In 2004, the Ministry of Education required all universities to establish graduation thresholds regarding English proficiency. The CYCU Language Center has established practices entitled “Policy to Enhance the English Proficiency for All Students” and in 2008 started offering the course “Preparation for English Proficiency Test” to senior students who need assistance in passing the graduation requirements. This course is to help students improve their test-taking skills and develop an overall proficiency.
In order to foster the best academic results according to individual student needs, since 2005 Freshman English for Non-English Majors (FENM) has been differentiated into “Advanced”, “Intermediate”, and “Low-intermediate” classes.
Beginning with the 2008-2009 academic year, the Language Center extended the English language program, offering “Sophomore Practical English” as well as “Freshman English” and “English Listening & Speaking in the Lab.” Each of these required courses are 2-hours per week for a total of 6 credit hours.
Through authentic reading texts, such as narratives, short stories, and simplified versions of classical Western literature, Freshman English cultivates students’ reading skills and strategies required for comprehending English written textbooks. With linguistic input from various genres of literature, students are helped to learn and master correct reading strategies and skills. The reading strategies practiced and improved in Freshman English include: finding the main idea; scanning; skimming; summarizing; recognizing words from context; and cultivating critical thinking for academic essay articles. As for writing skills, students learn and practice the basic strategies and techniques for paragraph construction through process writing activities.
Listening and Speaking in the Lab
Listening and Speaking in the Lab is designed to help improve students’ aural and oral English in real-life situations. The primary goal of this course is to help students improve their listening comprehension. The second goal is to improve students’ English speaking ability. Students will be exposed to authentic texts from CD’s, DVD’s, digital files, or the internet. Besides having a large number of listening and speaking activities to practice their English, various listening strategies are introduced to help students further develop their listening skills. Pronunciation, register, rhythm, and intonation will also be discussed, modeled, and practiced in class. The course will be conducted in an environment in which students are provided many opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills on their own, in pairs, or in small groups in order to maximally enhance their communicative skills.
The objectives of the Sophomore Practical English course are to help students sharpen their English skills based on their original English ability, enabling them to read the textbooks in their professional field and equip them with the writing skills necessary to draft outlines and summaries of English essays or articles. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to summarize or paraphrase the articles they read and understand the English news events or reports from their life or the internet, as well as be able to express or discuss the topics with others in English. Practical English for Sophomores also aims to instruct students on how to write English letters and express themselves in interviews and presentations. Students will draft and revise their personal resumes and autobiographies. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop good reading habits and become self-directed readers and language learners.
Preparation for English Proficiency Courses
The primary goal of this course is to help students improve their listening and reading abilities necessary for passing the intermediate level of the GEPT (or other equivalent language tests). Hence, students will be provided with ample practice to become familiar with the test items. Various strategies for answering the test items will be introduced to strengthen students’ listening and reading abilities and techniques in taking the GEPT. In addition, essential grammar rules and sentence structures will also be introduced and reviewed to assist students in enhancing their comprehension skills for taking different English proficiency tests. At the end of the course, students are expected to take the GEPT and pass the intermediate level (or an equivalent English proficiency exam).