English for Psychology


Course description
  • Duration:  30 hours of class time
  • Number of sessions: 15    
  • Recognition for optional credits: 2
  • Language: English
  • Level: B1-B2 or above
  • Campus: Córdoba / Sevilla
  • Area of interest: Psychology
  • Fee: 200€
Professional Demand
The present course aims at providing psychology students with the specific linguistic competences that are necessary to comprehend and produce written and spoken texts by using structures pertaining to psychological ESP (English for Specific Purposes).
Course objectives
At the end of the course, you will have developed these competences:
  • ability of understanding, analysis and synthesis when reading a scientific text related to the field of Psychology
  • ability to apply the knowledge in the field of Psychology
  • communication competences needed for working in English environments
  • ability to understand and take effective notes on extended lectures, including how to follow the argument and identify the speaker's point of view
  • ability to participate effectively in a variety of realistic situations, from seminars to presentations, including how to develop an argument and use stance markers
  • ability to understand a wide range of texts, from academic textbooks to Internet articles  understanding culture-specific language,
  • the ability to produce coherent and well-structured assignments, including such skills as paraphrasing and the use of the appropriate academic phrases
  • Pairwork – students will work in pairs to develop oral linguistic competences in the fields of journalism, media and communication
  • Groupwork – some activities will be carried out in groups, where students will discuss ideas in small groups and then feed back to the class
  • Role playing
Unit 1: What is psychology?
  • definition of psychology
  • introduction to branches of psychology
  • Listening
    • preparing for a lecture
    • predicting lecture content from the introduction
    • understanding lecture organization
    • choosing an appropriate form of notes
    • making lecture notes
  • Speaking
    • speaking from notes
 Unit 2: Branches of psychology
  • pure and applied science
  • process and person approaches
  • developmental /educational, occupational, biological, forensic
  • Reading
    • using research questions to focus on relevant information in a text
    • using topic sentences to get an overview of the text
  • Writing
    • writing topic sentences
    • summarizing a text
 Unit 3: Psychology in practice
  • professional practice: occupational and clinical psychology
  • phobias
  • mental disorders
  • Listening
    • preparing for a lecture
    • predicting lecture content
    • making lecture notes
    • using different information sources
  • Speaking
    • reporting research findings
    • formulating questions
 Unit 4: Psychology and computers
  • using computers for research
  • using computers to develop cognitive models
  • computers and diagnosis of mental illness
  • virtual reality
  • Reading
    • identifying topic development within a paragraph
    • using the Internet effectively
    • evaluating Internet search results
  • Writing
    • reporting research findings
Unit 5: Dreams and personality
  • approaches to dreams
  • Freud
  • Jung
  • models of consciousness and personality
  • Listening
    • understanding 'signpost language' in lectures
    • using symbols and abbreviations in note-taking
  • Speaking
    • making effective contributions to a seminar
Unit 6: Vygotsky and Piaget: thought and language
  • Vygotsky
  • development of thought and language across cultures
  • Piaget
  • cognitive development and education
  • Reading
    • locating key information in complex sentences
  • Writing
    • reporting findings from other sources: paraphrasing
    • writing complex sentences
Unit 7: Memory
  • models of memory
  • input – transfer – storage
  • short-term and long-term memory
  • theories about forgetting
  • memory and hypnosis
  • Listening
    • understanding speaker emphasis
  • Speaking
    • asking for clarification
    • responding to queries and requests for clarification
Unit 8: Mental disorders: popular myths
  • common myths about mental illness
  • the media and stereotypes of mental illness
  • Reading
    • understanding dependent clauses with passives
  • Writing
    • paraphrasing
    • expanding notes into complex sentences
    • recognizing different essay types/structures: descriptive · analytical · comparison/evaluation · argument
    • writing essay plans
    • writing essays
Unit 9: Personality
  • trait theory
  • genetics and personality
  • measuring traits
  • leadership
  • Listening
    • using the Cornell note-taking system
    • recognizing digressions in lectures
  • Speaking
    • making effective contributions to a seminar
    • referring to other people’s ideas in a seminar
Unit 10: Modern addictions
  • Internet addiction
  • body image and eating disorders
  • Reading
    • recognizing the writer’s stance and level of confidence or tentativeness
    • inferring implicit ideas
  • Writing
    • writing situation–problem–solution–evaluation essays
    • using direct quotations
    • compiling a bibliography/reference list

Continuous assessment
During the course, students will do several progress tests. Besides, all the activities and tasks carried out in class or at home as part of this course will be assessed and taken into account for a final mark. These aspects will be taken into account for the final result:
  • Progress tests (20%)
  • Coursework (60%)
  • Homework (20%)
Attendance will be a fundamental aspect of the continuous assessment and so a minimum of 70% of attendance will be compulsory.
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