This module will provide you with a curated set of support resources to build on your study and communication skills. The sections can be used in any order and are independent of each other. Click on the topic titles below left to access content.
1. Critical Literacy
Part of the expectation at MGSE is to be able to critically engage with literature and to represent this critical engagement and interpretation in both written and spoken contexts.
This page provides resources that examine the idea of critical literacy and provide you with practical, useful language to be used in your work to show your critical engagement.
Watch: Cohesive, critical and interpretive writing
This video examines what critical and interpretive writing is.
Other academic critical language resources
These resources provide excellent examples of critical/interpretive language:
- University of Manchester Academic Phrasebank - an excellent language resource for cohesive and critical language
- Cohesive and interpreteive language - a short PDF listing interpretive langauge exampels you can use in your writing and speaking.
2. The academic writing process
At MGSE you're asked to write in a range of genres - the task types vary considerably.
The keys to successful academic writing lie in an understanding of expectations, awareness of features of academic style, engagement with critical literacy, ability to write to task (relevance) and engagement with academic literature in both content (ideas) and following conventions of use (how the ideas are presented).
A great approach to producing written work is to develop a process.
To help you become the best academic writer you can be, this page contains resources on:
- analysing the task
- essay writing
- structure & key elements of academic paragraphs
- APA referencing
Watch: Task analysis
This short video looks at how to break down a task - always the starting point for any assignment.
Watch: Writing academic essays - what to do
This video looks at the basic structure of the academic essay, what to include and some key points to remember as you write.
Watch: Structure and key elements of academic paragraphs
This video focuses in on the academic paragraph - the building block of the essay.
APA 7 resources
APA is the referencing style used at MGSE - get to know it:
3. Writing tasks
Sometimes you're asked to frame your writing in a particular way or to carry out a particular task. This page looks at 3 of those focused writing areas:
- Research questions
- Literature review
- Writing reflectively
This page also provides you with two critical sources of information for your research:
- Unimelb library databases
- Google Scholar
Watch: Developing a research question
Developing and writing to a clear research question is a key part of the research process. This video unpacks research questions.
Watch: Writing the literature review
A literature review may be a section of a larger assignment or a complete task in and of itself - either way, it is a very important and common aspect of academic writing.
Watch: Reflective writing
Writing reflectively is often required of you at MGSE - the key expectation is that you move beyond the descriptive into the reflective/interpretive space. Learn more about reflective writing in this video.
To conduct your research most efficiently you must be in the right places.
Go to the Library Guides - choose your study area, choose your subject, then find the Database tab; here you will find links to databases in your study/discipline area - these are great places to conduct research.
Using Google Scholar
Go to Google Scholar > Settings >Library links - type in the University of Melbourne Library into the search box on that page - choose the UniMelb Library to add to your links.
Any search you do in Google Scholar that results in a 'Find it at Melbourne' link means you can access that resource at the UniMelb Library
4. Presentation skills
Being a teacher requires you to communicate effectively and confidently in a range of contexts: the classroom, meetings with colleagues and parents, presentations, conferences, training and PD days etc.
So, it's a great idea to work on these skills now, at university, where you'll get a number of opportunities to practise presenting to audiences.
To help you become the most effective presenter you can be, this page contains resources on:
- preparation, organisation and language used in presenting
- effective use of voice and body language
- use of visuals
- purposeful practice and feedback
- managing presentation stress
- presenting online
Watch: Preparation, organsiation, language and questions
This video looks at getting ready, organising, some language examples and dealing with questions.
Watch: Delivery - Body language and voice
Body language and voice are key presentation tools. Learn more about them here.
Watch: Delivery - Visuals
A key part of a successful presentation is the visual aspect - how it looks.
Watch: Purposeful practice and the power of feedback
The best method for improvement lies in getting specific feedback then practising.
Other speaking and presenting resources
5. Time and task management skills
MGSE expects you to be able to manage your time; after all, good teachers simply must be good time and task managers!
So, it's very worthwhile developing this skill at university in order to put it into practice as a professional.
To help you become the most effective time and task manager you can be, this page contains resources on:
- time and task management strategies at weekly and semester levels
- tips for managing time
- links to semester planners you can use today
- tips on how to use a semester planner
Watch: Time and task management tips
This video looks at planning your time on weekly and semester levels, setting quantifiable targets and scheduling study sessions.
Read: 10 tips for managing your time
This webpage resource provides 10 practical tips on managing time in areas such as prioritising, managing procrastination, and using tools to manage your time.
Activity: Using a semester planner
Part of good planning mentioned in the video is to have a semester planner.
Using a semester planner gives you an overview of everything you need to do in the entire study period. This helps you to plan out your semester and is a great visual reminder of what you need to do and when.
NOTE: printed poster-size semester planners are available at any UoM Library or at Stop 1.
Download a writable PDF and learn more about the semester planner
6. Language and communication skills
It's in your interest as a teacher to have the best command over your language that you can.
To help you improve your language skills, this page contains resources on:
- working on your language daily
- developing and expanding your vocab
- working on pronunciation
Explore: 10-Minute English
10ME is an Academic Skills program that examines how you can work on your language in just 10 minutes a day!
Read: 10 ways to improve your English
This PDF presents 10 easy ways to work on your English every day!
Explore: Other language development resources and programs
Expanding your vocabulary: This quick read takes you through some strategies for working on education-related vocabulary.
Language development: These resources will help you practise clear pronunciation of English and develop your communication skills.
English for Success: This is a language development program made up of 4 modules offered in Canvas LMS, where a language teacher takes you through ways of working on your English communication skills.
Diagnostic English Language Assessment: If you want to look further into the various supports available to you at UoM, you can undertake the DELA.
Academic Skills services
Individual appointments: If you are looking for 1-1 assistance with your uni work make an appointment with an Academic Skills Adviser.
Workshops: Check upcoming AS workshops you might be interested in attending
More about Academic Skills
Contact Academic Skills at firstname.lastname@example.org