GS 100: American Language and Culture for International Students 1

Investigating the University: A Behavioral and Social Science-Based Approach to Content-Based Language Learning

This course is designed to improve English language skills in order to help students take full advantage of the range of educational opportunities available at Purdue University. You'll also develop effective communication strategies for the college classroom, collaborate with peers on activities and assignments, and learn more about American society — especially as it relates to being a university student in the early 21st century.

GS 100 takes a social science-based approach to investigating the American university by examining contemporary college life, the history of the American academy, social and environmental issues on campus, and opportunities for engagement with the wider community.

Course objectives


  • Identifying topics, main ideas and supporting details in a range of authentic texts
  • Determining the meaning of unknown words or phrases by using contextual clues
  • Processing written texts at an efficient speed for specific purposes (e.g., exams, homework)


  • Forming complex sentences and complete paragraphs free from major grammatical and mechanical (spelling, capitalization, punctuation) errors
  • Crafting strong arguments and supporting them with evidence
  • Accurately summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting information from source materials with accompanying citations
  • Producing written texts at an efficient speed for specific purposes (e.g., essay exams, term papers)


  • Selecting appropriate vocabulary and discourse markers for class discussions and presentations
  • Utilizing stress patterns, rhythmic structures, and reduced sounds to focus attention, indicate attitudes and regulate conversation
  • Engaging in small talk and speaking extemporaneously on a variety of topics
  • Monitoring mistakes and making productive self-corrections while speaking in public

You'll have the opportunity to complete three extracurricular activities, such as attending a Student Success workshop or volunteering to observe a graduate student presentation in English 620.

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