Freshman English: Readings and Lab
Fall 2007/Spring 2008
College of Science
Mondays 新生大樓 502, class periods
3/4, 10:20am-12:10pm,
Wednesdays Audio-Visual Center 視聽教育館 102, class periods 1/2, 8:10-10:00am

Professor Karen Steffen Chung

(the first Google hit for 'Karen Chung')

Dates of class meetings: Fall 2007 Spring 2008
Goals of course
Materials to print out and bring to class: Fall 2007
E-mail and miscellaneous requirements
Grade calculation and...DON'T BE LATE!
Outside work
Poems for memorization: Fall 2007 html pdf format
Readings and links: Fall 2007 Spring 2008
Listening assignments: Fall 2007 Spring 2008

Total class meetings:
     Fall 2007: 33 class meetings

     September 17, 19, (no class Sept. 24 and no make-up class on Sept. 29), 26
     October 1, 3, 8, (no class on National Day October 10), 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31;
     November 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28;
     December 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31;
     January 2008 2, 7, 9.

Important dates:

Mid-Autumn Festival make-up holiday (no class):
Monday, September 24
Mid-Autumn Festival (no class):
Tuesday, September 25
October 6-12
Application period for withdrawing from a course:
October 8-December 14
Double Tenth National Day (no class): Wednesday, October 10
Online application for exemption from advanced English class
: October 19-26
Mid-semester online student course evaluations: November 6-12
Anniversary of the Founding of Taiwan University (no class) Thursday, November 15
November 13-17
New Year's Day/Founding Day of the ROC (no class): Tuesday, January 1, 2008
End-of-semester online student course evaluations:
December 28, 2007-January 11, 2008
Last day of class: January 11, 2008
Final exams: January 14-18, 2008
Freshman English final exam: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 in AVC 102
Winter break begins: January 21, 2008
Chinese New Year's Eve:
Saturday, February 6, 2008

Total class meetings:
     Spring 2008: 34 class meetings

     February 18, 20, 25, 27
     March 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31;
     April 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30;
     May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28;
     June 2, 4, 9, 11.

Important dates:

February 28th Memorial Day: (no class):
Thursday, February 28, 2008
February 25-noon March 8
Online application for exemption from advanced English class
: March 25-28
Tomb-Sweeping Day (no class):
Friday, April 4
Application period for withdrawing from a course:
March 10-May 16
Mid-semester online student course evaluations: April 16-22
Mid-terms: April 14-18
End-of-semester online student course evaluations: May 30-13
College and department transfer exams: June 5-27
Last day of class: June 13
Dragon Boat Festival: June 8
Final exams:
June 16-20
Freshman English final exam: Wednesday, June 18 in AVC 102
Summer vacation begins: Monday, June 23, 2008

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Materials to
print out and bring to class (Fall 2007):

1. Fall 2007 Poems for memorization
2. About Poetry: English Prosody Plus Selected Literary Terms
3. Questions to ask of any poem (pdf)
4. Reading poetry: A checklist of things to consider (pdf) (html)
5. Scansion
6 .
Selections from: Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner. New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz, 1996.
7 . Short story: "Johnny Bear" by John Steinbeck.

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 tthree handouts: (1) Questions to ask of any poem (pdf); (2) Reading poetry: A checklist of things to consider (pdf) (html) from the Writing Center of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia; and (3)
     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. Click here for suggestions on how to approach the listening assignments.

     (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 professor 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 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!

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 podcast: 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.


     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.


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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 (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.

      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. 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.

      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 – 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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Text and readings

     Text: This semester, in addition to poetry, we will be reading an essay and a short story. 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

    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 (you don't need to print these out for now):
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


Fall 2007

Selections from: Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner. New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz, 1996.

Spring 2008

     (1) Short story:
"Johnny Bear" by John Steinbeck, American (1902-1968)

     (2) Short story: "My Sister's Marriage" by Cynthia Marshall Rich
      Audio reading of "My Sister's Marriage" (MP3)

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Fall 2007 listening assignments

     1. Listening assignment for Sept. 19-26:
A Moment of Science IX: (1) Where "Yum" Comes From and (2) Tips for Predicting Baseball Scores. (There are also A Moment of Science VIII VII 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. 26-Oct. 3: VideoJug: How to Remember People's Names

     3. Listening assignment for Oct. 3-10: Mixed Bean and Vegetable Soup

     4. Listening assignment for Oct. 10-17: APM: Guy Kawasaki on how to write better electronic mail

     5. Listening assignment for Oct. 17-24:
Popular song: It's a Mad World

     6. Listening assignment for Oct. 24-31:
BBC video: Fire winds ease over California

     7. Listening assignment for Oct. 31-Nov. 7: Fox News podcast: A Few Moments with Jewel

     8. Listening assignment for Nov. 7-14: BBC: Musharraf imposes emergency rule

     9. Listening assignment for Nov. 14-21: BBC: Musharraf imposes emergency rule

     10. Listening assignment for Nov. 21-28: NYT: Life After Rehab

     11. Listening assignment for Nov. 28-Dec. 5: NYT: From Ladles of Molten Metal

     12. Listening assignment for Dec. 5-12: Country-Western-Rap song: I Wanna Talk About Me

     13. Listening assignment for Dec. 12-19:
Prepare Christmas carols. html with MIDI and other audio files
     Christmas carol sing on Monday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)

     14. Listening assignment for Dec. 19-26: Prepare Christmas carols. html with MIDI and other audio files
     Christmas carol sing on Monday, December 24 (Christmas Eve).

     15. Listening assignment for Dec. 26-Jan. 7, 2008: NPR: Whistling to Communicate in Alaska

     Final exam: Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 8:10-9:50am, AV Center room 102.
Listening portion of the final exam

    Winter vacation assignment: Listen to 10 minutes of English every day, and keep a record of what you listen to, to be handed in on the first day of class next semester.

Sping 2008 assignments and links

     1. February 20-27
: Transcribe the dialogue of the pilot episode of "The Gilmore Girls" up until Lorelei says, "Drive safe". Mark stresses and intonation. Theme song "Where you lead", from Carole King's "Tapestry" album, 1971.

     2. February 27-March 5: Continue work on "The Gilmore Girls" in pairs

     3. March 5-12:
Continue work on "The Gilmore Girls" in pairs.

March 12
-19: (1) Complete this cloze exercise on "The Gilmore Girls", part 2.
(2) Make appointment for yourself and your partner(s) to practice "The Gilmore Girls" part 1 with the TA.

March 19-26:
March 26-April 2:

     7. April 2-9:

April 9-16:

April 16-23:

April 23-30: TED: (1) Mali singer Rokia Traore performs "M'Bifo"; (2) Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

April 30-May 7:

May 7-14:

May 14-21:

     14. May 21-28:

May 28-June 4:

June 4-11:

     Final exam: Wednesday, June 18, 2008, 8:10-9:50am, AV Center room 102.

     Online KK symbol editor page (for pronunciation summary):
     Copy-and-paste IPA symbols:

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