Category Archives: announcement

Schedule for Writing Strategies II and Studies in English II

  1. September 20th
  2. September 27th
  3. October 4th
  4. October 11th
  5. October 18th
  6. October 25th
  7. November 1st (cancelled 休講)
  8. November 8th
  9. November 15th
  10. December 6th
  11. December 13th
  12. December 14th (makeup 補講)
  13. December 20th
  14. January 10th
  15. January 17th
  16. January 24th

Students will do at least one presentation, and write at least one academic paper. The paper will be written during the winter vacation, and a printed draft will be due in week 13 (January 10th).

The class format will be the same as last semester. In this semester, more guidance will be given on how to give presentations and how to write an academic report/essay.

Email format

Please use this format for ANY email you send to me. If it is not connected with any homework, at least write your class name (WS or SinE) in the subject line. And always use the proper greeting and closing. Click the image to see a bigger version.

English Email format
English email format. Click image to see a bigger version.

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Studies in English I

The scope of linguistics

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Studies in English 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.

Textbook: There is no textbook for this course. However, students will use a custom notebook. Details in week 1. From time to time I will give you handouts. Additional information (links, videos, etc.) will be available on this blog.

Click the images to see a bigger version.


Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.


  1. Send me an email with a short self introduction. Use the correct format as shown in today’s class. Click here to read last year’s students’ self-introductions.)
  2. Leave a comment here on this blog by clicking the words “Leave a comment” . The comment is: “A short summary of what we did in this class today and your response or comment about it.”
    1. For your privacy, when leaving a comment, use your family name only or use a nickname.
    2. If you use a nickname, please tell me your nickname when you send me your email.
    1. To leave a comment, you must first type in your email address. Please use your school email address.
  3. Homework deadline: Tuesday (April 16th) midnight (23:59).

In this course, we will

  • review the sounds of English (phonemes and phonetics) and their corresponding written forms (graphemes)
  • learn the rules of English spelling
  • learn the origins of words, including common prefixes and suffixes, and word roots (morphemes, Greek and Latin influences)
  • learn about the history of the English language (Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Middle and modern English)
  • learn about English pronunciation and how it has changed over the centuries
  • learn about syllables, how to count them in English (poetry, haiku)
  • naturally learn about the characteristics of the English language (syntax and grammar)
  • compare aspects of English with other languages, especially other European languages and Japanese.

In this semester, students will

  • have group discussions,
  • do lots of writing in English
  • learn about academic writing formats
  • make 2 formal presentations to the whole class,
  • and write a final paper in English.



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Studies in English, week 6: November 2nd, 2012 – class cancelled

I must cancel this week’s class, because of duties at my main school.

(Writing Strategies II class in the morning is NOT cancelled, please note.)

  1.  On your blog by Tuesday (Nov. 6th) midnight  (if you have not done so already) write your research question, and:
    1. what do you know already (about your research question/topic?
    2. what do you want to know/find out?
    3. what did you find out so far?]
    4. where did you look (what resources did you use)?
  2. Prepare your first presentation – next week, Nov. 9th. Each presentation will be short: just tell your topic, what you know, what you want to find out, and what you have found out so far and how/where.
  3. N.B. (注意): next week’s presentations will not be graded. 来週のプレゼンは評価(採点)しません。プレゼンの目的は情報交換です。

Writing Strategies II

Cover of "The Magician's Nephew (Narnia)&...

Welcome to Sheffner’s Writing Strategies II.

I hope you had an enjoyable and refreshing summer vacation.

The semester for this class begins Friday, September 28th, 2012.

The text for this semester is The Magician’s Nephew (Narnia) by C.S. Lewis.


Read chapters 1 and 2.

October beach
October Beach
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Studies in English – Forgot your blog password?

Did you make a blog then forget your password?

Some people do. If you have a goo blog and you forgot your password, click the words

Forgot your password?

Go to your goo login page

and click on

■ ログインパスワードをお忘れの方はこちら

Goo will send a message to the email address you used to sign up with.

If yours is a Blogger blog, go here and fill in the necessary information:

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
Forgot your Goo password?
Forgot your Goo password?


If you forget your Blogger password, go here: and fill in the necessary information.

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Studies in English – presentation guidelines

Here are some guidelines for the June 29th presentations. This post will be updated from time to time. Please come back and visit again to check for the latest updates.


  1. Presentations must be in English. BUT remember your audience! Help them understand by translating key words or giving a glossary 用語集
  2. Presentations must be not shorter than 2 minutes and not longer than 3 minutes.
  3. Presentations may be in groups, BUT consult with me about this.
  4. Your purpose is to educate your classmates:
    1. tell them something they did not know
    2. connect your presentation to the class topic of linguistics.
  5. Please do not kill us with Powerpoint! Do not read what is on your slides! We can read!
Death by Powerpoint
Death by Powerpoint. Please don’t! (Cartoon from English@kkc)


How will I evaluate your presentations? See the chart below. Click on the image to see a larger version. You can also download a pdf version here:  DWC_Presentation_rubrics.

I will use 6 categories to evaluate you:

  1. Grammar
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Fluency and pronunciation
  4. Voice and non-verbal
    1. how loudly and clearly you speak;
    2. eye-contact; gestures and posture;
    3. visual aids, e.g. handouts or Powerpoint slides)
  5. Sense of audience
    1. do you think about your audience?
    2. Do you help them to understand?
  6. Content/organization
    1. is your presentation logically organized so that it is easy for the audience to follow and understand?
    2. Did you show understanding of the key concepts?
    3. Did you compare your book or story or chapter with the textbook?
    4. Did you keep to the time limit, or was your presentation too short or too long?

    DWC_Presentation_rubrics PNG
    DWC_Presentation_rubrics PNG

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