Category Archives: Academic Skills

As2, wk2, October 3rd 2014

Homework:

  • None

Today’s class

  1. If you were absent last week, please read the blog.
  2. What kind of house does Joseph live in?
    1. Joseph lives in a house made of stone, wood and grass/straw/earth. He lives there with his two brothers and father (who dies early in the story). The house is on a hill by the sea.
  3. Why does Joseph want to kill Mr. Christie?
    1. Joseph wants to kill Mr. Christie because Mr. Christie’s representative burned his house down. Also, Joseph is angry at all landlords because another landlord (not Mr. Christie) was partly responsible for the death of Joseph’s father, and because many landlords in Ireland at that time were not Irish but English.
  4. Watch the next part of the movie (up to where Shannon plays American music on the piano).
  5. What kind of house does Mr. Christie live in?

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As2, wk1, September 26th 2014

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Academic Skills 2.

It is almost exactly 2 months since the last class in the first semester. I hope you enjoyed your 2 months’ holiday.

This semester will be more or less the same as last semester, except that

  • the textbook is “Illustrated History of the U.S.A.” (I recommend buying a 2nd-hand one if you can).
  • we will spend more time practicing writing about historical topics, both for classwork and for homework.
  • presentations will begin later in the semester.

Homework:

  • Why does Joseph want to kill Mr. Christie, the landlord?

Today’s class

  1. Returned 1st semester essays
  2. Returned 1st semester exam
  3. Writing:
    1. Why study history?
    2. What do you know about American history? What are you interested in about American history?
  4. 4 kinds of writing we will do in this semester
    1. Recount – tell what happened
    2. Describe – what kind of clothes did people wear? What kind of work did they do? What kind of food did they eat? What kind of houses did they live in?
    3. Explain – why things happened, why people acted in certain ways
    4. Argue – give reasons for your opinion and persuade the reader, e.g. “Why study American history?”
  5. Video – watch the first few scenes from “Far and Away”, starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise (up to when Joseph meets Mr. Christie in the pub).
    1. What happened? Recount the story so far.
    2. What kind of house does Joseph live in? Describe it.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbMYkzVsWAE

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As1, wk15, July 25th 2014

Homework:

Enjoy the summer holidays.

Today’s class:

  1. Hand in your essay
  2. Exam.
Cover of "The Days are Just Packed" by Bill Waterson
Art by Bill Waterson

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As1, wk14, July 18th 2014

Homework:

Finish writing your final essay.

  • Final essay should be 800-1000 words (excluding the bibliography).
  • The topic can be any topic connected with British history in the 19th century.
  • Choose something you are interested.
  • Choose something you want to find out about.
  • Your essay title should be a question, e.g. “Why did Britain become so rich in the 19th century?”, “Why did prices fall and wages double in the 19th century?” , “Why was compulsory education introduced in Britain?” etc.

Today’s class:

Rules for writing:

  1. Format:
    1. Double-spaced?
    2. Indent-style paragraphs?
    3. Nice big indent (at least 5 characters, 10 is ok)
    4. At least 5 paragraphs?
    5. At least 3 items in the bibliography?
    6. One item must be the textbook. Use your MLA Guildebook
    7. Reference in the body of the essay?
  2. Everything in your essay, including the bibliography, must be in Roman letters only.
    1. If you used Japanese sources, write them in Roman lettes. Don’t translate them!
  3. Don’t use contractions like  “don’t, aren’t, isn’t, it’s, they’re” etc.
  4. Don’t write names in ALL CAPITALS. It’s like shouting.
  5. Don’t being a sentence with “And, So, But, Because”. Use “In addition,” “However,”  “Therefore,”. Or combine with the previous sentence to make a single sentence (and keep the “and, so, but or because”).
  6. Give your opinion with evidence: facts, numbers, etc.
  7. Say where you got the information from.
  8. Make sure your introductory (first) paragraph has the outline of your essay.

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As1, wk13, July 11th 2014

Homework:

Choose the topic for your final essay and start writing.

  • Final essay should be 800-1000 words (excluding the bibliography).
  • The topic can be any topic connected with British history in the 19th century.
  • Choose something you are interested.
  • Choose something you want to find out about.
  • Your essay title should be a question, e.g. “Why did Britain become so rich in the 19th century?”, “Why did prices fall and wages double in the 19th century?” , “Why was compulsory education introduced in Britain?” etc.

Today’s class:

Rules for writing:

  1. Don’t use contractions like  “don’t, aren’t, isn’t, it’s, they’re” etc.
  2. Don’t write names in ALL CAPITALS. It’s like shouting.
  3. Don’t being a sentence with “And, So, But, Because”. Use “In addition,” “However,”  “Therefore,”. Or combine with the previous sentence to make a single sentence (and keep the “and, so, but or because”).
  4. Give your opinion with evidence: facts, numbers, etc.
  5. Say where you got the information from.

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, wk12, July 4th 2014

cs-records-victorians-tricyHomework:

Choose the topic for your final essay and start writing.

  • Final essay should be 800-1000 words (excluding the bibliography).
  • The topic can be any topic connected with British history in the 19th century.
  • Choose something you are interested.
  • Choose something you want to find out about.
  • Your essay title should be a question, e.g. “Why did Britain become so rich in the 19th century?”, “Why did prices fall and wages double in the 19th century?” , “Why was compulsory education introduced in Britain?” etc.

Today’s class:

  1. What is
    1. capitalism? A: An economic system with private ownership of the means of production. “Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits.”  (Wikipedia)
    2. socialism? A: “Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.”  (Wikipedia)
  2. Why  and how did the bicycle give women more freedom?
  3. Why did prices fall and wages double?
  4. Why did women (and children) stop working in the mines?
  5. What kind of jobs did women do in the 19th century?
  6. What did women do before the bicyle was invented?
  7. Why is football called football in Britain but soccer everywhere else?

 

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As1, wk11, June 27th 2014

Homework:

Read pages 154 (“Changes in Thinking”) -156 (“The Storm Clouds of War”)

Today’s class:

  1. Presentation on pages 151 – 154 (up to changes “Changes in Thinking”).
    1. Today’s presentation was quite good, but speaking speed is still a little fast. And presenters, please LOOK at your audience to see how they are doing. Otherwise you seem very unfriendly. A presentation is communication, that means 2-way not 1-way.
  2. Analytical tools. These are useful for analyazing any text.
    1. What is the root meaning of a word? For example, “socialism” or “capitalism”.
      1. Look it up for yourself. Don’t rely on what other people tell you.
      2. To understand the root meaning of a Japanese word, I look at the Chinese character. For example, the Japanese word for “man” is made up of 2 Chinese characters that mean “rice field” and “power”. So a man is “the power of the rice-field” in Japanese.
    2. Key questions:
      1. Voluntary co-operation or compulsory co-operation?
      2. Who benefits? (Cui bono?)
      3. Who pays?
  3. Let’s look at some sentneces in the textbook and analyze them with our questions:
    1. p. 151: “prices fell by 40% and real wages doubled.”
      1. Is this voluntary or compulsory co-operation? (A: voluntary co-operation)
      2. Who benefits? (A: everyone, but especially lower-middle-class and working-class people.)
      3. Who pays? (A: consumers.)
    2. p. 151: “Most homes now had gas both for heating and lighting.”
      1. Is this voluntary or compulsory co-operation? (A: voluntary co-operation)
      2. Who benefits? (A: everyone, but especially lower-middle-class and working-class people.)
      3. Who pays? (A: consumers. But don’t forget the industrialists and engineers who made this technology possible and paid for its creation. Also, don’t forget the capitalists who provided the capital (and where did the capital come from? That’s right: savings.)

Lamplighter Lighting Gas Street Light

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As1, wk10, June 20th 2014

Homework:

Read pages 151-3, up to “The importance of sport” .

Today’s class:

  1. Presentation on pages 148-150.
  2. Students asked some good questions last week. Here are some of them:
    1. Why did Britain have so many colonies around the world?
        1. To answer this, first we must ask “what colonies did Britain have?”
          1. Canada, India, South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.
        2. Then, we examine the different original reasons and motives people had for going to these different places.
        3. There were several key reasons for colonies:
          1. exploration and adventure
          2. gold (silver, diamonds, treasure, money)
          3. trade – new markets and new resources
          4. war – because several countries were travelling and exploring and trading and looking for gold, etc., there were fights between them which sometimes led to wars. In these wars, the local people became involved (sometimes the local people started the wars), and the winners of the war often got land as a reward.
          5. land and a new life with new freedom (sometimes religious freedom) – some people went to other countries to start a new life (e.g. in Canada, Australia, South Africa, places where the weather was not so different from Britain. They became farmers. Some became rich.
          6. to spread Christianity – I did not mention this today, but Christian missionaries from many different countries followed the explorers and soldiers to bring Christianity to the natives. I’m sure you know about Francis Xavier, for example, who visited many countries, including Japan.

      Continue reading As1, wk10, June 20th 2014

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    As1, wk9, June 13th 2014

    Homework:

    Read pages 148-150.

    Today’s class:

    1. Presentation on pages 144-6.
    2. Extra points:
      1. Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I were two queens who had similar reigns:
        1. Long reign (Queen Elizabeth 50 years, Queen Victoria just over 60 years)
        2. Elizabeth never married; Victoria married but her husband, Prince Albert, died young.
        3. A flowering of artistic and scientific invention during their reigns
        4. Development of British military strength (and wars) during their reigns
      2. Two movies have been made about the Zulu Wars:
        1. Zulu – about the Battle of Rorke’s Drift which the British won, and
        2. Zulu Dawn – about the Battle of Isandlwana, which the British lost.
    3. The British Empire brought some benefits to the countries it conquered:
      1. Military protection, military training and discipline – in many countries, the native people were impressed by the discipline, bravery and fairness of the British, especially by British victories by small numbers of troops against much larger native armies. How did they do it? Training, discipline and superior weapons.
      2. Military force also brought peace and law and order to areas which had otherwise only had intermittent fighting and no rule of law.
      3. The British also brought trade and offered the British and Eruopean and Empire markets to the new colonies.

     

    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, wk8, June 6th 2014

    Have something to say? Let me know in the comments (or send me a private email).

    The latest presentation schedule for this semester is here:AS1_Schedule

    Homework:

    Read pages  144 in the textbook (from “Queen and monarch”) to the bottom of page 147.

    Today’s class:

    1. Presenters: give your listeners time to read the text and take notes; help your listeners by repeating the key points several times, especially at the end of your presentation. Also, allow time for questions.
    2. What is the difference between Tory (Conservative) and Whig (Liberal) philosophy? Philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903) wrote in The Man Versus the State1884年)  『人間対国家』:

    “Most of those who now pass as Liberals, are Tories of a new type…the intrinsic natures of Toryism and Liberalis…  the two political parties at first stood respectively for two opposed types of social organization… these two are definable as the system of compulsory cooperation and the system of voluntary cooperation.” (chapter 1 “The New Toryism”).

    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.