All posts by shef@dwc

Interactive Writing session #7: June 5th, 2009

A Romany old woman from the Czech Republic
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Rules for email, blog entries, homework:
    1. name and date on everything
    2. spellcheck
    3. blog entries and email deadline – by Wednesday 13:00
    4. one blog entry for each assignment
  2. Discussion:
    1. what are the merits and demerits of a blog?
      1. can edit any time
      2. classmates can read each other’s work
      3. can leave comments and receive comments from visitors
      4. can add hyperlinks and so add educational value
    2. Homework questions (when and where was Rumer Godden born and where and when did she die? Where are “the South Downs” and “Rye, Sussex“?)
    3. What are the themes of “Diddakoi“?
      1. growing up
      2. opening up the heart
      3. learning to trust
      4. prejudice and discrimination
      5. ethnic minorities (gypsies) in Britain
  3. Homework.
    1. Who/what are the Gypsies or Romany people? Where did they come from? What language do they speak? What is the origin of their language? What is their history? Write on paper or by email in 60-100 words.
    2. Correct and spellcheck your summary of and reaction to the Diddakoi story. Post to your blog (by Wednesday, June 10th, 13:00)
    3. Post to your blog your answers to last week’s homework (when and where was Rumer Godden born and where and when did she die? Where are “the South Downs” and “Rye, Sussex”?)
Rye_-_East_Sussex_dot map
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Image by StormyDog via Flickr
View from the tower of St Mary's church, Rye, ...
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Location of United Kingdom
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Research in English Session #7: June 5th, 2009

Locator map for Australia
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Movie reports: 6 students reported on Australian movies they have watched.
    1. Anyone who has not yet given a report can do it next week, but that will be the last chance.
  2. Show & Tell: 19 (out of 24) students gave a “Show & Tell” presentation on some aspect of Australia.
    1. Anyone who did not yet give a Show & Tell report can do it next week, but that will be the last chance.
  3. Comments on Movie Reports and Show & Tell: everyone wrote comments,
    1. a general comment about the movie reports and Show & Tell presentations, and
    2. a specific comment on their own presentation (if they gave one)
  4. Poster project (June 19th).
    1. On 1 piece of A3 paper
    2. Can be done alone or with a partner
    3. Should be more academic and require more research than the Show & Tell
    4. Tell me your topic today (or by email by Wednesday June 10th)
  5. Textbook Unit 2, Listening: we listened to the interview with the Japanese didgeridoo player, and filled in the blanks.
  6. Homework:
    1. Visit the class blog (here) and leave a comment
    2. Email me your movie report and comment
    3. Begin research for your poster project
    4. Unit 2 Part II worksheet
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Interactive Writing session #6: May 29th, 2009

Location map: United Kingdom (dark green) / Eu...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Look at the MLA Guidebook on how to reference a book (page 1) and a movie (page 3).
  2. Go back to your blog entry where you wrote about a movie and a book
    1. Add a reference to the book and the movie USING THE MLA FORMAT (i.e. exactly the same as in the Guidebook).
    2. Print out your blog entry and show it to me.
  3. If you have not yet created your blog, create one and email me your blog address (URL): marc.sheffnerアットマーク INCLUDE YOUR NAME in your email.
    1. You can create a blog at Goo, Livedoor, or Blogger
    2. Do not use ameba because Ameba does not allow comments in Roman alphabet.
  4. Write a 50-word summary of Diddakoi AND a 50-word response. If you did not finish in class, email it to me before next Thursday, June 4th: marc.sheffnerアットマーク INCLUDE YOUR NAME in your email.
  5. Homework:
    1. Find a map of the UK and print it out or photocopy it.
    2. On the map mark the following:
      1. Where and when was Diddakoi author Rumer Godden born? Where and when did she die?
      2. The Downs
      3. Rye
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Research in English 1D Session #6: May 29th, 2009

A picture of the last four Tasmanian Aborigine...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. We checked over the answers to the homework from session #5 (May 15th) – Unit 2 Part 1
  2. Movie reports
    1. 14 students gave a short, oral report about an Australian movie they watched.
    2. Each report was 1-2 minutes long.
    3. At the end of each report, the student said whether this movie was useful for learning about Australia or not.
    4. After all the reports, each student wrote 2 comments on looseleaf paper, and gave the paper to the instructor:
      1. a comment about all the movie reports in general
      2. a comment (反省)about her own movie report
    5. Those who did not give a movie report today can do it next week (June 5th)
    6. Attention: there are many Australian movies, but not all of them are useful for learning about Australian culture, history or society. E.g. parts of “The Matrix” were filmed in Australia, but we cannot learn anything about Australia from watching “The Matrix”. Please choose your movies carefully.
    7. I recommend these movies (other movies may be ok, e.g. “Australia”, but I have not seen them):
      1. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
      2. Walkabout (1971)
      3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
      4. The Castle (1997)
      5. The Man from Snowy River (1982)
    8. Bonus: Watch this YouTube video of Hugh Jackman (star in the movie Australia) on Japanese television.
  3. Homework for session #8 June 5th:
    1. Answer the questions on page 16 of the textbook.
    2. Visit the class blog (here) and leave a comment about this website and the Research in English class. When you leave a comment, use either your given name or your family name ONLY (not both), in order to protect your privacy. (You can comment in either Japanese or English, or both).
    3. “Show and Tell”. Bring something Australian (or a picture of it) to show the class, and tell us about it.  (1 minute)
    4. Think about what topic you would like to do for your poster project (session #10, June 19th):
      1. A3 paper
      2. poster must include both written text (30-40%) and image/graphic/illustration/maps/tables, etc.
      3. Explaining your poster should take about 2-3 minutes.
      4. You can do the poster project ALONE or with a PARTNER.
      5. I will ask you for your project topic next class (session #8, June 5th).
      6. You can also email me your project title: marc.sheffnerアットマーク INCLUDE YOUR NAME in your email.
    5. To think about: at the end of the passage “Tasmanian Aborigines” (page 15), it is written, “We can learn much from the Aborigines. Imagine a life where everything is shared, everybody belongs to a family, has a job, and respects the environment.”
      1. Aborigines have lived in Australia for thousands of years, yet their society never progressed beyond a nomadic lifestyle. Is it possible in today’s modern society to have such values as these and still keep our modern way of life (our economy, our material goods, our standard of living)?
The Super Pit, Australia's largest open-cut go...
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Australia, founded July 9, 1900.
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Australia, climate over 30 years (1961–1990).
Image via Wikipedia
The Perth skyline viewed from the Swan River
Image via Wikipedia
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
The new parliament house in Canberra.
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The Central Business District of Sydney, Austr...
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Artist's rendition of Port Jackson, the site w...
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Thousands flee Australia floods

From the BBC news website:

Torrential rains and strong winds have left at
least two people dead and forced thousands from their homes on
Australia’s east coast, officials say.

Large areas of New
South Wales and Queensland have been declared disaster zones. As many
as 20,000 people have been cut off by the floodwaters. The flooding is the most extensive in the two states for 30 years.

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No classes May 22nd

No classes today, Friday, May 22nd, due to concerns over swine flu.

All being well, classes will resume next Friday, May 29th.

Interactive Writing class students should bring the reading book “Diddakoi” to the May 29th class.

Keep well, and enjoy the break.



Friday May 15th, 2009

Image by sheffnermarc via Flickr

Today the Interactive Writing class created their blogs. You can see them listed in the sidebar.

If you were absent last Friday, please

  1. create a blog (I suggest using blogger, goo, Ameba, FC2,)
  2. make a note of your username and password (you will need this to write on your blog)
  3. make a note of your blog’s address (URL – “http://____”), and email it to me. DON’T FORGET TO WRITE YOUR NAME IN THE EMAIL.
  4. Login to your blog, and write/copy your movie + book report (the first one you wrote for homework April 24).
  5. Visit your classmates’ blogs. Leave a comment on at least one of them. (Remember to respect your own and your classmates’ privacy).
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Image by sheffnermarc via Flickr

Welcome to the class blog for Research in English, and Interactive Writing.

I will post my impressions and comments, suggestions and links each week. You can leave comments in Japanese or English. You can comment anonymously if you wish. You merely need to register using an email address.

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