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: the course is not offered during the fall semester
  • Time:
  • Dates: 
  • Participants: PhD Researchers (2nd-4th year), 8-12 participants maximum.
  • Costs: € 600,-

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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 2018 and spring 2019
  • Time: Wednesday, 10:45 - 12:30
  • Dates: 26 September, 3, 10, 24 and 31 October, 7 and 14 November (reserve) 2018
  • Participants: This course is open to those who are required to write policy texts, project proposals, memos, and similar texts. Maximum number of participants: 7-12.
  • Price: € 545

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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 pronunciation 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 2018 and spring 2019
  • Time: Wednesday, 12:45 – 14:30
  • Dates: 26 September, 3, 10, 24 and 31 October, 7 and 14 November 2018
  • Participants: 5-12 participants maximum
  • Costs: € 385

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English Refresher Course

Course information

The Language Center is offering the English Refresher Course for those wish to brush-up on their English skills. This B2/C1 course has been designed for participants who match any or all of the following criteria:

  • An upper-intermediate level of English
  • Between B2 and C1 in the Common European Framework (CEFR)
  • A score of 5.5 – 7.0 on the Tilburg University English Language Assessment

The course focuses on helping participants improve their English for both work-related and general communication-related purposes.  While all four language skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing) will be practiced, homework and in-class activities will focus on sharpening the two productive skills – English speaking and writing.  

Aspects that will be covered throughout the course include a review of key English grammar points, expansion of vocabulary and knowledge of useful phrases and expressions, English writing for business purposes, and presenting and discussing a variety of subjects in English.  Participants should expect to spend between 2-4 hours on homework each week.

The goal of the course is to help participants feel more confident and fluent in their English language skills.  In-class activities and homework assignments can be customized by the participants to address their own specific needs. 

Course overview

  • Entry requirements: CEFR-level B2/C1
  • Duration: 8 x 2 hours
  • Period: Fall 2018 and spring 2019
  • Time: Tuesday, 12:45 - 14:30
  • Dates: 2, 9 and 23 October and 6, 13, 20 and 27 November, 4 and 11 (reserve) December  2018
  • Participants: 8-12 participants maximum
  • Costs: € 480

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English Advanced (Cambridge Proficiency Level)

13x 3-hour classes, 8 hours self-study per week, 6 ECTS

This is a general skills course that includes all components of language skills: writing, reading, speaking and listening. Special attention is paid to advanced level vocabulary and expressions. It is the only course in our offering that brings you from the C1 level to the C2 level which is the highest level course we can offer.

At the end of the course, you will have command of an extensive vocabulary and an expanded knowledge of the grammar. You can express yourself both orally and written in diverse situations. You will have reached the C2 level of the Common European Reference Framework.

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English for Academic Writing

13x 2-hour classes, 8 hours self-study per week, 6 ECTS

Choose this course if you want to prepare for your bachelor’s or master’s thesis. In addition to vocabulary and grammar, the focus is also on practical writing of your own academic work: structure, correct referencing/quoting and maintaining the correct style.

After completing the course, you will be able to write a structured essay or research report, edit your own and someone else’s work and add the correct works cited to your texts. You will have reached the C1 level of the Common European Reference Framework

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English for TOEFL

13x 3-hour classes, 8 hours self-study per week, 6 ECTS

This is a general skills course geared toward all levels of language skills: writing, reading, speaking and listening. You will want to select this course if your objective is to improve your level of English in general. The TOEFL acts like a guideline, however, please be aware that this course is not a course to train for the exam and you will not receive an official TOEFL certificate at the end of the course. An advantage of this course is that the group is divided up according to level, so that you will take it with a reasonably homogenous group at a level similar to your current level.

After completing the course, you will be able to apply strategies for reading and listening, write short, structured texts on various subjects and speak more fluently. You will also be able to describe tables, graphs and illustrations in coherent language. You will have reached the B2/C1 level of the Common European Reference Framework.

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English for the Future

10 x 3-hour class, 8 hours self-study per week, 6 ECTS

This is a general course that works on writing (essay, letter) and speaking (including presentation). Attention will be paid to grammar, vocabulary and academic writing style. Choose this course if you want to improve your English in general or if you are going on an exchange. This course can also be useful for work later in life.

At the end of the course, your English will be more fluent and you can communicate more confidently in English. You are also familiar with different types of academic and business texts. You will have reached the C1 level of the Common European Reference Framework.

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English Speaking & Pronunciation

13 x 2-hour classes, 8 hours self-study per week, 3 ECTS

This course focuses on improving pronunciation and conversational skills. Many students do not feel confident when they have to speak or present in English. This course is aimed at increasing confidence. This course uses special pronunciation software.

After completing the course, you can speak more fluently and more accurately and you do not make any more general pronunciation mistakes. You will also have learned strategies to expand your vocabulary and to deal with unknown words. You will have reached the C1 level of the Common European Reference Framework.

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English for Business Communication

10 x 2-hour classes, 6 hours self-study per week, 3 ECTS

In this course, you will develop communicative skills in a business context. It is a practical course that deals with presentations, meetings and pitches and with a consistent focus on business language. Attention is also paid to writing a prospectus, summaries of policy documents and letters of application. You will have reached the C1 level of the Common European Reference Framework at the end of the course.

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English for Presentation & Performance

10 x 2-hour classes, 6 hours self-study per week, 3 ECTS

You will work on improving your presentation skills in various contexts during this course. Key to this course is giving interesting and convincing presentations with correct language techniques and non-verbal skills. If the event arises, the opportunity to attend an English-language theater performance will be offered.

At the end of the course, you will be familiar with different forms of presentations and you know how to adapt your presentation to the audience. Your presentations proceed more fluently, in better English and more confidently. You will have reached the C1 level of the Common European Reference Framework.

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