Freshman Aural-Oral Training  (Lab)
Fall 2007/Spring 2008

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

Jump to listening assignments: Fall 2007   Spring 2008

Fall 2007

     Total class meetings:

     There will be 15 class meetings this semester.
     No class meetings September 2007
     October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29;
     November 5, 12, 19, 26;
     December 3, 10, 17, 24, 31;
     January 2008 7.

     Important dates:
Class assignment interviews
(no class on Monday, September 17)
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
Lab final exam: Monday, January 14, 2008 in AVC 103
Winter break begins: January 21, 2008
Chinese New Year's Eve:
Saturday, February 6, 2008

Spring 2008

     Total class meetings:
     There will be 17 class meetings this semester.
      February 18, 25;
      March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31;
      April 7, 14, 21, 28;
      May 5, 12, 19, 26.

      June 2, 9

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 lab final exam: Monday, June 16 in AVC 103
Summer vacation begins: Monday, June 23, 2008

     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 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 to 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 handout for Fall 2007; click here for the poetry handout in pdf (Fall 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, such as 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 2007 listening assignments
     September 17: Class assignment interviews (no class).

     September 24: Mid-Autumn holiday
(no class).

     1. Listening assignment for Oct. 1-8: 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.)

Listening assignment for Oct. 8-15: VideoJug: How to Remember People's Names

     3. Listening assignment for Oct. 15-22:
Mixed Bean and Vegetable Soup
     4. Listening assignment for Oct. 22-29:
APM: Guy Kawasaki on how to write better electronic mail

     5. Listening assignment for Oct. 29-Nov. 5: Popular song: It's a Mad World

6. Listening assignment for Nov. 5-12: BBC video: Fire winds ease over California

7. Listening assignment for Nov. 12-19: Fox News podcast: A Few Moments with Jewel

     8. Listening assignment for Nov. 19-26: BBC: Musharraf imposes emergency rule

1. Listening assignment for Nov. 26-Dec. 3: BBC: Musharraf imposes emergency rule

     12. Listening assignment for Dec. 3-10: NYT: Life After Rehab

     13. Listening assignment for Dec. 10-17:
NYT: From Ladles of Molten Metal

     14. Listening assignment for Dec. 17-24: Print out and bring to class words to the Christmas carols. html with MIDI and other audio files
     Christmas carol sing on Monday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) Bring an instrument to accompany us!

Listening assignment for Dec. 24-Dec. 31, 2007:
Country-Western-Rap song: I Wanna Talk About Me

Assignments for Dec. 31, 2007-Jan. 7, 2008:

     (1) Listening assignment: NPR: Whistling to Communicate in Alaska
     (2) Hand in pronunciation and grammar summary,
class and self-evaluation, English study plan on January 7.

January 7, 2008: Hand in pronunciation and grammar summary, class and self-evaluation, English study plan.
     Final exam on January 14, 2008.
Web page that may be helpful in preparing for the final exam: 34. Phonological rules for English plurals and more

    18. January 14, 2008: Final exam 3:30pm-5:20pm, AV Building room 103.
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.

Spring 2008 assignments

     1. February 18-25: 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 25-March 3: Print out, practice reading aloud, and bring to class: NPR report, Hotel Maids Challenge the Placebo Effect

     3. March 3 -10:
Continue work on "The Gilmore Girls" in pairs; mark stresses, prepare to read aloud NPR report, Hotel Maids Challenge the Placebo Effect

March 10
-17: Continue work on "The Gilmore Girls" in pairs; mark stresses, prepare to read aloud NPR report, Hotel Maids Challenge the Placebo Effect

March 17-24: Complete this cloze exercise on "The Gilmore Girls", part 2.
March 24-March 31:

     7. March 31- April 7:

April 7-14:

April 14-21:

April 21-28:

April 28-May 5:

May 5-12:

May 12-19:

     14. May 19-26: Two American Folk Tales for oral reading practice; MP3 audio file of "Why Opossum has a bare tail"

May 26-June 2:

June 2-9:


     Final exam: Monday, June 16, 2008, 3:30-5:20pm, AV Center room 103.

Audio dictionary with standard British (RP) pronunciation:

Online KK symbol editor page
(for pronunciation summary):

Copy-and-paste IPA symbols:



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