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English Department

Introduction

The English and Scientific Method Department provides high quality education that meets the needs of our students and their employers in Egypt, in the region and internationally. It enables GUC students to build their capabilities, skills and knowledge so as to enhance their opportunities in order to take full advantage of life–long learning. Accordingly, the motto of our department is “GUC students deserve to acquire skills for life”.


Unlike any English, critical thinking, writing, or freshman qualifying program in any other university, the English & Scientific Method department at the GUC prepares our undergraduate for:


  1. Postgraduate studies preparation: We do not only equip our undergraduates with the Academic skills required for writing a documented paper; but we also equip them with research skills that other universities would offer at a postgraduate level (e.g. understanding research methodology, understanding different types of research, and conducting a review of the literature as a first step towards conducting empirical research…)

  2. Undertaking job related tasks preparation: We equip our students with a spectrum of market-oriented soft skills such as presentation skills, communication skills, working in teams both as a team member and as a team leader, handling group discussions, working under pressure, meeting deadlines, report writing, multi-cultural awareness…

Department Goals

In order to serve the professional and technical knowledge objectives as well as the general knowledge and skills objectives of the GUC, the department aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • GUC graduates will have the most up to date knowledge in the fields of scientific method, critical thinking, research paper writing, communication and presentation skills, academic reading, argumentative writing, as well as report writing.

  • GUC graduates will have the ability to look beyond the limits of specialist knowledge into other disciplines – through an interdisciplinary reading approach.

  • In fulfilment of the research paper writing course objectives, GUC graduates will be able to keep up to date with the latest studies and articles related to their field in order to become team members in the industry very shortly after graduation.

  • GUC graduates will become open to foreign cultures in order to minimize miscommunication and to enhance cross-cultural understanding; thus preparing them for working in multinational firms.

  • GUC graduates will have the ability to work with colleagues to meet deadlines, as well as the ability to trust their team members and to share ideas.

Courses Offered
Academic English

Academic English combines the academic skills preparation package with an emphasis on the speaking skills needed at university (e.g. debating and presentation skills) as well as the listening skills needed for university students (e.g. getting the gist of the lecture and note taking in lectures). Moreover, key academic writing concepts (e.g. topic sentence and supporting details) are stressed.

Academic Study Skills

Academic Study Skills prepares students to handle reading academic text books (reading academic texts effectively and critically) as well as paraphrasing, summarizing, and synthesizing what they read. It also prepares the students for writing an academic argumentative essay (the basis for research paper writing) as well as for writing a business report.

Critical Thinking & Scientific Methodology

Critical Thinking & Scientific Methodology prepares the students to handle problem solving whether in a business setting or in everyday life using the steps of scientific methodology. Moreover, it prepares the students to use the skills of critical reading (telling the difference between fact and opinion, and the difference between inference and assumptions). Finally, it equips the students with the necessary argumentation skills for convincing their audience and for avoiding being tricked by faulty logic.

Communication and Presentation Skills

Communication and Presentation skills prepares the students for handling business oriented problem solving group discussions, where every student can equally act as an active team member as well as an effective team leader. Moreover, the course prepares the students to handle academic and professional informative and persuasive presentations.

Research Paper Writing

Research paper writing that aims at preparing the students for writing a literature review, the first step towards conducting empirical research. In other words, the students narrow down a topic of interest in their field, find relevant material using the library, the databases, and the internet, evaluate the material found, and synthesize it into a meaningful review of what research has been previously conducted on their chosen topic and what still needs to be investigated.

Extra-Curricular Activities

In order to provide chances for social growth as well as for cross-cultural awareness, the department supervises a variety of extracurricular activities that are initiated and implemented by our GUC students:

  • Cross-cultural seminars: The department invited prominent guest speakers in the field of cross-cultural communication: e.g. H.E. Baron von Maltzan, the German ambassador to Iran; H.E. Mr. Martin Kobler, the ex-German ambassador to Egypt; Dr. Mulach, commissioner of the German foreign office for the dialogue with the Islamic world; Prof. Saftien & Mrs. Eisenbach, from the University of Stuttgart.

  • Cultural symposia: It also invited prominent scientists (psychologists, sociologists, men of religion, physicians) to provide guidance to students in areas of concern for youth.

  • The Debate club: it was founded in the winter semester of 2005 to provide a safe environment for students to broaden their horizon as well as to discuss important controversial issues. It can offer students a range of beneficial skills as well as high social interaction. It touches upon various socio-cultural as well as economic issues. Previous debates were attended by high-profile individuals who could add weight to the arguments posed.

  • Youngsters summer Club: We offer our students the chance to train their younger siblings on the critical thinking skills they acquire under the guidance of our department. The club raises our students’ sense of leadership as well as their sense of responsibility.

  • The Writing Corner

  • The Book Review Club

Examination System
The Computer Based English Admission Exam

The English Admission Exam is an academic aptitude exam made up of 3 sections: language use, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. It aims at finding out whether the student can study (attend lectures, and read academic textbooks and lecture notes) at an English speaking university.
After passing the admission exams and submitting the documents for evaluation, the student will receive his final study offer as a GUC fully accepted student.

The Computer Based Academic Skills Diagnostic Placement Exam

Fully accepted students need to sit for a Diagnostic Placement Exam to place them into homogeneous classes suited to their needs in order to bring all GUC students to an equal skills level by the end of the first semester. The placement exam is computerized except for the writing part and is made up of sections similar to those of the English admission exam with varying levels of difficulty. The placement diagnostic exam places fully accepted students into one of two levels: the Academic level and the Study Skills level. In the Study Skills level, the students study four credit subjects over a two year span. The four credit subjects are: Academic Study Skills, Critical Thinking and Scientific Methodology, Research Paper Writing, and Communication and Presentation Skills. In the Academic level, the students study an extra non-credit subject as a prerequisite to studying the four credit subjects. The prerequisite subject, Academic English, in addition to the four credit subjects are also planned over a two year span.

The Computer Based Achievement Exams

Save for Essays, reports, projects, research papers, and presentations, the whole evaluation system of the department is based on computer based databases for all achievement quizzes, mid-terms, and finals.

The Enabling Objectives

By the end of the first year of study at the GUC, a GUC freshman will be able to:

  • Skim for main ideas.

  • Identify implied main ideas.

  • Scan for specific information.

  • Differentiate between main and supporting ideas

  • Use clues to determine the meaning of new words

  • Distinguish fact from opinion.

  • Make inferences based on info in the passage

  • Apply the writing process.

  • Comprehend conversations and long discussions both in social and in academic contexts as well as academic lectures.

  • Comprehend and Use culturally appropriate speech acts.

  • Take and organize lecture notes that could be used as the basis for class discussion and activities.

  • Express her/himself fluently and comprehensibly both in social and in academic contexts.

  • Participate in debates using accurate, academic language, and a logical organisation of ideas.

  • Demonstrate her/his acquired academic skills in group presentations.

  • Present her/his arguments in a well structured academic written form.

  • Report on how s/he would handle a given problem related to their field of study.

  • Critically read an academic text.

  • Paraphrase, summarize and synthesize a variety of academic texts.

  • Apply the steps of scientific method to solve a given problem.

  • Make scientific observations.

  • Distinguish between positive and negative connotations.

  • Distinguish among observations, facts, opinions, inferences, and assumptions.

  • Make inferences based on premises.

  • Recognize good arguments.

  • Detect faulty arguments.

By the end of the second year of study at the GUC, a GUC Junior will be able to:

  • Deliver both academic and professional informative and persuasive presentations in groups as well as individually.

  • Take an active role as an active team member or as an effective team leader in a professional group discussion aiming at solving a problem.

  • Conduct effective library and internet research.

  • Demonstrate knowledge about types of scientific research and the methodologies used.

  • Demonstrate knowledge about concepts and terms of scientific research.

  • Analyze scientific research critically on the basis of the strength or weakness of the methodology used (research design, data gathering tools, interpreting the findings).

  • Develop critical thinking skills that can be used to help interpret and evaluate information.

  • Write a literature review in which sources are synthesized in order to shed light on a given topic and identify areas of further study.