Upper Intermediate

Newcastle (Callaghan Campus)
10 weeks
Contact hours
20 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 the University of Newcastle College of International Education (UNCIE).
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
  • Can quickly scan through longer texts on topics of interest to locate relevant details.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of the main points in straightforward texts on familiar and unfamiliar topics to a satisfactory level of comprehension.
  • Can identify and demonstrate understanding of key information and points of view on a variety of topics in a range of text types such as articles and argumentative texts.
  • Can write about a variety of familiar subjects well enough for others to understand the text.
  • Can express opinions and feelings in online correspondence and respond to those of other people.
  • Can write a variety of simple essays:
    • describing problems and solutions
    • explaining causes and effects
    • explaining advantages and disadvantages
    • giving reasons in support of or against a point of view.
  • Can write simple summaries of spoken and written texts.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of main ideas and some details of straight forward factual information in clear standard speech.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of the main points of spoken interactions and extended discussion.
  • Can demonstrate understanding of lectures, audio and audio-visual material on familiar and some unfamiliar topics.
  • Can enter unprepared into conversations on familiar topics.
  • Can give and seek personal opinions when discussing various topics.
  • Can deliver clear, coherent prepared presentations.
Course content

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

  • Scanning and skimming
  • Identifying text structure
  • Reading for main ideas and detail
  • Understanding signal and linking words
  • Understanding referents
  • Understanding key vocabulary
  • Note-taking
  • Inferring
  • Writing simple, compound and complex sentences using co-ordinating conjunctions, subordinators and relative clauses
  • Accurately using a range of verb tenses and vocabulary, punctuation and spelling
    Effectively using signal words, linking words and referents
  • Planning a paragraph / essay
  • Writing introductions, body paragraphs with topic and supporting sentences, conclusions
  • Using appropriate language to express comparison, cause and effect, problem- solution, advantage-disadvantage and opinions
  • Editing
  • Paraphrasing and summarising
  • Understanding main idea
  • Understanding detail
  • Understanding key vocabulary
  • Understanding signals and linking words
  • Understanding structure
  • Taking notes
  • Identifying opinions
  • Asking and responding to questions
  • Turn-taking in conversations and discussions
  • Using appropriate grammar and vocabulary
  • Speaking fluently using appropriate stress, rhythm and intonation
  • Effectively using signal words, linking words and referents
  • Self-correcting
  • 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

Students are required to purchase both of the following books:

Ostrowska, S. (2014). Unlock 3: Listening & Speaking Skills. Cambridge University Press. United Kingdom. ISBN: 978 1 107 68728 8

Westbrook, C. (2014). Unlock 3: Reading & Writing Skills. Cambridge University Press. United Kingdom. ISBN: 978 1 107 61526 7

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

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.