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Course Description

The aim of the course, which presumes no prior knowledge of the USA, is to introduce students to a picture of American society. The main emphasis is made on contemporary America: its beliefs, values, traditions, geography, political and economic situation, education, religious and social life, etc.

Under scrutiny will be recurring themes in American History as they relate to the present. Students will use various materials as part of their quest to understand the United States, including online articles, historical documents, speeches of outstanding Americans, websites, films and documentaries.

This course will help students to gain a better understanding of American culture, its underlying characteristics and to develop their language skills (listening, reading, speaking); it also stimulates cross-cultural approach to American studies.

Course Requirements

The requirements for this course are very simple and straightforward.

Everyone must do:
• the weekly reading;
• participate in discussions (colloquiums);
• pass tests (2 current ones and one final).

To succeed in the course, you will need to read assignments carefully - that is, more than once - to follow the syllabus and be prepared to discuss the readings in-depth when you come to class.

We will use the Internet as a resource and you will be asked to read guidelines covering Internet use. Even if you are experienced with the computers and the software, you should be prepared to spend time outside of class (either at home or at the lab's open hours) on various assignments. Free Internet accounts are available to all of you from our Computer Lab.