The Department of Humanities and Arts is responsible for the teaching of both compulsory and elective subjects. These include languages, humanities, and sports. In addition, faculty members conduct research on various topics related to their respective disciplines, as well as research to enhance various courses offered to students. The Department sponsors seminars, lectures and colloquia for departmental and Technion staff and students in various subjects related to the topics taught in the Department. Past series have covered topics such as ecology, philology, history of science and Judaic studies.
English is an important tool for Technion students. It is a compulsory Technion subject and is offered at four levels for undergraduate students and at three levels for graduate students. Placement into undergraduate English Levels is determined by the students' scores on the National University Entrance Exam ("the Psychometric"). Beginners English is designed for new immigrants and native Israelis whose English is weak, and covers a review of basic English grammar and an introduction to simple scientific and technological texts and vocabulary. Scientific English 1 and Scientific English 2 are consecutive intermediate courses which provide an introduction to general Technical English. Technical English is the highest level of compulsory undergraduate English. This course emphasizes reading comprehension of faculty-specific scientific texts at an advanced level. Students who complete Scientific English 2 or who have high enough English psychometric scores enroll in Technical English. Four additional elective courses are also offered within the framework of the Humanities Division-- Conversational English , World Literature in English, English for Communication and Advanced English Skills for Scientists and Engineers (all classes are not necessarily offered each semester).
At the graduate level three courses in English are offered. Lower English and Extensive English are remedial courses to help graduate students prepare for the Technion's compulsory Graduate English Proficiency Exam given three times during the academic year. The Academic Writing Course for Doctoral Students provides advanced skills in the writing of academic articles in science and technology. This course can be taken in lieu of the Ph.D. second foreign language requirement.
Hebrew as a foreign language is taught at three levels to undergraduate students who have graduated from non-Israeli schools. It is also taught to graduate students at three levels, with the most basic courses geared towards students who have no background in the language. Upon completion of the Hebrew courses, undergraduate students take two additional courses which familiarize them with Jewish and Israeli tradition, history and culture. A course in Hebrew is also offered at the Medical School for students from Touro College in the USA who study clinical subjects in Israeli hospitals. This annual course is preceded by an intensive summer Ulpan. A Hebrew course entitled "Improving Language Knowledge and Usage" has been made compulsory for undergraduate students in the Department of Education in Technology and Science, and is taught by the staff of the Department of Humanities and Arts. A second course, "Guidance in Writing Scientific Papers", is designed for graduate students who have successfully completed the Hebrew language course. Elective courses in Hebrew from a linguistic perspective are offered as well.
The Division offers a wide range of elective courses in the Humanities, Judaic Studies, Philosophy and History of Science, Musicology, Linguistics and the Performing Arts. In addition, courses are offered in modern languages: English, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. Some of these courses are open to graduate in addition to undergraduate students.
The Sports and Physical Education Unit serves the entire
Technion student body. Academic credit is given for course and for
participation in competitive teams. A wide choice enables each student to
choose his/her favourite activity. Special emphasis is placed on
recreational activities and lifetime sports, such as swimming, tennis,
lawn-bowling, bowling, sailing, target shooting, badminton,
cycling, orienteering etc. These are in addition to conventional sports such
as basketball, volleyball etc. New sports have recently been introduced,
among which are: triathlon, aerobic dancing, judo, taekwondo,
and karate. Courses for self defense and survival are open both to female
and male students. The sports facilities are available for extra-curricular
use throughout the day.
In addition, the Physical Education Unit provides sports
and recreation services to faculty members on the campus tennis and squash
courts, fitness center and multi-purpose gym. The Sports Unit organizes the
annual Open Technion Championship in which students, faculty members and
Technion staff compete with each other in basketball, soccer, tennis and
squash. Open Sports Day is held on the Technion Annual Student's Day, when
teams of students from different faculties compete. The Technion teams
participate on a national level in inter-university championships. At the
national level, the Technion teams are part of the official leagues
organized by different sport organizations, such as the Sports Union and
Israeli Championships. The rugby and chess teams compete in the National
League; basketball and handball in League A and in other leagues. The unique
structure of the Sports and P.E. Unit is a result of cooperation between the
Students' Union, the Technion Administration and the Technion President.
Our athletes excel at the Annual International A.S.A. (Academic Sports Association) Games, in which many teams from around the world compete. This year, for the 17th time, the Technion won all first places in the competition. Women students, 32% of the Technion population, are becoming increasingly active in many sports and competitions. They came second in the A.S.A. Games in 1999. Last year, Technion sports teams took part in inter-collegiate competitions abroad; last year they competed with teams from France, Cyprus and Germany. Competitions abroad are considered important cultural missions and participation in them is under the auspices of the Technion President, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amos Lapidot.
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