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Finding an Appropriate Style: Formal and Informal Language

Discuss the formality of different situations and develop your own academic style.

  • Duration

    1 week
  • Weekly study

    7 hours

Choose the appropriate language for any occasion

This online English course takes you through how to choose the correct register in both written and oral English to suit the situation.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to academic style
  • Skills and tips for increasing your vocabulary range
  • Review of spoken vs written language
  • Noun phrases and phrasal verbs and when to use them
  • Exploration of hedging and caution
  • Using specific terminology to avoid vague language
  • Communicating with your tutor - emails and meetings

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop a variety of hedging strategies to present cautious conclusions
  • Identify degrees of formality in email communication
  • Describe a number of informal language features in social English
  • Recognise and apply the appropriate academic style in written and spoken texts

Who is the course for?

This course is for students on the Coventry University pre-sessional English award. It is relevant for students who will be continuing their studies online and on-campus.

Please note that the staff described in the ‘Who will you learn with?’ section below may be subject to change.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course you will need access to a computer or laptop with a webcam, a reliable internet connection, speakers, and a microphone.

Who will you learn with?

Don Jack is a Course Leader for CU Services at Coventry University, where he works across the pre-sessional and in-sessional programmes.

I have taught English as a Foreign Language for more than thirty years in Egypt, Japan and at universities in the UK. I am now Director of Pre-sessional English Courses at Coventry University.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

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  • Location


Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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