Newcastle (Callaghan Campus)
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

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.