Using Contemporary TopicsYasutoshi Mori, Professor, School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University
We had a major change in the curriculum for the 2016 enrolment at the School of Sociology, Kwansai Gakuin University. Our mandatory English programmes in the language education module were subject to a systemic reform. We chose Contemporary Topics as the textbook for all 30 classes of freshmen in the Sociology Department from among the vast amount of domestic and foreign titles for five reasons:
- One topic per chapter from a range of disciplines including Humanities and Social Sciences, especially Sociology.
- The course serves especially well for the purpose of helping our students develop their listening skills as a larger number of them would later study abroad in English speaking countries as part of the Top Global University Project we have adopted at our university.
- It consists of four levels which cater to the different proficiency levels of the 650 students we newly enrol each year.
- It equips the teachers well with supplementary components such as DVDs, CDs, Teacher’s Pack.
- It comes with video materials for students available as streaming
As for (2) and (3), we are aware that the two English classes per week are not enough for our students to improve each of the four skills effectively even though that is generally what English language teaching is about. So in our new English curriculum we have decided to focus more on building listening comprehension skills for students who want to study abroad and rebuilding reading comprehension skills for the others. For higher level students, it is important for us to bring up the level of academic reading skills to match that of students 20 or 30 years ago so that it becomes feasible to teach Sociology in English instead of teaching Sociology and English separately. It may sound like regressive thinking, but it is quite a challenge for a school of Sociology. We need to shift our focus and leave something behind in order to re-establish a system to teach and learn English with academic objectives. I am sure Contemporary Topics with its main focus and selling point – listening comprehension – will be also useful for helping students build their reading comprehension skills and expand their academic knowledge.
Contemporary Topics features college lectures from several academic disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology and economics. Contemporary Topics prepares students for the challenge of college lectures with practice in a wide range of listening, speaking and note-taking skills. The lectures (available on CD and DVD) were recorded in realistic academic settings before live student audiences.
Click the links below to request an inspection copy:
|Level 1 (4th Edition)||Level 3 (4th Edition)|
|Introductory (3rd Edition)|