1. Successful mastery of the material assigned on this syllabus and its accompanying study guides. Students are reminded that their final comprehensive oral evaluation will cover all material assigned for the course regardless of whether it was used or discussed in tutorials or conversation sessions.
2. At least 7 hours per week of independent study (at least one hour per day). The program provides weekly study guides that include instructions for both oral and written practice. The guides also include preparation for conversation sessions and homework to be handed in at each tutorial.
3. Weekly 30-minute individual tutorials with the mentor assigned to the course. Mentors will go over written homework assignments, answer questions brought by students, work on individual issues with pronunciation and grammar, and provide practice drills in preparation for written and oral evaluations.
4. Weekly one-hour small group conversation sessions. Conversation sessions are led by the mentors and/or native- or fluent-speaking undergraduate or graduate student conversation partners. Conversation sessions provide practice with both speaking and listening comprehension. Conversation sessions constitute the primary practice for the oral fluency portion of the final evaluation.
5. Weekly homework assignments submitted at the tutorial meeting. Weekly homework assignments should be submitted in hardcopy at the start of each tutorial session. Homework must be submitted on time at the tutorial to receive credit. No late submissions will be accepted. When a student is absent from their session or the session is rescheduled, the assignment is due at their next tutorial. At the end of the semester, every student’s two lowest homework scores will be dropped. Students who submit all homework assignments will have their two lowest scores dropped AND receive 3 points of extra credit on their final course grade, equivalent to a partial letter grade. Mentors can provide feedback and comments on late submissions, but students will not receive credit. Any exceptions due to illness or other emergencies must be cleared by the program director. Self-granted extensions will not be honored.
6. Weekly self-assessment reports submitted on time. Self-assessments are due at the end of each week and are recorded as “on time” as long as they are received by 9:00 am the following Monday morning. Late self-assessments will only receive partial credit. The self-assessments help students to evaluate their own progress in learning the language and their overall development of language learning strategies, and also alert the program staff to any problems with preparation or logistical details of the course.
7. Writing skills assessment to be completed at the end of the semester.
8. Final comprehensive oral evaluation covering listening and reading comprehension, conversational fluency, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and cultural knowledge.
10% attendance, preparation, and participation in all tutorials and conversation sessions, plus on-time submission of homework and self-assessment reports
40% overall quality of the homework portfolio
10% writing skills assessment (assesses ability to write short paragraphs, dialogues, and essay topics)
40% final comprehensive oral evaluation covering listening and reading comprehension, conversational fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. The final oral evaluation must be completed in order to pass the course.
Grading scale: A (94-100); A- (90-93); B+ (87-89); B (84-86); B- (80-83); C+ (77-79); C (74-76); C- (70-73); D+ (67-69); D (64-66); F (63 or lower).
Final grades are submitted by the program director based on final evaluation grades and the student’s overall course participation record and homework portfolio.
Study Guides, Homework Assignments and Self-Evaluation
Weekly study guides serve as the student’s primary guide to the course and are essential to a student’s independent learning. The study guides are accessed through the course website and contain live links to any online materials students need to access. Students are responsible for accessing the online study guides and downloading printed copies for themselves as necessary.
Most of the study exercises included on the guides are activities students do on their own. Some of the texts and online exercises include answer keys. Students are expected to use these keys to evaluate their own work. Exercises that do not include or lend themselves to simple answer keys cover material that will be “checked” through the process of using the material in tutorial interactions and conversation sessions.
Each study guide also includes work that should be handed in for feedback from the course mentor and to become a part of the student’s homework portfolio. If students have access to an answer key for any homework to be handed in, they are expected to use the answer key ahead of time to correct their own work. They should bring the page with noted corrections to the tutorial and have the mentor clarify any remaining confusions.
Remember that language learning is cumulative. Completing assignments will help students make the most of their sessions and build a strong foundation in the language. Missing assignments will negatively impact students’ course grades and their ability to progress through the semester, as each week’s content builds on previous material.
Homework assignments should be clearly labeled at the top of each page in English with the student's name, the date, and the Study Guide number.