Tag Archives: week 7

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


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

Writing Strategies II, week 6: October 25th, 2013


  • Next class will be November 8th (no class on Nov. 1st)
  • Read chapters 5 and 6 and answer the short answer questions
  • write a summary of chapter 4.
  • read the Bible book Genesis chapters 1-3 and summarize the story in Japanese (this was homework from week 1)

Today’s class:

  1. We checked the answers to chapter 4’s questions.
  2. We listened to two presentations
    1. about Ancient Greece
    2. about Genesis


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, week 7: November 9th, 2012

Homework for next week (week 8, Nov. 16th):

  1. Read chapter 10 of “The Magician’s Nephew“.
  2. Freewriting about chapter 10:
    1. What does it remind you of? Relate some content to your own experience.
  3. Continue researching your project.

Today’s class:

  1. Sharing your homework (about Genesis and chapter 9) with classmates in random groups
  2. “The land of youth”. Could Narnia be the legendary “Land of Youth“? “Sweet hope” enters Digory’s heart when Uncle Andrew says these words.
  3. Why can’t Uncle Andrew understand when Aslan and the Narnia animals speak? The cabby and Polly and Digory can understand. Why can’t Uncle Andrew?
  4. Prep schools (in British English) are schools that “prep” (i.e. prepare) children to enter fee-paying secondary schools, especially public schools (this is British English for a certain kind of elite secondary school).
  5. We watched the beginning of a Japanese movie that describes the creation of Japan: 日本誕生 (N.B. this is NOT the Doraemon movie!). The story in Genesis is just one creation myth. There are many, including the Japanese one. Click this link to read the Wikipedia Japan entry on creation myths 創造神話

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujopreOSlSM’]

Here is a trailer for a John Huston movie called “The Bible”, made in 1965 (a few years after 日本誕生 ).  Maybe this movie is in the DWC library.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmHnjw6XuKM’]


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