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Academic English

About the program


Placement in Foundation English Courses

Upon admission to KIMEP, undergraduate students are placed in an English course according to their level of proficiency.  This level is ascertained by reference to the KIMEP English Entrance Test (KEPT) or an equivalent instrument, such as a TOEFL or IELTS score.  In the Foundation English phase, there are three levels of English, each requiring a total of 225 contact hours.  The total number of courses that a student needs to complete will depend on his/her proficiency in English.

The Foundation English courses are as follows:

Course Code Course Title Level of Proficiency at Entry * Level of Proficiency upon Completion* Duration in contact hours Prerequisite
ENG0101 Foundation English Level C Beginner A1 + 225 contact hours Determined by KEPT**
ENG0102 Foundation English Level  B A1 + B1 Mid 225 contact hours ENG0101 (or requisite KEPT)
ENG0103 Foundation English Level A B1 Mid B2 Mid 225 contact  hours ENG0102  (or requisite KEPT)

*  Levels are defined in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

** KIMEP English Placement Test

Aims of the Foundation English Courses
These courses are KIMEP students’ first encounter with university study.  The purpose of the courses is, therefore, threefold:

  • To offer intensive practice in the use of English in all four skill areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
  • To guide students from the outset in the acquisition of effective study methods, sound academic skills, higher-order thinking and problem-solving, and critical thinking.
  • To support students in taking responsibility for their learning and becoming increasingly independent learners.

Classes are heavily learner-centered and task-based. Great emphasis is placed on encouraging students to realize the crucial importance of diligent study habits both in and outside the classroom.  Assessment is continuous and feedback is constructive and frequent.


KIMEP is an English-medium university. A basic knowledge of English is insufficient because the English used in the classroom is academic English. Academic English is different from general English in many significant ways. Because of this, the College of Humanities and Education offers a number of courses in English for Academic Purposes to help students succeed in their studies. Every student must participate in some or all of these courses and receive a passing grade.

After completing (or being exempted from) Foundation English, students proceed to four courses in Academic English. Each course is worth three credits. Details and regulations can be found in the General Education section of this catalog and in the sections dealing with specific programs.

The following four Academic English courses are required:

ENG1110/GEN1110 Academic Listening and Note Taking
ENG1120/GEB1120 Academic Reading and Writing 1 (not offered in Summer)
ENG1100/GEN1100 Academic Speaking
ENG1121/GEN1121 Academic Reading and Writing 2 (not offered in Summer)

The four Academic English courses (ENG1100, ENG1120, ENG1110, and ENG1121) form a sequence. ENG1110 and ENG1120 are normally taken in a student’s first semester, and ENG1100 and ENG1121 in a student’s second semester. Most academic departments expect a student to have taken and passed these four courses before taking content area courses in the major field. Therefore, it is especially important that students complete these courses in the first year.

ENG 1110 and ENG 1120 form part of the General Education program, whereas ENG1100 and ENG 1121 are located under Basic Disciplines in each academic program. For further details refer to the General Education section or the specific program.

Students are welcome to approach the College’s Advising Coordinator or the Associate Dean for further guidance.


Maira Yessimzhanova (1)

Maira Yessimzhanova

Senior Lecturer


CSc in Philology
al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2009)

Yelena Babeshko (7)

Yelena Babeshko



KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2015)


Yelena Grebennikova-Howe



KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, Almaty (2013)

Assel Koldassova (7)

Assel Koldassova

Senior Lecturer


KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, Almaty (2015)

Diana Pak (1)

Diana Pak

Senior Lecturer


KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, Almaty (2016)

Dina Kucherbayeva (4)-2

Dina Kucherbayeva



MSc in Applied Linguistics
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (2015)


John Sedwick Westbrook

Senior Lecturer


John Westbrook holds an MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in poetry, from the University of Florida (2012, USA). He completed an MA in English at the University of Tulsa (2017, USA) and a BA in English at the Rice University (2009, USA).

His research interests include contemporary Anglophone poetry, poetry in translation, and creative writing pedagogy. He formerly served as assistant poetry editor for the American literary journal Subtropics and now serves as co-editor of KIMEP’s new humanities journal Language, Culture, Environment. His poems and translations have appeared in publications such as the Manchester Review, the New Criterion, and the Southern Review.

Mr. Westbrook teaches Academic Reading and Writing II and Introduction to Films.

Kamiya Abdulkhakimovа

Kamiya Abdulkhakimovа




Course Descriptions


Course description/overview

The Foundation English Program is a package of courses designed for students whose native language is not English and whose knowledge and use of English do not meet the standards for entry into regular first-year English courses. The Program aims to bridge the gap between secondary school and university education and focuses on developing the four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), which will prepare students for academic subjects. Its goals are to encourage students’ independent learning and critical thinking abilities.

Foundation English Level C (0 credits)

Common European Framework: A1 upon completion

The Foundation English C course is the beginning step in the set of levels to be taken by freshmen and is intended for students at the Beginner level of proficiency upon entry. This is an integrated A1 level course that develops students’ receptive skills (reading and listening), productive skills (writing and speaking), and develops a good control of simple grammatical structures and sentence patterns. The course focuses on writing dictations, diaries, personal messages/letters, and basic paragraphs conveying personal information. The course focuses on delivering monologues as well as intensive and extensive reading of graded texts. Listening skills are developed primarily through fulfilling independent-study assignments and classroom interaction. There are multiple individual tutorials with the instructor. By the end of Foundation English Level C, students meet the criteria of the CEF A1 level.

Foundation English Level B (0 credits)

Common European Framework: B1 Mid upon completion

The Foundation English B course is the second step in the set of levels to be taken by freshmen and is intended for students at the A1+ level of proficiency upon entry. This course continues the development of language skills through activities such as group discussions, individual presentations, writing reproductions, descriptive paragraphs and essays, listening to information on various topics, watching videos and films, reading short stories and novels of an appropriate level. Particular emphasis is placed on analyzing information and drawing conclusions, and relating ideas in the text to real life experiences. By the end of Foundation English B students will demonstrate competence at the CEF B1 level.

Foundation English Level A (0 credits)

Common European Framework: B2 Mid upon completion

The Foundation English A course is the third step in the set of levels to be taken by freshmen and is intended for students at the B1 Mid level of proficiency upon entry. This course continues the development of language skills through activities such as discussions, presentations, speeches, and group work; writing summaries, argumentative essays, and letters; listening to news, speeches, films, and other videos; and reading essays, short stories, novels or non-fiction books, textbook chapters, and academic and popular articles. Particular emphasis is placed on developing as writers and speakers and using ideas and information from reading and listening. By the end of the course, students who have made adequate progress in English demonstrate competence at the CEF B2 level.


ENG1110 Academic Listening and Note Taking (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: ENG0005 Foundation English Level 5 or direct admission to Academic English based on KEPT/IELTS

Common European Framework: B2 to C1 low upon completion

This course develops students’ abilities in these two essential academic skills, while at the same time ensuring that listening is not a passive activity. Students improve their understanding of academic discourse in a variety of contexts, including lectures and less formal situations. They are exposed to a variety of dialects of English and levels of formality. They refine their note-taking skills and then use these notes as the basis for questions, responses and requests for clarification. In addition, their notes will be useful for revision and for developing essays, presentations and debates. Mere noting of facts will not be the primary goal. Rather, students will use their notes to write responses and develop their own critical thinking. As far as possible, authentic audio and video materials will be used in preference to artificial materials specially prepared for such courses.

ENG1100 Academic Speaking (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: ENG1110 Academic Listening and Note Taking

Common European Framework: B2 upon completion

This course develops students’ skills in speaking confidently and persuasively on a variety of academic topics in the Humanities, Business Studies and the Social Sciences. Students will be expected to undertake extensive research on their chosen topics and thereby develop their ability to use resources appropriately and ethically. In so doing, they will engage analytically and in-depth with their topics and offer constructive criticisms of one another’s presentations. At all times critical thinking will be emphasized. Students will adopt a process approach to academic speaking, placing emphasis less on the final product than on the stages of academic research, each of which will be presented to the class in the form of a mini-presentation. Through regular presentations on their research and finally on their topics, students will improve their language proficiency and ability to argue effectively and persuasively within an academic context, and to handle evidence and statistical data. Class activities will take the form of discussions, debates and presentations.

ENG1120 Academic Reading and Writing 1 (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: ENG0005 Foundation English Level 5 or direct admission to Academic English based on KEPT/ IELTS

Common European Framework: B2

This course enables students to deal with the academic reading and writing requirements of the program courses. Course activities develop advanced-level reading ability by focusing on main ideas and specific information, by recognizing lexical meaning from content areas in context, and by training in writing that presents clear, well researched arguments within particular essay styles and structures. Students will acquire independent research skills, using online and print sources in a responsible and ethical manner so as to extend their critical thinking ability within an academic discourse. They will learn to find and select relevant reading texts that provide information and interpretations that can be used to support their ideas and provide evidence in their essays. Students will need to process and critically analyze that information before incorporating it within their own arguments. A process-writing approach will be adopted, with greater emphasis on the process of reading and writing and on drafts of the essay than on the final product.

ENG1121 Academic Reading and Writing 2 (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: ENG1120 Academic Reading and Writing I

Common European Framework: B2 to C1 low upon completion

This is an advanced-level academic reading and writing course in which students undertake a major research project on an academic topic of their own choice. Building on the research and writing skills developed in previous courses, students select a project of substantial scope within an area of interest to them. They offer a sound defence of their choice of topic, using criteria appropriate to an academic context, and then prepare to undertake research. In preparing their research essays, students make extensive use of library and online resources, as well as field research such as interviews and off-campus research, depending on the nature of their topic. Reading tasks include finding, analyzing and evaluating a variety of sources. A process-approach to writing is adopted, with specific attention to planning, outlining, surveying the literature, drafting, rewriting, reviewing and using feedback constructively. Attention is paid to both peer and instructor feedback. At the final stage, editing, citations and bibliographical components are the focus of attention.