Academic Writing

In the Academic Writing module, participants are taught how to write correct and transparent papers in English. Besides describing the build-up of a good paper, the course improves participants' use of English by focusing on typical grammatical problems and the use of academic vocabulary and structures. Furthermore, participants receive individual feedback on a number of written assignments, which raises their awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses.

The Academic Writing module covers:

  • characteristics of academic writing: general features, academic conventions, approach and tone
  • language revision: typical ‘written’ grammar, spelling, academic vocabulary and style
  • paper build-up: structure, linking words, signalling expressions and useful phrases
  • examples: typical paper design and language use, taken from a range of different fields

​Academic Speaking

The Academic Speaking module teaches relevant techniques, vocabulary, phrases and grammar so that participants’ English presentations will become more correct, effective and professional. Not only the presentation style, language and structure are focused on; a guest speaker will also pay particular attention to slide design. Participants will learn by doing, namely by giving a number of short presentations. Individual feedback and error analyses allow participants to focus on their own particular problems. At the end of the course, the participants will feel more confident when giving presentations in English. The techniques and phrases learnt will also be useful when speaking English during oral exams or when formulating complex answers to questions raised in class, at meetings, conferences, etc.

The Academic Speaking module covers:

  • style: English English instead of literal translations, clear and to the point language use
  • structure: logical and easy-to-follow presentation of information, use of signposts (linking words and phrases) to structure the talk and guide the audience through the content
  • pronunciation training: speaking clear and understandable English, focusing on accent, stress patterns and intonation
  • grammar and vocabulary: focus on correct English, typical presentation phrases and vocabulary to discuss visual aids, such as graphs, and to introduce guest speakers or colleagues
  • interaction with the audience: giving clear and concise answers, using set phrases to deal with specific problems
  • visual aids: tips and tricks related to the use and presentation of visual aids and slide design (guest speaker)


The summer school includes three workshops by specialist guest speakers. The workshop topics were chosen on the basis of feedback from participants in previous editions of our summer school, who indicated that they are highly relevant for people who need English for Academic Purposes during their studies and further careers.

  • Slide Design (Hans Van de Water, the Floor is Yours) – 3 hours
  • Writing cover letters and motivation letters (Jacqueline Evans, University of Twente) – 2 hours
  • Intercultural competence (Michaela Carriere, University of Groningen) – 2 hours

​Course Materials

All the components of Academic Speaking and Writing discussed above will be included in the coursebook, which was developed by Linguapolis on the basis of our experience with similar courses, error analyses of student research papers and course feedback from students who took the course in the past. As a result, the course meets the needs of the target group perfectly.

The theory in the course materials will be taught and practised using relevant examples (academic text extracts). The materials also provide useful reference materials for future use.

During the course, participants will have ample opportunity to practise all components in class and between classes (homework assignments). The summer school emphasises individual coaching by giving participants individual feedback on their own papers and presentations, which allows them to work on their own specific problem areas. It also gives participants the opportunity to focus on projects they are working on at the time of the course. The theory in the coursebook gives participants the information they need to remedy the issues raised in the lecturer’s individual feedback.

Practical info

Target group

The English for Academic Purposes summer school is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students who would like to improve their use of academic written and spoken English and remedy their individual language problems. As the course focuses on improving participants’ academic writing and speaking skills in English, basic general guidelines on writing a paper will not be provided. Consequently, participants must have completed at least two full years of higher education and have experience of writing papers (in their mother tongue or in any other language) and thus be familiar with the layout and design of an academic paper or essay.

As the course focuses on specific language aspects related to academic English (rather than improving general English language use), participants must have a minimum English proficiency level of B2 (Common European Framework of Reference).

Certificate and credits

For both course components (Writing and Speaking) participants will be given a final assignment in which they must apply the skills they have learnt. The final assessments will be marked and the scores will be printed on the certificates.

Upon completion of the course, participants will receive 3 ECTS credits. This will be stated on the certificates.​

Social programme

The Antwerp Summer and Winter University social programme gives students the opportunity to enjoy a varied range of events and activities in the evenings and at weekends. All activities are free of charge. The social programme gives you the opportunity to explore Antwerp and to get to know your classmates, teachers and international students attending other summer schools in a more informal way.

Of course, you are not limited to the activities organised by us. There is so much to see and do in Antwerp, you won't be short of activities during your time with us.