On July 19 -21, all newly arrived students will receive orientation to the University including use of the Internet and Blackboard, a tour of the campus, the IIE introductory material (i.e., about Fulbright, US State Department role, IIE function, and the IIE website). If IIE representatives are on hand, they will conduct the session. Information sessions from Health Services and Public Safety http://publicsafety.syr.edu/ will be provided. The ELI Student Handbook providing rules and regulations as well as useful information will be distributed and discussed. Students will have received ID cards and will be shown how to access the public buses. Students are also provided with personal lockers located in the Student Lounge.
On the first day of class, instructors discuss the course requirements, the syllabus, and the course calendar. Expectations for successful course completion including active participation and assignment submission by set deadlines will be discussed.
The assessment process takes place on the Monday (July 20) before the core courses begin (Tuesday, July 21). Results are based upon an oral interview, a writing sample and a diagnostic grammar instrument. The results will be shared with you and will provide the instructors with baseline information. At the end of the program, similar instruments will be used so that you can quantify your improvements.
You will have a special academic and sociocultural program. The core courses in textual and oral communication will meet five days a week in the mornings. The overall objectives of the morning core are to improve academic English language proficiency by providing an academically rigorous and intellectually challenging course to enhance understanding of American society and culture and to develop critical thinking skills. Given the importance of discipline specific work, whenever possible, you will be grouped as much as possible into disciplinary areas for the formal coursework so that instructors may focus on the writing formats, citation styles, and vocabulary appropriate to your fields. A University librarian will provide sessions on academic integrity, citation protocols, and library research skills including working with subject matter librarians. The cultural and supplementary components (except the computer literacy and pronunciation sessions) will be delivered to the group.
You will receive ongoing feedback from instructors not only through scores utilizing rubrics but also through qualitative commentary providing specific suggestions and strategies for improvement. These comments may be delivered in writing or verbally in individual conferences. All instructors provide information on academic integrity and plagiarism.
There are breaks in the mornings and at lunch, and in the afternoons in which you can meet with instructors for additional help or make use of the computer labs. For students without personal computers, computer labs are available on campus, in residence halls, and in the University College building where the English Language Institute (ELI) is housed.
Textual Communication will use as its text Academic Writing for Graduate Students (Swales & Feak, 2012) which “explains understanding the intended audience, the purpose of the paper, and academic genres; includes the use of task-based methodology, analytic group discussion, and genre consciousness-raising; shows how to write summaries and critiques; features “language focus” sections that address linguistic elements as they affect the wider rhetorical objectives; and helps you position yourself as a junior scholar in your academic community.” The sessions include vocabulary development and grammar points. ELI instructors will provide you ample opportunity to practice doing research through assignments. This component will also address reading skills (skimming, scanning, reading for information) utilizing texts from relevant fields of study. Instructors will draw your attention to text organization, enumerators, and semantic markers that assist readers in eliciting meaning.
Oral Communication will use a text entitled Leadership and Culture (Garcia-Murcillo, 2013) and was written by a Syracuse University faculty member specifically to address graduate student needs. Its chapters (Building Confidence; Cultural Understanding; Managing Time Across Cultures; Setting Goals; Communicating Across Cultures; Working with Others; Managing Conflicts; Becoming a Leader; Building Social Capital; Enhancing Creativity) are ideal topics for the English for Graduate Studies Fulbright course. The instructors will frame the discussions so that disciplines represented by you will be brought to the fore. This will be used throughout the 6 weeks and the afternoon, speakers and workshops will provide practical information and/or application of the work/information covered in the oral sessions. Assistance with pronunciation and intonation will be addressed individually and with feedback and materials as needed for further work particularly in the afternoon sessions. You will make oral presentations in your areas of study using academic conventions. You will be exposed to a number of presentations styles through the afternoon speakers and audio/video recordings. As in the textual component, attention will be paid to vocabulary building, framing an argument, and grammatical structure. You will work on posing and answering questions, interrupting, asking for clarification, and acquiring seminar participation skills. Instructors will comment on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills and cultural appropriateness.
The afternoons are dedicated to numerous invited experts who will address a wide variety of issues (abolition, academic integrity, climate change and sustainability, conflict management, entrepreneurship and technological innovation, gender and identity issues, global communication and international advertising discourse, library research skills, media and diversity, managing expectations, mental health and wellness, public safety, resources in the US health care system, sexual harassment, student expectations and responsibilities, student rights as non-US citizens, team building, technical writing, technology in the classroom, and the US higher education, government and legal systems).
Facilitators will attend all afternoon presentations and events to provide additional discussion opportunities after the speakers have completed their sessions. The schedule allows for an hour discussion period.
For the participants needing to enhance computer skills, there will be afternoon sessions using the Microsoft Office Suite. These will include instruction on formatting (e.g., creating a table of contents). These will be in addition to the presentation on PowerPoint.
Optional pronunciation and intonation sessions will be offered to students who desire or are identified as needing additional practice. The ELI has a lab where students can practice using specialized programs.
You will develop an electronic or print poster with a discipline specific topic to present as the final project for the course. The “PosterFest” will be held in the Student Lounge and afford an opportunity for you to speak to a wider audience which will include English Language Institute (ELI) students as well as guests (invited speakers, course instructors, community members, graduate student mentors, fellow Fulbrighters, and University staff).
The evenings are free for rest, socializing, studying, and exercising. We expect that you will be quite tired given the amount of programming planned.
You will be kept extremely busy during the week and will need to have time for rest and relaxation. Nevertheless, a number of functions have been planned for the weekends and include a Welcome lunch, a BBQ at a private home, shopping trips, Niagara Falls, and Alexandria Bay.
Contact with Americans
Through the Fulbright Association of Central New York, you will have opportunities to engage with Americans. You will also have regular interactions with the graduate students and some of their networks. Several social events will afford additional instances to engage with Americans.
Program Monitoring and Evaluation
Language acquisition is a continuous and cumulative process. At the end of the program, you will be given an oral interview and a writing test so that the initial placement scores and post program scores can be compared and used as a basis to gauge language acquisition. The final oral interview has a two-fold purpose: (1) to assess language proficiency gains and (2) as a program evaluation instrument.