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Academic English course development for Indian undergraduate students: An interview
A two hundred 'academic verb list' was compiled for vocabulary building and its transactional design was developed for undergraduate Indian students, who had English as a second language at the secondary school level but are now pursuing higher education through English medium.

The course has been developed at the Centre for Communicative English in Jaipur. The course designer, Dr Lalit Kishore, piloted the course on 25 students and received significantly positive reactions from them.

The course is meant to enable students to understand the academic discourses in the classrooms of higher education and write reasonably well the assignments given to them.

One of the students who underwent the twenty-hour course decided to interview the course designer. The interview has been in the form of questions and responses and it is given below.

Interviewer: I have undergone the course and found it extremely useful to understand lectures delivered by teachers. What is your motivation to develop this course?

Respondent: The courses hitherto available in various institutes consist of around 500 to 1500 words since English is their first language. Their academic word lists are assorted. In the Indian situation, the context of students and teachers is different and they speak lesser number of academic words. Moreover, technical words are mean to be learned afresh along with delivery of course content. List made to decide 200 academic verbs to lower the word load on our students.

Interviewer: How did you go about for preparing your academic verb list?

Respondent: I chose four categories of verbs, namely, signal verbs, linking verbs, helping verbs and evaluation-based action words since classroom practices are a continuum of teaching, learning and evaluation.

Interviewer: What are the main course material features?

Respondent: There are four main features the course material. First, there is an alphabetical list of academic verbs. Second, the course material is based on active learning material in the form of worksheets. Third, learning tasks in the worksheets are based on cognitive psychology principles. Lastly, the written work has been emphasized including sentence formation and conversion of verbs into nouns and adjectives for extended vocabulary.

Interviewer: What is the transactional process of the course?

Respondent: Besides the one hour for introduction of the course and three hours for the revision work, sixteen hours have divided into one-hour daily sessions leading to completion one worksheet per day. Twelve to sixteen academic are taken up in one session, besides listening and echo-speaking exercises, word-search puzzle construction, sentence construction exercise and additional word building is done everyday leading to over-leaning mindfully.

Interviewer thanked the course designer and appreciated the hard work put in in preparing the course material.

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