Category Archives: Academic Skills

AS2, week 9, November 25th, 2016

Homework

Prepare a 3-4 minute presentation on any topic of US history.  You can use any topic from the textbook or from the handouts. You can use the same topic as for your New York presentation if you want (but it must be 3-4 minutes long).

  • Use PowerPoint rather than the overhead camera, for clarity
  • repeat the key points several times during your presentation.
  • Speak slowly.
  • Remember the lessons you learned from watching the video today.
    • use simple English.
    • use words that you know (if you don’t know them, your listeners probably won’t know them either).
    • use short sentences.
    • speak key words
      • loudly,
      • slowly,
      • clearly,
      • with gestures
      • point to the picture, map, illustration, etc.
      • speak with life and passion.

Today’s class

Presentations by 3 students.

We watched an episode from a famous TV drama and made notes about how to communicate key points, how to be convincing and persuasive, and how to write (and speak) in English with few mistakes.

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.

AS2, week 8, November 11th, 2016

Homework

Prepare your presentation (if you did not present this week).

Today’s class

Today is Armistice Day in Europe, marking the end of WWI and honouring those who died in that war and all the wars since then.

Presentations from most students on New York topics.

My comments about the presentations:

  1. Difficult to understand because your voices were too quiet or unclear.
  2. Use more pictures and maps.
  3. Talk less – let the pictures and maps “talk” for you.
  4. Show key points (names, dates, places, etc) in writing on a card or slide. Understanding ONLY through listening is very difficult, especially when you are listening in a foreign language.

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.

AS2, week 7, November 4th, 2016

Homework

  1. Prepare a short (1-2 mins) presentation about the topic assigned to you from chapter 3 of the textbook. Use maps, photos, illustrations, etc. Use the textbook information but also find something new that is not in the textbook.
  2. Answer the questions about the movie “Far and Away”
    1. Why does Joseph want to kill the landlord Mr Christie?
    2. Is he justified?
  3. Presentation topics
    1. Robert de Niro and Woody Allen
    2. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island – how are they connected? (1 bridge, 1 tunnel, 1 ferry)
    3. Manhattan – Wall Street, Twin Towers, Ground Zero
    4. Chinatown
    5. Lower East Side
    6. Little Italy
    7. Garment District
    8. Greenwich Village
    9. Edith Wharton
    10. Henry James
    11. Mark Twain
    12. Edgar Allen Poe
    13. Harlem
    14. Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx

If you were absent today, please choose from these topics in the textbook:

  1. Central Park
  2. Rockefeller Center
  3. Times Square
  4. Broadway
  5. Lincoln Center
  6. Madison Square Garden
  7. Fifth Avenue & Upper Midtown
  8. Empire State Building
  9. Famous New York food

Today’s class

  1. Cause and effect.
    1. Why did Joseph’s father die?
    2. Why did large stones and timbers fall?
    3. Why did the horses hit the timbers?

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AS2, week 6, October 28th, 2016

Homework

  1. Read the handout about the 13 English colonies
  2. Write a definition sentence about
    1. the 13 colonies
    2. the New England colonies
    3. the Mid-Atlantic colonies
    4. the Southern colonies
  3. Read again chapter 3, paragraphs 1-11 (not 10), up to and including the paragraph on Greenwich Village.
    1. Write a sentence giving the key points of each paragraph, 1-11.

Today’s class

  1. Cost of steerage to the US from England in the mid-19th century?
  2. What two types of ships were there then?
  3. Which was cheaper?
  4. How long did it take?
  5. Using the information in “In the Heart of the Rockies”, write a definition sentence for “steerage”.
  6. Watch the beginning of the Chaplin silent film “The Immigrant”, and write another sentence about steerage using information from the movie clip.
  7. Read chapter 3 paragraphs 1-11 (Greenwich Village).

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.

AS2, WEEK 5, OCTOBER 21ST, 2016

Homework

  1. “In the Heart of the Rockies”.
    1. Your impressions.
      1. Interesting?
      2. Difficult?
      3. Want to read more?
  2. Make your own movie list and report. Keep all your movie reports together and separate from your other written work for this class.
    1. Write a short report (B5) about one move from the list.
      1. Title (in English)
      2. Title (in Japanese)
      3. Date you watched it
      4. Response: Start with 1 or 2 definition sentences, then write your impressions. What did you learn about US history from this movie?
    2. Write a short (B5 x 1) report about an Easy Reading book from the Easy Reading list.
      1. Title
      2. Date(s) you read  it
      3. Level
      4. Response: start with 1 or 2 definition sentences, then write your impressions of the story.  What did you learn about US history or culture from this book?

Today’s class

  1. Reviewed definition sentences about Joseph (from the movie “Far and Away”).
    1. Joseph is a young, poor, hard-working, ambitious tenant farmer on the coast of Ireland, who loves his father and also likes fighting.
  2. Checked answers to other homework questions:
    1. Show Leif Ericson’s journey on the map of the Atlantic.
    2. Who were the first Europeans?
      1. They were Vikings from Scandinavia. Leif Ericson established a colony  in 1001 in what is now Canada, but abandoned it after a few years.
    3. colony, to colonize, a colonist; a discovery, to discover, a discoverer; a coast, to coast, coastal (adjective).
    4. “In the Heart of the Rockies”.
      1. Which is cheaper to go to the US, by steamship or sailing ship?
        1. A: They are both the same.
      2. How long does it take by steamer?
        1. A: 10 days.
      3. Where does Tom get on the steamer?
        1. A: Liverpool.
      4. What is the name of Tom’s steamship?
        1. The “Parthia”.
  3. Textbook.
    1. p. 14 Before/After
    2. p. 15 Quiz before you read about New York.
  4. Projects for this 2nd semester
    1. poster presentation Dec. 2
      1. on any topic of USA history.
    2. The department will make a booklet of the best work of all students in the AS2  classes. Hand in a digital version of your best work on the last day of class, Jan. 20th.

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.

AS2, WEEK 4, OCTOBER 14TH, 2016

Homework

  1. On the map of Europe and the Americas,
    1. find and colour
      1. Scandinavia
      2. Spain,
      3. England
      4. France
      5. the Netherlands
    2. mark Leif Ericssons journey
  2. Who were the first Europeans who came to America? Read the handout about the Vikings, then write a definition sentence, like you did for “the first Americans”.
  3. Migration (abstract noun), to migrate (verb), a migrant (person). Write a similar list of 3 variations on these words from the handout:
    1. colonists
    2. discover
    3. coast
  4. Read pp 5-6 of the story “In the Heart of the Rockies” and answer these questions:
    1. Which is the cheaper way to America, by steamship or sailing ship?
    2. How long does it take by steamer?
    3. Where does Tom get on the steamer?
    4. What is the name of Tom’s steamer?

Today’s class

  1. What movie from the list did you warch last week?
    1. Where did you find it? (In the DWC library? At a rental store? On the internet (Hulu, Netflix, etc)?
  2. What easy-reading book have you read or started reading?
  3. Handout: the earliest Americans
    1. Definition sentence.
    2. what is a land bridge?
  4. Textbook p. 13 True/False.
  5. On your loose leaf paper, rewrite your homeowork definition sentence about Joseph (from the movie “Far and Away”).
  6. Rewrite your answer to the question about “In the Heart of the Rockies”.

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.

AS2, week 3, October 7th, 2016

Homework

  1. Who is Joseph in the movie “Far and Away”? Write a definition of him in 1 or 2 sentences.
  2. Read pp 3-4 of the story “In the Heart of the Rockies”
    1. How much did it cost to travel the cheapest way from UK to America in those days?
  3. Find a movie from the movie list, watch it, and write a 1 or 2-sentence definition of it. Download the movie list here: as2_usa_movie_list_v2
  4. Find a book from the reading list and start reading. Download the easy reading list here:   as2_easy_reading_list
    1. The book should be “easy” for you, that means you can understand 90% without a dictionary.

Today’s class

  1. Textbook pp 4-5 quiz.
  2. Homework review
    1. Where are the following places in the UK?  (Draw a simple map.)
      1. Portsmouth
      2. Liverpool
    2. Where are the following places in the USA? (Draw a simple map.)
      1. Denver
      2. Colorado
      3. Montana
      4. California
      5. The Rockies
  3. Where and what is Portsmouth in the UK?
    1. “Portsmouth is an important port on the south coast of England.”
  4. Where and what is Liverpool?
  5. Where and what is Denver?
  6. Where and what are the Rockies?
  7. Watch the Sir Walter Raleigh scene in “Elizabeth – the Golden Age” (chapter 3).
    1. Who and what was Sir Walter Raleigh?
    2. What did he give to Queen Elizabeth and where did they come from?
  8. Watch the beginning of “Far and Away”.

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.

AS2, week 2, September 30th, 2016

Homework

  1. Read “In the Heart of the Rockies”
    1. Where are the following places in the UK?  (Draw a simple map.)
      1. Portsmouth
      2. Liverpool
    2. Where are the following places in the USA? (Draw a simple map.)
      1. Denver
      2. Colorado
      3. Montana
      4. California
      5. The Rockies
  2. Read the textbook pp 6-12 and make sure you understand the following topics mentioned in the text:
    1. Jamestown, Virginia (where is it?)
    2.  “Founding Fathers”
    3. “The Mayflower”
    4. The Louisiana Purchase
    5. Manifest Destiny
    6. Transcontinental Railroad

Today’s class

  1. What connections do you know between the USA and
    1. Ireland?
    2. Religious conflict in Britain?
    3. British travel and exploration?
    4. The British Industrial Revolution?
  2. What movies do you know that are based on some subject of USA history? Suggestions from today’s class were
    1. “Far and Away”
    2. “Gone with the Wind”
    3. “The Patriot”
    4. “The West Side Story”
    5. “Glory”
  3. This semester we will
    1. Do some presentations like last semester
    2. Do a little more writing than last semester
    3. Read a story about an English boy who goes to the USA at the time of the gold rush.
  4. I encourage you to read as much as you can in easy English. I will give you a list of suggested titles from the DWC “Easy Reading” library next week.

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.

AS1, week 15, July 29th, 2016

Today’s class

  1. Poster presentations in 2 groups.  Some photos here: http://sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/dwc/?page_id=3054  (not very good ones, I’m afraid, but I thought I’d put them up anyway.)
  2. What did you learn about British history
  3. Textbook comments
  4. Presentation comments.
  5. Easy reading comments.
  6. Grade you think you deserve.
  7. English skills improved?
  8. Other comments or suggestions

Enjoy the holidays. Enjoy this life.

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.

AS1, week 14, July 22nd, 2016

Homework

  • Prepare your poster presentation (see the list of students and topics here, updated July 19th:   Poster Presentations
  • Choose another book from the Easy Reading list, borrow it from the library and start reading. (Download the list here:  AS1_Easy_reading_library_list

Today’s class

  1. Who is the man kneeling on the floor with his hands behind his back? What did he try to do?
  2. Why was Elizabeth I so popular?
  3. Why is there a statue of Boudicca beside the river Thames in London?
  4. After reading about Cromwell, how do you think Irish people might feel about the English and why?
  5. Why is Stonehenge so popular?
  6. In the Industrial Revolution, why did so many people move from the country to the cities to work in the factories, even though working and living conditions were often bad?

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.