Freshman Aural-Oral Training  (Lab)
Fall 2006/Spring 2007

Monday 3:30-5:20pm  Audio-Visual Building 103
Instructor: Karen Chung


Jump to listening assignments: Fall 2006  Spring 2007


Total class meetings:

There will be 16 class meetings this semester.
     September 2006: 25;
     October: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30;
     November: 6, 13, 20, 27;
     December: 4, 11, 18, 25;
     January 2007: 8, 15.


Important dates:

Cancel-add: October 2-9
Mid-Autumn Festival (no class):
Friday, October 6
Double Tenth National Day (no class):
Tuesday, October 10
Appication period for withdrawing from a course:
October 23-December 15
Online application for exemption from advanced English class: October 20-27
Mid-semester online student course evaluations: November 7-13
Mid-terms: November 13-17
New Year's Day/Founding Day of the ROC (no class): Monday, January 1, 2007
End-of-semester online student course evaluations (make sure you fill these out!!!):
January 3-9, 2007
Last day of class: January 12, 2007
Final exams: January 15-19, 2007
Freshman Lab final exam: January 15, 2007
Winter break begins: January 22, 2007
Chinese New Year's Eve:
Saturday, February 17, 2007

     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 listening to audio and video files online and answering comprehension questions on them; and (2) to improve your pronunciation.

     Listening and pronunciation are probably the two weakest links in English education in Taiwan (though even those of you who have been educated in English abroad may find you have things to learn from this class). 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. Producing the correct sounds in class is easy – using them consistently when you're supposed is the tough part! 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 ѪLѩ.

     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 2006 Spring 2007; click here for the poetry handout in Word (Fall 2006) Word (Spring 2007) or pdf (Fall 2006) pdf (Spring 2007) 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 of you will introduce yourself on the first day of class. Thereafter, 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. There may occasionally be oral presentations, which may include such activities as summarizing a short story orally to the class, performing a dialogue from a TV show or movie, or improvisation.

     Grades for the course will be based on: attendance and punctuality, class performance and participation, listening assignments, quizzes, progress made, attitude, and the 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 2006 listening assignments

     1. Sept. 18-25: Class assignment interviews.

     2. Listening assignment for Sept. 25-Oct. 2: A Moment of Science VIII: (1) Friendly Fungus Amongus and (2) I Hear Your Hands. (There are also A Moment of Science VII VI V IV III II I exercises from previous years, if you'd like extra practice. These are not required this semester.)

     3. Listening assignment for Oct. 2-9:
CBS News Video: Bagpipe Student Drowns Out Critics
      Also,
send an e-mail with a quote to Ms. Chung at karchung@ntu.edu.tw using your NTU e-mail account. Give the name of the author of the quote, his/her occupation and years he/she lived, and sign your full name in English and Chinese. (Go to the Freshman English page for a sample quote to use as a model as regards format.) Write "lab quote" in the subject line, so I know what class your letter is from. Those who do not know the KK pronunciation symbols, please learn these as soon as possible – try getting some help from classmates.

     4. Listening assignment for Oct. 9-16: National Public Radio (NPR): Gunman Planned Long Siege at Amish School

     5. Listening assignment for Oct. 16-23: The New York Times: Dips and spreads: Baba Ghanouj
     
     6. Listening assignment for Oct. 23-30: BBC: Low-caste Hindus hold mass conversions
; also, print out the following file to read aloud in class: The New York Times 10/27/06: Staying the Course Right Over a Cliff by George Lakoff (source)

     7. Listening assignment for Oct. 30-Nov. 6: American Public Media: Guy Kawasaki on how to write better electronic mail

     8. Listening assignment for Nov. 6-13: CNN International: Captain Underpants Ban

     9. Listening assignment for Nov. 13-20: Popular song: Desperado

     10. Listening assignment for Nov. 20-27: NPR: Election ad voiceovers

     11. Listening assignment for Nov. 27-Dec. 4: CNN's Larry King Live: Positive Thinking, Part I Also, download and print out the Dorothy Parker story, "But the One on the Right". (This story is under copyright, so the link will be mailed to you. Make sure you e-mail Ms. Chung if you don't the get link by the evening of 11/28. And musicians: please e-mail Ms. Chung to volunteer to play in our carol sing!)

     12. Listening assignment for Dec. 4-11: CNN's Larry King Live: Positive Thinking, Part II

     13. Listening assignment for Dec. 11-18: NPR/Youth Radio: Struggling to Overcome Anorexia


     14. Listening assignment for Dec. 18-25: Prepare Christmas carols.

     15. Assignments for Dec. 25-Jan. 1, 2007:
Christmas carol sing on Dec. 25, Christmas Day! Bring an instrument to accompany us!
     No class on New Year's Day, January 1, 2007. Listening assignment: Scientific American's 60-Second Science podcasts

     16.
Assignments for Jan. 1-8, 2007:
No class on New Year's Day, January 1, 2007. Hand in pronunciation and grammar summary, class and self-evaluation, English study plan on January 8. Listening assignment: Scientific American's 60-Second Science podcasts

     17.
January 8, 2007: Hand in 60-Second Science listening assignment. Hand in pronunciation and grammar summary, class and self-evaluation, English study plan.
     Final exam on January 15, 2007.

     18. January 15, 2007: Final exam
3:30pm-5:20pm, AV Center room 103.


Spring 2007 listening assignments

     1. Listening assignment for February 26-March 5:
NPR: Two Marathons a Day in the Sahara; Also, print out the following file to read aloud in class: The New York Times 10/27/06: Staying the Course Right Over a Cliff by George Lakoff (source), and: the Dorothy Parker story, "But the One on the Right". (E-mail Ms. Chung if you need the link to this story again).

     2. Listening assignment for March 5-12: ABC News: Santa Barbara's Mobile Homeless

     3. Listening assignment for March 12-19:
NPR Music: France Says Vive Édith Piaf, One More Time

     4. Listening assignment for
March 19-26: BBC: Tsvangirai leaves hospital

     5. Listening assignment for March 26-April 2:
Cosmopolitan's Ask Him Anything Podcasts
 
    
     6. Listening assignment for
April 2-9: VideoJug: Life Explained on Film: How To Write A CV

     7. Listening assignment for April 9-16: Satirical song on YouTube: "Jerry Falwell's God" by Roy Zimmerman (I)

     8. Listening assignment for
April
16-23: Satirical song on YouTube: "Jerry Falwell's God" by Roy Zimmerman (II)

     9. Listening assignment for
April 23-30: Start practicing Seinfeld; no additional listening assignment this week.

     10. Listening assignment for
April 30-May 7: Gunsmoke: Home Surgery (I)

     11. Listening assignment for
May 7-14: Gunsmoke: Home Surgery (II)

     12. Listening assignment for
May 14-21: Chicago Public Radio's This American Life: Tell it to the Void (I)

     13. Listening assignment for
May 21-28:
Chicago Public Radio's This American Life: Tell it to the Void (II)

     14. Listening assignment for May 28-June 4: (1) NPR: Stop reading and start writing; (2) Create your own listening assignment! Check the Extras page if you need a place to start; (3) Prepare and submit your pronunciation/grammar summary and course/self evaluation/future English study plan.

     15. Monday, June 11, 2007: Final exam 3:30pm-5:20pm, AV Center room 103


Audio dictionary with standard British (RP) pronunciation:
http://www.howjsay.com/


Online KK symbol editor page
(for pronunciation summary): http://ipa.typeit.org/

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