As1, wk6, May 23rd 2014

What did you think of today’s class? Did you enjoy the discussion? Did you enjoy taking part? Would you like to have more discussions in future? Let me know in the comments (or send me a private email).

The latest presentation schedule for this semester is here:AS1_Schedule


Read pages 140 (from “The growth of towns and cities”) to 142 in the textbook.

Today’s class:

  1. The main purpose of this class, in my understanding, is to improve your English speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. So why are the presentations in Japanese? Is this really the best way to improve your English?
  2. This textbook is called “An Illustrated History of Britain”, but the most important things about British history are the ideas, and they are invisible – you cannot see an ilustration of them.
  3. The Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace (click here to see some Google images)
  4. Brighton was a minor fishing village on the south coast of England until the 19th century when it became a popular resort. Why?
    1. “Doctor Brighton”: “in 1750 …Dr Richard Russell, a resident of Lewes, wrote a book in which he claimed that bathing in seawater was very good for your health. Rich people began to come to Brighton hoping to be cured of some illness by bathing in seawater. At first they were a trickle, but later became a flood. In 1783 the Prince of Wales and his friends visited Brighton which ensured its popularity.” (From “The History of Brighton” by Tim Lambert, web)
    2. The Prince of Wales built the Royal Pavilion, starting in 1787 (click here to see some Google images of this famous Brighton landmark)
    3. The London-Brighton railway line was completed in 1840. From then on, more and more London people visited Brighton. It was so close that you could go and come back in a day (a day-trip).
    4. Brighton is just one example of a town that grew partly because of the growth of the railways.
  5. The 19th century was a great century for British literature. I warmly recommend the following authors:
    1. Charles Dickens 1812 – 1870)
    2. Thomas Hardy 1840 – 1928)
    3. E.M. Forster ( 1879 –  1970):  his most famous novels have been made into movies; check the DWC AV centre or the library for these DVDs –
      1. A Room with a View 眺めのいい部屋1908年
      2. Howard’s End ハワーズ・エンド1910年
      3. Passage to India インドへの道1924年
    4. The Forsyte Saga (1922) by John Galsworthy ( 1867 – 1933) who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1932. This long story has been twice made into a TV series, the first was by the BBC in 1967-69 which was hugely successful: 18 million watched the final episode in 1969. httpv://
  6. I also recommend the novels of Ayn Rand, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” (both are available in Japanese translations; movies have been made of both novels, but only “The Fountainhead” (『水源』. Ayn Rand was a Russian emigrant who lived in the U.S.A. and set her novels in that country, but her novels are a good and interesting way to learn about the key ideas of individualism and capitalism.
    1. Here is a Japanese video review of “The Fountainhead” 「水源」httpv://

5 thoughts on “As1, wk6, May 23rd 2014”

  1. Hello,

    I think also that using more English in this class and doing presentation in English to improve our English skills is important.
    However, it’ll be so hard for me to understand the content of the textbook if presentation was done in all English.
    So I have to read the textbook more careful in advance.

    Thanks to the growth of the railway, many people could move more quickly and easily. Also, the railway brought benefits to not only middle classes but also poor people. Some middle classes’ people sent their sons to public school because of trainig them in ledership. I felt that education system for a part of boys was hard in those Britain.

    Thank you.

  2. hallo.Last class’s prezentation was good. I could understand it because they made powerpoint. I wrote all of it.
    I thought by producing railway, it was easy to go anyway by many people. So many industries can move by railway.

  3. Hello.

    The presentation in last class was very good. It was easy to understand.
    But I think that we should do a presentation in English to improve our English skills. It is difficult for me to understand British history so I try to study English hard and read the textbook carefully.

    In Britain, being provided the railway influenced many people not just the middle class but the needy. Both Britain and Japan developed their own industry.

  4. Hello.

    Last week’s presentation is very good. I was understood very well.
    But I think that we have to do presentation in English. Because this class is foreign teacher’s class and text is in English. But textbook is very difficult for me and I can’t hear English that speakers speaking. So I should study English more and more.
    Growth of railway is very important in Britain. Many people could go to far place. And class became rub off. So this period is very importand in Britain.

  5. Hello!
    I think that we should speak English when we have the presentation to be a good English speaker. So I’d like to do the presentation in English again. But in this class, it is difficult for me to understand about Britain clearly because the teacher speaks English very quickly. I should become to listen English much better.
    In Britain, since the railway was made, people could move to so many place and they could live easier than before. In this period, both in Japan and Britain, they could build big and strong country gradually.

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