Academic style!

Summer courses are over and it’s time to get down to the real work! Of course, many international students haven’t been on summer courses at all and will be going straight onto their university courses because their English is already good enough. Or is it?? Last year I had a few very fluent students who had been in English medium schools around the world. They could understand everything going on around them and they were very confident chatting to British students and lecturers. But when they did their coursework – written and oral – they were very disappointed with their marks. The reason they were getting low marks? They were not using Academic English! When they gave their presentations they were using lots of colloquial language (I remember hearing: “I picked this subject to talk about because I thought it would be great. It’s really hot, all my mates go on about it all the time.”  The student got reasonable marks for engaging the audience and fluency, but low marks for appropriate language!) British students who are new to academia also need to learn this new genre of Academic English. What makes Academic English different to other types of English? There are lots of features of Academic English but the main ones are neatly and succintly (guess the meaning before you look it up!) summed up in this handy little guide from RMIT University in Australia which you can access here.