Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Academic Courses for Information Science Students

- 2019/01/08

Ministry of Education

Umm Al-Qura University

English Language Centre


The following is a detailed description of the Communication Skills 735103-74 course offered by the English Language Center (ELC) to the students joining the Department of Information Sciences (IS) at the College of Computer Science and Information Systems, Umm al Qura University (UQU). All students enrolled in the Information Sciences Department have to take an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course in the second semester after they successfully complete the English for General Purposes (EGP) course (English Language 735101-74) which is offered to them in the first semester of each year.

This course presents students with the language, information, and skills needed for their university program course of study. It presents them with English from a variety of information sciences fields and situations and develop their communication skills. Students will receive 02 contact hours of instruction in English per week (over a period of 16 weeks). The course prepares them for their core courses which some are taught in the English medium providing them with the basic jargon/language register and with opportunities to practice all the major language skills in a meaningful, subject-specific, context. See below for more details.

1.  Basic Information


Course Title:

Communication Skills 735103-74


Course Number:




Course Type:




Number of Credits:




Number of Contact Hours:

02 hours a week: 32 hours per semester



Course Pre-requisites:

English Language I 735101-74


Course Time:

2nd Semester (16 weeks including Mid & Final Exams)


2.  Course Catalog Description

Communication Skills 735103-74 is an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course which runs in the second semester of every year beginning in February. The course is offered in 16 weeks with a 02-hour-per-week teaching plan. The textbook used is a professional careers curriculum provided by Express Publishing, consisting of only one textbook: Career Paths, Information Technology. In order to be enrolled in this course, students have to complete the pre-required EGP course.

The course Communication Skills 735103-74 is offered to students enrolled in the second semester in the Department of Information Sciences. This course is directed to students who are going to pursue their studies in Information Sciences. The course prepares students for their core courses which some are taught in the English as medium of instruction providing them with the basic jargon/ language register, and with opportunities to practice all the four language skills in a meaningful, subject-specific, context.

3.  Course Delivery for Communication Skills 735103-74

Coverage of Planned Program

Weekly Instruction: 02 contact hours

Total Semester Instruction: 32 contact hours

Number of Textbooks: 01 as follows:

1. Career Paths, Information Technology, Book 1

Week No.

Unit/Topic Covered

Contact hours

Week 1

1. Information Technology, vocabulary, getting someone’s attention


Week 2

2. Introduction to Computing System

Reading, vocabulary, giving instruction


Week 3

3. Inside the Computer. Reading, vocabulary, describing a process


Week 4

4.Computing Devices. Reading. Vocabulary, grammar


Week 5

5. Networking. Reading. Vocabulary, grammar


Week 6

6. The user Interface. Reading. Vocabulary, describing options


Week 7

Midterm Exam


Week 8

7. Word Processing. Reading. Vocabulary, offering a solution


Week 9

8,9. E.mail, Web Browsing. Reading. Vocabulary, Expressing confusion


Week 10

9,10. Web Browsing, Image and Graphic Designing. Reading. Vocabulary, Answering the phone


Week 11

11. Database vs Spreadsheets. Reading. Vocabulary, asking for help


Week 12

12. Web Design vs development. Reading. Vocabulary, asking about purpose.


Week 13

13. Desktop Publishing. Reading. Vocabulary, Talking about Experience


Week 14

14. Videoconferencing. Reading emails. Vocabulary, Explaining differences


Week 15

15. E.Commerce. Reading emails. Vocabulary, Clarifying Information


Week 16

Final Exam


4.  General and/or Professional Performance Standards

General and/or Professional performance domains and sub-domains that Communication Skills 735103-74  fully or partially covers are checked below.


Professional Performance Domains and Sub-Domains

Language Proficiency skills















Educational Instructional Skills







Knowledge of Linguistics






L1 Culture

Ö (limited)

L2 Culture


Other Cultures



5.   Communication Skills 735103-74 Competencies Development

The following competencies are developed in Communication Skills 735103-74:

  1. Basic competency in field-related reading
  2. Basic competency in field-related listening
  3. Basic competency in speaking in field-related situations
  4. Basic competency in field-related writing
  5. Basic competency in field-related terminology

6. Communication Skills 735103-74 Course Instructional Objectives

Communication Skills 735103-74 aims at:

  1. building and expanding students’ information science related-terminology repertoire.
  2. developing students’ skills in accuracy and fluency during speaking in field-related related situations.
  3. developing students’ skills in word pronunciation in the information science field.
  4. enhancing students’ skills in listening for gist and specific information in field-related situations.
  5. Improving students’ ability in verbal communication and interaction with professionals in the information science field and non-specialists.
  6. developing students’ competence in the use of a variety of sentence structure in different field-related situations ranging from formal to informal.
  7. exposing students to a range of information science related text types.
  8. developing students’ skills in comprehending a field-related text, distinguishing main ideas, and recognizing specific details.
  9. developing students’ skills in basic writing skills.
  10. developing students’ writing skill in different field-related genres: writing a paragraph, a report, a/n in/formal email, technical report, etc.
  11. enhancing students’ field-related language proficiency in all skills interactively.
  12. building students confidence and motivation through exposure to facts, figures, quotations, and the latest innovations in the field of information science so to generate interest in the language from an ESP perspective.
  13. preparing students to sit for assessments and evaluation to check their progress and achievement in learning information science related English.


  1. Communication Skills 735103-74 Performance objectives

By the end of the course, the students are expected to be able to:

  1. express themselves in field-related situations.
  2. communicate in field-related contexts via listening, speaking, writing, emailing, reporting information, expressing opinions, etc.
  3. use the field-related terminology and structures acquired through communicative activities in field-related settings.
  4. comprehend field-related texts well in main ideas and detailed information.
  5. differentiate between the correct usage and incorrect usage of English in vocabulary, collocation, and speech situations all within the field-related context.
  6. compare and contrast textual information in different contexts, cultures, and settings.
  7. write a correspondence, a paragraph, a short technical report, an email coherently and cohesively.
  8. have confidence in sitting for assessment and evaluation.

8. Additional Points to Class and Course Management Policies

To maximize the language learning opportunities for the students and to provide them with the smoothest possible experience throughout the time the students are under its care, the ELC has developed certain in-home bodies and policies. The following is an account of them:

8.1.  Exam Committee (EC)

The Exam Committee at the English Language Centre (ELC) organizes and coordinates all mid-term and final exams; they also develop exam questions, answer keys, and marking guidelines, in addition to supervising the execution of the exam rules and regulations. Faculty and students can turn to the committee if they have a question or concern regarding an exam, a missed exam, etc.

8.2.  Marking Committee (MC)

Once the Exam Committee has delivered an exam, the answer sheets are forwarded to the Marking Committee which marks the students’ answer sheets using a computer program. To make sure that the answer sheets are marked correctly, the MC randomly chooses 5 sheets from each group and score them manually. They cross-match the results and if any discrepancies are found, the whole group is rechecked.

8.3.  Classroom Rules of Conduct


  1. are not allowed to use electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, audio recorders, in the classroom unless needed or requested by the teacher and for academic purposes.
  2. are not given an opportunity to use a camera inside and outside the classroom, unless they have the proper permissions and for academic reasons.
  3. are not permitted to drink beverages and eat food, snacks, candies, and the like in the classroom.
  4. are allowed to drink water in the classroom.
  5. are not allowed to disturb the class by any means.
  6. are to observe the Islamic code of dress.
  7. are not allowed to smoke in class or on university premises.


8.4.  Attendance and Participation

Students’ attendance at all class sessions is required. Simply, learning English is a skill which needs focus, practice, and regular attendance. Additionally, students’ punctual attendance shows their enthusiasm for learning as well as respect for the teacher, peers, course, and the University.  Any absence beyond 25% of the Course Hours will result in the student’s being banned from attending the final exam.

Students need to differentiate between an ‘excused’ and ‘non-excused’ absence. Any Absence which occurs due to a health condition, a personal/family emergency, or attendance at an approved university activity is considered an excused absence. The excused absence must be supported by documentation and presented to the instructor in advance, or immediately, or shortly after the student’s availability in the class. The absent student is responsible for any assignment, quiz, and/or exam missed whether their absence is excused or unexcused. Having an excuse will not reduce the number of absent hours counted, but it will give the student a chance to catch up on missed assignments and quizzes, if the course instructor accepts.

Students are not turned away from entering the classroom when they are late.  However, it is expected that they enter the classroom calmly, positively, and non-disruptively.  Without a doubt, ‘participation marks’ are largely affected by excessive tardiness and absenteeism. Students’ regular attendance and participation in the class not only do strengthen their academic backups but also do support their participation marks, among others.

8.5.  Missed Exams

If a student misses a quiz, an assignment, and/or a presentation, they have to contact their instructor at the earliest opportunity possible in order to arrange for an alternative.

If a student misses a unified exam (a midterm exam or a final exam) because of a medical reason or a personal/family distress, s/he has to contact the Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs of their respective college and submit a written document such as a medical report issued by an authorized medical body or personality within two weeks. The Vice-Dean will file the case and forward the relevant documents to the English Language Center. The ELC Director or one of his deputies will send the case to the Exam-Excuses Committee in the ELC. Accordingly, the committee will review their case and decide if the student is eligible to sit for a substitute exam. In the case of approval, the student has to appear for a substitute exam the date, time and place of which is decided in coordination with the relevant college and the students are informed via SMS and email.

If a student did poorly in a midterm exam or a final exam, they are not permitted to sit for it again. Simply, once a student attends any formal exam, they have made a decision to do so and, thus, no compensation or recourse will be granted in any circumstance. If a student fail the course, s/he will have to repeat it the following year.

8.6.  Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty (including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism) is strictly prohibited. As academic dishonesty depreciates efforts of the teacher to teach and devalues the attempts of students to learn, the ELC has zero tolerance for proven academic dishonesty. Depending on the type and severity of dishonesty, possible sanctions and charges (based on the decision of Disciplinary Committee(s) in the ELC, and/or University) may range from a repetition in the assignment, project, or exam to dismissal from University, as indicated below:

  1. a repetition in the assignment, project, or exam;
  2. a reduction in grade in the assignment, project, or exam;
  3. a zero in the assignment, project, or the exam;
  4. a suspension for a semester or a year;
  5. or dismissal from University.

8.7.  Instructor’s Office Hours

Students are encouraged to make use of their instructor’s office hours. The instructor informs students of their office hours at the beginning of each semester. As well, the instructor’s timetable (including their teaching and office hours) is posted outside their office.

8.8.  Students’ Questions, Comments, Suggestions, and Criticism

If a student has a question, suggestion, comment, and/or criticism, they will be received by their instructor with pleasure. However, in approaching the instructor in any issue, the student’s objective view and discretion are always expected. It must be noted that no increase or decrease to the student’s mark is assigned for suggesting, criticizing, etc. 

8.9.  Emergencies

In case of an emergency all students are to stay calm and deal with it appropriately following instructions given by their respective faculty.

a.  Emergency Evacuation:  In case of fire emergency or the like, students must leave the classroom immediately but calmly and go in the designated area.  See the map and instructions posted on the wall near your classroom.

b.  Emergency Ambulance: Call 911 from any office that is the nearest to you.

c.  First Aid Kit:  First Aid Kit is located in the office of Students’ Affairs as well as in the office of the campus's physician.

d.  Personal Emergency: If a student has an urgent chronic medical condition that might occur while they are in the classroom, the student needs to inform their instructor of the medical condition and its consequences at the beginning of each semester.

9. Course Materials and Learning and Information Resources

9.1. Students’ Book & Material

  • Evans, V., Dooly J. & Wright S. (2011). Career Paths, Information Technology. Express Publishing. Newbury, UK.

9.2. Teacher’s Book & Material 

  • Evans, V., Dooly J. & Wright S. (2015). Career Paths, Information Technology – Teacher’s Guide. Express Publishing. Newbury, UK.
  • Evans, V., Dooly J. & Wright S. (2011). Career Paths, Information Technology – Teacher’s Book. Express Publishing. Newbury, UK.




 Class Audio CDs

9.3. Supplementary Materials

  • Lea, D., Bull, V. & Webb, S. (eds.) (2014). Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bonamy, D. (2009). Technology 1 – Teacher's Resource Book. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.
  • Pohl, A. (2009). Technology 2 – Teacher's Resource Book. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK.


9.4. Website Resources

  1. Communication Skills 735103-74 Grading Standards


Linguistic progress of the students registered in Communication Skills 735103-74 is evaluated according to the following assessment measurements:


Assessment Measurement

Score Weight


Coursework (including quizzes, written and spoken assignments, presentations, and classroom and online participation)



Midterm Test



Final Exam



11. Communication Skills 735103-74 Technology Support

  1. The general software that our students need to use in this course is checked below.



General Technology



Word processing programs: Microsoft Word, Pages …etc



Spreadsheet programs: Microsoft Excel, Numbers …etc



Presentation programs: Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, Powtoons, Prizi …. etc



Internet Tool e-mail



Social media applications: What’s App, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter…….etc



Search Engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Safari, Bing, etc.)



Others (specify)


  1. The general technologies that the instructor needs to use in the class and/or lab are:


General Technology



Internet access and E-Mail



Spreadsheet programs: Microsoft Excel, Numbers …etc



A data show projector



Video and audio media equipment



Digital camera

Ö (limited use)


Presentation programs: Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote,



Scanner / CD writer



Word processing programs: Microsoft Word, Pages …etc



Others (Specify): social media applications