Language Programmes

Language Programmes For Specific Purposes

The School of Languages, Literacies and Translation began as a Language Unit in 1969 to provide language courses to fulfil the language needs of the university community. Apart from offering our national language, Malay, and our second language, English, we also offer a variety of foreign languages namely Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, Japanese, Korean, Thai, German, Spanish and French.
The School has also opened its doors to members of the public to give them the opportunity to learn a new language for many purposes; work, social, leisure, or just as part of an individual’s life-long learning experience. Thus far, students from around the world and local working adults from companies, factories, and shops in administrative and managerial positions have come to our shores to learn a language of their choice. At the School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, USM, we offer a wide range of courses designed to meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.
Language Programmes Offered:
English component in the Certificate for Teaching and Learning
In-Service Language Course
In-Country Training Programme: Language and Culture
Refresher Course For Non-Native Teachers Of English
Spoken English for Technical Staff
Short-Term Language Courses
USM Summer English Camp
For further enquiries, please contact:
Dean
School of Languages, Literacies and Translation
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 Minden
Penang Malaysia
Tel: +604-6533145 / 6533751 / 6533158
Fax: +604-6569122
(Attn: Tn. Syed Yusof Syed Kechik)
1. English component in the Certificate for Teaching and Learning
This course caters to the needs of lecturers who are seeking confirmation in their posts. Topics covered are Effective Lecture Delivery, Critical Reading, Critical Writing and Listening.
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2. In-Service Language Course
Tailor-made for administrative staff of USM
Learners are taught communication skills commonly used in their workplace (e.g., greetings, giving instructions, describing processes, making comparisons, dealing with problems, complaining and apologising, etc.)
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3. In-Country Training Programme: Language and Culture
The course provides basic instruction in communication as well as individual language development. Whilst the emphasis on communication and learning skills addresses the group of students as a whole, language development work is individualized and takes place on the basis of individual needs.
The course content relates directly to the learners' language experiences and abilities. Topics include everyday communication and conversation, situations relevant for intercultural communication, among others.
Staff and Facilities
·         Qualified, highly experienced and professional teaching staff, have been a great success for the many students who have studied here;
·         Fully-equipped language classrooms and laboratories complement our language teaching and learning efforts, ensuring the successful language acquisition of our learners.
Objectives
·         Facilitate the building of interpersonal relationships;
·         Foster mutual understanding and respect;
·         Help understand where cross cultural differences lie;
·         Explore ways in which differences can be resolved through a common cultural framework;
·         Compare and contrast cultures for better understanding;
·         Understand the historical, political, education and economic backgrounds of the host country
The School of Languages, Literacies and Translation began as a Language Unit in 1969 to provide language courses to fulfil the language needs of the university community. Apart from offering our national language, Malay, and our second language, English, we also offer a variety of foreign languages namely Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, Japanese, Korean, Thai, German, Spanish and French.
The School has also opened its doors to members of the public to give them the opportunity to learn a new language for many purposes; work, social, leisure, or just as part of an individual’s life-long learning experience. Thus far, students from around the world and local working adults from companies, factories, and other organizations in administrative and managerial positions have come to our shores to learn a language of their choice. At the School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, USM, we offer a wide range of courses designed to meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.
Language Programmes Offered:
  1. English component in the Certificate for Teaching and Learning
  2. In-Service Language Course
  3. In-Country Training Programme: Language and Culture
  4. Spoken English for Technical Staff
  5. Short-Term Language Courses
  6. USM Summer English Camp
 
 
1. English component in the Certificate for Teaching and Learning
  • This course caters to the needs of lecturers who are seeking confirmation in their posts. Topics covered are Effective Lecture Delivery, Critical Reading, Critical Writing and Listening.

2. In-Service Language Course
  • Tailor-made for administrative staff of USM
      
  • Learners are taught communication skills commonly used in their workplace (e.g., greetings, giving instructions, describing processes, making comparisons, dealing with problems, complaining and apologising, etc.)  
3. In-Country Training Programme: Language and Culture
  
The course provides basic instruction in communication as well as individual language development. Whilst the emphasis on communication and learning skills addresses the group of students as a whole, language development work is individualized and takes place on the basis of individual needs.
The course content relates directly to the learners' language experiences and abilities. Topics include everyday communication and conversation, situations relevant for intercultural communication, among others.
Staff and Facilities
  
  • Qualified, highly experienced and professional teaching staff, have been a great success for the many students who have studied here;
      
  • Fully-equipped language classrooms and laboratories complement our language teaching and learning efforts, ensuring the successful language acquisition of our learners.
      
Objectives  
  
  • Facilitate the building of interpersonal relationships;
      
  • Foster mutual understanding and respect;
      
  • Help understand where cross cultural differences lie;
      
  • Explore ways in which differences can be resolved through a common cultural framework;
      
  • Compare and contrast cultures for better understanding;
      
  • Understand the historical, political, education and economic backgrounds of the host country 
      

Course Contents

   

 Academic Component

Non-Academic Component  

  • course content relates directly to the  learners' language experiences and abilities;
  • topics include daily communication and conversation, relevant in intercultural communication situations;
  • developing the learners’ speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in formal and informal situations;
  • new vocabulary and grammar are taught incidentally.
  • focuses on developing interpersonal skills  as well  as providing participants the opportunity to deal with real-life situations;
  • cultural twinning with a local student (‘student buddy’) so that learners can practise the target language as part of the immersion methodology;
  • learners are exposed to the multi-cultural milieu of Malaysia .


Course Structure  
Under this training programme, learners reside in Penang for between 1 and 3 months to:-
  • learn the target language through formal classroom pedagogy as well as informal immersion pedagogy; 
      
  • learn the basic aspects of the rich and diverse cultural heritage;  
      
  • visit places of culture, history and interest in Penang and other parts of Malaysia ;  
      
  • experience the traditional host country way of life in a homestay programme.    

4. Spoken English for Technical Staff

  • Tailor-made for technical staff of any department of USM
      
  • Learners are taught skills needed in their workplace (e.g., telephoning, asking for assistance and responding politely, expressing opinions and making suggestions)
      
  • Learners are given opportunity to practice the language skills peculiar to their department

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5. Short-Term Language Courses

FOR ADULT LEARNERS

If you are interested in learning Malay, English, Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish or Thai at a distinguished language faculty on the idyllic isle of Penang, the School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia has a course which will perfectly suit all your needs and interests.   

Besides serving the university community, the School has also opened its doors to members of the public to give them the opportunity to learn a new language for many purposes; work, social, leisure, or just as part of an individual’s life-long learning experience. Thus far, working adults from companies, factories, and other organizations in administrative and managerial positions have come to our shores to learn a language of their choice. 

At the School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, USM, we offer a wide range of courses designed to meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.

  • Learn the language you need for work: attending meetings, interviews, telephoning, writing reports and doing business.  
      
  • Learn the language you need for social purposes:  meeting people, getting to know people, talking about oneself, talking about jobs, making plans, giving opinions, agreeing and disagreeing.  

Special Features  

  • placement test to ensure a class at the right level 
      
  • on-going progress checks  
      
  • homework to provide more practice  
      
  • multi-national classes
      
  • at least one lesson a week in the computer laboratory 
      
  • course materials provided
      
  • use of the Study Centre after lessons
      
  • end of course certificate with hours of study  and level of achievement  
      

Among the courses offered include:-

1. Conversational Malay for Foreigners

2. Conversational English I

3. Conversational English II

4. Business English

5. Pronunciation

6. Conversational Japanese

7. Conversational Arabic

8. Conversational German

9. Conversational Korean

10. Conversational Chinese

11. Conversational Spanish

12. Conversational Thai

The course emphasizes the oral communicative skills which will enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions and at the workplace as well as understand basic aspects of the Malay culture and Malaysian society.

Conversational Thai

This course emphasizes the oral communicative skills which will enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions as well as understand basic aspects of the Thai culture.

Conversational Japanese 

This pre-elementary course will be taught in “Romaji” with the emphasis on aural-oral communicative skills. The reading and writing of Japanese scripts are not taught.  At the end of the course, students will be able to understand basic aspects of the Japanese culture and use about 300 words to converse with a certain degree of confidence and fluency within the context of daily social situations, which can be applied to the workplace.

Conversational Korean

This course emphasizes the oral communicative skills which will enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions as well as understand basic aspects of the Korean culture.

Conversational Chinese

This course emphasizes the oral communicative skills which will enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions as well as understand basic aspects of the Chinese culture.

Conversational Arabic

This course emphasizes the oral communicative skills which will enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions as well as understand basic aspects of the Middle Eastern culture.

Conversational English I & II

English plays an important role in many areas of one’s working life. With globalisation and the widespread use of information technology at the workplace and in society, almost every one is required to have a good command of English. Employees who are able to converse well in English will not only project a good image of their companies but also ensure that efficiency and effectiveness prevail at their workplace. 

This course is offered to help individuals who intend to hone their English conversational skills in order to be efficient, productive and marketable now as well as in the future.

Course Description 

These elementary and intermediate courses are designed for adult learners, especially working adults, who wish to improve their English conversational skills in a variety of typical social and    workplace situations – situations which professional people are likely to meet while at work or at social functions. 

The duration of each course is 40 hours and the classes are conducted twice weekly over 10 weeks. A variety of activities such as pairwork, role-play, simulations are carried out to make lessons interesting.

Aims 

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 
 
  • develop their proficiency in listening and speaking; 
      
  • communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions and at the workplace;
      
  • converse in English intelligibly and with accuracy and fluency.
      

English Pronunciation

Language is a means of communication. The three components in language are structure (grammar), meaning (vocabulary/lexis) and the sound, stress and intonation patterns (pronunciation). This course is designed to enhance students’ articulateness and accuracy in pronunciation to enable them to communicate more effectively in their social and occupational settings. The lessons learnt in this course will be an added advantage to students in their pursuit of professional excellence.

Course Description 

This course involves the study of the English sound system. It introduces the description and classification of speech sounds. This course is a practical starting point for students who have a strong understanding of the language and want to improve their English pronunciation. It starts with an introduction to the nature and organs of speech with the basic pronunciation guides including work on the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and is followed by continued refinement of English pronunciation skills. It also focuses on improving pronunciation through the recognition of the “time-stresses” character of English. 

Aims

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 
  
  • develop skills in perceiving and articulating speech sounds specifically;
      
  • improve their pronunciation in general.

Business English

English plays an important role in many areas of one’s working life. With globalisation and the widespread use of information technology at the workplace and in society, almost every one is required to have a good command of English. Employees who are able to communicate well in English will not only project a good image of their companies but also ensure that efficiency and effectiveness prevail at their workplace. 

This course is offered to help individuals who intend to hone their English communication skills in order to be efficient, productive and marketable now as well as in the future.

Course Description 

This 10-week intermediate part-time course is designed to help adult learners of English improve their communicative skills in order to function effectively in an English-speaking work environment. Learners will be given the opportunity to express business concepts through the processes of synthesizing, summarizing, analyzing, criticizing and discussing ideas in oral presentations, role-plays, meetings and discussions. Pronunciation will also be taught to enable learners to enhance their business communication skills. Learners will practise writing structures for the workplace that include writing e-mail messages, business letters, job application letters, memorandums and mini business reports. In addition, they will improve their vocabulary through reading activities and group discussions.

Aims

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 
  
  • develop the four language skills to a level which would enable them to communicate effectively in the occupational context;
      
  • communicate efficiently and confidently in discussions, meetings and other work- related situations.

Conversational Spanish

This course emphasizes the oral communicative skills which will enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in social interactions as well as understand basic aspects of the Spanish culture. 

Number of contact hours for each course:  
 40 
 (4 hours per week over 10 weeks)  

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6. USM Summer English Camp
  
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
Our Summer English Camp is designed to help those who wish to improve their level of English in authentic situations. It also offers the students a unique and fun-filled opportunity to experience the best of Malaysian life and culture whilst learning English. 
  
In addition to English classes, students will participate in educational and fun activities in small groups led by experienced facilitators. These activities are designed to improve students' language abilities at the same time introduce them to different aspects of Malaysian life and culture. 
  
PENANG 
Penang is one of Malaysia's major tourist attractions and has long been known as one of Southeast Asia's finest destinations. Located 5o north of the Equator, the island is also known as the Pearl of the Orient. The island and mainland are linked by the 13.5 km Penang Bridge, the third longest in the world, and a ferry service. Penang is also easily accessible by air with daily flights from major capitals in the region.
Penang bustles with commercial life and is a melting pot of multi-racial communities living harmoniously together, accompanied by their colourful cultures, religions and traditions. And this evolution of a multi-racial populace has contributed to the exciting festivals, impressive architecture, unique cultural practices and also a myriad of mouth-watering Malay, Chinese, Indian and Nyonya cuisines. 
There are lovely beaches with swaying palm trees and clear blue waters. And, the many places of interest, beautiful sceneries, shopping centres, delicious food and friendly people make Penang an exceptionally interesting place.
THE UNIVERSITY IN A GARDEN
The USM main campus is situated strategically at one of the most important gateways to Penang Island. It stands majestically on its site, extending a warm welcome to visitors arriving through the Penang Bridge and bidding fond farewells to those leaving the island. The university grounds have been claimed as one of the most beautifully landscaped in Malaysia. The campus trademark is its unique location set amidst undulating terrain overlooking the sea and hills. The site is further enriched by the habitats of exotic flora and fauna gazetted as a bird sanctuary with more than 20 endangered species. The natural assets such as trees, flowers, lakes, wildlife, tropical forest and orchards set the tone for the formation of a garden-like ambience accentuated by breathtaking panoramic views.
As USM was formerly a British military camp, this nurturing ground has inherited numerous elegant legacies including heritage buildings, green acres and majestic trees. The beauty of the garden is much enhanced by the distinctive colonial structure as well as modern architecture. 
Source: (The University in a Garden 2003, p.13)
COURSE PROFILE
Our Summer English Camp is specially designed to expose international students to a unique and different learning setting where the students learn English in an enjoyable and relaxing environment. 
Aims
By the end of the programme, students should be able to:
  • understand and use basic grammatical patterns and structures in everyday situations; 
      
  • develop basic English vocabulary for communication;
      
  • develop their confidence and competence in using English; 
      
  • improve and enhance their overall language proficiency.
*Certificates of attendance will be presented to students who successfully complete the programme.
EXCURSIONS
Penang is an excellent place for exploring the north-western coast of peninsular Malaysia. Every weekend we offer excursions to places of interest in Penang. These include trips to the USM Museum and Gallery, Penang Museum, Penang War Museum, Fort Cornwallis, Penang Butterfly Farm, Penang Hill, Tropical Spice Garden, Tropical Fruit Farm, P.Ramlee’s House, City Hall Esplanade, Batik Factory, Little India, Botanical Gardens, and Youth Park etc.
Apart from exploring the wonderful and exotic Island of Penang, students may get the chance to visit other exciting places around Malaysia, such as the Historical Town of Malacca, Kuala Kangsar, Taiping Zoo, the exhilarating Genting Highlands Theme Park and the magnificent Vision City, Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia.
*The charges for these visits are optional and they are not included in the fee. Excursions will run subject to demand and enrolments.
ACCOMMODATION
The students will stay in a hotel which is situated near the university and the Bayan Lepas International Airport, Penang is only 15 minutes away.
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE & DATES
There will be 4 intakes from July to September every year. Students are given the flexibility of choosing the date of their enrolment. If students decide to register for Intake B, they will be joining the Intake A students and begin their Summer English Camp with Module 2. They will continue to follow the programme and end it with Module 1 (please refer to the table below).
 
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For further enquiries, please contact:
  
Dean
School of Languages, Literacies and Translation
Universiti Sains Malaysia 
11800 Minden 
Penang Malaysia 
Tel: +604-653 3158 (Mr. Nazri) / 653 4881 (Mr. Azril)
Fax: +604-6569122 (Attn: Mr. Azril Ali)