Research in English II Session #3: October 9th, 2009

TOKYO - FEBRUARY 26:  (L to R) Director Baz Lu...
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  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

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Kizzy was made into a TV drama by the BBC in 1976

The Greengage Summer (1958), 1962 Pan paperbac...
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I just discovered that Rumer Godden‘s story for children, The Diddakoi, was actually made into a TV drama by the BBC in 1976. If you go to this page, and scroll down, you can see some pictures from the original series. I have been trying to find a video or a DVD of this television drama, but so far I have been unsuccessful. I will keep trying.

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Aborigines not getting the houses they were promised

Ayers Rock/Uluru Sunset, Uluru-Kata Tjuta Nati...
Image by digitalreflections via Flickr

According to the BBC,

A report into an ambitious housing scheme for Australia‘s Aboriginals has found that not one dwelling has been built in the year since it began.
The project aims to construct 750 homes in the Northern Territory and refurbish hundreds of others.Officials blamed “administration problems” for the delays – which prompted one minister to quit. The slow pace of this ambitious programme to help Aboriginal families almost brought down the Northern Territory government when a former minister quit in disgust at the lack of progress.

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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.

Madonna explains gypsy comments

Pre-1989 division between the "West"...
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According to this BBC article, Madonna, the American pop star, made comments in support of Gypsies and against the discrimination they face during a concert in Bucharest in Romania, although she was booed by the fans for her comments. Madonna explains Gypsy comments.

Madonna has said she was “compelled” to comment on the discrimination against Romany Gypsies while on stage in Romania, despite being booed by fans. The 51-year-old was jeered by the audience in Bucharest after saying the discrimination “made me feel very sad”. ..

Madonna paused during her two-hour show to say: “It has been brought to my attention, that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe – it made me feel very sad. We don’t believe in discrimination, we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone.”

The star uses a group of Roma musicians on her Sticky and Sweet tour… Publicist Liz Rosenberg said… “Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief statement.”

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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.