The American Discovery group of courses is designed to give English language students a unique opportunity to improve their academic English skills by studying American culture. These courses bring together ideas from many academic fields and disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, art history, economics, environmental studies, gender and ethnic studies, history, literature, and sociology. Students improve their ability to participate in topic-specific academic debates and discussions, as well as their ability to comprehend topic-specific recordings and videos. Ideas and field-specific vocabulary from selected disciplines are used to examine the significance of the American experience for both residents of and visitors to the USA.
Class discussions raise questions about the American dream and about the lived experience of American democracy which have renewed relevance in the post 9/11 context.
Students utilize advanced grammatical structures in producing accurate writings, such as essays, book reviews, and research papers.
Additionally, students improve their critical thinking skills and strategies as they read academic articles. American Discovery students also look outside of the classroom by going on study-tours of sites of significance in the Chicago area.