Department of Applied Language Studies | Short Courses


Short Learning Programme (SLP)


About this course

Conversational English is a short course that will help you speak and communicate more confidently in English-dominant environments.

The SLP aims to equip delegates to communicate successfully in English in day-to-day contexts.

Conversational English will develop your English communication skills by teaching you the necessary vocabulary and grammar in the areas of speaking and writing encountered in commonplace scenarios. The course also provides practice and training in the skills of effectively decoding English communication in terms of listening and reading.

Who should attend?

This course is ideal for anyone who has English as a second, additional  or foreign language and would like to refine and enhance their practice of English communication.


How will this course help you?

Conversational English will help you by strengthening your practice of listening, reading and speaking in English.


What will you learn?


Learning Outcomes

A delegate of this course should be able to:

  • do basic introductions;
  • ask for or give directions;
  • make enquiries;
  • open a banking account;
  • answer questions effectively at interviews;
  • describe ailments;
  • use 12 verb tenses with understanding and in appropriate contexts;
  • read various texts needed in everyday contexts;
  • write a paragraph, using full sentences and appropriate grammar, on a given topic; and,
  • use comparatives and superlatives correctly and fluently.


The following will be covered in this course:

  • Personal Introductions
  • Asking for/giving directions
  • Asking Questions
  • Facing Job Interviews
  • Going to a Bank
  • Speaking to a Health Professional
  • Reading English
  • Writing a Paragraph
  • Basic English Grammar


How will this course be taught?

This course will be taught using face-to-face instruction and self-paced learning (readings, tasks and activities, and online/home-based learning). You will be welcomed into a small group of delegates and taught by a qualified and experienced facilitator.

The face-to-face sessions will be interactive and the facilitator will engage with all delegates. Group numbers will be kept to a minimum to ensure increased delegate engagement during facilitation. The facilitator will utilise the face-to-face sessions to present the course content and interact with you by completing class-based activities and tasks that will apply your knowledge.

Depending on the delivery mode of this course, you might also be given access to our online learning platform so that you have access to course resources and be able to complete certain activities. 

The language of teaching and learning (LOTL) of this course will be English.


How will you be assessed?

The assessment will be in the form of a written test, a listening task and an oral assessment. The written test will assess the delegate’s mastery of the grammar and vocabulary content of the course, as well as their reading skills. The listening task will require the delegate to answer questions on a given extract. The oral assessment will require delegates to present on a prescribed topic.


Learning Support

Your learning will be supported by a qualified and experienced facilitator. A dedicated administrative assistant will be assigned to assist you with any administrative matters. A tutor will be assigned when group numbers are high and the facilitator requires assistance in supporting your learning.


How will this course be delivered?

This course can be offered in the following modes of delivery:


Mode A: Part-time

Duration: 10 weeks, part-time (1 weekday evening face-to-face session weekly)

Requires 3 hours weekly:  2-hour face-to-face session* + 1 hour self-paced learning


Mode B: Part-time - Accelerated

Duration: 3 weeks, part-time (1 Saturday session [9:00-15:30] weekly)

Requires 10 hours weekly:  6-hour face-to-face session* + 4 hour self-paced learning


*Face-to-face sessions will be offered at one of the Port Elizabeth campuses unless arranged otherwise and stated explicitly.

Kindly check the provisional schedule to see if this course will be offered soon and the applicable mode of delivery.  If this course is not included in the schedule, you are still encouraged to apply.


Course Fee and Payment Details

The course fee is based on the mode of delivery:

R3550* - Mode A - Part-time

R4000* - Mode B (light lunches and refreshments included)

*This is an estimate and is based on delivery at one of the University Port Elizabeth campuses.

You may pay for this course via the following methods:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • Payment at the University cashiers

Kindly wait for provisional acceptance and a reference number before paying for this course.


Admission Requirements

A delegate:

  1. has to be older than 16;
  2. has to be able to communicate in the language of teaching and learning (LOTL) of this course; and,
  3. should have completed a relevant level of education deemed suitable for entry into this course (usually a high school qualification).

Basic understanding of the English language is required, with acceptable foundational standards of reading, writing and speaking. The course coordinator may request an interview prior to provisional acceptance being granted.


Course Completion Requirements

In order to complete this course successfully, delegates have to attend the face-to-face sessions, complete assigned activities, and complete the final course assessment.



This course has been accredited by the Unit of Continuing Education of the University in accordance with the regulations of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), South Africa.

Upon meeting the requirements and successfully completing this course, you will be awarded a Certificate issued by Nelson Mandela University.

Delegates who complete their courses online or via distance learning (where applicable) will receive both a digital and hardcopy of their certificates.

A certificate of completion will be awarded to delegates who attended the course and completed the final assessment.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded to delegates who attended at least 70% of the total notional hours of the course but did not complete the final assessment.


Suggested study path

Should you wish to study more than one DALS short course, then we recommend that you complete the following:

  1. Conversational English
  2. English Language Rules
  3. Business Writing


How to Apply

If you would like to apply, then simply check when this course might be scheduled for delivery and then click on the APPLY link.

If there is an upcoming scheduled offering and sufficient delegates have applied and been provisionally accepted, and your application is also successful, then you will receive a confirmation to pay and register for the course.

You will be required to pay the course fee within 5 business days of being provisionally accepted. 

The DALS SLP payment and cancellation policy applies.

You may also submit an enquiry with your expression of interest.  Should an opportunity arise, then you will be invited to apply.


Provisional Schedule

Kindly visit the SCHEDULE to see if this course will be offered soon.

If this course does not appear on the schedule, you are still encouraged to apply as it will be offered once the minimum number of delegates have been provisionally accepted and have confirmed their registration.

Applying and being provisionally accepted will reserve your space in one of our face-to-face groups.

Companies or organisations sending private groups (of at least 10 delegates in a single group) are not subjected to the provisional schedule. Special arrangements will be made for corporate registrations.

Other courses you might be interested in

You might be interested in the following courses:

See all the DALS Short Courses here.



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