This course is designed to enhance students’ English proficiency in four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking, to equip the students with sufficient skills for future use of the language. Language will be treated as a cultural construct and will be taught in its proper context as such. In this course we will challenge your ability to read and think critically, and your ability to present your own opinions in a persuasive manner. We’ll begin by summarizing others’ arguments and essays, critically thinking about issues and texts, and prepare students gradually to make their own arguments by building on the research and opinions of others. In other words, the emphasis will be placed on the development of critical reading ability, while building up one’s receptive and productive vocabulary as a by-product. Various types of reading materials – journal and newspaper articles, essays of different subjects, and literary works – will be covered in the class. It is hoped that the students’ linguistic as well as cultural literacy can be enhanced via some basic linguistic concepts, so as to cultivate a true appreciation of the English language. The class will mainly be conducted in English with the occasional use of Chinese to explain complicated grammatical structures or concepts.