New Direction in English Courses

Enhancing International Mobility and Competitiveness by Language Learning, College of Science and Language Centre Push for New Direction in English Courses

By College of Science

In the group presentation of Freshman English Pilot Class, students choose popular science-related topics to present to the class. (Photo provided by College of Science)

Starting in 2021 academic year, in order to improve NCU students’ general and popular science-related English language skills, the College of Science collaborated with Language Centre to launch Freshman English Pilot Class for science majors. Along with study groups for self-paced learning, the Freshman English Pilot Class aims to revolutionize the course content of Freshman English, immersing NCU students in diverse English-learning environments to increase their competitiveness in the future. The College of Science also held a TOEIC pre-test on November 6th, 2021, giving students opportunities to examine their English ability for free. With an upcoming TOEIC post-test scheduled in May 2022, the College of Science is able to compare both scores and analyze the effectiveness of the Freshman English Pilot Class.

Transforming normal lectures into collaborative study groups with popular science-related English curriculum, the innovation in English listening, speaking, reading and writing courses brings about a whole new immersive language-learning experience for NCU students. The College of Science has distributed abundant resources to assist students in language learning for a long time, hoping to provide students with a solid foundation in English through extensive training. Combined with students’ expertise in different fields, the College of Science also wishes to facilitate international academic communication to bring long-term benefits.

Instructor Ms. Hsiu-Ying Jen from Language Center states that the highlights of the Pilot Class are in-class study groups featuring science topics and materials and the end-of-term reflection presentation, which are also the most significant changes made toward the Freshman English curriculum. The innovative self-learning project consisting of four to six students per study group offers students more opportunities to communicate with group members and teaching assistants, collaborate on topics in seminars and present their study results at the end of the term. Not only can students utilize Language Centre’s self-learning resources, they can also select popular science-related materials in English themselves, enabling them to establish a positive learning attitude and increase their motivation in learning English. Looking back to years of teaching experience, Ms. Jen gives high praise to NCU students’ earnest attitude toward broadening their knowledge, and their high standards for themselves during the process of self-learning. She firmly believes that collaborative learning is a good way to strengthen each student’s bond with their group members and considerably increase the chances for students to communicate in English.

In the process of globalization, English is a vital tool for students of the College of Science; especially when reading English text in the academic field, students may have difficulty understanding professional scientific vocabulary. Combining English courses and popular science-related academic curriculum, this change in the Freshman English curriculum aims to achieve the combination of “knowledge” and “skills.” By offering highly diversified learning resources and oral sessions in study groups, the new Pilot Class wishes to help students thrive in different fields, strengthen their ‘soft power’ through improving English, enhance international mobility, and accumulate enough competitive advantage for the future.

In the group presentation of Freshman English Pilot Class, students from the Department of Physics are introducing a lighting device that relies on gravity to generate electricity: Gravity Light. (Photo provided by College of Science)

In cooperation with COVID-19 prevention guidelines, proctors at the TOEIC pre-test held on November 6th, 2021 are taking students’ temperatures before letting them enter the test hall. (Photo provided by College of Science)