Freshman English: Readings and Lab
Fall 2005/Spring 2006
Colleges of Law, Management and Social Sciences
Monday 新 203, Thursday AV 201 8:10-10:00am

Instructor: Karen Steffen Chung

(the first Google hit for 'Karen Chung')

Dates of class meetings: Fall 2005 Spring 2006
Goals of course
E-mail and miscellaneous requirements
Grade calculation and...DON'T BE LATE!
Outside work
Fall 2005 Poems for memorization: html pdf word format
Spring 2006 Poems for memorization: html pdf word format
Readings and links: Fall 2005/Spring 2006
Listening assignments: Fall 2005 Spring 2006

Total class meetings and important dates

     Spring 2006: 33 class meetings

20, 23, 27;
     March 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30;
6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27;
1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29;
1, 5, 8, 12, 15.
     No class on April 3 (please remind me!); cancel-add: March 6-10; mid-terms: April 17-21.
     Final exam: Thursday, June 22, AV Center 201.      

     Fall 2005: 31 class meetings

     September 19, 22, 26, 29;
     October 3, 6, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31;
     November 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28;
     December 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29;
     January 2006 2, 5.
     No class on October 10 (Double Tenth National Day); cancel-add: October 3-7; mid-terms: November 7-11; last day of class: January 6, 2006; final exams: January 9-13, 2006. Chinese New Year's Eve: January 28, 2006.

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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; the handout is available online. Each poem will be analyzed and discussed in depth regarding form and content. Students will receive intensive individual guidance and correction on their pronunciation when practicing and reciting the poems.

    Find more poems online yourself; there are also some links here that can help you better understand and analyze poems on your own.
     Click here for the About Poetry: English Prosody Plus Selected Literary Terms handout. (Refer to this for definitions of terms like iambic, doggerel, and synaesthesia; also includes links to sites on how to scan a poem, questions to ask of any poem.)
     Get some ideas on how to approach a poem from these two handouts: (1) Questions to ask of any poem (pdf); and (2) Reading poetry: A checklist of things to consider (pdf) (html) from the Writing Center of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia).
     Here is an example analysis of Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. It covers some of the basics of analyzing a poem, so you can use it as a model.

     (2) Reading and translation practice. This semester we will mainly be reading short stories, though additional texts may be assigned. Normally, 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, discussed, and sometimes acted out 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.

     (3) Listening practice with online resources. There will normally be one online listening assignment a week requiring written answers to listening comprehension questions. We will correct the assignment of the previous week and a new assignment will be given every Thursday. You may work with your classmates or friends on the listening part of the assignment, but you must do your own work answering the questions. 50% or more will be deducted on assignments that are not handed in on time.

     (4) Various oral presentations, including a book report first semester and possibly a dramatization 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 create opportunities for yourself to get practice in these areas. If you would like composition practice, however, you could consider keeping a blog. You may even be lucky enough to get feedback on what you write! Remember in any case that you are responsible for your own education – the NTU faculty and staff can help you with only part of it!

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E-mail and miscellaneous requirements

E-mail: Every student must get an NTU e-mail account – it is in general more dependable and less prone to problems than 'Hotmail' type accounts. 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 instructor with an English quote you like, together with its source. (Example: "The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness." William Saroyan (1908-1981), novelist and playwright) 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 XXX 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).

     Pronunciation and grammar journal: You are required to keep a running record of specific sounds and other areas you need to work on in your pronunciation in a small notebook, based on feedback you receive in class. You are also required to keep a record of all grammar points and corrections made in class and in your written work. You are expected to have your journal open and ready throughout each class, without being reminded. You will be asked to write and hand in a summary of your pronunciation and grammar journal at the end of each semester. Information on how to insert IPA symbols into computer document is available here.

     Oral book report: Each student will be asked to choose a simplified or original novel to read with a partner and give an oral book report on. Here are three lists of suggested books to choose from, though your choices are not limited to these; do NOT however choose any of the following: Harry Potter, The Little Prince, Lord of the Rings, or children's literature:,6903,1061037,00.html

You may read your book in the original if you choose, but most works are quite long and difficult, with an overwhelming number of unfamiliar vocabulary words. The intention of this assignment is simply for you to become better acquainted with English literature, and for you to have an enjoyable reading experience. Hopefully, once you have gotten through, understood, and enjoyed an entire abridged and simplified work in English, you will want to explore more books, maybe also in simplified form, but eventually you may want to tackle a novel in the original.

     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 (optional): 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 (optional):

If you have an MP3 player or iPod, podcasts are a great way to listen to class listening files anytime, anywhere. You can also download an enormous variety of files you choose yourself. You can even produce your own podcast for others to listen to!

iPodder is excellent free software for downloading podcasts automatically from the Internet as they become available:

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 podcast:
iPodder podcast directory: directory:

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

     Lab Fee: NT$600 per semester.


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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;

     DON'T BE LATE! See QuickTime video below; you'll want to share this one with your friends!

     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"!

     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.


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Please use an online English dictionary with audio files (e.g. the Merriam-Webster and/or the American Heritage dictionary) to check the pronunciation of any word you encounter that you aren't sure how to pronounce. You have no excuse for getting a pronunciation in a poem or written exercise wrong 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. 2003. Essex: Pearson Education. Available at Crane's in hardcover or paperback. It comes with a CD-ROM (requiring 500MB of disk space) which offers definitions, audio files of pronunciation of the entry in British English (no dictionary with British English sound files is available online so far, as far as we know) 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.

      The above dictionary 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.

     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.

     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.

      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. It may be available locally if you ask around; you can get it in Hong Kong, or you may be able to order it online. (Try the 大路書屋 Wanlong St., Lane 29, No. 2, 1st floor 萬隆街 29巷 2號 1樓 Near the Wanlong 萬隆 MRT stop (02) 8931-6937~9

      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, meet English speakers through activities in Taipei's foreign communities, or just practice with classmates; 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 page in Chinese (in simplified characters, and with some typos in the English) with some interesting ideas on how to improve your English. 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 Ms. Chung if you have other good English-learning ideas to share!

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Text and readings

     Text: This semester, in addition to poetry, we will be concentrating on short stories. There is no assigned textbook; all the readings are available on the Internet. You are responsible for printing out the texts and bringing them to class. We will likely not finish all the readings, and it is possible that others may be added.
Background reading and reference material (print these out and bring to class):

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)
4. Scansion
5. Literature: What Makes a Good Short Story? pdf format (printer-friendly)

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

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

Also useful (you don't need to print this out):
How to Write More Clearly, Think More Clearly, and Learn Complex Material More Easily by Michael A. Covington

1. Short story: "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud." by Carson McCullers, American (1917-1967)   printer-friendly pdf format
Online texts: or
Audio: Part 1 (wma) Part 2 (wma)

2. Short story: "Tobermory" by Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), English (1870-1916)   printer-friendly pdf format
Online audio file

Online text:
Short bio:
Audio 1
(RP; you need to register to access the audio files):
Audio 2
(RP; local file):

Short story: "A Respectable Woman" by Katherine Chopin, American (1851-1904) Word pdf format
Short bio:

4. Short story: "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" by Katherine Mansfield, English (1888-1923)
Word file with
translation assignments; Word file without colored shading
Single page:
Short bio:

5. Short story: "Wakefield" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, American (1804-1864)   word pdf format
Online text:

6. Short story: "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving, American (1783-1859)
Online text:

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Fall 2005 listening assignments

     1. Listening assignment for Sept. 22-29:
A Moment of Science VII: (1) Blindness and Better Hearing and (2) Brain in Love. (There are also A Moment of Science VI V IV III II I from previous years, if you'd like extra practice. These are not required this semester.)

     2. Listening assignment for Sept. 29-Oct. 6: National Public Radio (NPR): High School's 'Quiet Kids'

     3. Listening assignment for Oct. 6-13: NPR: Whistling to Communicate in Alaska

     4. Listening assignment for Oct. 13-20: American Public Media: "Day in the Work Life": Interview with Leslie Slifkin, hairstylist

     5. Listening assignment for Oct. 20-27: cooking video: How to make basic stuffing
     6. Listening assignment for Oct. 27-Nov. 3:
American Public Media: "Day in the Work Life": Interview with Michael Roman, lawyer

     7. Listening assignment for Nov. 3-10: APM: Audio Diary of Korean Adoptee Jane Trenka

     8. Listening assignment for Nov. 10-17: French riots

     9. Listening assignment for Nov. 17-24: BBC News: Liberia's 'Iron Lady' claims win

     10. Listening assignment for Nov. 24-Dec. 1: BBC News: UN debut for $100 laptop for poor

     11. Listening assignment for Dec. 1-8: Gunsmoke: Marryin' Bertha, Part I

     12. Listening assignment for Dec. 8-15: Gunsmoke: Marryin' Bertha, Part II

     13. Listening assignment for Dec. 15-22: Prepare Christmas carols; choose three you like especially well to request in class.

     14. Listening assignment for Dec. 22-29: NPR: More 'PostSecrets' Revealed, in Book Form

     15. Final exam: January 12, 2006, 8:10-9:50am, AV Center room 201.

     16. Winter break listening assignment:
Listen to a recording(s) of spoken English on the Internet, on tape, or on CD totaling one hour. You may choose whatever topic and format you like. You can get some ideas on what to listen to on the Extras page. Write a brief summary/ies of the recording(s). Make sure you give the title, author/reader, and source (e.g. Web site name and URL, or library call number) of the recording(s). The summaries are to be handed in by returning students the first day of class of Spring semester.
Online KK symbol editor page
(for pronunciation summary):

Spring 2006 listening assignments

     Visit Grace's Freshman English blog
for help with vocabulary and class notes.

     1. Listening assignment for February 23-March 2: APM's Future Tense: Guy Kawasaki on how to write better electronic mail; from these two interviews, find 10 examples each of the vowel sounds [ɛ], [æ], and [eɪ], write out the complete sentences in which they occur, circle the sounds, and give the KK symbol for each. Prepare to recite the poem "Stars, Songs, Faces", and read up on Carl Sandburg's life; print out "The Raven", and learn a bit about the life of Edgar Allan Poe; look up the new words in "The Raven" to prepare for reading the poem aloud in class.

     2. Listening assignment for March 2-9:
Country-pop song: Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash; find 5 examples each of the vowel sounds [ɛ], [æ], and [eɪ], write out the complete sentences in which they occur, circle the sounds, and give the KK symbol for each. Prepare to translate and read aloud Part I (the first nine stanzas) of The Raven; note new link with correct version. Prepare vocabulary for Part II of The Raven. Find all the phrases with parallel elements (many will exhibit alliteration) you can in Part I of "The Raven"; examples are: "weak and weary", "rare and radiant (maiden)", "with mien of lord or lady".

     3. Listening assignment for March 9-16:
NPR: 'Dear Elders' Dispense Advice Online

     4. Listening assignment for March 16-23:
New podcast: Anonymous sperm donors exposed Transcribe sentences containing ten examples of the vowel [eɪ], and circle the vowel. Pay attention to which words have this sound and practice saying them correctly. Remember to practice the correct pronunciation of "Świrszczyńska" before Monday.
      Make sure you've e-mailed Ms. Chung your quote if you're a new student.
New students have until the end of March to complete the winter vacation assignment. All students: make sure you've sent Ms. Chung a short paragraph in Chinese for translation practice.
      You should receive an e-mail with the Seinfeld link this weekend. You can use this e-mail to send a message to the entire class, if you wish; or visit Grace's blog at: She has lots of useful resources and reminders there, and you can also contribute your comments and questions!

     5. Listening assignment for March 23-30:
"ABC News Shuffle" podcast: Daily realities of Iraq

     6. Listening assignment for March 30-April 6:
(No class on April 3.) ABC News Good Morning America podcast: Maligned customers suing Walgreens Turn in corrected Seinfeld transcriptions; new students turn in winter vacation listening assignment.

     7. Listening assignment for April 6-13: NPR: Interview with Deborah Tannen on her book: You're Wearing That?

     8. Listening assignment for April 13-20: NPR: Abigail Washburn: Chinese Lyrics, American Roots

     9. Listening assignment for April 20-27: NPR: A Nation in Debt

     10. Listening assignment for April 27-May 4: BBC: Vatican 'may relax condoms rule'

     11. Listening assignment for May 4-11: NPR: India Adds Spice to Globalization

     12. Listening assignment for May 11-18: BBC: British man attempts to walk around the world

     Please translate the following paragraph (contributed by Wayne Li) into English.
This is due Monday, May 22:

     --傅佩榮: 管理自我的潛能" ?

     Ms. Chung's translation: "Talent" is often described as "a particular
inborn ability or intelligence." Any idea, feeling or behavior pattern that is
repetitive in nature and that brings benefit can be called a "talent". If a
person has an esepcially strong curiosity, that is a talent. Charisma
is a talent. Persistence is a talent. Any kind of thought, feeling or
behavior pattern that is repetitive in nature and that brings some kind
of benefit can be called a "talent".

     13. Listening assignment for May 18-25: NPR: Left-Handed Brain

     Please translate the following paragraph (contributed by Patricia Kao) into English.
This is due Monday, May 29:


Ms. Chung's translation: After graduation, it's as though you are taking another long, long class, one that will last the rest of your life, an independent study for which you get no grade. But in fact, in this class of life, everybody is constantly giving you a grade. What bothers me is – why, when I do not appreciate it at all, do I have to care so much about how other people grade me?

From: The Broken-hearted Coffee Shop Song

    14. Listening assignment for May 25-June 1: NPR: World's Tallest Building to Open in Taipei

     Send a copy of your uncorrected translation pasted into an e-mail
message (no attachments, please)
to Belinda Lo 羅伊萍 at: Your translations will help develop better
methods in translation, composition and overall English
teaching. Remember to sign your name!!!
     You can also reserve a time to record for the Taiwan English project with Belinda.

     Please translate the following paragraph (contributed by Evelyn Kuo) into English.
This is due Monday, June 4:

--78屆奧斯卡/評審口味變了? 入圍最佳影片4部小成本 (2006/02/26 10:01) 記者何瑞珠/編譯

Ms. Chung's translation: This year was an unusual one for the Oscars: of the five finalists for best picture, four were low-budget films, and one, “Munich”, cost over 70 million US dollars to make, but because of the relatively limited appeal of its theme, its box office performance was disappointing. A transition seems to be taking place among the Oscar judges, who up till the present had very mainstream tastes.
The 78th Oscar Awards: Are judges’ tastes changing? Four low-budget films enter the finals; reported by He Ruizhu.

     15. Listening assignment for June 1-8: Write your own listening assignment

     16. June 8-15:
Hand in pronunciation/grammar summary, and course and self-evaluation.

     The final exam will be held on June 22 in AVC room 201 from 8:10 to 9:50am.

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