Tag Archives: Australia

Research in English #11: July 3, 2009

Indiana Jones
Image via Wikipedia
  • Poster presentation
  • Check the meaning of the following:
    1. idol
    2. idolize
    3. romantic
    4. romanticize
    5. discover
    6. invade
    7. conquer
  • Watch this short scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. What does this tell you about cultures?
  • Discuss your homework with a partner: why did various people emigrate to Australia?
  • What do you think of
    1. White Australia policy?
    2. Australia’s multicultural policy?
  • Homework:
    1. For July 10:
      1. Textbook : read page 25 and answer the Comprehension questions on page 26
      2. Complete the worksheet Unit IV Part I
    2. For July 17:
      1. find a newspaper or magazine article about Australia (the article can be in either English or Japanese),
      2. summarize it,
      3. compare it with
        1. another news article
        2. a movie or story you know
        3. your own experience
        4. the case in Japan,
      4. then give your own opinion about the contents of the article
      5. Length: 150~200 words.
      6. Here are some BBC news articles about Aborigines
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    Aborigines in the news

    Arnhem Land, Australia.
    Image by Rusty Stewart via Flickr

    The BBC writes that a report has come out in Australia about Aboriginal social and economic trends. The report is not good:

    The report measured 50 key indicators of disadvantage, and found that there has been no improvement in 80% of them.

    There have been no gains, for instance, in literacy or numeracy rates.

    In an otherwise bleak assessment, one of the few areas of improvement was employment.

    Prim Minister Mr Rudd

    called this a devastating report which was unacceptable and required decisive action.

    The BBC article has links to several other stories about Aborigines living in Australia today:

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    Research in English #9: June 19th, 2009

    Tasmanian Devil
    Image by nim via Flickr
    1. Poster presentations
      1. 12 people gave presentations today.
      2. Everyone who did NOT give a presentation today must do it next week.
    2. Some general comments about the presentations:
      1. These are YOUR presentations, so I think it is better if I say nothing about the presentation styles. Students should reflect (反省)on their own presentations, and learn by observing other presentations.
      2. About the content of the presentations, I was pleased because all of them showed
        1. you had done some research
        2. you chose topics that had educational value for the class
      3. What is your purpose or objective for studying at university?
        1. to learn to think
        2. to gain new understanding
        3. to graduate on time (i.e. in 4 years or less).
      4. Information –> Knowledge –> Understanding.
        1. E.g. Australia has many World Heritage sites (information –> knowledge, because most of you already know what “World Heritage Site” means because you have some in Japan, e.g. Horyuji 法隆寺)
        2. 2 of them are Cultural Heritage sites – Sydney Opera House and Carlton Gardens (information –> knowledge, because you already know what the Sydney Opera House is, so you can guess why it is of cultural importance)
        3. Almost all the other World Heritage sites in Australia are sites of natural beauty or importance, e.g. the Great Barrier Reef (knowledge). What can we understand about Australia from this knowledge and information?
      5. What is the principle on which “freedom of religion” is based? It is based on the ideas
        1. that all human beings are individuals
        2. that human beings think as individuals (“there is no such thing as a collective brain” – Ayn Rand)
        3. that a human being’s life belongs to no-one but himself/herself
        4. that individuals must therefore be free to think for themselves and make their own decisions about what is best for their own life
        5. freedom of religion is based on the freedom to think what you like and to disagree with the people around you without fear of violence or coercion.
    3. Returned homework from June 5th – Unit II, Part II worksheet (the didgeridoo)
      1. Mind your tenses 時制 – rule of thumb:  use the same tense in your answer as in the question
    4. Textbook (p. 22) Unit III, part II listening – The Broome Pearlers (listen and write the answers in your textbook)
    5. Homework – none
    6. Collected – Unit III, Part III worksheet and posters
      1. I plan to take photos of all the posters and post the photos here on this blog (unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries last Friday, so I could not take photos then).
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    Australian movie reports

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 08:  Actor and singer ...
    Image by Getty Images via Daylife

    Here are the reports on Australian movies that students have emailed me. In future, perhaps students can make their own blogs and put their reports on their own blogs. Would you like that? All the movie reports make this blog entry very long, so I have cut it short. To read all the movie reports, click here.

    1. Japanese Story
      Australian film 2003       director; Sue Brooks
      actor; Gotaro Tsunashima    actress; Toni Collette
      Summary
      Sandy, played by Toni Collette is a director in Western Australia.  One day she has to guide a Japanese businessman Hiromitsu, played by Gotaro. At first, because of the culture differences, they can not understand each other. Sandy is angry about his behavior. Then they drive into desert and their car breaks down. They are lost in desert , but this difficulty makes their friendship deep. Gradually they understand and love each other. A few days later, Sandy and Hiromitsu go swimming and Hiromitsu dives into shallow water and…
    Cover of
    Cover of The Piano
    New Zealand actress Anna Paquin.
    Image via Wikipedia
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    More than 1,200 people have contracted swine flu in Australia

    More than 1,200 people have contracted swine flu in Australia – although no-one has died from it yet.

    Read the whole report from the BBC.

    The large numbers of people infected with the virus may mean the WHO will label the infection a pandemic.

    What does pandemic mean? It means “global”. The origin of the word is

    pándēmos common, public (pan- pan- meaning everything+ dêm(os) the people.

    I don’t understand why it will suddenly become a pandemic, just because a lot of people in Australia get sick with the virus.

    Nor do I understand why the WHO alert level is

    currently at phase five of a six-level scale

    when a) the virus is not getting stronger or more dangerous, and
    b) more people are not dying of it.
    The combined effect of using the word “pandemic” (which in English sounds like “panic”) together with the 6-level scale of “flu alert” is to frighten people and make it more likely that people will react in panic rather than rationally.
    A BBC reporter points out:

    BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh says
    it is true that the word “pandemic” sounds scary. But it simply means a global epidemic of an infectious disease.  He says it is not a signal that the virus is getting more virulent – only a measure of its geographical spread…. The media must play a part here, emphasising the facts about this virus and not over-reacting

    Yes, thank you, Mr. Walsh.

    What do you think about the way the media have reacted to the swine flu?

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    A young Japanese in Australia

    Legend of Bacteria is the blog of a young Japanese man who has been in Australia for over a year, ever since graduating from university. I know him quite well, but I will respect his privacy and only refer to his handle name.

    You can read his blog, in both Japanese and English, here: Legend of Bacteria

    He has a dream. He is not in Australia just for sightseeing, nor for learning English. What is his dream? Visit his blog and find out.

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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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