The Importance of Freshman English
There are two areas that freshmen need to improve in learning English: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills, along with basic reading and writing skills, and Academic English Ability in professional
fields. In fact, the improvement in Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills will provide the foundation for higher proficiency in Academic English Ability.
In both undergraduate and graduate programs, many courses will be instructed via English handouts and/or English textbooks. Therefore, a sound foundation built from freshman English courses will enable students to
be successful in applying for short-term overseas programs, pursuing graduate degrees in foreign universities, or immigrating to other countries in the future. It will also enhance students' academic
competence and in turn their qualification for the future job market.
In addition to the practical implication, English itself is an interesting subject. With proficient English, students' worldviews will be broadened and their lives will become more fruitful and colorful.
Ideals and Goals of Freshman English
The ideal of freshman English is not only to improve both Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills and Academic English Ability but also to enhance students' humanity disposition. Therefore, students are expected to become fully-functioning persons.
With the idea of student-centered teaching in mind, lecturers will offer meaningful course contents and materials based on students' backgrounds and interests; the objective is to shape the students' independent learning capabilities. The specific goals of those learning capabilities include the following areas.
- To be able to understand daily conversational English and to respond properly
- To be able to communicate with teachers, classmates, and friends in English in a natural and meaningful fashion
- To be able to apply various reading skills in understanding the content of general articles
- To be able to clearly express opinions with various phrases, paragraphs, and articles
Placement test and Differentiating Teaching
Differentiating teaching commenced at the semester of Fall 2006. Based on the results of the placement test during enrollment, students will be divided into one of the three levels - Basic, Intermediate, and High-intermediate. Under this policy, teaching difficulties resulting from the potential huge gaps among students' competence can be avoided. Students should try their best in the placement test to avoid improper categorization of their actual English proficiency. Otherwise, courses can be either too easy or too difficult and students' learning outcome may then be compromised.