Tag Archives: week 1

SinEb, wk1, September 26th 2014

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Studies in English B (SinEb).

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

  • we will spend more time practicing writing about linguistics topics, both for classwork and for homework.
  • I will give more precise instruction in how to write.
  • presentations will begin later in the semester.

Homework:

  1. Are all possible combinations of Japanese sounds used in the Japanese language?
  2. Write 5 possible combinations which are not actually used.

Today’s class

  1. Imagine you are teaching someone Japanese.
    1. Choose one Japanese sound and describe/explain how to make this sound.
    2. Look at handout #1 which has a table showing the main consonant sounds in English together with their scientific names and a description.
    3. Look at handout #2 which has a diagram of the human head showing the different positions for making the main English vowel sounds.
  2. Using handout #1, what English sounds are difficult for you to make?
  3. What kinds of sounds are difficult for ventriloquists to make? Why?
  4. What English sounds are also used in Japanese?
    1. What English sounds are NOT used in Japanese?
  5. What Japanese sounds are NOT used in English?
  6. What parts of the mouth are important when making vowel sounds?
  7. Invent a name for a new brand of Japanese car or drink or cartoon character.

american english pronunciation

Vowel Sounds

WS2, wk1, September 26th 2014

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Writing Strategies 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

  • you will spend more time practicing writing , both for classwork and for homework.
  • you will discuss and write about different aspects of the story.

Homework

  1. Answer the short (1 or 2 word-answers) questions about chapter 2.
  2. Read again the answers for the “short essay questions” for chapter 1
  3. Write answers to the “short essay questions” for chapter 2.

Today’s class

  1. Essays from semester 1
  2. quizzes from semester 1 last class
  3. read and answer the short-answer questions for chapter 1
  4. Check the answers.
  5. 4 kinds of writing we will do in this semester
    1. Recount – tell what happened. This is what you wrote when you wrote the chapter summaries last semester.
    2. Describe – what kind of boy is Digory? What is Charn like? What is Jadis like?
    3. Explain – why things happened, why people acted in certain ways. E.g. “Why did Digory hit the bell in Charn?”
    4. Argue – give reasons for your opinion and persuade the reader, e.g. “Why did CS Lewis write this story? Why should young people today read this story?”

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2014 Studies in English A, week 1: April 11th, 2014

The scope of linguistics
The scope of linguistics

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Studies in English I class blog. Thank you for visiting. I look forward to teaching you and learning with you this year.

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 need a looseleaf notebook. 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.

CIMG9796qtr

Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.

Homework

  1. Send me an email with a short self introduction. Use the correct format.

    English Email format
    English email format
  2. Leave a comment here on this blog by clicking the words “Leave a comment” . The comment is: “Tell us something you know about linguistics and/or how you feel about linguistics, or something about linguistics you are interested in.”
    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 15th) midnight (23:59).

In this course, 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.

Some of the topics we might find out about:

  • the sounds of English (phonemes and phonetics) and their corresponding written forms (graphemes)
  • some rules of English spelling
  • do men and women talk differently?
  • how do children learn language?
  • what is the difference between human and animal languages? Between human and computer languages?
  • the origins of words, including common prefixes and suffixes, and word roots (morphemes, Greek and Latin influences)
  • the history of the English language (Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Middle and modern English)
  • English pronunciation and how it has changed over the centuries,  and different dialects and accents
  • learn about syllables, how to count them in English (poetry, haiku)
  • compare aspects of English with other languages, especially other European languages and Japanese

 

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2014 Writing Strategies I, week 1: April 11th, 2014

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2014 Writing Strategies 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.

CIMG9796qtr

Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.

Homework

  1. Send me an email: what did we do in today’s class and your comment.
    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 about your favourite English story, or your favourite Japanese children’s story.”
    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).
  4. Watch the movie of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (LWW), or read the book (in English or in Japanese). There is no deadline for this homework, but you will enjoy “The Magician’s Nephew” more and understand it better if you know the story of LWW.
  5. Group 1 – prepare to explain about the first 8 pages (first half) of chapter 1 to the class next week.
  6. Group 2 – prepare to explain about the second half of chapter 1 to the class next week.

In today’s class, we

  1. Received Sheffner’s contact information and blog address, and the outline of this course.
  2. Did some freewriting and started reading chapter 1

Textbooks:

  1. This semester we will be reading & discussing C.S. Lewis’ Narnia story, “The Magician’s Nephew”. You can buy it on Amazon Japan. Click here. You can buy a good 2nd-hand copy from as little as ¥120! Click here. I use a Kindle version which I can read on my iPhone or iPad. Click here for the Kindle version.There is a Japanese translation, which costs just ¥1 on Amazon Japan!

I look forward to teaching you and learning with you this semester. In this class this semester, we will

  • read a C.S. Lewis’ story
  • learn something about C.S. Lewis himself
  • learn about academic writing formats
  • make 1 or 2 presentations
  • write a final paper in English.

Why read “The Magician’s Nephew” (TMN)?

  1. It is a very famous children’s story in the English-speaking world.
  2. You can learn about British culture and history (a little) by reading it
  3. You can learn about Christianity
  4. Christianity is an important part of Western culture
  5. It is a children’s story, so it is relatively easy to read
  6. It is not a textbook, but an original story written for native-speaking English children.
C.S. LewisC.S. Lewis

 

 

 

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.

CIMG9796qtr

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.

 

Welcome to Sheffner’s Studies in English II

Homework:

Write a summary of today’s class and what you learned, plus your impressions.

Today’s class:

  1. Free writing 1: “Slang is bad.” What do you think? What is slang? Is there good slang?
  2. Free writing 2: “Only other folks have accents.” What do you think? Do you have an accent? Are accents good or bad? Is there such a thing as an accent-free way of speaking (e.g. Standard Japanese 標準語)?
  3. Free writing 3: written language vs spoken language. Are they different? How? What kind of differences are there?
  4. We discussed some differences between written and spoken English.
    1. Spoken language tends to be less formal; written English tends to be more formal
    2. Spoken language can have many main clauses, whereas written language tends to have just one main clause 主節 and several sub-clauses 従属節
    3. Spoken language tends to use short, simple sentences, whereas written language tends to use longer, more complex sentences (sentences which have 1 or more subordinate clauses).
  5. We watched the first 4 minutes of a video of a presentation in English about linguistics (watch with English subtitles 字幕機能をオンしたら自動英語字幕スーパーが見えます): [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LorhwnfLn8Q[/youtube]
  6. We discussed the structure of the beginning of this presentation:
    1. What comes first?
    2. What does the presenter say first?
    3. Why does he ask 3 questions?

Welcome to Sheffner’s Writing Strategies II

Welcome to Writing Strategies II. This semester we will be reading & discussing C.S. Lewis’ Narnia story, “The Magician’s Nephew”. You can buy it on Amazon Japan. Click here. You can buy a good 2nd-hand copy from as little as ¥120! Click here. I use a Kindle version which I can read on my iPhone or iPad. Click here for the Kindle version.

There is a Japanese translation, which costs just ¥756 on Amazon Japan.

I look forward to teaching you and learning with you again this semester.

Homework

  1. For next week
    1. Finish reading chapter 1
    2. Read chapter 2
  2. For October 18th
    1. Read Genesis chapters 1 – 3
  3. Individual assignments
    1. What does the Bible say about magic?
      1. Exodus 7:1-8
      2. Deuteronomy 18:9-15
      3. Daniel 2
      4. Acts 8:9-13
      5. Acts 13:1-12
      6. Galatians 5:19-21
    2. Sherlock Holmes (who wrote the stories, when and where were they first published, where and what is “Baker Street”)
    3. the Bastables (who wrote the stories, when and where they first published, where and what is the “Lewisham Road”)
    4. Eton collar (what is it – show us a picture, who wore it and when and where, what is “Eton”, where is it, why is it famous)
    5. row house (also called “terraced house” or “townhouse”; see picture of a British row house here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Street_of_terraced_housing.jpg
    6. India (what was the connection between India and England at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century.
    7. Jane Eyre (who wrote it, when, what is the story about?)
    8. why are “her” and “that” in italics on page 4?
    9. Treasure Island (who wrote it, when, what is the story about?)
    10. Ginger-beer (what is it?)

Today’s class

  1. Freewriting 1: why are you here a) at this college, and b) in this class?
  2. Free writing 2: what do you think about magic and magicians? Give examples, memories, impressions, etc.
  3. We read chapter 1, pages 1-7 (“Then we could get the the length of the whole row of houses”)
  4. Discussion questions: how does a writer usually begin a story? What information does the writer give the reader (think of 昔々、ある所に、おじいさんとおばあさんがいました)
  5. Why does the writer give us a dialogue (conversation) on page 2? What information does the writer give the reader in this dialogue?
  6. How old do you think Polly and Digory are? Which sentences in the text give you a hint about their ages?
  7. What do we learn about the characters of Polly, Digory, Mr. Ketterley and Miss Ketterley from the dialogue?

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Writing Strategies I

Welcome to Sheffner’s 2013 Writing Strategies 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.

CIMG9796qtr

Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.

Homework

  1. Send me an email: what did we do in today’s class and your comment.
    1. Use the proper 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: “Introduce yourself to your classmates: tell us about your experiences of reading books (both English and Japanese books) and/or tell us about your childhood memories, or both”
    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 16th) midnight (23:59).

In today’s class, we

  1. introduced ourselves in English
  2. Received Sheffner’s contact information and blog address.

Textbooks:

  1. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (LWW) (Click the link to buy it on Amazon Japan. Save money! Buy the Kindle version here.) If you find this book difficult, I strongly recommend you also buy the 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 C.S. Lewis’ story
  • learn something about C.S. Lewis himself
  • learn about academic writing formats
  • make 1 or 2 presentations
  • write a final paper in English.

Why read “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (LWW)?

  1. It is a very famous children’s story in the English-speaking world.
  2. You can learn about British culture and history (a little) by reading it
  3. You can learn about Christianity
  4. Christianity is an important part of Western culture
  5. It is a children’s story, so it is relatively easy to read
  6. It is not a textbook, but an original story written for native-speaking English children.
C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

CIMG9796qtr

Weeping cherry in Himuro Jinja, Nara city.

Homework

  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 B (Linguistics)

October mountain
October mountain

Welcome to Sheffner’s Studies in English B (Linguistics).

I hope you had an enjoyable and refreshing summer vacation.

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

I look forward to seeing you.

English: Used to express contempt for linguistics.
English: Used to express contempt for linguistics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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