Category Archives: Academic Skills

As1, wk7, May 30th 2014

What did you think of today’s class? Did you enjoy it? How much did you understand? 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 142 (from “From 1846…”) o 144 in the textbook (up to “Queen and monarch”).

Today’s class:

  1. Don’t believe the textbook, and don’t believe your instructor: after all, he’s British! So of course he’s going to say that Britain is great, the British Empire was great, etc. Think for yourself. Ask your questions.
  2. Look at the cartoon on p. 140. It is not a photograph. It is an opinion, not fact. The cartoonist wants you to feel sorry for the women and children, and to feel hate for the lazy, rich people at the top of the picture. But…
    1. Why are the children working?
    2. Who created the jobs?
    3. The cartoon is titled “Capital and labour”. What is capital?
  3. Look at the picture on p. 141.
    1. Who is the man in the middle of the picture?
    2. Who is the man  sitting in the chair at the far right?
    3. Look at the man with his legs sticking out, sitting near Mr. Gladstone. Look at the line under his feet. What is this line for?houseofcommons

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, 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

Homework:

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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGKF60F_heg
  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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H8b_eiBpY8

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, wk5, May 16th 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

Homework:

Read pages 138-9 in the textbook.

Today’s class:

  • Presentation about pages 137-8 (family life”.
  • Discussion about why the man was considered “master of the household”.
  • To answer this question, we followed these steps:
    1. What does “master” mean?
      1. We decided it meant – leader, owner
    2. What does “household” mean?
      1. The dictionary told us it means 世帯、家庭
    3. Where might this idea that “the man is master of the household” come from?
      1. One possibility is the Bible.
        1. Please read Genesis 1, 26-29 (and you can read a Japanese version here)
        2. Please read 1 Cor. 11:3 (this is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians; see the Japanese translation here)
      2. Another possibility is that it comes from the simple fact that men are in general stronger and taller than women.
        1. From this, it is logical to think that the man would be the natural choice to lead the family because in early times, physical strength was necessary to find food, to build shelter and to protect the family.

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, wk4, May 9th 2014

Kamogawa River, Kyoto, May 9th, 2014
Kamogawa River, Kyoto, May 9th, 2014

Updated:May 11th. Added links for the key points.

Homework:

Read pages 136-7 in the textbook.

Today’s class:

 

 

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.

Academic Skills, week 3, April 25th, 2014

What did you think of today’s class? Let me know in the comments (or send me a private email).

The presentation schedule for this semester is here:AS1_2014_Schedule

Homework:

Read the textbook pp 134-5. Prepare your presentation.

In today’s class:

  • presentation on pp 132-3 of the textbook. Didn’t they do a good job?
  • were the Corn Laws a good idea? (Don’t forget the consequences!)
  • who wants sanctions against Russia? Who does not? Why?
  • there are two kinds of questions used in education:
    • questions to which the answers are in the textbook (or in the dictionary or in some other book or website)
    • questions to which there are no correct answers, but which require you to think.

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.

Academic Skills I, week 2: April 18th, 2014

What did you think of today’s class? Let me know in the comments (or send me a private email).

The presentation schedule for this semester is here:AS1_2014_Schedule

Homework:

  1. If you have not yet done so, send me an email and leave a comment on this blog (see last week’s post for details).
  2. Leave a comment on this blog: write a short comment about today’s class.
  3. Prepare your presentation.

In today’s class we read the textbook pp 130-131. We discussed why at first only landowners were allowed to vote: because they own the land, they have the future of the land at heart. So they were considered the most suitable people to decide matters that affect the future of the country.

 

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.

Welcome to Sheffner’s Academic Skills I, week 1: April 11th, 2014

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Academic Skills (AS) I class blog. Thank you for visiting.

This blog will be updated weekly. Each week there will be a summary of the lesson and the homework details.

Click the images to see a bigger version.

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Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.

Homework

  1. Send me an email: a short comment about today’s class.
    1. Use the proper email format

      English Email format
      English email format
  2. Leave a comment here on this blog by clicking the words “Leave a comment” at the bottom of this post (投稿).
    1. The comment topic is: “Tell us something you know about British history”
    2. For your privacy, when leaving a comment, use your family name only or use a nickname.
    3. If you use a nickname, please tell me your nickname when you send me your email.
    4. To leave a comment, you must first type in your email address. Please use your school email address.
  3. Homework deadline for #1 and #2 above: Tuesday (April 15th) midnight (23:59).

In today’s class, we

  1. Received Sheffner’s contact information and blog address and the outline of this course.
  2. Did some freewriting
  3. Decided student groups/partners and the schedule of presentations.

Textbooks:

  1. “Illustrated History of Britain” (IHB) (Click the link to buy it on Amazon Japan. There is also a Japanese translation to help you. Click here to see it on Amazon Japan.)
  2. A Guide to MLA Documentation

In this class this semester, we will

  • read chapters 19-21
  • learn something about British history
  • learn about academic writing formats
  • make 1 or 2 presentations
  • write a final paper in English.

 

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.