  • Requests
  • Modals

Cunningham, S., Moor, P. and Bygrave, D. Cutting Edge 3rd Edition Intermediate Students Book with DVD Rom. Pearson Education Ltd. England.
ISBN 978-1-4479-3687-9

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 Upper Intermediate Course