Welcome to Sheffner’s 2014 Studies in English A, week 1: April 11th, 2014

The scope of linguistics
The scope of linguistics

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Studies in English I class blog. Thank you for visiting. I look forward to teaching you and learning with you this year.

This blog will be updated weekly. Each week there will be a summary of the lesson and the homework details.

Textbook: There is no textbook for this course. However, students will need a looseleaf notebook. From time to time I will give you handouts. Additional information (links, videos, etc.) will be available on this blog.

Click the images to see a bigger version.


Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.


  1. Send me an email with a short self introduction. Use the correct format.

    English Email format
    English email format
  2. Leave a comment here on this blog by clicking the words “Leave a comment” . The comment is: “Tell us something you know about linguistics and/or how you feel about linguistics, or something about linguistics you are interested in.”
    1. For your privacy, when leaving a comment, use your family name only or use a nickname.
    2. If you use a nickname, please tell me your nickname when you send me your email.
    1. To leave a comment, you must first type in your email address. Please use your school email address.
  3. Homework deadline: Tuesday (April 15th) midnight (23:59).

In this course, students will

  • have group discussions,
  • do lots of writing in English
  • learn about academic writing formats
  • make 2 formal presentations to the whole class,
  • and write a final paper in English.

Some of the topics we might find out about:

  • the sounds of English (phonemes and phonetics) and their corresponding written forms (graphemes)
  • some rules of English spelling
  • do men and women talk differently?
  • how do children learn language?
  • what is the difference between human and animal languages? Between human and computer languages?
  • the origins of words, including common prefixes and suffixes, and word roots (morphemes, Greek and Latin influences)
  • the history of the English language (Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Middle and modern English)
  • English pronunciation and how it has changed over the centuries,  and different dialects and accents
  • learn about syllables, how to count them in English (poetry, haiku)
  • compare aspects of English with other languages, especially other European languages and Japanese


19 thoughts on “Welcome to Sheffner’s 2014 Studies in English A, week 1: April 11th, 2014”

  1. Hello, I’m H.Y. Sorry for being late in leaving a comment.
    I’ve been interested in the origin of an English word.
    If we know the roots of a word, isn’t it easy to memorize it?

  2. My name is Ayaka.
    I’m interested in Linguistics.
    I don’t know what will happen when every language in this world disappear.
    I want to know the importance and roles of the language.

    Thank you!

  3. Hello. My name is Mana.

    I’m interested in linguistics, specially I want to know how many language are there. But I don’t know much about linguistics.
    So, I’ll try to study hard.

    Thank you.

  4. I am interested in applied linguistics, the method of teaching English and language acquisition because I want to be an English teacher at high school.
    I have many things that I want to know. Why some different languages exist in the world? Why some people who cannot speak foreigh language acquire language by study foreigh lauguage in foreigh country? What is critical period?

    I want to study hard.

  5. Hello,I’m Okada.
    I’m interested in linguistics,
    but I don’t have particular knowledge.
    I’d like to learn a lot.

  6. Hello!
    I’m Konishi.

    Last year, I took the class of the linguistic communication.
    I was interested about the linguistics.
    And, I want to learn it more, so I chose it.

    Thank you!

  7. Hello.
    My nane is Masuda.
    I am interested in linguistics a little.
    I want to learn deeply about the difference between a style of communication of various countries foreign.
    My full English ability is not very good at, I study hard for one year.
    thank you.

  8. Hello. My name is Honjo.
    I’m interested in how many languages are there.
    I don’t know much about Linguistics.
    I want to learn the way to acquire a second language.

  9. Hello,
    I’m Matsumura.

    I like reading a book. So I’m interested in Linguistics. But I don’t know much about that. I would like to learn about history of that. So I try to study hard in this class.

    Thank you.

  10. Hello!

    My name is Megumi.
    I don’t know much about Linguistics.
    I want to learn about it.

    Thank you!!

  11. Hello, my name is Kamada.

    I’m interested in linguistics, however I have’t studied it before. I try to study it hard.

    Thank you.

  12. Hello, I’m Koshiyama.
    I don’t know much about linguistics but I’m interested in it. So I’m looking forward to this class.

    Thank you for reading.

  13. Hello!
    I’m Miyamoto.I’m interested in linguitics, but I little know. So I want this class to study that.
    thank you.

  14. Hello,
    I’m Sakura.

    I was intrested in linguistics, but I noticed I didn’t know much about it in the class lastweek.
    I think it was normal for human to use words, so I had no chance to think deeply about linguistics in the past. I’d like to learn about linguistics actively, and find a field i’m interested in it.
    I’m looking forward to taking the class.

    Thank you!

  15. Hello. I’m Miki.

    I was little tired that class, because I listened to a lot of information by English and understood that.

    I wonder why people speak different languages. If we spoke the same language, it could be easy for us to communicate with all over the wolrd.

    Thank you. I’m not sure to send you an E-mail.

  16. Hello, my name is Saga.

    I’m interested in Linguistics, especially I have interest in Critical Period for Language Acquisition. I’d like to learn about the relation between Language Acquisition and age in detail in this class.

    Thank you.

  17. Hello,
    I’m Tsuchida.

    I’m interested in liguistics. I especially want to know history of language.

    Thank you.

  18. hello,

    I’m Saki.

    I’m interested in Linguistics but I have this class first time.I don’t know well but I challenge.

    Thank you.

  19. Hello,
    I’m Ayaka.

    I don’t kwow much about Linguistics so I have questions.
    For example, how was a language made? when was it made? why is English the most used language in the world? and so on.
    I’m interested in Linguistics so I’d like to learn it in this class.

    Thank you!

Comments are closed.