English schools in the USA and Canada
Ranked as a top regional university in the Midwest for the past ten years (U.S. News & World Report), Valparaiso University (VU) is well known for its rigorous academic programs and strong support for international education. With its emphasis on teaching rather than research, VU places student learning and progress at the forefront. The University's diverse educational programs and exceptional student/faculty ratio (14:1) create a stimulating learning environment for U.S. as well as international students.
To ensure a global perspective, VU has attracted students from all major regions of the world and encourages its U.S. students to study at universities in China, Japan, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Namibia, and elsewhere.
VU offers more than seventy liberal arts and professional programs in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, and Nursing, while its graduate division grants degrees in law, nursing, education, psychological counseling, liberal studies, and music. The VU School of Law's one-year LL.M. degree program for international lawyers can be preceded by INTERLINK's English for Law course which is offered during the summer term.
VU’s basketball program is one of national prominence, as seen in recent NCAA championship tournament success. Excellence in athletics and academics demonstrates that Valparaiso is a university of the highest quality, with a diversity of programs and student experiences.
The INTERLINK curriculum emphasizes independent language learning, academic preparation, and cultural awareness; the language component of the curriculum focuses on listening, speaking, reading, writing, and skills necessary for successful academic and social adjustment in the U.S.
a) Core Courses (20 hours per week)
All students take Reading/Writing (R/W) and Communication Skills (C/S), each course for ten hours per week. These courses are offered at five different levels of proficiency in nine-week sessions.
At the ELEMENTARY levels, an integrated skills approach is used in each class. In these levels, students receive a strong foundation in basic language skill areas: listening, speaking, pronunciation, reading, and writing. Instructors work together to provide learning experiences which integrate these language skills in every class.
At the INTERMEDIATE levels, students build on the strong foundation achieved in the integrated skills classes. In these courses, students develop strong reading skills to increase reading speed, comprehension, and vocabulary. In writing, students learn how to compose essays in different rhetorical modes. Communication skills are refined to the point that students are able to discuss topics and make oral presentations.
In the ADVANCED Academic Preparation classes, students develop the skills necessary for success in the college/university environment. In these levels students are trained to understand and take notes on lectures, participate in discussions, make presentations, do library research, write research papers, and read sources related to their fields of study. At these advanced levels, students have the opportunity to take concurrent university classes as auditors or for credit.
b) Module courses (3-6 hours per week)
In addition to the core courses, entering students receive a cultural orientation elective course while continuing students take modules on selected topics.
Modules are offered two times a week for one-and-one-half hours each afternoon. Modules change from term to term, depending upon student interests and needs; they usually cover a wide range of subjects such as computer literacy, current events, public speaking, test-taking strategies, and others.
ENGLISH FOR BUSINESS
The five-week English for Business course provides thorough preparation for participation in MBA programs offered at Valparaiso University and other U.S. colleges and universities. It familiarizes students with business terminology and prepares them to understand academic lectures, make oral presentations, lead discussions and negotiations, read scholarly books and journals, and write appropriately for MBA coursework. The course will focus strongly on reading and comprehension strategies and on the analysis and preparation of case studies. In addition to intensive class work, the course of study includes visitation to VU business courses and local businesses as well as interaction with business professors and students.
In this intensive preparation program, international students planning to enter MBA programs will:
- become familiar with the culture and expectations of graduate work in the U.S.
- improve speaking skills, including those necessary for participating in and leading negotiations and discussions
- expand their business and academic vocabulary
- improve oral presentation skills
- write clearly, directly, and precisely
- read extensively, both preparatory and professional materials
- improve listening and note-taking skills
- interact with business educators, students, and local practitioners
Needs analysis will be done in order to focus on specific areas of concern for each student, and weekly activities will include the following:
- reading and doing comprehension activities using chapters from business textbooks, academic journals, and business magazines
- vocabulary and writing exercises suited to improve comprehension and completion of MBA studies
- student-led discussions of reading material, relevant topics, and cross-cultural issues in business
- extensive work on case studies, including strategies for successful comprehension and analysis
- practice in negotiating and giving formal presentations through examples, role plays, and simulations
- attending and taking notes in a VU business lecture
- shadowing a business person or student and/or observing business meetings
Participants are awarded a certificate of accomplishment upon successful completion of the course.
English Proficiency Requirement: TOEFL 550/213 or successful completion of INTERLINK's regular program