Tag Archives: Presentation

Studies in English, week 10: December 7th, 2012


Prepare your presentation for next week. This will be your last oral presentation this year.

Today’s class:

Your learning diaries (blogs) are 20% of your final grade. Wake up, guys!

From the syllabus:

Attendance and participation. 20% Learning diaries 20%.

Some tips for presenting:

  • don’t read your paper (it’s boring!)
  • if you make a handout, don’t read the handout (it’s boring! We can read, thank you!)
  • put key information on the handout or Powerpoint slide.
  • If you just read your presentation, repeat the key points 4 or 5 times.
  • speak slowly, and clearly.
  • give your sources, and check them first. It’s your responsibility to check your sources.
  • make sure you know the difference between fact and opinion, and tell your listeners which is which.
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Studies in English, week 7: November 9th, 2012

If you enjoy reading this blog entry, or find it interesting or useful,  please leave a comment (in either English or Japanese). Thank you.


  1. Continue to research your topic
    1. what did you find out about your topic this week (Nov. 9th – Nov. 15th)?
    2. Write a short report on your blog (or on this blog if you cannot access your own blog)
      1. What did you find out?
      2. Where did you look (be specific 具体的に)?
      3. deadline is Thursday midnight (23:59).

Today’s class:

  1. Presentation #1 by most people in the class. If you did not present today, you can present next week (last chance).
  2. Mini-lectures on
    1. pragmatics (Grice‘s four maxims; speech acts, direct and indirect; discourse analysis; adjacency pairs) and read about Grice on Japanese Wikipedia.
    2. language acquisition.
      1. One way researchers can study how human beings learn to speak a language is by studying people who did NOT learn to speak a language. There have been a few documented cases of children growing up without learning to speak. What happened? What was missing in their environment or in their brain?
      2. One famous case is that of Kaspar Hauser (a movie was made about this: see below).
      3. Another famous (but fictional) case is that of Mowgli, the boy brought up by wolves, who is the main character in a book by 19th-century British Nobel Prize winning author Rudyard Kipling (who also wrote “How the Alphabet was Made” and “How the First Letter was Written“) – The Jungle Book (click the link to read the Wikipedia entry). Mowgli grows up speaking wolf language but learns human language later on. Could this be possible, knowing what we know now about human language-learning?
      4. Another famous but fictional case is that of Tarzan, a young boy whose parents die in the African jungle and who is brought up by apes. 89 Tarzan movies have been made as well as TV dramas, but the books are much better than any of them.  Tarzan grows up speaking ape-language but learns human language later on. Could this be possible, knowing what we know now about human language-learning?
      5. Yet another fictional example of a feral child is Peter Pan.
      6. (Personal note: I saw the Jungle Book movie when I was a child, and I still remember all the songs. My mother read me the Jungle Book when I was very young. She read it to me in her native language – French. Later, I read the stories in English, and later still, I read them again in French, so I have a strong personal connection with these stories. They are also very famous and well known in Britain and other English-speaking countries. I also read the Tarzan stories when I was a teenager. I think I collected the entire set.)
      7. Children who have grown up with very little human contact are called feral children (click the link to read the Wikipedia entry on this).
    3. do men and women speak differently all around the world?
  3. Freewriting: about your own presentation and your classmates’, and today’s mini-lectures, plus anything else you want to say.

Did you enjoy reading this blog entry? Was it interesting? Useful? Please leave a comment (in either English or Japanese). Thank you.

Cover of Siobhan Chapman's book on Paul Grice, philosopher and linguist
Paul Grice, 1913 – 1988

Continue reading Studies in English, week 7: November 9th, 2012

Writing Strategies II, Session #12: December 24th, 2010

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve

Today is presentation day.  What should be in your presentation? Read the instructions here: Children’s story presentation outline.

Thank you to all of you who presented today and last week. All these stories are classics of English-speaking culture.

Homework: Finish reading “The Magician’s Nephew” and answer the Study Guide questions for chapters 13, 14 and 15.

The Nativity

The story of the birth of Jesus Christ is called “the Nativity”. The Nativity story appears in only two of the four Gospels – in Matthew and in Luke.

The postcard above shows the Three Wise Men (also called the Magi) following the big star to the town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room at the inn.

The table below (from Wikipedia)  shows the main events in the Nativity story

Number Event Matthew Mark Luke John
1 Annunciation     Luke 1:26-38  
2 Visitation of Mary     Luke 1:39-56  
3 Joseph’s 1st dream Matthew 1:20-21      
4 Birth of Jesus Matthew 1:18-25   Luke 2:1-7  
5 Annunciation to the shepherds     Luke 2:8-15  
6 Adoration of the shepherds     Luke 2:16-20  
7 Infant Jesus at the Temple     Luke 2:21-38  
8 Star of Bethlehem Matthew 2:1-2      
9 Adoration of the Magi Matthew 2:3-12      
10 Joseph’s 2nd dream Matthew 2:13      
11 Flight into Egypt Matthew 2:13-15      
12 Massacre of the Innocents Matthew 2:16-18      

Preceding events

Nativity of Jesus

Follow on events