Freshman English: Readings and Lab 

Fall Semester 2001 

Colleges of Law, Management and Social Sciences

Monday 203, Thursday AV 201  8:10-10:00am

Instructor: Karen Steffen Chung




      Total class meetings and important dates: 31 class meetings:

September 17 (cancelled due to typhoon), 20, 24, 27;

October 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29;

November 1, 5, 8, 12, 19, 22, 26, 29;

December 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31;

January 3, 7, 10.

        No class on October 1 (Mid-Autumn Festival), November 15; cancel-add: October 2-8; mid-terms: November 5-9; last day of class: January 11; final exams: January 14-18.


        Goals of Course: This course will concentrate on four main areas:


(1) Literary appreciation and pronunciation correction through poetry memorization. Students are required to memorize and recite aloud in class one poem per week from a handout to be distributed in class, also available on the instructor’s Web page (under ‘All Courses’). Each poem will be analyzed and discussed in depth as to form and content. Students will receive intensive individual guidance and correction on their pronunciation when reciting the poems.


Click here for the Poetry and Prose for Memorization and Reading Aloud handout for Fall 2001.
        Find more poems online yourself.
        Click here for the About Poetry: English Prosody Plus Selected Literary Terms
ehandout. (Refer to this for definitions of terms like iambic, doggerel, and synaesthesia).


(2) Reading and translation practice with essays, short stories, etc. Each of the essays will be read in depth and translated orally into Chinese. The reading will be followed by a class discussion and a short quiz, usually on vocabulary. 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.


(3) Listening practice with audio and video tapes. Two hours of class a week will be held in the Audio-Visual

Building, where audio and video tapes will be used as the basis for listening comprehension exercises. There will

normally be one written listening assignment a week.


(4) Various oral presentations, including a book summary first semester and a role play second semester.


This is not a composition course, and we unfortunately have too large a class and not enough time for lots of conversation practice. You must take responsibility yourself for getting practice in these areas. Remember that your education is your responsibility – NTU faculty and staff can help you with only part of it!


        E-mail: Every student is expected to apply for and actively use an NTU e-mail account, available free from the Computer Center, if you don’t already have one.


        Grade calculation: Attendance (note that anyone who misses more than three classes or is late to class more than five times without good reason will not pass this course; if you must miss class or be late let Ms. Chung know by  e-mail or otherwise), homework, quizzes (usually given after we finish reading and discussing each text), oral presentations, class participation, attitude, progress made, 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.


 Lab Fee: NT$500 per semester.


        Submit a blank 90-minute cassette tape: Students must supply a blank 90 minute cassette tape on which will be recorded the poems, maybe some of the readings, and the listening exercises. Label the tape and the spine of the tape case insert with your name in English and Chinese, your student number, your department, and course title.


        Text: Ackley, Katherine Anne. 2001. Essays from Contemporary Culture. 4th edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers.. 420pp. Paper. Purchase as a class from Bookman書林 after the first class.

Each student will also be asked to choose a simplified or original novel to read with a partner and give an oral book report on.

Handouts will be distributed in class and/or posted on the instructor’s Website.


        Readings (tentative; we may or may not finish all of these; or we may add some additional ones):

1. "Sex, Lies, and Conversation", Deborah Tannen, p. 188. Deborah Tannen's homepage is at;


       Listening assignment for week of October 4-11: Note five points from either of the following on the Net: National Public Radio Interview with Deborah Tannen at or
Internet TV reading by Deborah Tannen from her new book, I Only Say This Because I Love You, at:

      Listening assignment for week of October 11-18: Work on wheels with Thomas Holtackers.

      Listening assignment for week of October 18-25: Whoopi Goldberg: Audiobook (on side A of tape after poems and three popular songs)

       Listening assignment for week of October 25-November 1: Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl
(on side A of tape after Whoopi Goldberg passage)

2.      “Learning the Hard Way”, Michael Denne, p. 73.

Listening assignment for week of November 1-8:
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (on side A of tape, after Anne Frank passage)

Some resources on Stephen Hawking (relating to the quote assigned for reading aloud November 8-15): Professor Hawking's Web site: and an interesting article from the BBC on the man who may become Stephen Hawking's voice: Listen to Stephen Hawking speak with his voice synthesizer:

Listening assignment for week of November 8-15:
Popular Song "Insensitive" by Jann Arden (song after "Dust in the Wind").

3.      "The Story of an Hour", Kate Chopin, p. 82. Some resources on Kate Chopin:

There is a video in the AV library based on "The Story of an Hour", called The Joy That Kills. The call number is: (VC) PN1997 K3z 1988.

Classic Notes biography of Robert Louis Stevenson:
The complete poems of Robert Louis Stevenson
are available at:

Listening assignment for week of November 15-22: Ask Dr. Laura (1) (after "Difficult Conversations" on side A).


   The collected poems of William Butler Yeats:

   Listening assignment for week of November 22-29: Ask Dr. Laura (2) (to the end of side A).

Books and writers: Walter de la Mare:

Listening assignment for week of November 29-December 6: When Harry Met Sally: Cloze exercise (1)


   Listening assignment for week of December 6-13: When Harry Met Sally: Cloze exercise (2)

Listening assignment for week of December 13-20: Behind the Music: Julian Lennon

The Life and Times of Henry D. Thoreau:

Poetry Exhibits: e. e. cummings

Christmas Carols

Listening assignment for week of December 27-January 3: W*O*L*D

Listening assignment for week of January 3-10: BBC Interview with Ray Charles

George Meredith (1828-1909) -- A Brief Biography:

4.      "I Became Her Target", Roger Wilkins, p. 160. See


5.      "First and Last, Do No Harm", Charles Krauthammer, p. 322. A bit of background on Charles Krauthammer:


6.      "One Man's Kid", Daniel Meier, p. 8.


7.      "Silence", Larry Watson, p. 35.



        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. Please visit Extras on this site for some resources to get you started:


Read English newspapers and magazines (many available free online ­– see homepage 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, and ICRT, which broadcasts BBC programming every weekday morning 6am-7am, Internet broadcasts from around the world;

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

Speak and write English with friends: you may want to set up a language exchange, meet English speakers through activities in Taipei’s foreign communities, or just practice with classmates; writing to an e-mail pen pal – try joining a special interest discussion group (see homepage) and send a note to someone who says things you think are interesting.

Spring 2002 Poetry for memorization and prose for reading aloud handout
Now available!