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Department of English
 
Frequently Asked Questions

 

General questions

1. What is the Communication Skills Program and who is required to enroll in Communication Skills courses?

The Communication Skills Program provides AUB students with instruction in writing and rhetoric. Courses offered within the program are intended to prepare students for writing in a variety of contexts throughout the university and beyond. In addition to our general first-year writing courses, English 102, 203, and 204, we have several specialized courses, including: English 100, which offers intensive training in the English language; English 206, which prepares students to write for technical purposes; and English 208, which prepares students to write for business purposes. 

All undergraduate students at AUB are required to take at least one Communication Skills course. The majority of AUB students complete two courses – English 203 and English 204 or 206 – and many also take English 100, 102, and/or 208.

2. Who is the Director of Communication Skills and what does he/she do?

The Director of Communication Skills Program at AUB holds an MA in Translation and in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Warsaw University, Poland, with a thesis comparing verbal expressions of emotions in American English and Polish. She has won or received distinctions at literary competitions both in the US and Poland. She teaches writing in undergraduate and executive education programs. Currently, her teaching combines individual tutoring with team-based instruction in online environments of blended classes.

Insrtructor Dorota Fleszar is currently the Director of Communication Skills.
 

3. What is plagiarism, and what are its consequences at AUB? What will I learn about    plagiarism in Communication Skills?   

In all writing, ideas and words taken from any source should be documented. Failure to credit ideas or material taken from secondary sources constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is a violation of the University’s academic regulations, and is subject to disciplinary action. Any plagiarism found in assignments submitted for your Communication Skills courses will be given a zero and submitted to the FAS Disciplinary Committee for further action. Further information about the policy on plagiarism in Communication Skills can be found here, and also on your course syllabus.

You will learn about plagiarism in every Communication Skills course you take. Your instructor will give you opportunities to practice understanding, identifying, and avoiding plagiarism. It is our goal that you will apply what you have learned about plagiarism in your Communication Skills courses to all of your other AUB courses.

If you have further questions about plagiarism, you should consult your instructor. If you need further clarification, you are free to request a meeting with the Director of Communication Skills. Remember: If you are not sure whether or not you have plagiarized, you should ask your instructor before turning an assignment in.

4. What is the attendance requirement for Communication Skills courses?

Attendance is required in all Communication Skills courses.

The table below illustrates the maximum number of permitted absences for all courses:

Classes

Before Week 10

Total

M/W/F

6

9

T/R

4

6

The table below illustrates the maximum number of  absences for English 100A and 100B:

English 100A
 

Total number of Hours

Before Week 10

Total

195

29

39

English 100B

Total number of Hours

Before Week 10

Total

156

23

31

 
Please note that no absence is excused unless you have a certified medical excuse from AUBMC or the infirmary. When you miss a class, excused or unexcused, you are responsible for contacting your instructor to discuss what you missed and if it can be made up.

Further information about the policy on attendance in Communication Skills can be found here, and also on your course syllabus.

5. Will I be withdrawn from my Communication Skills course if I miss too many classes?

If you miss more than the allowed number of absences by Week 10, your instructor will send your name to the FAS Dean’s office to be withdrawn from the course. If you are enrolled in 15 or more credit hours, you will automatically be dropped from the course. If you are enrolled in fewer than 15 credit hours, you will automatically earn a failing grade of 40 for the course.

If you miss more than the total number of allowed absences in a given semester and you accumulate these absences after Week 10, you will automatically earn a failing grade of 40 for the course.

Further information about the policy on attendance in Communication Skills can be found here, and also on your course syllabus.

6. Can I attend a section that I am not enrolled in?

No. All students are required to attend the section they are enrolled in. Exceptions will not be made.

7. What should I do if I’m having problems in my Communication Skills course?

If you find you are having problems in your Communication Skills course, you should set up a meeting to discuss these problems in person with your instructor. You are much more likely to succeed when you initiate communication as soon as problems arise. Please remember that your instructor may not be able to help you once you have already missed too many classes or assignments – so notifying your instructor in person or via email before it is too late is very important.

If you find you are facing problems not only with your Communication Skills course, but also other courses, or if you have difficulty managing time, dealing with stress, anxiety or other problems, we encourage you to contact the AUB Counseling Center. Further information can be found here

8. What should I do if another professor holds an exam at a time that conflicts with my regular Communication Skills course?

There is an ongoing problem at AUB with professors scheduling exams and other required activities at times that conflict with other courses in which students are enrolled. Obviously, no student should be forced to miss a regularly scheduled class. Additionally, Communication Skills instructors cannot excuse your absence if you have an exam in another course. If you face this problem, please follow the steps outlined below at least 2-3 weeks prior to the scheduled exam:

  1. If a professor of another course schedules an exam that conflicts with the timing of your regular Communication Skills course, you should first contact the professor of the other course, show him/her your schedule from AUBsis, and request an alternate time for the exam.
  2. If the professor of the other course does not provide an alternate time for the exam, please email the Director of Communication Skills as well as the instructor of your section to explain the conflict. In your email, please provide the name and email address of the other professor, as well as a copy of your AUBsis schedule and evidence that you have been in touch with the other professor already (a forwarded email will suffice).
  3. The Director of Communication Skills will take the matter directly to the professor of the other course in order to arrive at a solution to the problem.

Kindly note that neither your instructor nor the Director will be able to help you unless you provide this information to us at least 2-3 weeks prior to the scheduled exam.

9. How many times can I repeat a Communication Skills course for credit?

Like all courses at AUB, you are allowed to register for a Communication Skills course a maximum of three times, the third requiring permission of the your advisor and the Department of English. Students withdrawn will be counted as having registered for the course one time. The highest grade you receive is the one that will count toward your final GPA.

10.  When should I be finished with my Communication Skills courses?

Ideally, you should finish your required Communication Skills course sequence as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to enroll in the next course during a given semester, you should consult your adviser and devise a plan to take the course the following semester.

11. I am transferring to another university and need a letter certifying my proficiency in     English. Who can help me with this?

Please visit the Department main office in Fisk 341 or email commskills@aub.edu.lb   

12. Who can answer further questions about the Communication Skills Program?

Please visit the Department main office in Fisk 341 or email  commskills@aub.edu.lb  

Enrollment and Opening Capacity

13. I’m English-educated. Aren’t I exempt from taking Communication Skills courses?

No undergraduate student at AUB is exempt from taking Communication Skills courses. Kindly note that, with the exception of English 100, none of our courses are English language courses. Rather, our courses are designed to support students at any level of English proficiency in developing their writing and rhetorical abilities, particularly in relation to the university context.

14. What is your policy on opening capacity?

It is our policy in Communication Skills not to open capacity for any of our sections. Because our courses are writing-intensive, staying within the enrollment limit improves the learning experience for all students. If you are unable to find an open section before the beginning of the semester, you should attempt to find a seat during the drop/add period.

If you believe you have a special circumstance and cannot find a seat during the drop/add period, you may come to see the Director of Communication Skills in Fisk 345 between 8am and 12pm on the last day of drop/add. Kindly note that the Director will look at your schedule online to analyze the possibilities. If there is an open section that fits your schedule, you will be enrolled in that section. You also have the option of taking Communication Skills courses during later semesters.

15. I am not enrolled in a Communication Skills course, but I want to be in section. The instructor does not mind. Will you open capacity for me?

No. The decision to open capacity in a Communication Skills course is up to the Director of Communication Skills, and capacity will not be opened based on student’s preference for one section over another. Our priority is to fill open sections and avoid opening capacity (please also see question #14).

16. I have been attending a Communication Skills course that I am not officially enrolled in. Can you open capacity for me in this course?

No. Please see question #14.

17.I live very far away and the Communication Skills course I am enrolled in is inconvenient for me and/or my family. What can I do?

In an effort to be fair to all students, we cannot accommodate a student based on extracurricular circumstances. You should remain enrolled in your current section unless you find a seat open in your preferred section during the drop/add period. You also have the option of taking Communication Skills courses during later semesters.

18.  I am required to take English 100. What grades are required for entry to English 102 or English 203?

Undergraduates enrolled in English 100 who earn a final grade between 60 and 79 will be placed in English 102. Those who earn a final grade of 80 and above will be placed in English 203.

19. Am I allowed to enroll in other courses while I am taking English 100?

Depending on whether you are enrolled in English 100A or 100B, you may be allowed to enroll in up to 6 credits, but your other courses can only be in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or Arabic. Under no circumstances can you enroll in a course that conflicts with the timing of your 100A or 100B course.

20. I am required to take English 102. How will the course count toward my degree if I am a freshman or sophomore?

For freshmen, the English 102 final grade counts toward both the semester and cumulative GPA. For sophomores, the English 102 final grade counts toward the semester GPA only.

21. I haven’t yet been accepted by the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, but I would like to take English 206 instead of English 204. Is this possible?

No. Although English 204 and English 206 are equivalent courses, English 206 is limited to students already accepted by FEA.

22. I haven’t yet been accepted to OSB (Business), but I would like to take English 208 now. Is this possible?

The Director of Communication Skills may lift the restriction for non-OSB students to enroll in English 208 if there are open sections at the end of the drop/add period. If you are interested in enrolling, you should begin attending a section that has seats available during the drop/add period and come to see the Director in Fisk 345 between 8am and 12pm on the last day of drop/add.

Kindly note that the Director will not open capacity for any section in the above case, and OSB students are given priority.

23. Who can answer further questions about enrollment and opening capacity in Communication Skills?

Please visit the Department main office in Fisk 341 or email commskills@aub.edu.lb      

Placement and Testing

24. Why was I placed into English 100/102/203/204?

The Office of Admissions places all new students into Communication Skills courses based on their SAT, TOEFL, or EEE scores.

25. I don’t believe that my SAT, EEE and/or TOEFL scores reflect my ability in English. Can you change my placement or give me another test?

No. The Office of Admissions is responsible for placing students into the appropriate Communication Skills course.

26.  I took the IELTS exam, but not the SAT or TOEFL. What should I do?

Please consult with the Office of Admissions about taking AUB’s English Entrance Examination (EEE) or an alternate placement test. The schedule for the EEE can be found here

27. I didn’t score as well as I had hoped on my SAT, EEE, and/or TOEFL test. I have already begun taking classes at AUB. If I re-take the test in a later semester and improve my score, will I be placed in a higher level of Communication Skills?

No. The Office of Admissions only accepts results of tests completed prior to the beginning of a student’s first semester at AUB.

28. Who should I contact if I have further questions about testing or placement?

Please contact the Office of Admissions

 
 

Communication Skills Program

Department of English

Fisk 341

commskills@aub.edu.lb     

Insrtructor Dorota Fleszar , Director

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