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The Language Centre


ADTIS: In-Sessional


In-Sessional Support Programme

What do we offer on the In-Sessional programme?

    • Weekly workshops during full term and the personalised one-to-one supervisions form the core of the In-sessional Support Programme. There are between 2-3 workshops per week and students may attend as many of these as they wish to.
    • Coaching – individually tailored one-to-one sessions which are available during term time and can be booked online.
    • You will become a member of the dedicated Moodle website for ADTIS. This provides a wealth of material including specifically designed learning objects on academic writing.
    • You will have access to individual vocal training supervisions and conversation classes.
    • The Language Centre also offers full access to the John Trim Centre, our learning resource centre. Here you can access a wide range of printed and online material to support your learning.

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What are workshops?

    • The design of workshops is rooted in an understanding of what students need to do in their departmental work and of the relationship between the academic, communication and language skills they need to be successful in that work.
    • We place emphasis on helping you develop both the critical tools you need to analyse good academic practice from a language point of view and practical strategies for improving your own abilities in this area.
    • Many of the workshops are focused on the core skill of academic writing. During our programme we look at the entire writing process from analysing language use in journal papers and how to identify the characteristics of academic strategy and style through to training students in the principles of editing and polishing their work. Some workshops are generic in approach and focus on, for example, writing introductions and literature reviews but others are more specific, such as writing up results sections in scientific papers.
    • Students are aware of the importance of good spoken communication and there are regular workshops devoted to training in presentation skills and seminar skills. We also provide training in pronunciation and listening to fast speech.
    • Each terms’ programme of workshops is carefully balanced and takes into account the likely needs students have at that point in their academic courses.

When and where do workshops take place?

    • Core workshops on academic skills and language take place twice weekly in full term and Personal and Study Skills workshops once a fortnight.
    • All students on the In-Sessional Programme may attend as many of the weekly workshops as they wish to.
    • All workshops take place at the Language Centre and there is a maximum of 20 students per workshop.

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What are supervisions for?

    • Supervisions typically concentrate on your productive skills: writing and speaking.  They are usually specific to the work you do in your department. In writing we explore aspects of style and appropriate language use in your subject area and by looking in detail at your work we endeavour to train you in aspects of self-editing and give feedback on language use in your drafts. In speaking we give detailed feedback for those practising presentations for PhD group meetings or conferences. For students facing viva exams we provide help in how to frame answers and respond in complex ways to questions. Ultimately we will try to respond to every student’s language needs whatever they are.
    • Please note that your ADTIS supervisor is not there to proof-read your work. The objective instead is to guide you to identifying your own weak areas and to improving your own self-editing skills in order to help you to become more autonomous in English.

Guidelines for making the best use of supervisions

    • We strongly recommend spreading the supervisions out evenly through the year. It is especially important that you discuss your needs with your ADTIS supervisor in the first supervision and if writing is important in your course you should arrange to submit some work in the first term. This will allow you and your supervisor to establish areas for you to work on during the year.
    • The supervisions are usually an hour long, depending on what it is you would like to discuss with your supervisor. To make the most out of the time, please be prepared for your supervisions and let your supervisor know in advance what you wish to work on during each supervision. When sending written work for feedback, please use double line spacing in MS Word if possible and please try to avoid sending PDFs.

Please note that there is a reduced service in operation from July to September since the Language Centre is involved in the Summer Schools programme as well as our own Pre-Sessional course for incoming graduates. If you have work to submit during this period, please discuss this with your ADTIS supervisor in good time so that we can arrange any necessary support.

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What else do we offer?

Workshops and supervisions form the core of our offering but it is part of our aim to help our students become autonomous learners too. Therefore we provide a blended learning environment with a range of possibilities designed to be as supportive to our students’ individual needs as possible.

Moodle website

    • Dedicated VLE serving the needs of our students
    • Wide range of academic and language learning and reference resources
    • Quick links to eResources around the university

Online Learning Objects

    • Accessible via the Moodle website we have an expanding range of interactive materials devoted to academic writing which can be used in conjunction with workshops, supervisions or used for independent study.

Coaching sessions

    • A development tool that helps students to focus on what they want to achieve, and to become aware of the blocks, attitudes and aptitudes that affect choices and outcomes.
    • Support that is tailored to individual needs, through ownership of content.

Vocal training sessions

  • 3 x 30 minutes vocal training sessions can be arranged if required. Students are assigned a dedicated pronunciation supervisor and supervisions are arranged directly by email with the supervisor.
Conversation classes
    • For busy students who spend a lot of time in the library or the lab these are a chance to practise general English speaking and listening skills one lunchtime a week in a relaxed environment.
    • Guided self-access support available throughout the academic year.

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Conditional Students Information

You will be contacted at the start of term with details of the date and time for you to come into the Language Centre to sit the eDiagnostic Assessment. This has been specially designed by the Language Centre to assess how well students whose first language is not English can cope with academic English within a graduate level environment. The assessment consists of two sections - reading and listening - both of which have multiple choice questions and a written component. On the basis of the outcome of the eDiagnostic, students may also be invited to an interview with the Director of Academic Development & Training for International Students.

There are two possible outcomes of this assessment:

    1. Your language condition is waived;
    2. Your language condition is waived providing that you attend the In-Sessional Support Programme.

You will already have been informed prior to your arrival in Cambridge as to which level of support we anticipate you requiring, but you will, of course, receive detailed feedback as to your level after the assessment.

Should the outcome be that you need in-sessional support, you will be sent information on how to register and make payment for the course. Once completed, your ADTIS supervisor will arrange to meet you and to discuss the nature and focus of the support with you. You will be considered to have fulfilled your language condition once the Language Centre, in consultation with your academic supervisor, no longer feels you require additional support. However, you may, of course, choose to remain on the programme even after the completion of your formal condition.

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Registration starts at the beginning of Michaelmas and continues throughout the academic year.

In-Sessional support is flexible in its structure to suit students' busy schedules. Students receive personalised support based on an individual assessment.

For any international student who has already fulfilled their language condition but feels that they need or would profit from some additional English language support.

    1. Download the registration form.
    2. Return the form either by e-mail to or via UMS, to ADTIS, Language Centre. Payment information will then be sent to you by email. The Language Centre does not provide funding for the In-Sessional course however your College or Department may be willing to contribute towards the fee.
    3. Once payment has been received you will be sent an eDiagnostic Assessment which you must complete before attending the course. The eDiagnostic Assessment is a needs analysis tool which will allow us to ascertain how well students whose first language is not English can cope with academic English within a graduate level environment. The assessment consists of three sections - reading, listening and writing.
    4. Once completed, you will be assigned an ADTIS supervisor and added to the programme's Moodle site where you will be able to access the full course programme, course materials etc. and find out how to register for workshops.

Support is for one calendar year starting from the term of entry. So, for example, if a student starts at the beginning of Lent term, then they will get support until the end of the following Michaelmas term.

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Workshops this Term

Michaelmas Term 2018

Academic Writing Style

Introduction to Academic Writing in English

Grammar Focus - Modals

Setting Study Goals and Targets

Pronunciation for Speakers of East Asian Languages

Getting the Most of Seminars

Writing Emails

An Introduction to Giving Academic Presentations

Presentation Skills Practice

Elements of Academic Writing: Introductions

Cultural Awareness – The British Class System and Higher Education

Be a Better Time Manager

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New In-Sessional Leaflet

In-Sessional Leaflet

In-Sessional Registration Form

The following documents require RAVEN authentication.
Please read the information related to 'Registration' carefully prior to filling in the registration form.

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