Chaucer College Canterbury is an independent college for Japanese students and other students, founded in 1992 by Hiroshi Kawashima on the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. It offers courses from Shumei University as well as the University of Kent itself.
The greater numbers of the students come as part of their Shumei University degrees, attending the college for about 10 months in their first year at University to study English intensively, before returning to Japan. These students arrive in April and leave mid February, in keeping with the Japanese academic calendar. There are two courses available for these students:
-The Shumei Faculty of English and IT Management
-The Shumei Faculty of Management and Administration
There are also students who come to partake in the access to British Universities course. This course lasts a little over two years, beginning when the students first come to the college with the Intensive English (IE) course which continues until the summer break, then continuing with the Foundation Course (FC) from September, and the Certificate Course the following academic year. The Certificate Course is the equivalent to the first year at University of Kent, with the exception that most of the classes are held at Chaucer College rather than the university. At the successful completion of this course the students can proceed to second year at the University of Kent or apply elsewhere. Due to the nature of the FC and Certificate Course teaching, the graduates of these courses are usually restricted to applying or continuing courses in Sociology and Political Science.
The numbers applying to come to Chaucer for the 10 month courses has been increasing each year; however the numbers for the intensive University Course has been decreasing, with only four new students in 2007.
The Vice Chancellor is Dr. Keith Wren, and a representative of Shumei University, Prof. Masaaki Sekiguchi, is the Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Conversation Teachers are usually second or third year University of Kent students. They usually do not have any teaching qualifications but have sometimes had some experience in informal teaching. Chaucer College employs them to chat with students and make them use their conversational English more. Class times have varied from year to year, but are usually an hour or so 4-5 evenings a week. The levels of the students vary but are usually grouped by ability level. The Conversation Teachers are also required to eat dinner with the students during the week and engage them in conversation when possible, but this does not always happen.
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