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English Language: Communicating with Confidence

3 weeks
Course Type
Summer School, Undergraduate

Delivered by English as a Modern Foreign Language (EMFL), this programme focuses on enhancing your speaking and presentation skills in different English-language public communication settings.

Concentrating on preparation, personal delivery skills, pronunciation, intonation as well as body language techniques, the programme gives you the opportunity to put your new-found public speaking skills to the test as museum, factory and city guides, radio presenters, weather forecasters and newsreaders. You will visit and present at a range of settings both on and off campus, going on to produce specialist items and media packages.

The programme aims to make non-native speakers of English into confident speakers of English. The learning process is just as much about improving the ability to speak as well as understanding the settings in which communication is taking place. Not only will the programme draw, therefore, on professionals already engaged in public speaking and making a living in the field. You will also encounter and interact with a broad range of domains where communicating effectively and with confidence is not just a process of conveying knowledge and understanding, but can also make a big difference to people's lives.

The programme exploits the range of on-campus facilities available at the University of Birmingham, including the Cadbury Research Library with its extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts and artefacts. These items are not just worth talking about, but are also a form of communication too. You will have the opportunity to take a rare look behind the scenes, taking a tour of the archive, as well as having a go at using newly found presentation skills to present selected precious items to an audience in the setting of the Chamberlain Room.

Winterbourne House and Garden is a unique heritage attraction and will be a site for some of the teaching on the programme. Addressing subject matters as far reaching as social history, printing history, horticulture and botany as well as museum management, there is something for every participant to talk about here. You will engage with current tour guides, learning about and from their methods of communication confidently about specialist topics relevant to Winterbourne. In having access to the site, your may design your own tour that can be recorded as part of your portfolio of specialist items and media packages.

The University of Birmingham is also home to the Lapworth Museum of Geology and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, both of which will be showcased during the programme as places of communication and conveying knowledge to different types of audiences through tour guiding and professional specialist tours. How does the speaker go about organising specialist tours? What skills set is needed to pull off a polished tour? How does communication change according to the type of audience? Drawing on expert opinion and experienced guides, these are some of the questions that will be addressed.

You will also have the opportunity to visit the BBC studio at the Mailbox in Birmingham from where BBC Radio West Midlands is broadcast, as well as Midlands Today, the BBC's regional news for the West Midlands. In visiting the studio and embarking on a tour, you will see behind the scenes and also have a go at recording a radio drama. Using insights from the tour, you will go on to make your own news items or weather forecasts using green screen technology.

Please note that the programme plan is subject to confirmation for BISS 2022.

To be accepted onto the English Language: Communicating with Confidence programme you must:

This is a three week programme and is equivalent to an accredited undergraduate course (20 UK credits) and is delivered by University faculty who are experts in their field. The programme is formally assessed. Please check with your home institution regarding the transfer of credits. All students attending our courses will receive a certificate of attendance from the University of Birmingham on successful completion of their course.

On completion of the programme in addition to obtaining 20 credits you will have been given a unique opportunity to:

  1. Identify and distinguish between the different types of platforms on which professional speakers present
  2. Disseminate information from a range of sources to prepare and deliver presentations in public domains appropriate to the audience
  3. Employ newly acquired non-verbal and verbal communication techniques to produce polished presentations for different audiences and in different settings
  4. Speak with confidence to different audiences, achieving a high degree of fluency and accuracy

Assessment Methods

The programme is formally assessed at the end of the three weeks.

Assessment for this programme will include the delivery of two presentations in English.