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Research in English II Session #5: October 23rd, 2009

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 27:  The ANZAC Guard...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
  1. Australian movie reports
  2. Feedback:
    1. Presentation skills
      1. More eye contact is needed.
      2. Talk to the audience, not to your paper.
      3. Think of your audience: will they understand your English? Perhaps explain some key words in Japanese.
    2. Research skills
      1. You MUST reference your information sources: where did you get your information from?
      2. If you use pictures or photos, you MUST credit the person who took the photo or made the picture.
      3. One presenter said that the movie she watched (“Australia“) does not tell much about Australia, but she was interested in the Japanese attacks on Australia (“air raids”) and she researched them. That is a good example of intelligent research.
    3. Australian themes
      1. Today’s movie reports mentioned several themes or ideas which are important to Australians:
        1. Gallipoli” and the First World War. As one presenter said, Australians had to fight in this war because Australia was a colony of Britain. Many Australians are proud that Australians fought and died in this war, even though Crimea had no connection with Australia. Also, some Australians feel sad and angry that Australians died “for Britain” (not for Australia). In the same way that Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be remembered by Japanese for a long, long time, so Gallipoli and the First World War will be remembered by many Australians. That is one reason why this movie was made. The soldiers who fought in Galllipoli were from Australia and New Zealand. They were called “Australia and New Zealand Army Corps” or ANZAC (or in Japanese here).
        2. Opal. Australia is rich in metals and other natural resources. They are an important reason for Australia’s wealth and success.
        3. Surfing. Surfing is an important part of Australian culture.
        4. (Italian) immigrants. There are many immigrants from many countries living in Australia. Australia is a multi-cultural nation. Australia began as a colony of Britain, a white man’s country with a white man’s culture. However, this is no longer true, even though English (a white man’s language) is the national language.

Homework: none

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Interactive Writing Session #4: October 16th, 2009

The writer, the written and the writing tool
Image by Ravages via Flickr

UPDATE: Test yourself! Try this vocabulary quiz about chapter 1 of Little Plum.

Test yourself! Try this quiz on some of the words we read today in chapter 2.

  1. Review of basic rules of English writing:
    1. 5 conditions for a simple sentence
    2. complex sentences + common errors (fragments, run-ons, and comma splices)
    3. the paragraph – unity, grouping of sentences, topic sentence, major supports, transitions.
    4. the essay (according to Andy Gillett) –made up of several paragraphs; introduction, main body, conclusion; all written about one main topic; needs to have a clear purpose; “you should present ideas you have learned but in your own words, and say something for yourself about the subject; the ideas and people you refer to must be made explicit by a system of referencing.”  (c.f. Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education )
  2. Show me your notebooks for “Little Plum
  3. Today, we will read the rest of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
  4. Take notes (in Japanese OK) about today’s mini lecture on British children’s author Enid Blyton.
  5. We will begin to think about research projects.
    1. Rumer Godden’s life
    2. Rumer Godden’s books for children
    3. Rumer Godden’s books
    4. Famous British children’s authors and books
    5. Compare 1 British children’s book with 1 famous Japanese children’s book
    6. Compare Rumer Godden with a famous Japanese writer for children
    7. Compare British books for children with Japanese books for children.
  6. We will learn about how to write a summary. From Andy Gillett’s page:

One of the most important aspects of academic writing is making use of the ideas of other people. This is important as you need to show that you have understood the materials and that you can use their ideas and findings in your own way. In fact, this is an essential skill for every student.

It is very important when you do this to make sure you use your own words, unless you are quoting. You must make it clear when the words or ideas that you are using are your own and when they are taken from another writer. You must not use another person’s words or ideas as if they were your own: this is Plagiarism and plagiarism is regarded as a very serious offence.

The object of academic writing is …  for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. You can do this by reporting the works of others in your own words. You can either paraphrase if you want to keep the length the same, summarise if you want to make the text shorter or synthesise if you need to use information from several sources. In all cases you need to acknowledge other people’s work.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Write a summary of Chapter 1 and 2
  2. Write your notes (in Japanese) to today’s talk, and post them to your blog by Wednesday Oct. 21, 18:00
  3. Visit Andy Gillett’s website Using English for Academic Purposes: A guide for students of higher education. Especially look at the sections on “Paragraph”
  4. Watch theses slideshows on paragraph writing and on summarising.
    1. slideshow #1
    2. slideshow #2
    3. Slideshow #3
  5. Prepare chapter 3 of “Little Plum”.
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Research in English II Session #4: October 16th, 2009

Illustration of a scribe writing
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Review of basic rules of English writing:
    1. simple sentence 5 conditions: capital letter, subject, verb, period, space.
    2. complex sentences + common errors (fragments, run-ons, and comma splices)
    3. the nature of the paragraph – unity, grouping of sentences, topic sentence, major supports, transitions.
    4. the nature of the essay (according to Andy Gillett) –made up of several paragraphs; introduction, main body, conclusion; all written about one main topic; needs to have a clear purpose; “you should present ideas you have learned but in your own words, and say something for yourself about the subject; the ideas and people you refer to must be made explicit by a system of referencing.”  (c.f. Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education )
  2. Discuss your answers to the questions on page 29
  3. Discuss your questions and answers on page 31
  4. Listen and read page 32 and answer the questions in the textbook.
  5. Conduct a class survey, using the questions on page 29.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Your Australian movie reports are due next week.
    1. Movie report: write a report about an Australian movie. The movie must be about Australia (not just filmed there).
      1. See a list of movies that students reported about in the spring semester here
      2. You will read your report aloud to the class (same as in the first semester).
      3. Your report should include some research about the movie, e.g. about the history or area of Australia which the movie is about, also critical reviews or interesting reviews by people on Amazon.
      4. Your report must show me (the instructor) that
        1. you have seen the movie (not just copied your friend’s notes)
        2. you have understood the key points of the movie
        3. you have thought about the movie (is it good? is it useful to learn about Australia?), i.e. you have an opinion about it
        4. you can express your opinion in English
        5. you can use the MLA style for references.
      5. Your report MUST INCLUDE the following information:
        1. movie title (in both English and Japanese)
        2. movie director’s name and the names of the main actors and actresses and the characters they play
        3. date the movie was made
        4. the company that made and distributed the movie
        5. a summary of the story (key points only)
      6. This information MUST BE WRITTEN USING MLA STYLE (see the handout from session #3)
      7. Your handout should include the title of the movie and other key information, and some brief notes and pictures that will make your presentation more interesting. (The information in the handout does not have to be in complete sentences.)
      8. The report is due Friday October 23rd.
  2. Make a blog for your writing in this class, so you can share your thoughts and ideas with other students. Watch this video on how to create a blog in less than 5 minutes. (On the right side of this blog, you can see a list of blogs that my Interactive Writing I students made in the spring semester. Check them out!)
  3. Read the slideshows about paragraph writing and summarising:
    1. slideshow #1
    2. slideshow #2
    3. slideshow #3
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Research in English II Session #3: October 9th, 2009

TOKYO - FEBRUARY 26:  (L to R) Director Baz Lu...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
  1. Editing symbols worksheet
  2. Complex sentences worksheet (run-ons, fragments, comma splices)
  3. List of editing symbols (for your reference)
  4. Textbook page 30 (reading and listening)
  5. Writing (on looseleaf):
    1. have you homeschooled?
    2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling?
    3. Do you think compulsory education is a good idea? Why/why not?
    4. Handout: MLA format (for your reference)
  6. HOMEWORK:
    1. Unit 5, part 1 worksheet
    2. Movie report: write a report about an Australian movie. The movie must be about Australia (not just filmed there).
      1. See a list of movies that students reported about in the spring semester here
      2. You will read your report aloud to the class (same as in the first semester).
      3. Your report should include some research about the movie, e.g. about the history or area of Australia which the movie is about, also critical reviews or interesting reviews by people on Amazon.
      4. Your report must show me (the instructor) that
        1. you have seen the movie (not just copied your friend’s notes)
        2. you have understood the key points of the movie
        3. you have thought about the movie (is it good? is it useful to learn about Australia?), i.e. you have an opinion about it
        4. you can express your opinion in English
        5. you can use the MLA style for references.
      5. Your report MUST INCLUDE the following information:
        1. movie title (in both English and Japanese)
        2. movie director’s name and the names of the main actors and actresses and the characters they play
        3. date the movie was made
        4. the company that made and distributed the movie
        5. a summary of the story (key points only)
      6. This information MUST BE WRITTEN USING MLA STYLE (see the handout from session #3)
      7. Your handout should include the title of the movie and other key information, and some brief notes and pictures that will make your presentation more interesting. (The information in the handout does not have to be in complete sentences.)
      8. The report is due Friday October 23rd.
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Interactive Writing Session #3: October 9th, 2009

  1. Editing symbols worksheet
  2. Complex sentences worksheet (run-ons, fragments, comma splices)
  3. List of editing symbols (reference)
  4. Read most of chapter 1 of “Little Plum”.

You will need a notebook to take notes about vocabulary, British customs, history, etc., that come up in class as we read the “Little Plum” story.

Homework:

  1. (from last week) Type a self-introduction letter using MSWord and using the letter format in the handout from last week. Send it to me by email as an attachment 添付ファイル
  2. Finish reading chapter 1.
  3. Read chapter 2 and prepare for next week:
    1. look up the words you don’t know
    2. make notes about things you learn

Today we read almost all of chapter 1 of  “Little Plum” by Rumer Godden. In order to get an image or understanding of what kind of place Britain is, if you have never been there, let’s use the Internet to do some virtual travel.

First, here are some pictures of a High Street:

  1. in Lincoln
  2. in Chelmsford in 1895 (over 100 years ago, but you see what a long history the “High Street” has)
  3. in Scunthorpe in 1973 (“Little Plum” was published in 1962, so this photo shows you what England looked like at about that time)
  4. in a pretty village called Pinner (don’t know where it is!), which shows some “listed buildings”, which means they are protected by law because they are old and beautiful,
  5. a high street in London.

What is a “market town”? It’s a town which is allowed to have a market (in the old days, the king’s permission was needed to have a market). Wikipedia tells us:

In pre-19th century England, the majority of the population made their living through agriculture and livestock farming. Most lived where they worked, with relatively few [people living] in towns. Therefore, farmers and their wives brought their produce to informal markets held after worship on the grounds of their church. Market towns were an important feature of rural life…  Market towns often grew up close to fortified places such as castles, to enjoy their protection. Framlingham in Suffolk is a notable example. Markets were located where transport was easiest, such as at a crossroads or close to a river ford. When local railway lines were first built, market towns were given priority to ease the transport of goods.

So, “market towns” are usually old towns with a history of people bringing things to the town to sell them. Here are some pictures of some market towns in England:

  1. Market Drayton
  2. Market Harborough
  3. Chipping Norton (“Chipping” comes from a Saxon verb meaning “to buy”)

Here you can see how hedges separate people’s property. Here’s a very old and pretty hedge. Here you can see how hedges are used in England to give privacy from the street, and here you can see how a hedge is used to give privacy from the neighbours.

Here’s an ilex tree, a kind of oak tree, in Chichester, UK. Maybe Belinda’s ilex is big like this? Here are some more ilex trees.

Here’s a picture of a gravel drive. This house is very old, much older than “The House Next Door”, I think.

Lawn.

  1. Here’s a picture of a house with a lawn and a hedge, and a “house next door”.
  2. Here’s another picture of a lawn and a garden, and
  3. here’s another one (this house is very old, from Shakespeare’s time!).
  4. Here’s a more modern one (notice the hedge)
  5. and another modern one in the university town of Cambridge

Some houses for sale in this photo. This house has been sold. This photographer would like to buy this house. How about you?  It has a garden, a hedge, a stream, paddocks (fields for horses)!

I found this photo of two “maiko” by searching for “little plum” on Flickr. Are these two “Miss Happiness and Miss Flower”?

The word “plum” has very different associations for English people than the word “ume” 梅 has for Japanese. Here’s a picture that shows you what many English people will think of when you say “plum”.

Express your opinion! Let me know what you think of today's class, the written materials, the activities, the teacher's lecture, etc. Have a question about English or about today's class? Click the words "Leave a comment" below, or send me an email. Thank you for visiting.

Interactive Writing Session #2: October 2nd, 2009

Hello, Interactive writers!

Today’s lesson plan:

Writing:

  1. paragraph format and email format.
  2. Interview a classmate
  3. Complete a form letter about your classmate
  4. Write out the letter, using correct paragraph format
  5. Re-write 1 paragraph from your “Summer Vacation” (which you wrote last week) using correct paragraph format.

Assignment/HWK:

  1. Type a self-introduction letter, using correct paragraph format in Microsoft Word, and send it to me as a file attachment 添付ファイル by email BY Wednesday October 7th, 12:00.
  2. Read “Little Plum”, Chapter 1.

Express your opinion! Let me know what you think of today's class, the written materials, the activities, the teacher's lecture, etc. Have a question about English or about today's class? Click the words "Leave a comment" below, or send me an email. Thank you for visiting.

Research in English Session #2: October 2nd, 2009

Hello, Researchers in English!

Today’s lesson plan:

Check the homework (ええ!宿題あったの?!)

Writing:

  1. paragraph format and email format.
  2. Interview a classmate
  3. Complete a form letter about your classmate
  4. Write out the letter, using correct paragraph format
  5. Re-write 1 paragraph from your “Summer Vacation” (which you wrote last week) using correct paragraph format.

Assignment/HWK:

  1. Chp 5 p. 30 Read. Look up words you don’t know. Write 6 questions about the reading.
  2. Type a self-introduction letter, using correct paragraph format in Microsoft Word, and send it to me as a file attachment 添付ファイル by email BY Wednesday October 7th, 12:00.

Express your opinion! Let me know what you think of today's class, the written materials, the activities, the teacher's lecture, etc. Have a question about English or about today's class? Click the words "Leave a comment" below, or send me an email. Thank you for visiting.

Research in English II

Australia, climate over 30 years (1961–1990).
Image via Wikipedia

Hi, Researchers! Welcome to Sheffner’s Research in English IID.

Homework:

  1. Answer the questions in the textbook on page 29
  2. Read some of the Australian news posts on this blog,
  3. choose one that interests you, and
  4. leave a comment about it.

The Australian news posts are

  1. Unexpected visitor
  2. Aborigines not getting the houses they were promised
  3. The Cove… on Japanese TV
  4. The power of film
  5. Broome tells Japanese city to stop dolphin slaughter
  6. Australian girl in Japan to learn sumo

To leave a comment,

  1. click on “No comments” below
  2. write a name (I suggest you use a nickname or pen-name) and
  3. an email address (this email address is invisible to other users) – I suggest your university email address
  4. type your comment (remember, you are writing for other students, not for the teacher),
  5. click on “Submit Comment”
  6. that’s it! (Your comment will appear after I have approved it; that will take a few hours).

Today’s lesson plan (#1):

Handout: rules, syllabus, contact details, objectives of this course

Assignment: Write 2 paragraphs about your summer vacation using paragraph formatting.

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Interactive writing II

Mathematics homework
Image via Wikipedia

Hello,  Interactive Writers!

Welcome to Sheffner’s Interactive Writing II.

Students are still deciding which class to take, and some have not yet made up their minds. Some students would like to know more about this class before they make up their minds:

  • what kind of class is it?
  • what is the textbook like?
  • what is the teacher like?
  • is the class difficult?
  • is there lots of homework?

EITHER A) If you took my class in the first semester, please leave a comment about the class to help other students who have not yet decided whether to take this class or not;

or B) If you did NOT take my class before, please leave a comment telling me why you are interested in this class.

To leave a comment,

  1. click on “No comments” below
  2. write a name (I suggest you use a nickname or pen-name) and
  3. an email address (this email address is invisible to other users) – I suggest your university email address
  4. type your comment (remember, you are writing for other students, not for the teacher),
  5. click on “Submit Comment”
  6. that’s it! (Your comment will appear after I have approved it; that will take a few hours).

Today was an introductory lesson.

Handout: Rules, syllabus, contact details, course objectives

Assignment: Write 2 paragraphs about your summer vacation.

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An Unexpected Visitor!

On Yahoo! UK news today is a story about a kangaroo that jumped through a window into a woman’s office. Kangaroos are shy creatures and avoid humans usually, so it is a puzzle why this kangaroo came into the building.

‘Frantic’ kangaroo smashes into Aussie office

Express your opinion! Let me know what you think of today's class, the written materials, the activities, the teacher's lecture, etc. Have a question about English or about today's class? Click the words "Leave a comment" below, or send me an email. Thank you for visiting.