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Sophomore English Program

 

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Background and Goals 

Since the 2006-07 academic year, all freshman students for whom English is not the first language are required to complete two years of English language study. 

 

The first year of Freshman English (FE) with its two hours of in-class meeting with a teacher and the two hours of self-study, using iLearn assignments, the My English Lab website, the vocabulary acquisition program and the Extensive Reading Program – Just Read it!, has tried to focus on the four skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing, while stressing communicative skills.  Another important goal has been to develop the skills necessary to become an independent language learner.  The Sophomore English (SE) Program asks that students continue to develop their English language skills while working independently.

 

(SE) has been introduced in the university’s required course work for two main reasons:

 

1. To ensure that all FCU students can demonstrate basic competency in English;

2. To ensure--to the best of the university’s ability--that all graduates hit the job market with language skills that can compete with other job seekers. 

 

Basic English proficiency is no longer an extra plus to spice up a resume; it is one of the basic skills needed to compete in today’s marketplace.  Non-native speakers of English now outnumber native speakers 3 to 1.  In 1997, the Science Citation Index reported that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries.  Over 380 million people speak English as their first language, while second language speakers are estimated at over a billion.  Whether your aim is to find a job right after college or continue your graduate studies, and whether you like it or not, strong English skills are an absolute must.  Realize that most international and even local companies demand a TOEIC 600 level when you apply and if you are planning to study abroad for an MA degree a TOEFL iBT 80 or an IELTS 6.0 are minimum requirements these days.  If you want to be part of this growing trend, you will have to spend time and energy to upgrade your English to a competitive level and that is exactly what Sophomore English wants to offer you.

 


 

Course Objectives

 

The objective of the Sophomore English course is to bring all students of Feng Chia University up to an acceptable, though not unreachable, level of English proficiency.    

 

The final grade for Sophomore English will not be expressed in a numerical grade but rather in a “Pass” (通過) or “Fail” (未通過) grade, based on a student’s ability to demonstrate A2 level proficiency as set by the Common European Framework (CEF) descriptors of A2.  The CEF is a framework with six reference levels (see below) which are becoming widely accepted as the standard for grading an individual's language proficiency.

 

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels:

 

A Basic User

B Independent User

C Proficient User

A1 Breakthrough

B1 Threshold

C1 Effective Operational Proficiency

A2 Waystage

B2 Vantage

C2 Mastery

 

The FCU Language Center has made an intermediate A2 the level of English language proficiency that is required of each student before he/she can graduate.  A2 is not a fixed point of language mastery, but rather a range of language proficiency.  This level should be attainable by every student who has taken English courses for a minimum of 8 years and who has spent sufficient time and energy on learning English seriously. 

 


 

Course Overview & Requirements

 

Sophomore English is a two semester, 0-credit, independent study course.  Students are required to continue the self-study program begun in Freshman English. This means using the English learning software programs available in the LC’s Self-study Center and elsewhere on campus as well as completing weekly assignments on the iLearn system.  Continuing their graded reading program is strongly recommended as well.  A student manual is distributed to all SE students which clearly introduces all the details of the course.  It is each individual student’s responsibility that he/she completes his/her course work in a timely fashion.

 

While there are no teachers or classrooms in the SE Program, there are LC staff members available in the Self-study Center to provide language counseling services to students when needed.  In addition, short term remedial courses are offered by LC faculty for students who need still further assistance.

 

A student’s final grade of “P” or “F” is determined by scores on a final exam and successful completion of required course work.  Students who fail to meet the required passing standard each semester will need to re-take the course until that standard has been met.

 


 

 

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