SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Seminar Skills

The Seminar Skills course runs for 4 weeks initially and aims to improve students' oral communication in an academic setting. As well as raising students' awareness of what is expected of them in seminars and tutorials, the course will also offer guidance and practise in giving presentations. Courses will be delivered online in 2020-21. There will be approximately 2 hours of asynchronous online self-study and 1 hour of live synchronous study on Collaborate. The final class will include live presentations.

Areas covered will include:
  • Functions of a discussion
  • Using stress timed rhythm
  • Intonation and word stress
  • Introducing and responding to ideas and opinions
  • Supporting arguments
  • Planning and organising presentations
  • Speaking with or without notes
  • Academic style and register for speaking

Scope and syllabus

The course is suitable for any student who wants to build confidence and fluency in their speaking in seminar or presentation situations.  Though some help will be given with micro skills such as pronunciation and rhythm, the main emphasis is on building confidence and fluency.


The timetable becomes available when the application form for the courses becomes live at different times throughout the year. Please keep an eye out for when the application form goes live before each new block.

Suggested reading

 Furneaux and Rignall (1997),  Speaking English for Academic Study Series, London: Prentice-Hall


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules