Core Program: Bringing You up to Speed for University Studies
Core Courses: Solid Foundation for Academic Studies
In your first years at the FLA, we nurture the language, research and thinking skills necessary to begin your academic journey. We give you a wide range of foundational courses in what is called the Core Program. No matter what your language, cultural background or experience, the Core Program will prepare you for the more advanced academic work undertaken at university.
Core courses are small in size and very interactive, with regular reading, writing and close contact with your teachers. This allows you to develop not only academic skills but your own voice, style and academic interests.
There are several courses in the Core Program. Composition shows you the ‘nuts and bolts’ of academic writing, the mechanics of academic essay construction, and how to develop and support an argument in an effective and persuasive way. You may start at one of three levels: Writing Skills, Composition 1, or Composition 2. There is also a Reading Skills course designed to provide strategies for dealing with academic texts. In these courses you will read and write in many different genres to broaden your base. Thinking Processes is an academic literacy course focusing on critical and creative thinking, and on developing your analytical ability in both comprehension and expression. Public Speaking allows you to combine these skills as you learn to confidently present your ideas in front of groups – an essential skill for many class or work environments. Of special note is the Writing Center, a place where you can receive one-on-one or small group teacher tutoring to improve the quality of your papers and research presentations.
See Core Program and Writing Center.
Choose Your Own Major
After finishing the Core Program, you choose your academic path. Unlike most Japanese universities, you choose your major field of study only after the first year of classes. You will take different introductory courses in the first few semesters to see what excites you, what makes you think, and what you want to study. It is only after you have understood what each course of study holds for you that you choose your major.
Having selected your major, you will take specialist courses of your choice. In your final two years, your advanced seminar classes will allow you to lead classroom discussion and present your own research work.