Course code Valo6017

Credit points 2

English Language for Masters'

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes32

Independent study hours48

Date of course confirmation21.01.2015

Responsible UnitLanguage Centre

Course developer

author Valodu centrs

Tatjana Šinkus

Dr. paed.

Course abstract

The study course is aimed at the development of students’ foreign language (English) knowledge and skills necessary for comprehending, interpreting and evaluating professional information and scientific literature, explaining and comparing processes, participating in discussions, giving presentations in professional and academic environments as well as for communication with foreign students, specialists and academic staff. The focus is on the terminology related to construction industry. The English language proficiency level corresponds to at least level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for foreign languages.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge and understanding of scientific and business language style in scientific publications and conference proceedings and construction industry terminology in English language. Students know terms from the field of:
• university education, environmental engineering, hydro engineering (Test 1);
• landscape architecture, construction science, land use planning (Test 2).
Skills: students are able to define terms, select professional and scientific information, think critically, explain processes, apply professional terminology, communication skills and academic language skills: in written form - writing business letters, summary, annotation; orally – participating in case studies, discussions, role plays, debates, giving a presentation, collaborating with group mates in order to achieve a task’s goal, analyzing and evaluating their learning.
Competence of professional and academic English language in order to apply it creatively in spoken and written communication for student mobility, professional and academic activities in international environment.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Requirements of the course. University education. Scientific language style and business style in scientific publications and conference proceedings. Construction industry terminology. Creating a glossary of terms.2h
2. Master thesis, its structure and topicality. Environmental, Hydro and Earth Engineering Master's study and research directions.2h
3. Skills, duties required for a construction industry specialist. Europass CV. Letter of application.2h
4. Formulation of the aim, tasks and hypothesis of the Master thesis. Discussion. 2h
5. Test # 1: university education, environmental engineering, hydro engineering.2h
6. Research methods and methodology. Databases. Sample collection. Modelling.2h
7. Methods of data collection and data processing used in the research methodology.2h
8. Analysis of the content and structure of scientific texts, acquiring necessary terms. 2h
9. Descriptions of tables and images in scientific work.2h
10. Working with scientific literature. Plagiarism. 2h
11. Bibliographic description of the literature used. Electronic databases. Types and topics of scientific journals. 2h
12. Use of internet resources for scientific work. 2h
13. Conclusions. Summary. Annotation.2h
14. Test # 2: landscape architecture, construction science, land use planning.2h
15. Basic rules for making presentations. Academic presentation. Presentation of research results (independent work). 2h
16. Defending independent work. Preparing for the exam.2h

Requirements for awarding credit points

Assessment: Examination.
The examination consists of:
• a terminology test,
• giving a presentation about Master’s Thesis.
A student is admitted to the examination if: two tests are written successfully, home assignments are submitted on time and tested, individual work (reading of professional texts, prepared presentation on a chosen scientific article, glossary of terms) is completed. The number of the missed classes shall not exceed 20%.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Independent work:
1. reading of an independently chosen professional text (the amount: 40 000 characters);
2. giving a presentation (5-10 minutes) about the chosen professional text in front of the class;
3. submitted glossary of terms (30 translations, 20 definitions).
4. Students are able to present information, summarize it, express opinions, reason logically and answer questions about a scientific article they have read.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The cumulative assessment is composed of the grades in tests, assessment during classes, assessment for the individual work, as well as the grade for the exam. The grade in tests is successful if at least 70% of the answers are correct. Home assignments should be submitted and tested.
The examination grade is calculated as an arithmetic mean of grades obtained in two examination tasks (a presentation about Master’s thesis and a terminology test). The grade in the terminology test is successful if at least 70% of the answers are correct.

Compulsory reading

1. De Chazal E., Rogers L. Oxford EAP. A course in English for Academic Purposes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 224 p. ISBN: 9780194001939
2. McCarthy M., O'Dell F. Academic Vocabulary in Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008. 176 p. ISBN-10:0521689392
3. Rosen L. J. The Academic Writer's Handbook. New York: Pearson/Longman. 2009. 578 p. ISBN 0205599109
4. Dawson C. The Mature Student's Study Guide: 2nd edition. How To Books, 2006. 211 p. ISBN: 978-1845281243

Further reading

1. Singh K. Quantitative Social Research Methods. Los Angeles ... [etc.]: Sage Publications, 2007. 431 p. ISBN: 9780761933830
2. Research for Rural development. Annual International Scientific Conference Proceedings. Latvia University of Agriculture. Jelgava. (pēc gadiem) ISSN 16911-4031
3.Kramiņa I. Angļu valoda zinātniski pētnieciskai darbībai. LU, Rīga: Latvijas Universitāte, 2007. 115 lpp. ISBN 998477208X

Periodicals and other sources

1. Akadēmiskā terminu datu bāze. [tiešsaiste] [skatīts 25.03.2020.]. Pieejams:
2. Latvijas Lauksaimniecības universitātes raksti. (Proceedings of the Latvia University of Agriculture). [tiešsaiste]. ISSN 1407-4427. [skatīts 25.03.2020.] Pieejams:
3. Building design and construction council. [tiešsaiste] [skatīts 25.03.2020.]. Pieejams:
4. TOPOS - Quarterly Journal on International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Projects [tiešsaite] [skatīts 25.03.2020.]. Pieejams: UST-ID-Nr. DE 130 490 784 Published by Callwey Verlag. ISSN: 0942-752X


The study course is included in the compulsory part of the academic Master’s degree program studies “Environmental Engineering”, “Hydro Engineering”, “Landscape Architecture”, “Construction Science”, “Land Use Planning”.