English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA)

English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA)

Enhance your ability to think in English

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At the same time as it increases students' facility with English, the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) also enhances the critical thinking skills of the students, and cultivates the skills necessary to study effectively at ICU. Consequently, this is a very important introductory program to a liberal arts education.

The majority of April entrants study in the ELA intensively during their first year at ICU. Students are placed into Streams 1, 2, 3, or 4 based on their English proficiency. In each Stream, students are divided into small-size classes of approximately 20 students, which are called "sections". Depending on the Stream, students take 4-11 periods of ELA classes every week.

Students read college-level articles on topics such as "Intercultural Communication" and "Bioethics", discuss and present ideas and opinions, and write papers on each topic. Through such academic activities, students learn to be critical, creative and independent thinkers in English. In addition, the intensive English learning environment prepares students to take liberal arts courses in English.

ELA: Acquiring English Proficiency for a Globalized Society

Yuko Iwata, Ph.D. Professor, Director of the English for Liberal Arts Program

Yuko Iwata, Ph.D.
Professor, Director of the English for Liberal Arts Program

The English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) aims to accomplish two major goals. The first one is to help students acquire English proficiency, and the second is to promote the acquisition of critical thinking and study skills. Both of these goals are indispensable elements of a liberal arts education at ICU. In order to meet these two goals, all of the ELA classes are taught solely in English in small-size classes of approximately 20 students.

The ELA provides customized instruction to meet each student's needs and proficiency. Through actively interacting with teachers and classmates, students learn a range of academic skills in English, including reading academic materials critically and analytically, discussing and presenting ideas and opinions, note-taking, listening to what other students have to say, and writing academic papers. Students also participate in individual sessions with teachers to help improve their academic writing. At the end of the ELA, students choose a topic based on their interest, conduct research on the topic and write a paper on it in English.

In an intensive learning environment, students improve their English abilities so that they can take liberal arts courses in English. They also learn to be critical, creative and independent thinkers in English.

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