Overview of Course
The goals of this class are to improve your writing and spoken interaction skills in English, with a focus on the kinds of writing and speaking STEM students like you will have to do in your careers.
By the end of this class, students will be able to:
- maintain a social conversation about concrete topics of personal interest using a good range of simple English,
- make a short technical presentation in simple words and sentences using only brief notes,
- write coherent instructions telling people how to do things with vocabulary and grammar of immediate relevance,
- write a simple, well-constructed and logical argument,
- give a good answer to an “Eiken” style interview question.
There will be four spoken English assignments (3 presentations and 1 interview) and three written assignments. Written work is to be printed out and double-spaced.
The CEFR-J framework is the basis for the writing and presentation activities in this class.
A great many people can use more than one language. In some places in the world, such as Europe, many people can use several languages to greater or lesser extents. Typically, a person has different language abilities in different languages. (For example, I can speak some Japanese, but I can read and write very little.) The Common European Framework Reference (CEFR) is a guide for understanding what a person “can do” in a language. This guide is used by schools, governments, and companies around the world and for many different languages. It’s becoming more and more important in Japan, too.
The CEFR-J “target range” for this class: A2.2 ~ B1.1 Level (TOEIC 255 ~ 400 )
- Introduction / Overview; Goals of the course; CEFR-J Self Assessment;”selfies”; partner interviews
- Spoken Assignment 1: Your Partner Introduction; Well-formed Sentences; Partner Introduction Write ups.
- Written Assignment 1: Your Partner Introduction (Print); Well-formed Paragraphs
- Comparison Assignment; Information Mapping (Hunter Maps)
- Spoken Assignment 2: Comparisons
- Written Assignment 2: Comparison Paragraphs
- Instruction: Problem, Solution & How To
- Spoken Assignment 3: Problem Solution & How To (PowerPoint)
- Logical Arguments: from Paragraphs to Essays; The Five Paragraph Essay
- Writing Workshop
- Writing Workshop: Draft 1 Conferences (2 printed copies)
- Writing Workshop
- Written Assignment 3: 5-Paragraph Essays Due (start of class); Structuring an answer to an interview question; Interview Schedule
- Spoken Assignment 4: One on one interviews
- Make ups & late papers: Final Thoughts
Grading & Attendance
My grading policy is that it should be easy to pass the class (C), but very difficult to get the highest score (AA).
C: (60~69%) You did all the assignments, but at a less than average level.
B: (70~79%) You did all the assignments at an average level.
A: (80~89%) You did all the assignments much better than average.
AA: (90~100%) You blew my mind.
[Note: Graduate students are expected to perform at a higher level than undergraduates.]
Because this is a class for 3rd and 4th year (and graduate) students, I am flexible about due dates. You must complete all assignments by the last day of class. If you are going to miss a deadline, however, please let me know before the deadline.
I expect you to try to communicate in English at whatever level of English you have. I will try to speak to you in simple English, but if there is something you don’t understand, please let me know: “What do you mean, Mr. D?”