Photo by: LB Times
UPLB CAS LITE Program welcomes 25 Kobe University students to English Plus Course

Celebrating its 11-year relationship with Kobe University (KU), the Language Instruction Towards Excellence (LITE) Program of the College of Arts and Sciences welcomed 25 KU students to its three-week English Plus Course (EPC) offering. 

The first- and second-year undergraduate students flew in from Japan, accompanied by their faculty guardians, Dr. Kengo Kanamaru and Dr. Eri Chatani, on February 24, 2024. 

Designed to improve English proficiency, the EPC focused on four key areas: conversational fluency, vocabulary building, pronunciation improvement, and oral presentation skills.

Interactive lectures, exercises, practice conversations, and personalized feedback were used to create a supportive learning environment. Out-of-classroom activities such as guided interaction and night tutorial sessions were also used to allow students to practice their learnings and equip them with the skills and confidence to converse in English with ease. 

The student participants were divided into two groups. Kobe Batch 15 included thirteen students, and Kobe Batch 16 consisted of twelve. LITE language tutors, all faculty members from the Department of Humanities’ Communication and Language Divisions, were assigned to each batch. 

Kobe 15 tutors were Dr. Ana Katrina P. De Jesus, Elizabeth Segura-Krueger, Rudell A. Ramirez, and Jacqueline B. Recaña. 

For Kobe 16, they were Kristine K. Adalla, Edgilyn R. Alcasid, Katherine M. Gonzales, and Patricia Mariz Hilao-Valencia. The EPC officially began on February 26, 2024.

Another highlight of the course was the students’ immersion in Filipino culture. After the interactive classes facilitated by the tutors, carefully selected UPLB student facilitators took charge of structured daily two-hour guided interactions. 

These sessions, held within the campus grounds and nearby business areas, covered topics related to the Filipino lifestyle and Los Baños culture. Several cultural trips were also organized each week, providing ample opportunities for students to enhance their language skills and broaden their horizons through cultural immersion. 

Special guests visited this year’s two batches. On the second week of the training, Dean Yasuhito Shirai of KU’s Graduate School of Agriculture Science, together with KU’s Dr. Akiko Ikemura and Dr. Naoe Kawakami, visited UPLB to observe the LITE Program classes. 

Dean Shirai brought along Chris Dunsmore, Director of Programs of English as a Second Language at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Three students from UNL—Jerry Zhu, Jinny Young, and Alex Hack—also joined the KU students as student participants for three days.

Kobe Batches 15 and 16’s English Plus Course officially ended on March 15, 2024. During the closing program, the students performed presentations highlighting their learnings and experiences during their three-week stay in the Philippines.

Special awards were handed out during the closing program. Kobe 15’s class valedictorian was Matsuo Naho, while the Most Improved Student Award went to Urano Nanami. Kume Shoko was Batch 16’s class valedictorian, while Uchida Yuina was given the Most Improved Student Award. 

The LITE Program first offered the English Plus Course in 2012 and has been training Kobe University students since 2013. 

Under the management of Dr. Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese, dean of CAS, the LITE Program is coordinated by Asst. Prof. Jerard Ancel D. Eusebio of the Department of Humanities. (Jerard Ancel D. Eusebio)

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