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English - Selected Readings in Popular Science B2

Module SZ04100

This Module is offered by TUM Language Center.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2022 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022WS 2021/2

Basic Information

SZ04100 is a semester module in English language at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of language courses as soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
90 h 30 h 3 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


What is popular science, how does this genre look today, and how does it generate enthusiasm for scientific discoveries? This course explores these questions while examining the constellation of conversations that popular science texts create. We read texts by popular science writers in order to understand how an author’s writing style can change from one format to the next. In addition to discussing style, persuasive techniques and target audiences, we analyze these texts as a means to improving our own language and writing skills.

Learning Outcome

After completion of this module, students will have better grasp of how an author’s writing style can change to follow the conventions of a genre. By reading popular science texts, students will learn strategies for making their writing clearer and more interesting. They will also analyze the techniques authors use to draw the reader in, to hold the reader's attention, and to make persuasive arguments. Students will recognize that many of these techniques and strategies can not only be applied across popular science genres, but also when writing academic texts.

Corresponds to B2 of the CER.


Ability to begin work at the B2 level of the GER as evidenced score in the range of 40 – 60 percent on the placement test at (Please check current announcements as the exact percentages may vary each semester.)

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

This course takes a communicative approach to topics including the use of pair and group tasks, group discussion, and short collaborative writing exercises. Students will need to complete regular preparation for the lessons.


Book chapters, handouts, presentations, audio-visual material


Text selections may include book reviews, press releases, chapters from bestselling books, social media posts, newsletters, blog posts, video-blogs and obituaries, as well as newspaper and magazine articles. These may vary each semester to include recent publications, to provoke thought about current events, discoveries or research techniques, and to reflect student research interests.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Performance, testing the learning outcomes specified in the module description, is examined in the form of a cumulative portfolio of competence and action-oriented tasks. These include three graded tasks: an oral assessment (including visual aids and a handout), a written assignment, and a final examination. The oral assessment may include either an original recording or live “presentation” in the video-blog style, followed by group facilitation of a class discussion.

The original written assignment requires one English Writing Center appointment, which serves as extra support in drafting and revising the text. Ungraded tasks such as the EWC appointment and the review forum submissions are required to pass the course.The final exam may be co-created by students from weekly mandatory (ungraded) submissions to the examination review questions forum, which allows students to take ownership of their learning process and contribute their original ideas to the final examination.

Unless exams are offered online (in open-book format), no aids will be allowed in exams and tests. Where audio or video is recorded, we observe the Basic Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO, Art. 12 -21).T
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