2014-2015

English Language/American Studies Program

The English Language/American Studies Program offers a custom-designed one-year (February-December) academic program for sophomores and juniors from Tokyo International University (Kawagoe, Japan).  Willamette University and Tokyo International University have been sister universities since 1965 and this program, begun in 1989, was created by Willamette and TIU in order to broaden and deepen their educational exchange.  Students enroll in both language and liberal arts courses, with all credit transferable to their degree programs at TIU.

During the first session (February-May), students concentrate on improving English language and academic skills as well as on adjusting to the learning and living environment of an American liberal arts college.

In the summer session (May-July), students are immersed in an intensive schedule in which they take liberal arts courses. These courses include American History, American Society, Environmental Studies, American Studies, and Linguistics among others. For each elective course, students take a corresponding Applied English course.

Students take advantage of a variety of course offerings in the fall semester. In addition to continuing their studies in various customized liberal arts courses, students also take courses along with Willamette students such as sports activities, music and other 100 and 200 level courses for which they may qualify.

Students are able to apply their English skills in both academic and co-curricular contexts. They also acquire skills for continued academic success while learning subject area knowledge in a variety of disciplines. They gain cross-cultural awareness and enhance their abilities to study, live, and work in intercultural environments. As a result, students are better prepared for future careers in which international experience and intercultural skills are viewed as assets.

In order to achieve the program mission, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. improvement in English language proficiency in both basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency.
  2. an understanding of selected liberal arts course content in English.
  3. critical analysis of texts, written and oral, to achieve course goals.
  4. discussion and writing skills related to selected liberal arts course content in a way that illustrates both a synthesis of knowledge and the ability to support a particular analysis of or perspective on a given topic or issue.
  5. acquisition of a broad knowledge of U.S. culture and global issues through both curricular and co-curricular educational activities.

Credits for ELAS courses are transferred to Tokyo International University (TIU), and apply to the student's degree program at TIU. When a TIU student returns to Willamette University as a transfer student, all credits earned at TIU, including those transferred from the Willamette University American Studies Program, are included in the credit eligible for transfer.


Course Listings

ELAS 090 College Life Orientation (non-credit orientation class)

College Life Orientation facilitates student adjustment to life at Willamette University and in the Salem Community. The course guides students to acquire information and learning skills needed to function in an American university setting. Students explore cultural values and perspectives needed to be independent and self-reliant while living and studying in an intercultural environment. In addition, students focus on self-reflection so they can assess what they have gained from their experiences in the United States and how those experiences may contribute to their ongoing personal, academic and career development. This is a non-credit orientation class.

  • Offering: Spring and Fall

ELAS 100 English I: Listening

In this course, students develop English language listening skills useful in university contexts. The course focus on listening comprehension practice exposes students to interpersonal and academic language used on campus and in the community.  Class activities may include guest lectures, interactions with classes from various disciplines, and the use of multimedia sources to support the development of listening comprehension and academic note-taking skills.

Placement into section by proficiency.


ELAS 105 English II: Speaking

This course focuses on the refinement of English language speaking skills appropriate in university contexts. Students improve their ability to hold extended conversations, ask and answer questions in class, give oral summaries and presentations, participate in discussions and debates, and complete assignments on campus and in the community.

Placement by proficiency.


ELAS 110 English III: Academic Writing

In this course, students develop writing skills for academic purposes.  Students are encouraged to view writing as a process by which they clarify and organize their ideas with emphasis placed on building writing fluency, learning to structure and revise paragraphs and essays, and using various rhetorical modes.

Placement by proficiency.


ELAS 115 English IV: Academic Reading and Discussion

This course introduces, reviews and expands on skills enabling students to read content material written in level-appropriate English, as well as a variety of authentic texts, with greater understanding and recall.  Students build reading skills in English for academic purposes by learning and practicing strategies to use prior to and while reading.  They also develop strategies for learning new vocabulary and methods for identifying the meaning of new words in texts.  Students also develop discussion skills in response to texts.

Placement by proficiency.


ELAS 120 English V: Grammar

This course is designed for college students at intermediate levels of English proficiency to improve accuracy and fluency in understanding and using grammar appropriately in everyday communication and in academic study.  The course introduces and gives students practice in form, meaning, and use of grammatical elements.  Teaching activities include varied structured and communicative practice through listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises that are meaning based.

Placement by proficiency.

  • Offering: Spring

ELAS 121 English VI: Language and Culture

This course is designed to increase the student’s English language skills and fluency as well as cultural competency.  Topics vary from year to year and typically include a cultural or skills-based focus. Students have opportunities to participate in community activities, engage in debates, lead and participate in discussions, conduct interviews, and give presentations of their individual or group work.

  • Offering: Summer

ELAS 250 English VII: Special Topics

This course is designed to help students further develop their English language skills.  Topics vary each year and typically include integrated skills in classes such as TOEIC or TOEFL preparation, Business English or a focus on a particular skill area such as Presentation Skills, Vocabulary Development, Listening or Pronunciation. Detailed descriptions are distributed prior to registration.

  • Offering: Fall

ELAS 300-370 Liberal Arts Elective Courses

These liberal arts elective courses for Tokyo International University (TIU) students include a variety of curricular choices in specific academic disciplines and they form the core of the student's academic program in the summer and fall.  These courses typically include American History, American Politics, American Society, Environmental Studies, American Society & Culture Through Music, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics, Management, and Volunteerism, as well as a variety of special topics in American Studies.  Courses are selected each year in cooperation with appropriate academic departments.  Detailed descriptions are distributed to students prior to registration.

  • Offering: Summer and Fall

ELAS 300E-370E Applied English

Through the Applied English course, students develop English language and academic skills to facilitate subject area learning in corresponding liberal arts elective courses.  Students use all skills in this course: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Discussions, presentations, listening activities, and reading/writing assignments utilize the content of the liberal arts elective course.

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