English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA)

English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA)

Greater English Skills, Greater Ability to Produce Ideas

At the same time as it increases students' facility with English, the English for Liberal Arts (ELA) Program also cultivates the ability to produce ideas and other skills necessary to study effectively at ICU. Readings are drawn from such topics as Intercultural Communication and Bioethics. Students then discuss these topics and compose short essays, through which they gain the ability to think creatively, critically and independently.

Classes are conducted in English, meaning students refine the practical English skills they need for university studies.

Students with a high degree of proficiency in English when they enter ICU are able to pursue shorter, more intensive studies, while students who wish to proceed at a steadier pace are offered diverse opportunities for guidance and practice. Issues such as how to give presentations, how to listen to lectures, and building vocabulary are not limited to the study of English but serve as an important foundation for study at the university level. Also, in preparation for undergraduate research and thesis writing, all ELA students complete a course at the end of the program that focuses on academic research writing.

The ELA is designed to promote maximum student engagement and interest, which make learning easier and more enjoyable. The ELA has small classes that emphasize group discussion and a lot of interaction with other students and teachers. The program is an important introduction to a liberal arts education, which, at ICU, takes place amid a stimulating learning environment.


My Style ELA: Different from High School English

Style 1

Exclusive Use of English in An Environment Where Definite Results Are Gained
Style 2

Approaching English from Multiple Perspectives Cultivating the Ability to Think Independently
Style 3

Improving English Through Practical Application
Where English is studied in high school through listening, at the ELA Program, English is seen is a communication tool and studied through actual use. Classes focus on discussion in small groups while also training students to listen, speak, read and write in English. Since students use English on a nearly daily basis, any barriers to the language disappear. It is through study in such an environment that students gain academic language skills for research and thesis writing. Students are taught not to be easily convinced of others' positions and to ask whether an idea has a logical foundation. Through advanced level readings, students become accustomed to grasping the accurate meaning and ideas of such texts. Through discussion, they become able to understand others and seek out solutions as well as to express their own ideas in English. The process of repeated reading, discussion and writing naturally cultivates in students an attitude of independent study and of approaching things from multiple perspectives. Students may choose to participate in a Study English Abroad (SEA) Program over their summer break, a portion of which can be taken for credit. While overseas, they are able to gain confidence through practical application of English. There are many such students who seek to go beyond the classroom and have the chance to use English every day as well as to come into contact with other cultures. There are many opportunities at ICU to refine English skills overseas, whether through work in a volunteer program or in classes at a foreign study or exchange program.

Questions from Applicants

Q1: With my level of English, will I be able to keep up with the ELA classes?
A: If your TOEFL (PBT) score is about 350 points or higher then you shouldn't have any problem.
Q2: There are a lot of classes. Do I have to attend them all?
A: If your TOEFL (PBT) score is about 350 points or higher then you shouldn't have any problem.
Q3: Do you emphasize conversational English?
A: Emphasis is placed on reading and writing skills, but conversational and listening skills also improve.
Q4: Are all the instructors native speakers of English?
A: About 30% of the instructors are native speakers of Japanese so that students can be given advice in Japanese when necessary.