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Elective Courses

The AEC offers elective courses.  Each elective is a 2 credit course that meets for 2 hours one day each week.  

Who takes elective courses?

  • Students who have not yet passed any of their English language requirements (that means students with two core courses) must be enrolled in 15 credits.  Students can use an elective to fulfill their credit hour requirement.
  • Students who have passed part of their English language requirements (that means students who have only one core course) may “volunteer” to take an elective.  If space is available, they will be allowed to enroll in the elective.

We offer the following elective courses:


Elective: Communicating on U.S. Campuses. (Open to students in Levels 4 & 5 only.)
University classes and university life in general require many kinds of speaking skills.  This elective will help prepare you for speaking tasks like giving presentations, participating in debates, starting conversations and negotiating during group work.  You will learn skills like talking to professors, expressing concern or appreciation, and interviewing for jobs.  You will watch video models and engage in your own speaking activities and assignments, such as interviews, role-plays, debates and presentations.  You will be graded on these speaking assignments, as well as quizzes on video models, and journal writing entries.
Elective: Fix Your Grammar! (Open to students in Levels 4 & 5 only.)
University classes require many written papers and projects.  Is your grammar ready for the job?  This course will focus on verb tenses and forms and help you recognize opportunities to use clause structures (adjective clauses, noun clauses, and adverb clauses) in your writing to express complex ideas clearly.  You will develop greater accuracy in using verbs and clause structures and acquire better proofreading skills.  You will be graded on writing assignments (sentence, paragraph, and multi-paragraph), proofreading quizzes, revisions of your writing, and paraphrasing.
Elective: Connecting with Your Community.(Open to students in Levels 3, 4 & 5.)
So what have you learned about local and campus culture since you’ve arrived?  How many American friends do you have?  This elective will help you find your own personal way of engaging in the culture around you by introducing you to the possibilities offered on campus and in the local community and helping you with the vocabulary necessary to make the most of these experiences.  You will participate in some campus and community events, take part in a volunteer experience, and do some readings on specific aspects of American culture.  You will be graded on participation in activities, short, reflective writings on your experiences, vocabulary quizzes, and comprehension quizzes on short readings.
Elective: Succeeding with Technology in the USA.(Open to students in Levels 4 & 5 only.)
University academic expectations in one culture can be very different from academic expectations in another culture.  Making a mistake can cause big problems!  This elective will introduce you to technology tools commonly used in American universities for email communication, social networking, academic discussion boards, formatting papers, adding citations to documents, group collaboration, presentations and more and teach you how to use these tools appropriately and successfully in the American university culture.  You will be graded on group project work, individual written assignments, and a presentation.
Elective: Vocabulary in Action.(Open to students in Levels 3, 4 & 5.)
How big is your vocabulary?  University students need 8,000 to 9,000 word families to be successful readers!  This elective will help you expand your vocabulary.  You will develop expertise with learner dictionaries, look at word parts and context clues to discover word meanings, and practice a range of independent vocabulary learning strategies that you can use in your academic coursework.  You will be graded on in class quizzes and independent practice using vocabulary strategies and using words correctly, homework assignments of the same, and a completed vocabulary notebook.

Founded in 1964 as part of a Ford Foundation campus internationalization grant
One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
The AEC comprises three units: the Intensive English Program, Short-term Programs, and KU Outreach Programs.
Each semester, the AEC enrolls about 550 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents
The Applied English Center offers field trips and conversation groups to our students
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