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 in contact with.
Course Materials and Activities:
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 following textbook with recordings on CD or tape:
Miller, Sue. Targeting Pronunciation: The Intonation, Sounds and Rhythm of American English. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. 270 pp. Paper, with CDs or cassette tapes. Available at Bookman Books ®ÑªL®Ñ©±.
Handouts will be mainly be posted on this
site and will not be distributed in class.
Click here for the Poems for Memorization handouts for Fall 2005 and Spring 2006; click here for the poetry handout in Word (Fall 2005) Word (Spring 2006) or pdf (Fall 2005) pdf (Spring 2006) format for printing out (3 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 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 note down grammar points discussed in class
and corrections you receive orally or in your written work. 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.
Link here to hints on how to improve and practice your English, how to choose a dictionary, and so on. Note in particular the section on podcasts.
Fall 2005 listening assignments
1. Listening assignment for Sept. 19-26: Class assignment interviews.
Listening assignment for Sept. 26-Oct. 3: A
Moment of Science VII: (1)
are also A Moment of Science VI
previous years, if you'd like extra practice. These are not required this semester.)
3. Listening assignment for Oct. 3-10: National Public Radio (NPR): High School's 'Quiet Kids'
4. Listening assignment for Oct. 10-17: NPR: Whistling to Communicate in Alaska
Listening assignment for Oct. 17-24: American Public Media:
"Day in the Work Life": Interview
with Leslie Slifkin, hairstylist
6. Listening assignment for Oct. 24-31: Cooking.com cooking video: How to make basic stuffing
7. Listening assignment for Oct. 31-Nov.7: American Public Media: "Day in the Work Life": Interview with Michael Roman, lawyer
8. Listening assignment for Nov. 7-14: APM: Audio Diary of Korean Adoptee Jane Trenka
Listening assignment for Nov. 14-21: ChannelOne.com:
10. Listening assignment for Nov. 21-28: BBC News: Liberia's 'Iron Lady' claims win
Listening assignment for Nov. 28-Dec. 5: BBC
News: UN debut for $100 laptop for poor
12. Listening assignment for Dec. 5-12: Gunsmoke: Marryin' Bertha, Part I
Listening assignment for Dec. 12-19: Gunsmoke:
Marryin' Bertha, Part II; prepare Christmas
carols; choose three you like especially well to request in class.
Webpage on plural and past tense formation rules
14. Listening assignment for Dec. 19-26: NPR: More 'PostSecrets' Revealed, in Book Form
Christmas carol sing! Bring an instrument to accompany us! Hand in pronunciation and grammar summary on December 26.
15. Assignments for Dec. 26-Jan. 2, 2006: Hand in class and self-evaluation, English study plan on January 2.
Final exam: January 9, 2006, 3:30pm-5:20pm, AV Center room 103.
Winter break listening assignment: (1) Choose a poem suitable for memorization in class, and e-mail it to Ms. Chung; no children's poems, please, and also try to choose a poem that hasn't been taught before (previous poetry handouts available here); remember to give the source of the poem; (2) 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 the first day of class of Spring semester.
Spring 2006 listening assignments
1. Listening assignment for February 20-27: 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. Mark the stresses in the CNN news report, "Iranian bakeries rename Danish pastries" to prepare for reading it aloud in class. Also prepare to share with the class what files you chose for your winter vacation assignment.
2. Listening assignment for February 27-March 6: 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. Mark the stresses in the CNN news report, "Iranian bakeries rename Danish pastries" to prepare for reading it aloud in class.
3. Listening assignment for March 6-13: NPR: 'Dear Elders' Dispense Advice Online; prepare to read aloud Part II (the second nine stanzas) of The Raven; note new link with correct version.
4. Listening assignment for March 13-20: New Scientist.com 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.
5. Listening assignment for March 20-27: "ABC News Shuffle" podcast: Daily realities of Iraq
6. Listening assignment for March 27-April 3: ABC News Good Morning America podcast: Maligned customers suing Walgreens
7. Listening assignment for April 3-10: No class on April 3, but memorize your poem and do the listening assignment.
8. Listening assignment for April 10-17: NPR: Interview with Deborah Tannen on her book: You're Wearing That?
9. Listening assignment for April 17-24: NPR: Abigail Washburn: Chinese Lyrics, American Roots
10. Listening assignment for April 24-May 1: NPR: A Nation in Debt; also, choose partners, choose a clip from Seinfeld to act out; do a transcription of clip; check your transcription against script of the episode on the Internet; correct all your mistakes with a red pen; mark all the stresses in your lines; turn in your transcription (one for each group) next Monday.
11. Listening assignment for May 1-8: BBC: Vatican 'may relax condoms rule'
12. Listening assignment for May 8-15: NPR: India Adds Spice to Globalization
13. Listening assignment for May 15-22: BBC: British man attempts to walk around the world
14. Listening assignment for May 22-29: NPR: Left-Handed Brain
15. Listening assignment for May 29- June 5: Write your own listening assignment.
16. Assignment for June 5-12: NPR: World's Tallest Building to Open in Taipei
Hand in pronunciation/grammar summary, and course and self-evaluation, and future English study plan.
The final exam will be held on June 19.
Online KK symbol editor page (for pronunciation summary): http://ipa.typeit.org/