July 10, 2020

Review the story about the lost earring that we studied during the class. You can download the pdf file of it here. Try to memorize the story by using the memory cues on page five. These memory cues are all the verbs used in the story. Imagine you are an actor or actress and these are the words you have to remember before you go before the camera. You don't have to write a summary of this story. Just practice telling the story and be ready to perform it during the next class.

Your most important homework is to finish the first draft of your final project. See the details in the homework for July 3 (below).

July 3, 2020

FINAL PROJECT FOR THIS SEMESTER:

Make a PowerPoint file about a place you would like to visit. Usually, students make presentations in front of their classmates, but this year that is not possible. This year you will make a voice recording of your presentation and submit a video file that combines your PowerPoint slides and your voice. I first said the deadline for the first draft was July 10, but I think some students will need more time. The new deadline is July 17 (no recording necessary, just the Powerpoint file) and the deadline for the final draft is July 24 (as a video recording of the Powerpoint file with your voice narration. If you can send your first draft to the teacher before July 17, that would be great because that will give me more time to check the students' work.

I suggested that you should try this lesson given by a YouTube channel designed for people learning English as a foreign language. Try it, then next week tell the teacher your comments about this "imitation" technique. What do you think? Would this be useful weekly practice?

June 26, 2020

The homework for the next two weeks is to work on your final project.

There was also a short assignment to do this week: write a summary of the story about the dream jackpot winner.

FINAL PROJECT FOR THIS SEMESTER:

Make a PowerPoint file about a place you would like to visit. Usually, students make presentations in front of their classmates, but this year that is not possible. This year you will make a voice recording of your presentation and submit a video file that combines your PowerPoint slides and your voice. We will learn how to do this in the next class. I first said the deadline for the first draft was July 10, but I think some students will need more time. The new deadline is July 17 (no recording necessary, just the Powerpoint file) and the deadline for the final draft is July 24 (as a video recording of the Powerpoint file with your voice narration. If you can send your first draft to the teacher before July 17, that would be great because that will give me more time to check the students' work.

June 19, 2020

The next class is on Saturday June 20. Prepare two things for homework:

1. Listen to this video and study the vocabulary: Earth's Axis and the Seasons. There will be a listening quiz based on this.

2. Learn the story about the woman who found a penguin by the side of the road. You have to tell the story while looking at the pictures, and you have to speak in grammatically correct sentences. You can download this pdf file to study the story.

Do one unit of Grammar Form and Function Book 2 every week. There are 14 units in total, so you should be able to finish them by the end of the first semester. It will take you about 30 minutes to complete the two activities and two quizzes in each unit. You do not need to send the results to the teacher.

Download the correct file: Guide to Phonemes and Pronunciation Practice. The previous version had some errors in it.

June 12, 2020

Prepare for a listening quiz based on the video about seasons that we watched this week. Focus on the final s sound at the end of words. You can read the transcript and listen to the audio file.

You can do pronunciation and ear training exercises here: minimal pair practice at www.manythings.org/pp (you have to enable your browser to use the Flash plugin).

June 5, 2020

We watched a video about voice training last week, and this week I showed you a video that explains why I am asking my students to focus on voice training this semester. You can review that video here. https://vimeo.com/422741858

I spoke for about 30 minutes on the subject of phonemes and pronunciation. You can download the file that I used for this explanation: Guide to Phonemes and Pronunciation Practice. The important vocabulary is:

phoneme
consonant
vowel
semi-vowel
voiced and unvoiced consonants
syllable
stressed and unstressed syllables

Be sure you understand this vocabulary.

I finished this explanation of phonemes by using the story called The North Wind and the Sun. I made a video of myself telling the story. In the video you can read both conventional spelling and phonemic letters. Your homework is to practice reading aloud this video from the 5:54 point in the video (phonemic letters only). This practice forces you to think about the sounds of English rather than the spelling of English words. I hope it helps with your pronunciation training.

Another good way to practice pronunciation is to do minimal pair practice. Try the exercises on this website:

www.manythings.org/pp (you have to enable your browser to use the Flash plugin)

May 29, 2020

I told students today that they need make more effort to correct their language errors. Please download the file called Common Errors in Student Writing.

Do Units 1 and 2 of Grammar Form and Function Book 2. It will take you about 30 minutes to complete the two activities and two quizzes in each unit. You do not need to send the results to the teacher. Please read this short note about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

During the class we watched a short video about voice training. You can watch it again here. Your final project this semester will be a Powerpoint presentation which includes your voice recording. If you want to learn more about voice training, watch this video by a professional voice trainer (日本語字幕あり).

I taught you some tricks for how to read large numbers in English and Japanese. You can download the document that we studied here.

May 22, 2020

Extra study, bonus material (not homework): Listen to this short video to get some advice about how to get a more stable Internet connection. This is good advice for people who are having trouble with home Wi-Fi.

Study the transcript of the video that we watched in the class on May 22. Pay attention the the final consonants /s/ and /z/. We will do a dictation quiz in the next lesson. You can listen to the audio file here.

Do Unit 1 of Grammar Form and Function Book 2. It will take you about 30 minutes to complete the two activities and two quizzes.
You need to enable Flash Player in your computer browser in order to listen to the audio files in the Grammar Form and Function website. This can be a little difficult to do, but if you search on google, you can find instructions for "how to enable Flash" in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari for Apple Computers). The easiest browser on which to set up Flash may be Chrome. If you have a problem doing this, contact the teacher by email.

May 15, 2020

Please follow this advice so that everyone can have the best experience of the online lesson:

1. Turn off your speakers and use an earphone/microphone headset, if you can get one. If one person has speakers on, the sound goes back into the microphone and creates an echo. If you don't have an earphone/microphone headset, use earphones at least.

2. Don't be shy about turning on your camera. When you come to class, everyone sees your face anyway, so being on camera is not so different. If you want to look your best, put the camera a little above your eye level, not below your face. Put a light behind your computer, facing toward you. Avoid having strong light sources behind you.

3. Turn off your microphone when you are not speaking.

Homework:

I want to know what you think about this unusual situation in which we all have to teach and learn by remote lessons. Watch the 13-minute video again, study the vocabulary, read it slowly, listen to it, then write a one-page comment about it. One page is about 300-400 words, if you use these settings in MSWord: A4 paper size, Normal margins, Times New Roman 12 point font, line spacing: 1.5). If 300 words is too long, just write as much as you can. The most important thing about this homework is that I want to see a sample of your writing.

Send your homework to riches@seijo.ac.jp as an attachment file. Remember that you must use your Seijo email account to send the message. Give the attachment file a name in this format: lastname-firstname-2020-05-20.docx (change the date to the date when you send your email). It is very important that I can see the name and the date in the file name. Write a short message in your email, in English, that tells me your first name and last name, the course name, and the time of the class (for example, Wednesday 1st period).

This week's video as a slideshow that you can read and listen to.

This week's video as the teacher speaking (with English subtitles).

Transcript of this week's video (pdf file).

When I return your homework by email, you will see my corrections in it in red font. Please read this IMPORTANT DOCUMENT that explains how to use the reviewing and editing features of MSWord:

How to Track Changes and Accept Changes in MSWord