Oral Training II  Spring 2006
Audio-Visual Center 305
Tuesdays 10:20am-12:10pm
Instructor: Karen Chung

     There will be 15 class meetings this semester: February 21; March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16,23, 30; June 6, 13.
     No class on February 28 and April 4 (please remind me!); cancel-add: March 6-10; mid-terms: April 17-21; last day of class: June 16, 2006; final exam week: June 21-27.
     Last day of class activity:
June 20.

     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. This semester we will also do practice prose and dramatic readings 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 Spring 2006. 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:
Nature magazine podcast:
New Scientist podcast:

iPodder podcast directory:
podcast.net directory:


Discuss and hand in winter vacation listening assignment and title of novel for oral book report; poem: "Stars, Songs, Faces" by Carl Sandburg; recorded improvisations with corrections after performance.
     Listening assignment: 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.
      (For February 28):
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: New students: e-mail a quote to Ms. Chung so we can update the class mailing list. 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 (Part I, the first nine stanzas) in class. Mark the stresses in the CNN news report, "Iranian bakeries rename Danish pastries" to prepare for reading it aloud in class.

     March 7:
Recite "Stars, Songs, Faces"; practice dramatic reading of "The Raven" for next week; read "Iranian bakeries rename Danish pastries" aloud in class.
     Listening assignment: Seinfeld: choose clips you wish to perform (about 2 single-spaced A4 pages), choose partner(s), transcribe, check your transcription against script on Internet (there may be errors in material on the Internet – trust your ears!), hand in March 14.
     Prepare: Seinfeld; oral book report; poems: one originally written in English, one translation from Chinese; one original poem.

     March 14:
Hand in Seinfeld script. Dramatic reading of "The Raven". Start practicing "Danish pastries" passage.
     Listening assignment: 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.
Practice imitating Seinfeld clip using video; oral book report; first two stanzas of "The Raven"; memorize "I Look into My Glass" by Thomas Hardy. Finalize novel choice for oral book report.

     March 21: Hand in poems. Recite "I Look into My Glass". Continue reading "Danish Pastries" passage.
     Listening assignment: "ABC News Shuffle" podcast: Daily realities of Iraq
Danish pastires; Seinfeld; oral book report; poem readings.

     March 28: Poems will be returned. Recite "I Talk to my Body". Mark listening assignment. Guest speaker: Pei-hsuan Wu; class discussion.
     Listening assignment: ABC News Good Morning America podcast: Maligned customers suing Walgreens
Seinfeld; oral book report; poem readings.

     April 11: Read first two stanzas of "The Raven" aloud, paying special attention to points covered in class regarding pronunciation. Perform Seinfeld skits.
     Listening assignment: NPR: Interview with Deborah Tannen on her book: You're Wearing That?
Oral book report; poem readings.

      April 18: Oral book reports.
     Listening assignment: NPR: Abigail Washburn: Chinese Lyrics, American Roots
Oral book report; poem readings.

      April 25: Oral book reports.
     Listening assignment: NPR: A Nation in Debt
Poem readings.

     May 2: Finish oral book reports.
     Listening assignment: BBC: Vatican 'may relax condoms rule'
Oral book reports. Poem readings.

9: Class poetry reading. E-mail Ms. Chung the final version of your poem to contribute to Web page.
     Listening assignment: NPR: India Adds Spice to Globalization
Close to Home reading.

      May 16: Close to Home reading. .wma audio file.
     Listening assignment: BBC: British man attempts to walk around the world
Close to Home reading.

      May 23: Improvisation.
     Listening assignment: NPR: Left-Handed Brain
Close to Home

      May 30:
Perform Close to Home.
     Listening assignment: NPR: World's Tallest Building to Open in Taipei

     Your original poems are now available online! (Michaelia: please e-mail yours as soon as possible.)

     June 6: Finish Close to Home performances.
     Listening assignment: Write your own listening assignment!

     June 13: Improvisation.
     Listening assignment: Pronunciation and grammar summary; class and self-evaluation and future English study plan.

     June 20: Last day of class activity.

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