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Overview. EFS 688V is an intensive English and academic
orientation program designed to prepare incoming visiting scholars of all types
(researchers, professors, postdoctoral fellows, etc.) for their US university
experience. Many of the scholars in previous years have been associated with the
Asia/Pacific Research Center. This program is primarily designed for scholars
who are coming to Stanford during the 2013-2014 academic year, but current
visitors and those planning to go to other universities are also welcome to
EFS 688V is a 5-unit, credit course with 17 class hours per week
lasting 6 weeks (July 5-August 16). The tuition cost for 2013 is $4,470.
This program provides a bridge between the scholars' years of formal study of
the English language in their home countries and the situation they will soon be
in that will require them to use English on a daily basis at a U.S. university.
The goals of this program are the following:
- to improve the scholar's fluency and accuracy in English as much as possible during
the period of instruction;
- to develop the scholar's ability to continue learning and using
strategies throughout the stay in the United States;
- to provide an orientation to the expectations of the
university, faculty, and peers both inside and out of the
classroom and research lab;
- to prepare scholars to be more confident and active participants in all
aspects of their academic pursuits.
Scholars meet as a group for morning classes in pronunciation and
reading/writing/vocabulary. They are then mixed with the students from
EFS 688 for afternoon spoken language classes.
Reserved class times are MThF 10:00-11:50 and MTThF 1:15-3:05. Elective courses
(EFS 689 sections) will be scheduled for late afternoons and Wednesdays.
Due to the intensive nature of the instruction, we do not encourage scholars to
take other Stanford courses while they are in this program.
In addition to classroom instruction, scholars will be doing work in the
language laboratory and university libraries. Orientation to life at Stanford is
provided by discussions, informal outings, and social events in conjunction with
summer activities at Bechtel International Center and the dormitories.
All scholars who enroll in this program must agree to comply with the
- Speak only English in class and in all program activities.
- Attend classes regularly, every session each day for all six weeks.
- Fulfill all course requirements, including meeting paper deadlines.
- Demonstrate substantial effort and progress in the development of
communication skills in English necessary for academic success.
All scholars will have seventeen class hours each week, divided among the
Listening Comprehension and Discussion. This class consists
of activities involving listening to recorded excerpts from
television, radio, and university lectures, with special emphasis
on comprehending reduced forms, idiomatic expressions, and rapid
speech. The content of these excerpts provides topics and issues so that students
can get experience in talking
freely in small groups with guidance from
the instructor. The purpose is to prepare students to participate
actively and effectively in group meetings, academic discussions
and graduate seminars.
Effective Communication. This class provides practice in
conversational English with emphasis on current usage in natural
situations for both academic and everyday uses of English. It also includes training and
practice in the presentation of prepared academic talks with
feedback from the instructor and classmates. The language focus is on fluency
and clear, effective pronunciation.
Writing and Pronunciation. This class meets three
mornings a week and focuses on language production. It presents an overview of
selected elements of English academic and professional writing. In addition
concepts central to English pronunciation are
explained, demonstrated, and practiced, including not only a review of the basic
sounds, but also the stress, intonation and rhythm patterns so important to
natural-sounding speech. Scholars typically meet in pairs for weekly tutorials with the
Lecture Series. Each week includes a one-hour academic lecture
Tuesdays at 11:00 by a
Stanford faculty member. Presenters come from various departments but offer
topics of general interest. This provides additional practice in listening
comprehension and contact with Stanford professors and lecturers.
Community Lecture Series. On Friday afternoons, we host individual
speakers and panels from the Stanford community speaking on topics of cultural
interest. The presentation is followed by a social hour where students can
interact with the guest speakers, EFS teaching staff and one another in a
natural social setting.
In addition to the courses listed above, scholars in EFS 688V may take
elective courses. These are offered as sections of EFS 689, Special Topics in
English. Each requires one additional unit of tuition: see the application for
information on the cost.
EFS 689E: Learning
English on Your Own
EFS courses will help
you improve your English while you are in them, but how can you continue to
improve consistently outside of a formal class structure?
Learning English on Your Own aims to show you how to become a more
successful independent language learner.
The course includes an introduction to discoveries researchers have made
about second language learning and helps you identify your strengths and
weaknesses as a learner.
It introduces you to a variety of useful language learning strategies and
stresses the importance outlining learning objectives, setting and maintaining
practice schedules, and evaluating your progress. The majority of the course
focuses on free or inexpensive resources available through the language lab, TV,
radio and especially the World Wide Web, training you in how to get the most
EFS 689H: American Humor
Humor is an important part of life at American universities.
Professors often tell jokes during lectures and group meetings,
students like to "kid around", and campus newspapers
feature editorial cartoons and humor columns. In this course,
students study many examples of jokes and humorous stories that
Americans find amusing, practicing advanced listening
comprehension and expanding your understanding of English idioms
at the same time. Note that this is an advanced class: An iBT TOEFL
score of 100 or above is strongly recommended.
EFS 689L: Living in the USA
This course focuses on life and relationships outside the university classroom.
The goal is to help you become familiar with the multiple expectations and the
language usage that Americans bring to a variety of situations in the university
and in other social situations you may encounter. Among the many areas to be
discussed are strategies for both casual and serious conversation, professional
relationships in academe (including with professors, colleagues, and
undergraduate students), interacting with neighbors and acquaintances, American
social customs, and an introduction to the intersecting issues of race,
religion, politics and gender. This course is particularly recommended for
doctoral students or others who are anticipating an extended stay in the US.
EFS 689T Interacting in California's Vineyard Culture
This course serves as a vehicle for developing focused communicative skills in
the context of California's renowned wine culture. You will learn the
language of wine: how to talk about wine informally using appropriate
terminology, navigate restaurant wine lists, and interact knowledgeably with
restaurant and retail wine staff. At the same time, you will become a more
sophisticated consumer of wine by learning the fundamentals of vineyard
techniques, varietal characteristics, tasting techniques, and drinking and
ordering etiquette. Classes are co-taught by a wine expert and an ESL
instructor. Each class meeting will consist of a short interactive
lecture, a communicative activity such as role playing, and a tasting of four
specially selected wines. Participants must be at least 21 years old.
EFS 689V: Vocabulary and Idiom
One of the most difficult aspects of a new language is learning
to use and understand idioms and metaphors. This course takes an
analytical approach to the study of idiomatic language, analyzing
idioms and metaphors in order to understand what they reflect
about American culture. Students also discuss the history of
words and the ways that Americans combine words to invent new
ones. Class time will include exercises to practice idioms and
EFS 689W: Working in the USA
This course explores the language and
culture of the workplace. The goal is to help you become familiar with the
expectations Americans bring to a variety of situations in the business setting
and in social situations related to business. Among the many areas to be
discussed are strategies for professional conversation, relationships with
superiors, co-workers, and subordinates, and American business customs.
Activities include discussions and role plays linked to workplace settings. This
course is particularly recommended for those in business or who expect to work
with Americans in a professional capacity after graduation.
Updated December 14, 2012