English-I: Reading and Writing Skills

Course Description

The course is designed to help students take a deep approach in reading and writing academic texts which involve effective learning strategies and techniques aimed at improving the desired skills. The course consists of two major parts: the ‘reading section’ focusses on recognizing a topic sentence, skimming, scanning, use of cohesive devices, identifying facts and opinions, guess meanings of unfamiliar words. The ‘writing section’ deals with the knowledge and use of various grammatical components such as, parts of speech, tenses, voice, narration, modals etc. in practical contexts.    

Course Objectives

  • To enable students to identify main/topic sentences.
  • To teach them to use effective strategies while reading texts.
  • To acquaint them with cohesive devices and their function in the text.

Course Contents

1.      Reading Skills

   •        Identify Main Idea / Topic sentences

   •        Skimming, Scanning, and Inference / Find Specific and General Information Quickly

   •        Distinguish Between Relevant and Irrelevant Information According to Purpose for Reading

   •        Recognise and Interpret Cohesive Devices

   •        Distinguish Between Fact and Opinion

   •        Guess the Meanings of Unfamiliar Words Using Context Clues

   •        Use the Dictionary for Finding out Meanings and Use of Unfamiliar Words

   •        Practice Exercises with Every Above Mentioned Aspect of Reading

2.      Writing Skills

   •        Parts of Speech

   •        Phrase, clause and sentence structure

   •        Combining sentences

   •        Tenses: meaning and use

   •        Modals

   •        Use of active and passive voice

   •        Reported Speech

   •        Writing good sentences

   •        Error Free writing

   •        Paragraph writing with topic sentence

   •        Summary writing

Note: Teachers need to include practice activities, exercises and worksheets on the provided topics.

Recommended Readings

   •        Howe, D. H, Kirkpatrick, T. A., & Kirkpatrick, D. L. (2004). Oxford English for undergraduates.  Karachi: Oxford University Press.

   •        Eastwood, J. (2004).  English Practice Grammar (New edition with tests and answers). Karachi: Oxford University Press.

   •        Murphy, R. (2003).  Grammar in use.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

English-II: Composition Writing

Course Description

This course aims at inculcating proficiency in academic writing through research. It guides students to develop a well-argued and well-documented academic paper with a clear thesis statement, critical thinking, argumentation and synthesis of information. This course also teaches students how to use different systems of citations and bibliography. It allows students to become independent and efficient readers armed with appropriate skills and strategies for reading and comprehending texts at undergraduate level.

Course Objectives

To enable the students to:

  • Improve literal understanding, interpretation & general assimilation, and integration of knowledge
  • Write well organized academic texts including examination answers with topic/thesis statement and supporting details.
  • Write argumentative essays and course assignments

Course Contents

Reading and Critical Thinking

1. Read academic texts effectively by:

  • Using appropriate strategies for extracting information and salient
  • points according to a given purpose
  • Identifying the main points supporting details, conclusions in a text of intermediate level
  • Identifying the writer’s intent such as cause and effect, reasons, comparison and contrast, and exemplification.
  • Interpreting charts and diagrams
  • Making appropriate notes using strategies such as mind maps, tables, lists, graphs.
  • Reading and carrying out instructions for tasks, assignments and examination questions

2.      Enhance academic vocabulary using skills learnt in Compulsory English I course

3.      Acquire efficient dictionary skills such as locating guide words, entry words, choosing appropriate definition, and identifying pronunciation through pronunciation key, identifying part of speech, identifying syllable division and stress patterns

4. Writing Academic Texts:

1.      Plan their writing: identify audience, purpose and message (content)

2.      Collect information in various forms such as mind maps, tables, charts, lists

3.               Order information such as:

  • Chronology for a narrative
    • Stages of a process
    • From general to specific and vice versa
    • From most important to least important
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Comparison and contrast
    • Problem solution pattern

5. Write argumentative and descriptive forms of writing using different methods of developing ideas like listing, comparison, and contrast, cause and effect, for and against

  • Write good topic and supporting sentences and effective conclusions
    • Use appropriate cohesive devices such as reference words and signal markers

6.      Redraft checking content, structure and language.

7.      Edit and proof read

8.      Grammar in Context

  • Phrase, clause and sentence structure
    • Combining sentences
    • Reported Speech

Recommended Readings

  • Eastwood, J. (2004). English Practice Grammar (New edition with tests and answers). Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Fisher, A. (2001). Critical Thinking. C UP
  • Goatly, A. (2000). Critical Reading and Writing: An Introductory Course. London: Taylor & Francis
  • Hacker, D. (1992). A Writer’s Reference. 2nd Ed. Boston: St. Martin’s
  • Hamp-Lyons, L. & Heasley, B. (1987). Study writing: A course in written English for academic and professional purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Howe, D. H, Kirkpatrick, T. A., & Kirkpatrick, D. L. (2004). Oxford English for Undergraduates. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Murphy, R. (2003?). Grammar in Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Smazler, W. R. (1996). Write to be Read: Reading, Reflection and Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wallace, M. (1992). Study Skills. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Yorky, R. Study Skills.

Introduction to ICT Skills

Course Description

Information technology literacy has become a fundamental requirement for any major. An understanding of the principles underlying digital devices, computer hardware, software, telecommunications, networking and multimedia is an integral part of any IT curriculum. This course provides a sound foundation on the basic theoretical and practical principles behind these technologies and discusses up to date issues surrounding them including social aspects and how they impact everyday life.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the fundamentals of information technology
  • Learn core concepts of computing and modern systems
  • Understand modern software programs and packages
  • Learn about upcoming IT technologies

Course Contents

Basic Definitions & Concepts, Hardware: Computer Systems & Components. Storage Devices, Number Systems, Software: Operating Systems, Programming and Application Software, Introduction to Programming, Databases and Information Systems, Networks, Data Communication, The Internet, Browsers and Search Engines, The Internet: Email, Collaborative Computing and Social Networking, The Internet: E-Commerce, IT Security and other issues, IT Project.

Required Skills

These basic competencies are assumed on the first day of class. Students must assume responsibility for learning these skills if he/she does not already possess them. If an instructor finds that you do not have the required skills and knowledge, you may be asked to withdraw from the course.

1. Basic Knowledge of Computers

  • Understand basic computer hardware components and terminology
  • Understand the concepts and basic functions of a common computer operating system
  • Start up, log on, and shut down a computer system properly
  • Use a mouse pointing device and keyboard
  • Use Help and know how to troubleshoot routine problems
  • Identify and use icons (folders, files, applications, and shortcuts/aliases)
  • Minimize, maximize and move windows
  • Identify common types of file extensions (e.g. doc, docx, pdf, html, jpg, gif, xls,ppt, pptx, rtf, txt, exe)
  • Check how much space is left on a drive or other storage device
  • Back up files        
  • Download and install software on a hard disk
  • Understand and manage the file structure of a computer
  • Check for and install operating system updates

2. Proficiency in Using Productivity Software

  • Create documents of various types and save in a desired location
  • Retrieve an existing document from the saved location
  • Select, copy, and paste text in a document or desired location
  • Print a document
  • Name, rename, copy and delete files
  • Understand and know how to use the following types of software programs:
  • Word processing (example: MS Word, Google Doc, Writer)
  • Presentation (example: PowerPoint, Impress)
  • Spreadsheet (example: Excel, Calc)
  • PDF reader (example: Acrobat Reader, Preview)
  • Compression software (example: WinZip, StuffIt, 7-Zip)

3. Electronic Communication Skills

  • Email, using a common email program (example: MS Outlook, Gmail, Apple    Mail)
  • Compose, Send, Reply, Forward messages
  • Add attachments to a message
  • Retrieve attachments from an email message
  • Copy, paste and print message content
  • Organize email folders
  • Understand what an electronic discussion list is and how to sign up and leave one (example: Listserv, Listproc)

4. Internet Skills

  • Set up an Internet connection and connect to the Internet
  • Have a working knowledge of the World Wide Web and its functions, including     basic site navigation, searching, and installing and upgrading a Web browser
  • Use a browser effectively, including bookmarks, history, toolbar, forward and back buttons
  • Use search engines and directories to find information on the Web
  • Download files and images from a Web page
  • Understand and effectively navigate the hyperlink structure of the Web
  • Understand how keep your information safe while using the Internet

5. Moving Files

  • Transfer files by uploading or downloading
  • View and change folder/document security settings
  • Copy files from hard disk to storage devices and vice versa

Recommended Readings

  • Bruce J. McLaren, Understanding and Using the Internet, West Publishing Company, 610 Opperman Drive, P. 0. Box 64526, St. Paul, MN 55164.
  • Computer Applications for Business, 2nd Edition, DDC Publishing, 275 Madison Avenue, New York, NY10016.
  • Nita Hewitt Rutkosky, Microsoft Office Professional, Paradigm Publishing Company, 875 Montreal Way,St Paul, MN 55102.
  • Robert D. Shepherd, Introduction to Computers and Technology, Paradigm Publishing Inc., 875 Montreal Way, St. Paul, MN 55102.
  • Shelly Cashman Waggoner, Discovering Computers 98, International Thomson Publishing Company, One Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02142.
  • V. Wayne Klemin and Ken Harsha, Microcomputers, A Practical Approach to Software Applications,McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, NY 10016.

English-III: Communication and Presentation Skills

Course Description

For professional growth and future development, effective presentation skills and interactive and interpersonal communicative skills are very important. This course offers methods, techniques, and drills significant and useful in optimising communication and presentation skills of the learners, enabling them to face divergent groups of audience with poise and confidence. The course has been divided into modules relating to the essentials, contents, gestures, technology, and variety associated with communication and presentations skills. The presentation skills part focuses on preparing students for long-life skill of preparing and giving presentations. Communication is a vital part of our daily routine. The communication skills part focuses on developing good communication skills among students.

Course Objectives

The course aims to:

  • help students identify essential components of a presentation
  • develop the awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes required to deliver effective academic presentations and communicate clearly
  • help students learn various presentation and  communication styles and techniques
  • provide techniques to facilitate effective interpersonal and interactive communication
  • guide how to build stronger relationships through powerful communication

Course Contents

1. Introduction

  • Understanding the purpose of Communication
  • Analyze the Audience
  • Communicating with words as well as with body language
  • Writing with a Purpose

2. Presentation skills  

3. Delivering your presentation

4. Speaking with Confidence

5. Communicating Effectively

6. Job Interviews and Communicating Skills

7. Communicating with Customers

8. Communication in a Team

Recommended Readings:

  • Carnegie, Dale. ( ). How to Win Friends & Influence People.
  • Giblin, Les. Skill with People.
  • Newton, Paul. How to communicate effectively.
  • Tracy, Brian. Speak to Win.