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Resources for English for Academic Purposes


During COVID-19, Student Learning Commons services continue.
For the complete range, including consultations, support, workshops, handouts, and groups, see SLC services continue online.  


Academic English Coaching 

The Student Learning Commons' Academic English Coaching program offers free, one-to-one English language coaching to help students for whom English is an additional language improve their academic English skills. 

For the Fall 2020 term, Academic English Coaching sessions will be held virtually through WCOnline. To participate in the program, you will need to first fill out the online registration form. You will then be contacted to schedule a consultation.

How it works

The English for Academic English Coaching Program is designed to help you identify and address areas that need extra work, set goals, and work towards achieving them throughout the semester. You will meet with an English language specialist a minimum of three times per semester (in total a maximum of 5 times) while working independently on a personalized academic English learning plan.  Registration for this service is only open for the first six weeks of each semester, at which time registration will close and students put on a waitlist for the following semester.

Note: This service is only available to registered SFU students. Non-SFU students, including visiting scholars, post doctorate students and FIC students are not eligible.

Workshop Series


Academic Grammar and Writing for Multilingual Learners

Academic Grammar and Writing for Multilingual Learners is a seminar-style workshop series offered by the Student Learning Commons (SLC) and has been carefully designed to help you succeed as a multilingual learner of English.

The workshop combines grammar for academic purposes, critical thinking, and academic writing for university. The main writing task is to produce a self-report (narrative) that stimulates participants to restructure their understanding of the nexus between language, culture, and identity. Students will complete reading, writing, and grammar tasks, all of which will be used to provide personalized feedback.

Open to undergraduate students only.

The required workbook for the course is the online version of Grammar for Academic Purposes 2 by Steve Marshall. 

For the Fall 2020 term, this workshop series will be held virtually through Bb Collaborate (Canvas).

September 14 - November 23, 2020
Mondays, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

**NOTE: No session on October 12.


Academic Writing for Graduate Students 

This seminar-style workshop series is designed for multilingual graduate students with English as a non-dominant language. Workshop activities include richly varied writing, reading, and language-specific tasks designed to develop academic writers. Participants will learn how to apply their analytical skills to the discourses of their chosen disciplines and explore how effective academic writing in Western scholarly tradition is achieved.

Required textbook:
Swales, John M., & Feak, Christine B. (2011). Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills (3rd Edition). Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press (ISBN: 978-0472-03475-8). (PDF Available)

For the 2020 Fall term, this workshop series will be offered virtually on Zoom.

September 15 - December 1, 2020
Tuesdays, 10:30 AM-12:20 PM

Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers

This seminar style workshop is designed for multilingual graduate students with English as a non-dominant language. Grammar is presented through a functional description of the language resources that can be used to create meaning clearly, communicate with the reader appropriately, and organize a message effectively.

Required textbook:
Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers (2nd edition)by Nigel A. Caplan University of Michigan Press, 2019. An e-book is available from Amazon.

For the 2020 Fall term, this workshop series will be offered virtually on Zoom.

September 17 - November 26, 2020
Thursdays, 2:30 PM-4:20 PM

Self-learning exercises

Self Help Resources
Wide variety of interactive English grammar, listening and reading exercises for academic writing.

The Write Site
Modules on grammar, using sources, structure.

The Academic Phrasebank
Examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organized according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation.