Language Center

Tilburg University is an internationally oriented research and education institute. The Language Center assists students, university staff, and non-university students in improving their language proficiency.

English for Visitors

With just under 500 million native speakers and a third of the global population that uses the language, English can justifiably be called the global language. English is the international language of science and academia, IT and aviation. It is also the working language of international organizations such as the UN, NATO and the EU.

Today, the English language is also an intrinsic part of the business world. Just one English-speaking colleague in a group and the whole meeting is held in English. For an exporting country like the Netherlands, command of English is a precondition for growth and knowledge of English is indispensable for your career.

English is also becoming increasing prominent in Dutch higher education. A great deal of educational material is in English and the number of English-language subjects is on the rise. Already more than half of master’s level education is given in English at most Dutch universities.

The Language Center offers various English courses.

Academic Writing in English for Ph.D. Candidates / Junior Researchers

Course information

The purpose of the course is to provide the participants with the writing skills to improve their ability to communicate ideas and findings in written English within the prescribed forms of academic and professional writing. The lesson format is a combination of lectures and workshops. The lectures deal with the conventions of academic English as well as the writing skills and strategies necessary to create clear logical flow. The workshop sessions will focus on the specific structural, linguistic, and stylistic problems of the members of the group. The course planning is flexible enough to include elements the group itself would like to work on.

The course is tailor-made to the needs of the participants. To this end, a preview of the participant’s current text-in-progress is used to identify individual strengths and weaknesses. This information is used for planning group lectures and workshops and to provide individual feedback. During the workshop sessions, each participant works on a text (s)he would like to complete in the near future , e.g., an article, summary, proposal, or a section of a book or dissertation. The instructor and other participants give the writer feedback on the work-in-progress.

IMPORTANT: Because this course has a major workshop component, it is not appropriate for first year PhD candidates who are primarily in the research stage and have not yet seriously begun the writing process.

Course overview

  • Entry requirements: 1) CEFR-level C1 or higher, 2) it is strongly recommended that the participant be at least a 2nd year PhD candidate.
  • Duration: 6 x 2 hours
  • Period: Fall 2017 and spring 2018 (dates will be available in December)
  • Time: 10:45 – 12:30
  • Dates: 10 and 24 October, 7 and 21 November and 5 and 19 December 2017
  • Participants: PhD Researchers (2nd-4th year), 8-12 participants maximum.
  • Costs: € 600,-

Fees and registration>>

Professional Writing in English

Course Information

This course is aimed at improving the course participants’ ability to formulate institutional and departmental plans, organizational and project proposals, strategic and policy statements, and to write formal correspondence and memos in English. Attention is given to both the general considerations with respect to composition and the language issues related to writing texts in the professional/managerial context. This course is unique among those provided by the Tilburg University Language Center in that it is the only course specifically aimed at the writing challenges faced by (managerial) staff dealing with strategic, organizational, and policy issues.

The course has two main themes of instruction:

  • Text Construction and Composition - The focus here is on the structural and thematic issues regarding professional texts, including effective introduction, paragraphing, argumentation tactics and structures, and efficient and focused text conclusion.
  • Language Use - Here, grammar and vocabulary are discussed within the context of effective writing at a professional level: style and register, terminology, expression of time and condition, and the creation of expressive variety in texts are given specific attention.

In both themes, course participants are also provided means of undertaking independent study to further improve on their own.

As this course is based on the principle of adaptive and tailor-made instruction, students will be working with their own texts and the issues encountered will be incorporated into class discussion.

Course overview

  • Entry requirements: 1) CEFR-level B2 to C1
  • Duration: 6 x 2 hours
  • Period: Fall 2017 and spring 2018 (dates will be available in December)
  • Time: 10:45 - 12:30
  • Dates: 12 and 30 October, 6 and 20 November and 4 and 11 December 2017
  • Participants: This course is open to all Tilburg University staff and is recommended for those staff members who are required to write policy texts, project proposals, memos, and similar texts. Maximum number of participants: 7 - 12.
  • Price: € 545

Fees and registration >>

Masterclass Spoken English

Course information

In the Masterclass Spoken English, you meet once a week in a small group together with an English language teacher. The course is intended for participants with a relatively high level of English. The focus is predominantly on speaking skills (fluency and vocabulary) through the use of a range of interesting and challenging speaking activities. There is also the opportunity to work on pronunication and grammar depending on the needs of course participants.

Course overview

  • Entry requirements: CEFR-level C1 or higher
  • Duration: 6 x 2 hours
  • Period: Fall 2017 and spring 2018 (dates will be available in December)
  • Time: 14:45 – 16:30
  • Dates: 27 September, 4, 11 and 25 October, 1, 8 and 15 November (reserve) 2017
  • Participants: 5-12 participants maximum
  • Costs: € 385

Costs and registration >>