The English Education Development Center (EEDC) of Toyo Gakuen University was established in 2004 to respond to the English language needs of students across all departments of the University. Its mission is to provide students with the opportunity to acquire a good command of English so as to prepare them for their future careers in today’s internationalized society.
To achieve this, EEDC has consistently endeavored to improve the University’s educational system and has designed a curriculum to help students improve their English proficiency steadily throughout their university careers. Its aim is to motivate students to continue learning English and to become effective cross-cultural communicators.
In the curriculum, all first-year students are required to take a placement test so that they can be allocated to a small class at the appropriate level; they will then take four 90-minute English classes a week for two semesters. International teaching staff of the University work in close cooperation to ensure an integrated learning experience, making use of state-of-the-art multimedia equipment to provide students with the ideal conditions to master the four basic language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
After securing this firm foundation in the first year, students are subsequently allowed to choose from among a wide variety of options ranging from skill-oriented courses to content-based instruction, designed to meet their diverse individual needs and interests. In addition to these courses, EEDC also offers a three-year course entitled ALPS (Academic Language-learning and Professional Skills), which provides additional motivation and support for a limited number of especially keen and able students. The course comprises two weekly 90-minute classes given by two lecturers from English speaking countries.
Attaching great importance to independent and self-directed learning, EEDC also encourages students to learn and practice for themselves in the “English Lounge” as part of their extracurricular activities. In this facility, one or two members of EEDC and interns, all native speakers of English, are stationed on a daily basis, allowing them to practice speaking English or to ask for advice on how to improve their written English in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere on any weekday.
The English Lounge also serves as the venue of a number of seasonal events such as the Star Festival (Tanabata), Halloween and Christmas, which offer opportunities to a wider range of students to join in the activities of EEDC.
“Practice makes perfect”---that’s the motto of the English Lounge.