Introduction to
Freshman Aural-Oral Training Fall 2002
Audio-Visual Building 201 Wednesday 8:10am-10:00am
Instructor: Karen Steffen Chung

     This required course meets two hours a week, and only earns you one credit. But it is one that is well worth investing time and effort in.

     The main goals of this course are (1) to teach you how to listen V this will be done mainly by completing cloze exercises, and answering listening comprehension questions on recorded passages; and (2) to improve your pronunciation.

     Listening and pronunciation are probably the two weakest links in English education in Taiwan. Rather than complain about what you didn't get in the past, we encourage you to focus on the here and now V there's still time to fix things. But you must be committed. The things you learn in this class are not assignments to be completed to earn a grade and then forgotten. They will require behavior modification on your part. Anybody knows how hard a habit is to break, and poor pronunciation habits present an especially stubborn case. You will need to tire yourself out for a few weeks or months relearning the way you speak English. It will be well worth it V you'll sound absolutely wonderful every time you speak English for the rest of your life! You can sound like a native V but you have to really want it, bad!

     One very important reason to fix your pronunciation is to show respect for other people. When you speak with a heavy foreign accent, other people have to strain to understand you, and that makes them very tired. When you speak clearly and correctly, you make life easier and happier for everybody you come into contact with.

     Because of the peculiar make-up of this year's class, students have been divided up into three groups, A, B and C, according to their current level of spoken English ability. Though some assignments will apply to all students, such as memorizing and reciting one poem a week, and going through the Clear Speech text, there will in addition be assignments particular to each individual group. Basically, Group A students will be required to tutor a student from Prof. Ying's class two hours a week, and also to write a report on one audio or video recording a week. Group B students will have the option of doing a weekly report on an audio or video recording instead of the regular listening assignment; they may also choose to do the regular listening assignment if they prefer. Group C students will simply do the regular assigned work in the course, though they are free to write and submit a weekly report on an audio or video recording in addition to the regular listening assignment, if they would like an extra challenge.

     Course Materials and Activities:

     Text: Gilbert, Judy. 1993. Clear Speech: Pronunciation and Listening Comprehension in North American English. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 132pp. Paper. Available for NT$425 from Tung Hua Bookstore Fخѧ 2311-4027 ext. 41; purchase as a group after the first day of class.

     Handouts will be mainly be posted on this site and will not be distributed in class.
     Click here for the Poems for Memorization handout for Fall 2002.
     Find more poems online yourself.
     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)

     Each student is required to submit a blank 90-minute cassette to copy listening exercises onto. Label the tape and tape case insert with your English and Chinese name, student number, and course title before handing it in.

     Occasional quizzes will be given, usually dictations or ones requiring you to distinguish between correct and incorrect pronunciations.

     Pronunciation 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 expected to have your journal open and ready throughout each class, without being reminded.

     First hour: Each class will begin with individual poem recitation to correct pronunciation. Then a new poem will be presented for recitation the next week. Next, the listening comprehension exercise from the previous week will be marked in class, and a new exercise assigned and handout distributed. If there is time, we will do work in Clear Speech.

     Second hour: We will continue work in Clear Speech, and sometimes do oral presentations, not necessarily in this order. Oral presentations may include such activities as summarizing a short story orally to the class, or performing a dialogue from a TV show.

     Grades for the course will be based on: attendance, class performance and participation, listening assignments, quizzes, progress made, attitude, and a final exam.

     1. Listening Assignment for Oct. 2-8: A Moment of Science (II) : (1) Take a Hike and Improve Your Memory and (2) Laughter is a Social Signal? and A Moment of Science (III): (1) Smells and Colors and (2) The Color of the Universe (There's also an 'A Moment of Science (I)' from last year, if you'd like extra practice. This is not required this semester.)

     2. Listening Assignment for Oct. 9-16: The New York Times: Seafood Salad

 3. Listening Assignment for Oct. 16-23: The Mayo Clinic II  Videos: (1) Capsule endoscopy and (2) All about an allergy test

     4. Listening Assignment for Oct. 23-30: Lives of the Writers (I): Jane Austen

     5. Listening assignment for Oct. 30-Nov. 6: Lives of the Writers (II): Charlotte and Emily Brontë

     6. Listening assignment for Nov. 6-13: Steve Chandler: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever

     7. Listening assignment for Nov: 13-20: Putting Things Away by Amanda McBroom

     8. Listening assignment for Nov: 20-27: Joseph Campbell: The Hero's Adventure

     9. Listening assignment for Nov. 27-Dec. 4: The Dobelle Implant and Seeing with Sound

     10. Listening assignment Dec. 4-11: Ask Dr. Laura (3)

     11. Listening assignment for Dec. 11-18: Mutant Message Down Under

     12. Listening assignment for Dec. 18-25: Christmas carols

     13. Listening assignment for Dec. 25-Jan. 1: Sting: I'm so happy I can't stop crying

     14. Listening assignment for Jan. 1-8:
The Nine Billion Names of God (I)

     15. Listening assignment for Jan. 9-16: The Nine Billion Names of God (II)

     16. Winter break listening assignment: BBC Ray Charles interview