ALESA (Active Learning of English for Students of the Arts) is a compulsory single-semester writing course for all first-year students in the humanities. The course introduces students to the skill of building an effective argument in English supported by sources and evidence. By the end of the course, students are expected to be familiar with basic stylistic conventions of academic writing, understand the organisation and rhetorical features of an argumentative essay, and be able to present a clear position which is supported by evidence.
Although centered around the construction of a properly documented academic essay, class activities also include analysis of exemplary writing and exercises that hone students’ ability to think critically and write clearly. The language of instruction is English, and students are encouraged to speak English in class.
No textbook is used for the ALESA course. Rather, teaching materials are developed and shared by the faculty on an ongoing basis, creating a dynamic atmosphere in which curriculum is continuously revised and adapted for the individual classroom.