Introduction to
Freshman Aural-Oral Training  Fall 2004
Group One: Wednesday 8:10am-10:00am Audio-Visual Building 201
Group Two: Monday 3:30-5:20pm  
Audio-Visual Building 202
Instructors: Ms. Karen Steffen Chung and Mr. Timothy Casey

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, really want it!

     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.

     Course Materials and Activities:

     Group One (Karen Chung's Wednesday class):

     No textbook is assigned; most class materials will be available through this Website and the Internet. However, if you feel you need extra work on your pronunciation, you might want to consider buying the textbook with CDs that will be used by Group Two this semester.

     Group Two (Mr. Casey's Monday class):
Miller, Sue. Targeting Pronunciation: The Intonation, Sounds and Rhythm of American English. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. 270 pp. Paper, with CDs. Available at Bookman Books ѪLѩ; 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 2004; click here for the poetry handout in Word format for printing out (4 pages).
     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)

     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.

     Class routine: 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. There may occasionally be oral presentations, which may include such activities as summarizing a short story orally to the class, or performing a dialogue from a TV show or movie.

     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 Sept. 22-29: A Moment of Science VI: (1) The First Broccoli and (2) Pareidolia. (There are also A Moment of Science 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: Minnesota Public Radio: Black manes rule among lions in the Serengeti

     3. Listening Assignment for Oct. 6-13: Living with alcoholism

 4. Listening Assignment for Oct. 13-20: Make a 10-inch berry tart

     5. Listening Assignment for Oct. 20-27: The Larry Elder Show: Interview with Vili Fualaau

     6. Listening assignment for Oct. 27-Nov. 3: Minnesota Public Radio: Neighborhood friction is a sign of the times

     7. Listening assignment for Nov. 3-10: Popular song: Father and Son by Cat Stevens; (See LINGUIST post on phantom Chinese phrase in this song and mondegreens at: and; also prepare last week's MPR sign wars assignment.

     8. Listening assignment for Nov: 10-17: Chicago Public Radio: Embroidery Felon; also continue to prepare the MPR sign wars assignment.

     9. Listening assignment for Nov: 17-24: NPR All Things Considered: Spelling Bee

     10. Listening assignment for Nov. 24-Dec. 1: BBC video report: Atrocities uncovered in Darfur

     11. Listening assignment Dec. 1-8: CBS video report: The Early Show: Reporter's Cancer Video Diary

     12. Listening assignment for Dec. 8-15: National Geographic Presents: Europe's Fascination with Native Americans

     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-Dec. 29: NPR All Things Considered: Yushchenko Was Poisoned, Austrian Doctors Say

     15. Listening assignment for Dec. 29-Jan. 5:
WPR: Mom & Dad Growing Old: "Stuff"

16. Winter break listening assignments: (1) Find a poem suitable for memorization and send it by e-mail to Ms. Chung on or before the day of our first class of Spring semester; (2) listen to a total of two hours of recorded material/audio files in English (no videos or movies) and write a short summary of each passage; remember to include the source (the title, author and call number, if from the library, or the site name and URL of the page where you got the file, if it's from the Internet); paper copy to be handed in on the day of our first class of Spring semester.

Online KK symbol editor page
(for pronunciation summary):