Academic English Intermediate

A dinosaur
LecturerKimi AKITA, Associate Professor
DepartmentInstitute of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 2016 Fall
Recommended for:School of Agricultural Sciences 1st year students (21.5 hours / session One session / week 15 weeks / semsester)

Purpose and Aim

The purpose of the course is to train basic reading and writing skills of academic English. The aim is to acquire skills that would enable students of Nagoya University, a research-based university, to use suitable academic English expressions. Focusing on the structure of essays, which is the key to coherent English sentences, students will learn to read necessary information depending on the purpose and on the other hand, build up persuasive and coherent English sentences that reflect their thoughts. For the future, when students read or write specialized theses in English, they will master basic standards of English composition as well as many practical English expressions.

Comments from the instructor

As you will converse with the instructor and classmates every class, you are expected to have an active (but relaxed) attitude. No one can speak fluent English from the start; one must start practicing from things like simple sentences, words, fillers like umm and well, gestures, or facial expressions. In the writing assignments, you will also be tested on originality and creativity. I am looking forward to encountering your open-minded ideas.

Course Features

In this course, we aim at developing essay writing skills through exhaustive retrospective exercises. Lesson's characteristics can be defined by the following three points.

  1. Simulated experience of research activities
    At the end of the semester, students will prepare a two-page long report about a topic of their choices, using materials collected from English websites and surveys done in class. This will be an opportunity for students to experience the activities done by researchers, and become aware of how technical/academic? English is actually used. All lessons up to this point will serve as previous preparation to prepare the report.
  2. Corrections and comments upon request
    Almost every week, there will be an assignment consisting of a one-page essay; however, at the time of submission, students can choose the degree of strictness of corrections and comments. The degree of strictness of these comments and corrections will have no impact on the grading, so for every session, students should choose the degree of strictness according to their motivation and confidence.
  3. Gamification of output activities
    As part of the exercises for essay construction, we will include enjoyable "Games". We aim to liven up the class by using time-limited joint story writing to develop creativity, image describing games to cultivate the habit of deductive speaking, Bingo games to practice speaking while counting, dubbing to get used to using highly versatile sentence structures etc.

Course Requirement

Students must complete English (Basics) to take this course.

Course Content

We will learn the basics of essay writing in a practical manner. After covering the following fundamental points, students' essays will be evaluated by fellow students based on the academic content.

  1. Basic structure and types of essays
  2. Useful expressions and vocabulary
  3. Review of English grammar and supplementary materials that incorporate linguistic knowledge
  4. Critical Thinking

Also, as the opposites of these points, students will also undergo efficient critical reading training.

We will use Internet articles, English newspapers, and other specialized thesis summaries as reading materials based on preferences of the students that are taking this course.


The class will be separated into three stages, each ending with a writing contest.

  1. Introduction

Level 1: Basics

  1. Paragraph
  2. Essay template
  3. Thesis statement
  4. Storyline
  5. Writing contest 1: Your life story

Level 2: Literature review

  1. Abstracts of journal articles
  2. Assumptions
  3. Correlation and causation
  4. Review essay
  5. Writing contest 2: Review essay

Level 3: Mini research

  1. Timed writing
  2. Research report
  3. Review
  4. Writing contest 3: Research report


Handouts made by the instructor.


Will be introduced as needed.

Lecture Notes

[3.Essay template]( for OCW (1).pdf)
[9.Correlation & causation]( for OCW (2).pdf)

The following will be given as assignments.

  1. Students will write (or rewrite) essays based on each content. Essays must be typed and submitted in prints.
  2.  Students will prepare through Internet or in-class surveys for three writing contests.

Method of evaluation

The grades will be given according to the following percentages: essay assignments (almost every week), mutual evaluation, contribution to class (30%), three contests (20%), extracurricular study and English exams specified in the "precautions" section (50%).


In addition to the face-to-face classes, students are expected to do the "Gyutto e" reading for Academic English (Intermediate level), and progress will count towards 20% of the grade. In addition, the scores for TOEFL ITP (Reading) and Criterion will count towards 30% of the grade. Furthermore, if absent from class 5 times or more, one will receive an "absent" grade. Withdrawal from the class is not accepted.

Last updated

March 28, 2020