Oral Training II  Fall 2005
Audio-Visual Center 305
Tuesdays 10:20am-12:10pm
Instructor: Karen Chung

     There will be 15 class meetings this semester: September 20, 27; October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 22, 29; December 6, 13, 20, 27; January 3.
     No class on November 15 (NTU Founding Day); cancel-add: October 3-7; mid-terms: November 7-11; last day of class: January 6, 2006; final exams: January 9-13, 2006; winter break starts on January 16, 2006. Chinese New Year's Eve: January 28, 2006.

     Routine work: We will learn and recite one English poem a week, and there will also be a weekly listening assignment, which may or may not be the same as the listening assignment in this year's lab and freshman English classes. We will be doing quite a few cued improvisations in class. Each student must keep up a pronunciation and grammar journal, in which you record pronunciation and grammar points discussed in class and corrections made in your spoken performance and written work. A summary of your notes will be required at the end of the semester.

     Note that this syllabus is subject to change.

E-mail the instructor if you need to miss class or be late for any reason, or have other concerns or questions. Otherwise, you will be marked for an unexcused absence or tardiness. More than three unexcused absences or five tardinesses is grounds for receiving a semester grade less than that required to pass the course.

     Click here for the Poems for Memorization (html) handout for Fall 2005. Click here for the poetry handout in Word format pdf format for printing out (3 pages)
     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.)

     Dictionaries: See the Freshman English syllabus for hints on choosing a dictionary. You are encouraged to use the audio files of the online Merriam-Webster dictionary to check the pronunciation of any word you are the least bit unsure of. This link, along with links to many other dictionaries, is also available on the homepage and on the Linguistics Links page.

     Podcasts: If you have an MP3 player or iPod, podcasts are a great way to listen to class listening files anytime, anywhere. You can also unload an enormous variety of files you choose yourself. You can even do your own podcast for others to listen to!

iPodder is excellent free software for downloading podcasts automatically from the Internet as they become available:


Here are some pages with podcasts to choose from, subscribe to or download, then copy to your MP3 player:

BBC podcast feeds:
NPR podcast directory:
iPodder podcast directory:
podcast.net directory:


     September 20:
Introduction, limericks; passage for reading aloud: MPR: The big bubble blowers; link to audio from this page:
     Listening assignment:
A Moment of Science VII: (1) Blindness and Better Hearing and (2) Brain in Love. (There are also A Moment of Science VI V IV III II I from previous years, if you'd like extra practice. These are not required this semester.)
     Prepare: Prepare bio of Langston Hughes. Get and use an NTU e-mail account; send a quote to Ms. Chung so we can put together a class mailing list. Prepare passage to read aloud.

     September 27: Recite limerick; intensive individual pronunciation correction; mark "A Moment of Science" (VII) listening exercise; discussion on clichés; hints for reading "The big bubble blowers" aloud.
     Listening assignment: National Public Radio (NPR): High School's 'Quiet Kids'
     Prepare: Prepare bio of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Oral reading of "The big bubble blowers", joke, think about skill for skill presentation assignment.

     October 4: Recite "Dreams"; mark NPR: Quiet Kids; oral reading of "The big bubble blowers".
     Listening assignment:
NPR: Whistling to Communicate in Alaska
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Joke; prepare skill presentation outline ("Cooking with Fu Pei-mei"); put in Ms. Chung's mailbox before Thursday. You have about 5 minutes for your presentation. Possible skills: cooking, dance steps, a musical instrument, macramé, a card or magic trick, how to apply make-up, CPR skills, yoga, taichichuan. Do not demonstrate how to wrap a present!

     Prepare a clean joke to tell. Things to pay attention to:
     (1) Stand confidently in front of your audience, don't make any distracting movements, make eye contact, smile.
     (2) Make sure you explain any unfamiliar or difficult words, expressions or names to the class before you start telling the joke.
     (3) Make sure you know your joke backwards and forwards so you don't hesitate, forget, or get confused about what you're trying to say.
     (4) Slow down and speak especially clearly at key words and names, and most importantly, at the punchline, and pay special attention to connecting with your audience at these points. Timing is the key to telling a good joke. Make sure your story doesn't drag on too long, or that the punchline doesn't slip by without everybody getting it, or even hearing it clearly. Hopefully you will get a big laugh for your efforts!

     Here are a few sites with some more tips on how to tell a joke: 1 2 3
     There are some links to clean joke sites here.

     October 11: Return skill outline. Last readings of "The big bubble blowers". Discussion of assignment. Joke telling.
     Listening Assignment:
American Public Media: "Day in the Work Life": Interview with Leslie Slifkin, hairstylist
     Prepare: Prepare bio of poet Theodore Roethke. Prepare skill presentation. Choose movie to review, partner. Watch "Siskel and Ebert" video in AV library for ideas on how to structure your movie review.

     October 18: E-mail Ms. Chung the name of your movie review partner (and your own name too, of course!), and the title of the movie you will review. Joke telling. First skill presentations.
     Listening assignment: Cooking.com cooking video: How to make basic stuffing
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Skill presentation; ghost story (no notes allowed); movie for review.

25: Tell a ghost story in class. No notes!
     Listening assignment: American Public Media: "Day in the Work Life": Interview with Michael Roman, lawyer
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Finish joke telling. Skill presentation. Movie review.
     Skill presentation order: 1. Melanie (done), 2. Samuel (done), 3. Simone, 4. Acacia, 5. Parker, 6. Sally, 7. Nicola, 8. Rachel, 9. Jenny, 10. Michaelia, 11. Ballack, 12. Jessica, 13. Angela, 14. Joe, 15. Vivian, 16. Eddie, 17. Terry, 18. Rock

     November 1: Finish joke telling, ghost story telling; skill presentations.
     Listening assignment: APM: Audio Diary of Korean Adoptee Jane Trenka
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Skill presentation; movie review.

     November 8: Skill presentations.
     Listening assignments: (1) ChannelOne.com: French riots (2) BBC News: Liberia's 'Iron Lady' claims win
Prepare poet bio. Skill presentation, movie review.

22: Skill presentations.
     Listening assignment: BBC News: UN debut for $100 laptop for poor
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Skill presentations, movie review.

     November 29: Skill presentations.
     Listening assignment: Gunsmoke: Marryin' Bertha, Part I
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Skill presentations. Movie review.

     December 6: Skill presentations.
     Listening assignment: Gunsmoke: Marryin' Bertha, Part II
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Movie review.

     December 13: Movie reviews.
     Listening assignment: Print out Christmas Carol handout and bring to class; choose three favorites. If you play a musical instrument, please bring it to class to help accompany us when we sing!
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Christmas carols. Movie review.

     December 20: Christmas carol singing.
     Listening assignment: NPR: More 'PostSecrets' Revealed, in Book Form

     Prepare: Prepare poet bio. Movie review; class discussion. Pronunciation/grammar summary and class evaluation.

     December 27: Movie reviews. Hand in pronunciation/grammar summary.
     Prepare: Prepare poet bio.

     January 3: Movie reviews. Hand in class evaluation.
     January 10: Last-day-of class activity

     Winter break assignments: (1)
Listening assignment: Listen to a recorded work or works in English (no video or movies), totaling at least one hour in length, on tape, CD, or the Internet, and write a brief summary of it/them; make sure you give the title and source of the recording(s); (2) read a novel with acknowledged literary value in preparation for an oral book report; no Harry Potter, Little Prince, Lord of the Rings, Tales of Narnia, or children's books; (3) prepare one English, one Chinese (you will translate this yourself), and one original poem for a class poetry reading. The listening assignment summary and novel title and author are to be handed in the first day of class Spring semester.

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