In this article, we describe and evaluate the writing component of Hiroshima University’s Program for English Communication (HiSPEC) taught in 2016. The program was developed in response to Hiroshima University’s change in status when it was designated a Top Global University by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The program involves the creation of small-group classes for first-year students with the best English-test results in faculty groupings, and testing through the TOEIC® Speaking and Writing tests.
The small classes contained up to 14 students, and were taught by British and American teachers of English. The course was held in the second semester of 2016, with students receiving 90 minutes of instruction per week over a period of approximately 15 weeks.
Evaluation of the writing course involved both quantitative and qualitative data, and took the form of teacher feedback through summaries, student feedback via a questionnaire survey, and an analysis of two TOEIC® Writing test scores using a t-test. It was found that both teachers and students enjoyed the small-group classes, and that most of the students were satisfied with all aspects of the course. The results of the t-test showed a significant difference between the test scores at the beginning of the course and the test scores at its end.