Research in English II Session #9: November 27th, 2009

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  1. Comments about the report #1:
    1. Don’t use “I” or “me” or “my” in an academic paper (write your personal opinions in a last paragraph)
    2. Don’t put anything in the footer except the page number
    3. Use “according to…”
    4. Distinguish between fact and opinion (especially your opinion and other writers’ opinions).
  2. Listening – textbook page 36: listening (fill in the blanks + worksheet questions)
  3. Listening – textbook page 37: answer the questions on the worksheet
  4. Homework: report #2
    1. due December 11th
    2. 500-800 words (you can count the words using MSWord’s “wordcount” tool)
    3. on any topic from the list: you can choose a new topic or use the same topic as for report #1 (but then you must have new content, of course)
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Interactive Writing II Session #8: November 13th, 2009

  1. Students translated paragraphs from chapter 3, from p. 24-32.
  2. Some questions to think about:
    1. Many young girls in England and Europe want to have a horse or pony. Did you want to have a pony when you were a little girl?
    2. Why does Mother feel sorry for Gem? Do you (feel sorry for Gem)?
  3. Homework:
    1. translate the next section of chapter 3
    2. write 1 paragraph in English (50-70 words) introducing a famous Japanese writer of children’s stories. The writer can be living or dead.
    3. Next class will be November 27th, in 2 weeks’ time.

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Research in English II Session #8: November 13th, 2009

  1. We heard summaries of students’ Australia reports, in English and in Japanese.
  2. Some comments about the reports:
    1. Next time  –
      1. write (in your first paragraph) why you chose the topic,
      2. make some connection with Japan (e.g.: Japan has tried to introduce a Flying Doctor service like Australia’s, but the cost is too high).
      3. please write about the advantages (plus points) and disadvantages (minus points) of the different arguments. E.g., the plus side and the minus side of a White Australia policy; the plus side and the minus side of  immigration or of multiculturalism.
  3. Short quiz on Australian vocabulary.
  4. Homework:
    1. Textbook Unit 6 Part 1 worksheet.
    2. Next report will be due December 11th. For this report, you can choose the same topic as for Report #1, or choose a new topic.
    3. N.B.: next class will be on November 27th.

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Interactive Writing II Session #6: October 30th, 2009

  1. Listen to my summary of chapter 1. Answer my questions.
  2. Write down/note these 7 questions, and answer them in English for homework. Post the answers to your blog AND give them to me next class (November 6th):
    1. What happened in your life when you were 7-10 years old? (E.g., when I was 7, my family moved to Algeria in North Africa. We lived in Algiers for 9 months. I did not play with the neighbours, unfortunately.)
    2. When you were a child, what kind of home did you live in?
    3. Did you have neighbours? Did the neighbours have children?  Did you play with them?
    4. Nona moved from India to England when she was 8. Did you move somewhere far away when you were growing up?
    5. Did you ever live next door to an empty house or flat? How did you feel?
    6. The house next door in the story “Little Plum” is made new, it is renovated. Has your home or a room in your home ever been renovated? Have you lived in a renovated house? How does it feel?
    7. In “Little Plum”, the girl next door has many toys and much furniture. How about you? Did you have many toys when you were growing up? Did you have a favourite toy? What was it?
  3. Read along with me as I read the rest of chapter 2. Be ready to answer my questions about the meaning of words and phrases.
  4. Homework exchange: show the picture and meaning that you looked up for homework.
  5. Collected:
    1. what kind of girl is Nona? What kind of girl is Belinda? (What are their characters like?)
    2. Diagram showing the relationships between the people in the story.
  6. Homework:
    1. translate into Japanese the section of chapter 3 I assigned to you.
    2. post on your blog the picture and the meaning of the word you looked up for last week’s homework. Do this by Wednesday Nov. 4th, 23:59. (Bring your paper to class next week Nov. 6th)
    3. post on your blog your answers to the 7 questions above.  Do this by Wednesday Nov. 4th, 23:59. (Bring your paper to class next week Nov. 6th)

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Research in English II Session #6: October 30th, 2009

  1. Remaining movie reports
  2. If you have not done a movie report, email me your movie report or give it to me in class next week (November 6th). Those who hand in work late will receive a maximum grade of 80%.
  3. Presentation etiquette: if someone gives a presentation before you on the same topic as you, don’t repeat all their information (e.g. director, main actors, story, etc).
  4. Plagiarism. See handout. (Also see the website Academic Writing by Andy Gillett.) 

    Plagiarism is taking another person’s words or ideas and using them as if they were your own. 

  5. How to avoid plagiarism:
    1. “You need to acknowledge the source of an idea unless it is common knowledge” <http://www.uefap.com/writing/writfram.htm>
    2. Paraphrasing
    3. Summarising
    4. Reporting
  6. Practice: write a short summary of the reading on page 30 in your textbook. Summarise and report, using one or two of the expressions in today’s handout (see especially pages 6 + 7)
  7. Collected:
    1. movie reports and handouts (if you did not give me your movie report today, email it to me by Wednesday November 4th, 23:59)
    2. summary of page 30.
  8. Homework: for November 13th.
    1. Choose a topic from the list below.
    2. Write 300-500 words in English about the topic.
    3. Make it clear which are your own words and ideas, and which are the words and ideas of other people.
    4. Paraphrase
    5. Summarise
    6. Report
    7. You must include a list of references using the MLA style  (<– link to Japanese Wikipedia page) (see handout  from October 9th).
    8. Choose one from this list:
      1. Immigrants in Australia – where did they come from? When? Why?
      2. Australia and WWI (1914-1918) and the Boer War
      3. Australia and WWII (1939-1945)
      4. Sheep and cattle farming in Australia (history and today)
      5. Rabbits and other animals introduced into Australia – reasons, problems
      6. Aborigines (“Lost Generation”, half-castes, problems, etc)
      7. Gold, opal and other mining industries in Australia
      8. White Australia policy
      9. Multiculturalism – what is it? When did it start? Problems?
      10. Early British settlers – convicts, transportation

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Interactive Writing Session #5: October 23rd, 2009

  1. Plagiarism handout.
    1. Plagiarism is a serious offence in Western countries.
    2. How to avoid plagiarism?
      1. Summarise (key points only)
      2. Paraphrase (use different words to say the same thing)
      3. Report  (e.g. use quotation marks “…..”; Widdowson writes that “…..”; According to Widdowson (1983), …. ; etc.)
      4. ALWAYS give credit when you use someone else’s words, ideas, photos, etc: say where (and when) you got the information.
      5. Make a clear distinction between YOUR words and ideas and those of other people. 自分の考えや言葉と他人の考えと事がをはっきり区別しましょう。方法は今日配ったプリントに書いてあります。ご参考まで。
  2. We continued reading “Little Plum“, chapter 2 (p. 11 – p. 18 “how very, very sad.”)

HOMEWORK:

  1. I gave each student a word or phrase. Look up the meaning in Japanese and find 2 or 3 pictures that illustrate the word or phrase. Print out and bring to class next week.
  2. Nona, Belinda, Anne, Tom, Mother, Father, Agnes, Mrs. Bodger, Mr. Tiffany Jones. Who are these people and what is their relationship to each other? Draw a diagram.
  3. What is Belinda’s character? And Nona’s? Use words and phrases from the text in your answer.
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Research in English II Session #5: October 23rd, 2009

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 27:  The ANZAC Guard...
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  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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Class blog for Sheffner's Academic Skills & Writing Strategies at DWC