Introduction to
Freshman Aural-Oral Training  Spring 2005
Monday 3:30-5:20pm  Audio-Visual Building 102
Instructor: Ms. Karen Steffen Chung  史嘉琳 老師

     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 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 – 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 – you'll sound absolutely wonderful every time you speak English for the rest of your life! You can sound like a native – 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:
 Text: Miller, Sue. Targeting Pronunciation: The Intonation, Sounds and Rhythm of American English. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. 270 pp. Paper, with tapes. Available at Bookman Books 書林書店; 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 and prose texts for memorization and reading aloud handout for Spring 2005; click here for the poetry handout in Word format for printing out.
     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. Then we will work through the material in the textbook. 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.

There will 16 class meetings this semester:
     February 21 (in conference room of old library; all other class meetings will be in AV102);
     March 7, 14, 21, 28;
     April 11, 18, 25;
     May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30;
     June 6, 13, 20.

Holidays: February 28, April 4; cancel-add: March 7-11; mid-terms: April 18-22; last day of class: June 20; final exam: June 27, AV Building 102.

Weekly assignments:

     1. Listening assignment for February 21-28: MPR: Shakespeare songs; memorize "Lilian" for recitation; scan "St. Clement's Day Song" and underline the stressed syllables; choose a poem suitable for memorization and e-mail it to Ms. Chung; review and preview material in the textbook.

     2. Listening assignment for February 28-March 7:
Seasonal Strategies with Robert Brodman, PhD

     3. Listening assignment for March 7-14: NPR: A Teen-Aged Marine Falls in Iraq

     4. Listening assignment for March 14-21:
KPCC: Pacific Drift: Interview with Mark Sussman

     5. Listening assignment for March 21-28: NPR: Taiwan Aims to be 'Zero Waste' Society by 2020

     6. Listening assignment for March 28-April 4: BBC: Elephants learn by sound mimicry

     7. Listening assignment for April 4-11: NBC Nightly News: Bush Fake News Blitz

     8. Listening assignment for April 11-18: CBC: Autism –The Long Wait

     9. Listening assignment for April 18-25: CBC: Quirks and Quarks with Bob McDonald: Seeing with Sound

     10. Listening assignment for April 25-May 2: AL-TV: Weird Al vs. Eminem

     11. Listening assignment for May 2-9: NPR: A Chat with 'Weird Al' Yankovic

     12. Listening assignment May 9-16: NPR: Bush Attends V-E Day Ceremonies in Moscow

     13. Listening assignment for May 16-23: Watch "Seinfeld: The Stakeout", and prepare any questions you may have about the content to discuss in class next week. Also choose a scene you wish to act out with a partner or partners, transcribe the scene, then check your transcription against the script you find on the Internet. Begin practicing to perform your scene in front of the class.

     14. Listening assignment for May 23-30: Prepare your group's performance of: "Seinfeld: The Stakeout".

     15. Listening assignment for May 30-June 6: Design your own listening assignment:
choose a suitable online audio file or video; prepare a vocabulary; write and answer a set of listening comprehension questions. Note on your assignment if you give Ms. Chung permission to use it on the class Website. Due June 13.

     16. Listening assignment for June 6-13:

     17. Listening assignment for June 13-20:


Online KK symbol editor page
(for pronunciation summary):