Course:Academic English Support Program/Active Participation in Seminars/Overview

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Many students new to UBC are unfamiliar with a common learning activity found in most faculties at UBC. Rather than sitting quietly listening to lectures, you may be required to participate in discussions, seminars or tutorials. The suggestions offered in the Academic Speaking Skills modulewill help you participate fully in these important learning activities. They will also help you if you’re interested in joining a study group outside of class or speaking up in lectures.

This course will cover the following topics:

  1. UBC Professors’ expectations of students in seminars and tutorials;
  2. UBC students’ experience in seminars and tutorials and advice in preparing for them;
  3. UBC English Language Institute instructors’ suggestions for ESL students’ participation in seminars and tutorials;
  4. Essential verbal and non-verbal language for participating in collaborative work with classmates; and
  5. How to formulate a plan for your own participation in collaborative work.


After successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the university’s expectations of student participation in discussions,seminars and tutorial;
  • Identify a number of pedagogical reasons for seminar/tutorial work at university;
  • Identify characteristics of your own behavior while participating in seminars/tutorials;
  • Modify any aspects of your behavior that may impede rather than help your seminar/tutorial group achieve its goals;
  • Understand your strengths as a seminar/tutorial participant so you can volunteer to do tasks that you know you can do well; and
  • Implement a plan you have devised to help you contribute effectively in seminars, tutorials, and study groups.

Please note the approximate time you need is given at the end of each section. You may choose to complete only those sections most relevant toyour needs.