Freshman English for DFLL majors

Spring 2010
Wednesdays 新生大樓 502, class periods 3/4, 10:20am-12:10pm
Fridays Audio-Visual Center 視聽教育館 202, class periods 3/4, 10:20am-12:10pm

Professor Karen Steffen Chung 史嘉琳 老師
(the first Google hit for 'Karen Chung')

Teaching Assistant (TA) Spring 2010: Isbel Lee 李信宜 助教 (公共衛生系 四年級)

Prof. Guy Beauregard
Mr. Giles Witton-Davies

Final review of History of the English Language
Please familiarize yourself with the material in this Wikipedia article
on the history of the English language
to prepare for the questions on the final exam:

Note regarding final exam:
Please pay special attention to the *periods* in the development of the English language.
Note that the Wikipedia article divides Modern English into Early Modern English
and Modern English - this is just a slightly more detailed version of the three periods
introduced last semester. For the purposes of the exam, both are considered "Modern English."

For the exam, you should also be able to identify passages in English from each of the
three periods of development. The Wikipedia examples should help you become familiar
with how each looks. You should also be able to say something about Proto-Indo-European
as the oldest known ancestor of English, but you don't need to memorize a list
of Indo-European languages.

Other areas to prepare for the exam: vocabulary from this semester's readings,
compound stress, poetry scansion, basic literary terms, and the strengths
of different dictionaries. There will be essay questions drawing from any of
the materials covered in class, but especially the readings and videos.

Don't forget to convert your course evaluation and pronunciation/grammar log
to pdf format before submitting them - here is a good pdf conversion program
if you don't have one:

Just install the free version, then press control-p to print, and choose
"Cutepdf" as the "printer". After you save it to a convenient place,
you can attach it with your e-mail.

If you have any questions at all,
don't hesitate to e-mail me at

What we decide to believe, and how we do it;
and how to be - and not to be - persuasive

Video one: "Teabagger Meltdown"
Video two: Jihadists and "The Narrative
"  text

Poems, prosody, literary terms
Practice poems I
: Word  pdf

Practice poems II
(May 26/28): Word   pdf

Readings/sung versions of "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes
1    2   Set to music: 3   Sung by Phil Ochs: 4   Anne of Green Gables version: 5

Literary terms

alliteration, allusion, anapestic, antithesis, appositive, archaism, assonance, author's intention, cæsura,
cliché, context, dactylic, dialect, dieresis/trema, dysphemism, doggerel, enjambement, euphemism, expletive,
feminine rhyme, foreshadowing, hiatus, hyperbole, iambic, irony, literal meaning, masculine rhyme,
melodrama, metamessage, metonymy, metaphor, metathesis, mosaic rhyme, oxymoron, parallelism,
parenthetical, parody, personification, Pig Latin, prosody, pun, redundancy, rhetorical question, rhyme,
satire, scansion, simile, slant rhyme, spoonerism, symbol, synæsthesia, triple rhyme, trochaic,
umlaut, understatement (litotes), zeugma


Elton John and scansion

Write your own poem:
At least four lines; must follow a set meter and rhyme scheme
Samples of student-written poems (though many are written in free verse):
Spring 2002  2003  2004  2005  2006

Rhyme-finding freeware from AnalogX

OneLook Dictionary Search
is also good for finding rhymes, e.g. to find rhymes for "take", input: *ake


Extremely useful dictionaries for Foreign Language Majors

Dictionary assignment #2

Computers and formatting

E-mail format model

Proofreader's marks: Print out for assignment!

Proofreader's marks exercise

Common Proofreading Marks: A university professor's version
by Prof. L. Kip Wheeler of Carson-Newman College, TN

English formatting workbook – good for practice:

Punctuation explained

David Pogue's Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User

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Indo-European and History of the English Language: Review

A Brief History of the English Language

English words from Chinese

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Hanyu Pinyin

Hanyu Pinyin 漢語拼音Tutorial: Teach yourself Pinyin

Pinyin tone mark converter

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Compound noun stress

English compound noun stress rules

(take notes in class – there isn't too much available in print on this topic that is very useful!)

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Improving your spoken English: Pronunciation and verb tense

English Central

(with thanks to Ms. Hadzima for the link!)

Fox News and Black English

Verb Tense Tutorial
Explanation of the simple past in English
More verb practice

English plural and past tense pronunciation rules

Sesame Street: Demonstration of how the "Echo Method" works

Learn phonics with "Silent E":
Learn English adverb formation with the "LY" song:

Language exchange site: Livemocha

Free audio books: Librivox

More free audio books:

Clean up cluttered Web pages with Readability

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Spring 2010:
32 class meetings

     February 24, 26
     March 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31
     April 2, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30
     May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28
     June 2, 4, 9, 11, 18

Important dates:

Application period for adding a course: February 22-March 6, 2010
Application period for withdrawing from a course: February 22-March 7
confirmation of courses: March 14-19
Online application for exemption from advanced English class (2): March 22-26
Tomb Sweeping Day holiday
(no class): April 5-7
Mid-semester online student course evaluations: April 12-16

Mid-terms: April 19-23
NTU Arts Festival kicks off: May 7
End-of-semester online student course evaluations: June 2-15
Dragon Boat Festival (no class): June 16
Last day of class: June 18, 2010
Final exams: June 21-25, 2010
Freshman English final exam: Wednesday June 23 in 新生 502
and Friday, June 25, 2010 in AVC 202
Summar vacation begins: June 28, 2010

Fall 2009:
33 class meetings

     September 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
     October 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30
     November 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
     December 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
     January 2009 6, 8

Important dates:

Cancel-add: September 14-26
Finalization of class schedules: October 4-12
Application period for withdrawing from a course: October 5-December 11
Double Tenth National Day: Saturday, October 10
Online application for exemption from advanced English class: October 16-23
Mid-semester online student course evaluations: November 3-9
Anniversary of the Founding of Taiwan University Sunday, November 15
Mid-terms: November 9-13
New Year's Day/Founding Day of the ROC (no class): Friday, January 1, 2010
End-of-semester online student course evaluations: December 25, 2009-January 8, 2010
Last day of class: January 9, 2010
Final exams: January 11-15, 2010
Freshman English final exam: Wednesday January 13 in 新生 502
and Friday, January 15, 2010 in AVC 202
Winter break begins: January 18, 2010
Chinese New Year's Eve: Sunday, February 14, 2010


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Materials to print out and bring to class (Fall 2010):

The Ethical Dog
by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce pdf
Scientific American Mind  March 19, 2010

(2) The XY Files
by Lori Gottlieb
The Atlantic September 2005

Outline and Goals of Course

In the past, Freshman English for DFLL students was defined by each the individual teacher assigned to teach the class, and tended to consist mainly of essay reading. This year we are trying something new.

     First, all three sections will be co-taught by all three teachers assigned to the class. Each teacher has a "homeroom" group who they teach for two hours per week on Wednesday; on Friday the other two teachers will each teach each of the other two sections for one hour each. In this way, all students will be covering more or less the same core material.

The schedule

Wednesdays 3/4 10:20am-12:10pm:
Giles Witton-Davies: Xinsheng Building 504
Guy Beauregard: Xinsheng Building 201
Karen Chung: Xinsheng Building 502

Fridays 3rd hour 10:20am-11:10am:
Giles Witton-Davies' class in AVC 201 will be taught by Karen Chung
Karen Chung's class in AVC 202 will be taught by Guy Beauregard
Guy Beauregards's class in AVC 203 will be taught by Giles Witton-Davies

Fridays 4th hour 11:20am-12:10am:

Giles Witton-Davies' class in AVC 201 will be taught by Guy Beauregard
Karen Chung's class in AVC 202 will be taught by Giles Witton-Davies
Guy Beauregards's class in AVC 203 will be taught by Karen Chung

     Second, instead of just being an additional reading class, Freshman English is now being defined as an introduction to study in the DFLL, and as a place to learn a battery of basic skills that are essential
for all foreign language students to master before graduation, and preferably before going on to more advanced courses in the DFLL. Giles Witton-Davies' emphasis will be on developing good pleasure reading habits, vocabulary enrichment, and grammar reinforcement; Guy Beauregard's emphasis will be on library, Internet and research skills; and Karen Chung's will be on miscellaneous skills such as correct format, Romanization, and history of the English language. Autonomous learning will be emphasized in all three sections. Always remember that you are responsible for your own education – the NTU faculty and staff can help you with only part of it!

Third, in addition to the work described above, we will still be reading essays and possibly short stories, though additional texts may be assigned. Sometimes individual students will be assigned to translate a given passage of the reading beforehand. Each of the passages will be read, translated orally into good Chinese in class. The reading will be followed by a class discussion, and almost always by a short quiz, usually on vocabulary and compound and phrase stress. Students are actively encouraged to relate what they read and learn to their own life, experiences, and feelings, and to listen attentively to what their classmates have to say.

     Because this is a new course, the course syllabus will be developed as we go along, and probably will not be completely finalized until the end of each semester.

     Please send class-related mail to both Ms. Chung and to Isbel, unless you have something you want to discuss only with one or the other. You can contact Isbel to arrange for extra help if needed; e-mail her and set up an appointment. Ms. Chung's office hours are by appointment only.

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E-mail and miscellaneous requirements

E-mail: Every student must use your NTU e-mail account – it is in general more dependable and less prone to problems than 'Hotmail' type accounts. Also, it means all addresses for the class will be in the same format, it enables the recipient to identify you, by your student number, in case you forget to sign your name, and finally, everybody knows everybody's e-mail address without looking it up, if you know the student number of the recipient. Each student is responsible for ensuring that their e-mail inbox is able to receive and send mail at all times.

     In the first week of class, each student is required to send an e-mail message to the professor and the TA with an English quote you like, together with its source. (Example: "Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think." Niels Bohr (1885-1962), Danish physicist) It must be a verifiable quote, CORRECTLY FORMATTED, containing no errors. The purpose of this is (1) to collect the e-mail addresses of everyone in the class, so we can all use them for class communications; and (2) to remind you right at the beginning of the semester of the importance of producing careful work that is not filled with sloppy mistakes. Make sure you sign your name to every e-mail you write! Put "fe quote" in the subject line. Pay attention to correct format; for example, leave a space before and after (parentheses) like this. Without a space it looks like(this)and this is not acceptable in English written format. Also note which English media digest you have chosen to subscribe to (see below). Here is a sample e-mail using correct format.

     Class notes and reading list: You are required to keep good class notes on everything of significance covered in class. You are also required to keep a record of all corrections, e.g. grammar and pronunciation, made both in this class and in your other classes, like composition. You are expected to have your notebook open and ready throughout each class, without being reminded. You will be asked to write and hand in a summary of your notes at the end of each semester. Information on how to insert IPA symbols into computer document is available here.
     Also, get a clear folder book or pocket for keeping all handouts, assignments, quizzes, and other class materials together in one place – don't throw anything away!

     Good books: If you'd like some help choosing outside reading, here are lists of what some people think are some of the best novels in the English language:,6903,1061037,00.html

     News reading: Every student must register on the Website of one of the following US or UK newspapers or the BBC site, and subscribe to a daily news digest (these are free, as is access to current news stories). You will be asked to choose the kinds of news you'd like to receive. The aim of this requirement is give you at least a passing familiarity with current international events, and for you to get used to using English-language news media sources.

The New York Times (US):
The New York Times homepage:

The Los Angeles Times (US):
The Los Angeles Times homepage:

The Washington Post (US):
The Washington Post homepage:

The BBC (UK):
The BBC World Service homepage:

The Guardian Unlimited (UK):,12904,-1,00.html
The Guardian Unlimited homepage:

Poetry from the MPR's Writer's Almanac: If you'd like a poem and a "today in literature" summary delivered to your e-mail inbox every day, sign up here:
Writer's Almanac homepage: also has a Classic Poem Daily:

If you have an MP3 player or iPod, podcasts are a great way to practice your English listening skills anytime, anywhere, and also to absorb new information. There is an enormous variety of files to choose from. You can even produce your own podcast for others to listen to!

iTunes is one popular way to download podcasts:

     Here are some pages with podcasts to choose from, subscribe to or download, then copy to your MP3 player:

BBC podcast feeds:
NPR podcast directory:
Nature magazine podcast:
New Scientist 60 seconds of science:

     Handouts will be posted on this Web site. You are responsible for printing them out yourself.

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     Grade calculation

     Grades will be calculated on the basis of:

     1. Attendance. Note that missing more than three classes or being late to class more than five times without good reason is sufficient grounds for receiving a failing grade for this course; being late disturbs everybody else in the class, so make a concerted effort to be in class on time.


     If you must miss class or be late let Ms. Chung know by e-mail or otherwise beforehand; or as soon as possible afterwards if you really can't get in touch beforehand. Don't just fail to show up for class and not offer an explanation – even if it's "I overslept", please explain.

     2. Homework, including listening assignments and pronunciation/grammar summaries;
     3. Quizzes (usually given after we finish reading and discussing each text);
     4. Oral presentations;
     5. Class participation;
     6. Attitude;
     7. Progress made;
     8. Final exam;
     Extra credit will be given to students who do independent research on a class-related topic and share their findings with the class.

     Note that 50% of your final grade will be given by your homeroom teacher, and 25% by each of the other two teachers.

Notes regarding grading policy:
     Please do NOT ask for a precise percentage breakdown of how your grade is calculated by each teacher; you should be able to see from the above that each person's situation is different, and things like "attitude" and "progress made" are difficult to quantify. If, for example, you make great progress after the middle of the semester, your earlier grades will count less. If your grades fluctuate a lot and you do not have a very positive attitude toward learning, all of your grades will be counted just as you earn them; points will be taken off from your final grade if you have often been late or absent from class, or are missing assignments or handed them in late. It's really quite simple - do good work and you get good grades. Your final exam will test your ability in the key areas covered in class; it is not "arbitrary." It is generally consistent with the work you have done throughout the semester, and therefore your final grade may be close to your final exam grade. Do not conclude that because of this, your final grade is simply decided by your final exam grade. If you have questions not covered in these notes, please e-mail Ms. Chung. But please do NOT come to complain about a grade or demand an explanation for it unless it is clear there has been in error in calculation, e.g. of an exam score. Rest assured that we teachers spend a LOT of time taking many different factors into consideration before finally deciding on each and every grade we give.

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Please use an online English dictionary with audio files (e.g. the Merriam-Webster) to check the pronunciation of any word you encounter that you aren't sure how to pronounce. You have no excuse for a wrong pronunciation when reading in class. Get used to relying on your ears rather than on your eyes when it comes to pronunciation!

      The following paper dictionary is highly recommended: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: The Living Dictionary (
LDOCE). 5th Edition. 2009. Essex: Pearson Education. Available at Crane's in hardcover or paperback. It comes with a CD-ROM which offers definitions, audio files of pronunciation of the entry in British English (online you can check the standard British English pronunciation on and U.S. English, plus exercises and many other excellent features. It gives word pronunciations in IPA symbols, which are very close to the KK system you are familiar with. Parts of it are now also available online (with audio files for selected entries and example sentences, sometimes with both US and RP pronunciations)!

      The LDOCE doesn't include very difficult or technical words; you can get these from the online dictionaries, or get another English-English desktop dictionary, such as: Webster's New World College Dictionary. 4th edition. Webster's New World. 1,716 pages. The American Heritage Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster are also good choices. Check local English book stores to buy, e.g. Bookman, Crane's, Lai Lai and Cave's.

     Here's a page on How to Choose a Dictionary.

      US English-English dictionaries usually use a strange (for you) set of pronunciation symbols based on English spelling habits, which may be difficult to get used to at first. You will find a pronunciation key on each page of the dictionary to help you. Here's the pronunciation key to the American Heritage Dictionary, which is representative of this kind of pronunciation symbols. If in doubt, use an online dictionary with audio files and listen to the correct pronunciation!

      A pocket edition of one of these English-English dictionaries is handy for class use; most English-Chinese dictionaries published in Taiwan are full of errors, especially in the KK pronunciations of words. Electronic dictionaries are handy and very popular among students these days, but they are also not always as reliable, since they are mostly produced domestically; they will probably be missing some words and definitions, and the pronunciation in KK symbols may not be accurate. But some include a huge database of several good English-English dictionaries, and are very useful. Shop carefully.

     The best English thesaurus, in my opinion, is: The Synonym Finder. 1987. Emmaus: Rodale. 1361pp. Paper. It might be available at Cave's 敦煌 or Lai Lai. Not officially online, but you can actually do successful searches with the Google Books version.

     Many Taiwan students are not in the habit of using a Chinese-English dictionary, but in fact it is extremely useful, especially when doing Chinese to English translation. In my view, the very best Chinese-English dictionary is one compiled on the Chinese mainland: 漢英辭典. 修訂版. 1995. 北京:外語教學與研究出版社. 主編:危東亞. This now seems to be out of print, so the following is a good substitute: 新世紀漢英大辭典 A New Century Chinese-English Dictionary. 外語教學與研究出版社, 2003. Purchase at 秋水堂 台北市羅斯福路三段333巷14號 (02)2369-5999, or try other shops that sell mainland Chinese books, like 若水堂 and 問津堂. You may have to put in a special order. It takes about six weeks for the book(s) to arrive.

      See homepage and the Language and Linguistics page for links to more online dictionaries, including Chinese ones.

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Outside Work

     All students are encouraged to advance their English skills on their own, outside class. Here are some ideas on how to do this; also please visit Extras on this site for some resources to get you started:

      Read English newspapers and magazines (many available free online – see Extras or do a search), novels (simplified ones are OK!), materials on the Internet, anything else of interest;

     Listen to the radio – programs like Studio Classroom or Ivy League, the 世新 station and ICRT, which broadcasts BBC programming every weekday morning 6am-7am: listen to the BBC's daily Learning English feature with text and audio; and other Internet broadcasts from around the world (see Extras); you can now download lots of audio programs on the Internet to your MP3 player – see section on podcasts above;

     Watch English language TV programs, e.g. sitcoms and the news, and movies: movies and other videos/DVDs can be borrowed and viewed in the AV library;

     Speak and write English with friends: you may want to set up a language exchange, e.g. through Livemocha; meet English speakers through activities in Taipei's foreign communities; or just practice with classmates – don't be shy! Finding and writing to an e-mail pen pal is another good way to practice English – try joining a special interest discussion group (see Extras) and send a note to someone who says things you think are interesting. Keep a blog.

     Here's a Topical list of resources in the Language Learning workshop from SIL International – it contains lots of good ideas on language learning.

     Please write Prof. Chung if you have other good English-learning ideas to share!

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Background reading and reference material:

1. About Poetry: English Prosody Plus Selected Literary Terms
2. Questions to ask of any poem (pdf)
3. Reading poetry: A checklist of things to consider (pdf) (html)

    Literary genres include: novel, short story, drama, poetry, essay.

     Essays are subdivided by type in different ways by different writers; some basic types are:
5. Narrative, Descriptive, Expository, Persuasive/Argumentative

     Also useful:
6. What Makes a Good Short Story?
7. How to Write More Clearly, Think More Clearly, and Learn Complex Material More Easily by Michael A. Covington

    Inputting KK symbols:
Online KK symbol editor page
Copy-and-paste IPA symbols:
Outline of areas covered in this year’s Freshman English for DFLL Majors

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