Research in English #11: July 3, 2009

Indiana Jones
Image via Wikipedia
  • Poster presentation
  • Check the meaning of the following:
    1. idol
    2. idolize
    3. romantic
    4. romanticize
    5. discover
    6. invade
    7. conquer
  • Watch this short scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. What does this tell you about cultures?
  • Discuss your homework with a partner: why did various people emigrate to Australia?
  • What do you think of
    1. White Australia policy?
    2. Australia’s multicultural policy?
  • Homework:
    1. For July 10:
      1. Textbook : read page 25 and answer the Comprehension questions on page 26
      2. Complete the worksheet Unit IV Part I
    2. For July 17:
      1. find a newspaper or magazine article about Australia (the article can be in either English or Japanese),
      2. summarize it,
      3. compare it with
        1. another news article
        2. a movie or story you know
        3. your own experience
        4. the case in Japan,
      4. then give your own opinion about the contents of the article
      5. Length: 150~200 words.
      6. Here are some BBC news articles about Aborigines
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    Interactive Writing session #10: June 26th, 2009

    1. Continued reading “Diddakoi“: p. 24 ~ p.37)
    2. Watched the first 15 minutes of the British movie Kes (in Japanese here). This movie was made in 1969, at about the same time that the book “Diddakoi” was published (1972), so you can see what Britain looked like at that time.
    3. Homework: Read the rest of chapter 2, and all of chapter 3 before next time. Prepare the vocabulary.
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    Research in English #10: June 26th, 2009

    1. Poster presentations
    2. Comments on presentations from the instructor: what are the main themes or concepts of Australia? Some examples are –
      1. very long history of aborigines (“dreamtime“)
      2. colonialism – discovered by Capt Cook in 1778
      3. “melting pot” policy until World War II(~1939)
      4. multicultural policy after World War II (1945 ~
      5. gold rush
      6. huge land area; much natural beauty
    3. Returned: Unit III Part I worksheet
    4. Collected: (remaining Unit III Part I)
    5. Homework:

      1. Unit III Part II worksheet
      2. Why do so many people from so many different countries emigrate to Australia? Choose 2 ethnic groups from the charts in the textbook and write about them.
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    Aborigines in the news

    Arnhem Land, Australia.
    Image by Rusty Stewart via Flickr

    The BBC writes that a report has come out in Australia about Aboriginal social and economic trends. The report is not good:

    The report measured 50 key indicators of disadvantage, and found that there has been no improvement in 80% of them.

    There have been no gains, for instance, in literacy or numeracy rates.

    In an otherwise bleak assessment, one of the few areas of improvement was employment.

    Prim Minister Mr Rudd

    called this a devastating report which was unacceptable and required decisive action.

    The BBC article has links to several other stories about Aborigines living in Australia today:

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    Australia beats Japan at soccer

    Autralia beats Japan 2-1 in the World Cup soccer tournament. Read the story here on the Mainichi Daily News, or on the Yomiuri Online.

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    Interactive Writing session #9: June 19th, 2009

    1. To study English at university, you need
      1. a note-taking system
        1. e.g. mind maps, developed by a British man, Tony Buzan.
        2. here is a Japanese system which I like and use, developed by “Hawk Express” (for photos, click here)
      2. a vocabulary-learning system (e.g. word-cards)
        1. a way to record new words (spelling, pronunciation, meaning, at least; example sentence is a bonus, but it takes space)
        2. a way to review new words quickly and easily (if it’s not quick or easy, you won’t review them!)
    2. Class reading of chapter 2 of Diddakoi (up to p. 24)
      1. note new words, expressions, grammar,
      2. note how the gypsies speak
      3. note the gypsies’ ways of thinking (“Are you going to let your woman talk to me like that?”, “we don’t want no snoopers”, “’tisn’t children as are the bother… it’s the things they have to have”, “When you had one wagon there was plenty of room; in a fine house with three bedrooms there’s no room at all”.
      4. The Gypsies prefer a travelling life: they prefer the wagon to a house. They prefer their freedom, even if it means they cannot afford many “fine things”.
      5. They look after each other, and each other’s children.
      6. They have lots of old traditions which are different from those of non-gypsies (e.g. burning the home of a dead person).
      7. Not all gypsies respect the old traditions: some of them think that is “old thinking” and they want to change (or maybe they just want some of the dead person’s belongings?)
      8. The admiral knows the gypsies traditions and he respects them. He also trusts the gypsies (even though there is a fire in his orchard, he is not worried).
    3. Homework: prepare the rest of chapter 2 (at least up to page 30) before next class:
      1. look up new words, check the pronunciation, not just the meaning.
      2. I expect you to read and prepare before the class, not during the class.
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    Research in English #9: June 19th, 2009

    Tasmanian Devil
    Image by nim via Flickr
    1. Poster presentations
      1. 12 people gave presentations today.
      2. Everyone who did NOT give a presentation today must do it next week.
    2. Some general comments about the presentations:
      1. These are YOUR presentations, so I think it is better if I say nothing about the presentation styles. Students should reflect (反省)on their own presentations, and learn by observing other presentations.
      2. About the content of the presentations, I was pleased because all of them showed
        1. you had done some research
        2. you chose topics that had educational value for the class
      3. What is your purpose or objective for studying at university?
        1. to learn to think
        2. to gain new understanding
        3. to graduate on time (i.e. in 4 years or less).
      4. Information –> Knowledge –> Understanding.
        1. E.g. Australia has many World Heritage sites (information –> knowledge, because most of you already know what “World Heritage Site” means because you have some in Japan, e.g. Horyuji 法隆寺)
        2. 2 of them are Cultural Heritage sites – Sydney Opera House and Carlton Gardens (information –> knowledge, because you already know what the Sydney Opera House is, so you can guess why it is of cultural importance)
        3. Almost all the other World Heritage sites in Australia are sites of natural beauty or importance, e.g. the Great Barrier Reef (knowledge). What can we understand about Australia from this knowledge and information?
      5. What is the principle on which “freedom of religion” is based? It is based on the ideas
        1. that all human beings are individuals
        2. that human beings think as individuals (“there is no such thing as a collective brain” – Ayn Rand)
        3. that a human being’s life belongs to no-one but himself/herself
        4. that individuals must therefore be free to think for themselves and make their own decisions about what is best for their own life
        5. freedom of religion is based on the freedom to think what you like and to disagree with the people around you without fear of violence or coercion.
    3. Returned homework from June 5th – Unit II, Part II worksheet (the didgeridoo)
      1. Mind your tenses 時制 – rule of thumb:  use the same tense in your answer as in the question
    4. Textbook (p. 22) Unit III, part II listening – The Broome Pearlers (listen and write the answers in your textbook)
    5. Homework – none
    6. Collected – Unit III, Part III worksheet and posters
      1. I plan to take photos of all the posters and post the photos here on this blog (unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries last Friday, so I could not take photos then).
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    Interactive Writing session #8: June 12th, 2009

    1. Review: what are the main themes of “Diddakoi“?
    2. A theme is a big idea. There are many smaller ideas in each chapter of the book. For example:
      1. Why is Kizzy’s Gran found dead outside the wagon, not inside it? Because gypsies want to die outside under the open sky.
      2. Why do the other gypsies burn the wagon? Because gypsy tradition says that nothing that belonged to the dead should be used or touched.
    3. Assignment:
      1. Re-read chapters 2 and 3 and pick out 10 new ideas or concepts
      2. Find an article, essay or interview in Japanese about
        1. either gypsies,
        2. or Rumer Godden.
        3. summarize the article or essay in 2-3 sentences, and provide the reference to it using the MLA style.
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    Research in English session #8: June 12th, 2009

    1. Movie reports and Show & Tell reports from those who did not do them yet.
    2. Collected last week’s homework: Unit II, Part II (listening) worksheet
    3. Confirmed poster project topics.
    4. Homework:
      1. Unit III, Part I worksheet
      2. Poster projects research
      3. Email me your Show & Tell comments (comments only, not the Show & Tell itself)

    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.