The Role of English Language Teaching for Liberal Arts Education in Non-English-Speaking Countries

  • Yuko IwataEmail author
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


International Christian University (ICU) is a small liberal arts college where students take courses in a bilingual and multilingual educational environment. From their enrollment at ICU, students whose first language is not English are expected to start learning academic English skills and critical thinking skills so that they can pursue their studies both in English and Japanese. The English for Liberal Arts (ELA) program at ICU offers an intensive English program throughout the 1st year to help students acquire academic English skills and critical thinking skills. This chapter will discuss how the ELA has tried to accomplish this task by offering a structure and curriculum.



I would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their discerning comments. I also would like to thank one of my colleagues at ICU, Mr. Mike Kleindl, for his stimulating ideas about the ELA journey metaphor and how to teach critical thinking through academic reading and writing, class discussions, and tutorials. My sincere gratitude goes to Mr. John Peloghitis in the ELA program for his valuable comments and suggestions. Without his encouragement, I could not have finished revising this chapter. My thanks also go to my current and former colleagues in the ELA program, Mr. Tetsuya Fukuda, for his data analysis, and Dr. Masuko Miyahara, Ms. Jennie Roloff Rothman, and Mr. Keita Yagi, for their insightful comments.


  1. Atkinson, D. (1997). A critical approach to critical thinking in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 31(1), 71–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (2009). Educational action research: A critical approach. In S. Nofke & B. Somekh (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of educational action research (1st ed., pp. 74–84). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cook, V. (1994). The metaphor or access to universal grammar. In N. Ellis (Ed.), Implicit learning and language (pp. 477–502). Cambridge, MA: Academic.Google Scholar
  4. English for Liberal Arts Program, ICU. (2016). ELA staff handbook. Google Scholar
  5. Fox, H. (1994). Listening to the world: Cultural issues in academic writing. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.Google Scholar
  6. Fukuda, T. (2016). ELA2012-2014 cohorts test analysis. Manuscript.Google Scholar
  7. Fukuda, T. (2017a). W_RCA4_term-end survey report. Manuscript.Google Scholar
  8. Fukuda, T. (2017b). Manuscript.Google Scholar
  9. ICU. (2012). University guide. Tokyo: International Christian University Public Relations Office.Google Scholar
  10. Nishimura, M. (2016). Liberal arts for a new Japan: The case of the International Christian University. In I. Jung, M. Nishimura, & T. Sasao (Eds.), Liberal arts education and colleges in East Asia (pp. 51–62). Singapore, Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ruminski, H. J., & Hanks, W. E. (1995). Critical thinking lacks definition and uniform evaluation criteria. Journalism and Mass Education Educator, 50(3), 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sommers, N. (2015). Writing to learn: Teaching with writing. Manuscript of the presentation at the Faculty Meeting at ICU, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  13. Takeda, K. (2003). Higher education for tomorrow: International Christian University and postwar Japan. Tokyo: International Christian University Press.Google Scholar
  14. van der Wende, M. (2012). Trends towards global excellence in undergraduate education: Taking the liberal arts education into the 21st century. Research & Occasional Paper: CSHE, 18(12), 1–9.Google Scholar
  15. Yoshioka, M. (2002). Liberal arts in English. In M. Kinukawa (Ed.), All about ICU’s “Liberal Arts”: Liberal arts education reform document series 2 (pp. 9–56). Tokyo: Toshindo Publishing Co, Ltd. (in Japanese).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Christian UniversityTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations