This page is a course guide and teaching supplement for my students at Seijo University, Tokyo, Japan. It is not a part of the official website of the university, as it contains information related only to my classes.

About plans in the second semester for teaching online during the corona virus pandemic

I will communicate with students through this website, the university's WebClass system, email, and internet tools such as Zoom. As of September 2021, the corona virus pandemic is still in a severe stage and an emergency declaration is in effect in Tokyo. On September 27, we will start holding classes online. If the emergency declaration is lifted, then we will hold classes on campus.

The important things that students need to do is make an effort to keep in contact with the teacher, stay informed about assignments, and finish the assignments quickly.

You have to check four things regularly:

1. This website

2. WebClass

3. Campus Square

4. Your university email account (studentnumber@u.seijo.ac.jp). Set up your university email account and check it every day.

If we have to teach online, I will give students assignments to watch videos, read articles and write short reports about them. It is highly recommended that you use a computer to follow this course and complete homework assignments. When you are unable to use a computer, it will be possible to follow the course by using a smartphone, but a computer and typing skills are required.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to offer students opportunities to practice presenting their ideas and interacting with English-speaking people both in oral and written forms in various academic settings. Students will practice listening and note-taking using short lectures on academic topics or other materials with abstract contents (documentaries, interviews, news reports) as source material. This activity aims to prepare students for study in an English-speaking college or university environment or for participation in international conferences. Through these exercises students should deepen their knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar necessary in academic settings. This practice will also help students make progress in the Listening and Speaking sections of TOEFL.

Course Goals 

Students can understand short and clearly structured lectures on academic topics or abstract contents and take good notes on them.

Students can get involved in interactions in academic settings.

Students can understand and use the basic vocabulary and grammar frequently used in academic settings.

Teaching Methods

Lessons will concentrate on comprehension of educational media (spoken, written, audio-visual), note-taking, creation of oral and written summaries and presentations (slideshows and other audio-visual materials), and oral and written analysis and commentary related to the materials studied. Students will develop the ability to comprehend short interviews and lectures, take notes on them, make written and oral summaries of them, and finally comment on them. Basic grammar and language skills will be reviewed as necessary. Authentic materials such as speeches and films will also be studied, with material selected according to the abilities of the students. Coursework assignments will be graded, and feedback will be provided collectively or individually. Feedback will be given through quiz and test results and comments from the teacher during classes.

If the corona virus (Sars-Cov-2) still presents too much of a danger at any time during the academic year, the teacher will conduct classes by Zoom sessions and by using some on-demand materials. If such a change is necessary, a revised syllabus will be given to students. Regardless of the general level of risk posed by the corona virus, there may be some students who have special health reasons for not wishing to attend classes on campus. Such students will be able to follow the course through independent study methods.

Course Schedule, Second Semester, Autumn 2021

Some of these study materials were in the schedule and plan for the first semester, but because we had to do online teaching in the first semester, a new plan was followed.

1. Course Introduction. Explanation of final project: presentation about a historical event that happened before you were born. Story 1: How to tell a simple one-minute story or joke. "The Cheater."

2. Story 1 review: "The Cheater." Example of a historical event that could be used as a presentation topic.

3. Video 1: Compare and Contrast: Two Presidents. Grammar review: question formation.

4. Video 1: Review and listening quiz. Story 2: "The Dream that Came True."

5. Video 2: How Babies Learn Language. Grammar review: question formation.

6. Video 2: Review and listening quiz. Story 3: "The Lost Earring."

7. Video 3: Formal and Informal Language. Grammar review: verb tenses and aspects in a story.

8. Video 3: Listening quiz. Story 4: "The House by a Golf Course."

9. Video 4: Comparison of two species of animal. Pronunciation review: identifying syllables, word stress, and sentence stress.

10. Video 4: Review and listening quiz. Story 5: "Message in a Bottle."

11. Video 5: Scientific theories and evidence for them. Grammar review: expressing cause and effect.

12. Story 6: "The Longest Distance Commuter." Video 5: Review and listening quiz. Grammar review: expressing cause and effect.

13. Final presentation rehearsals.

14. Final presentation rehearsals.

15. Final presentation rehearsals.

Self-study outside of Course Hours (Assignments, Preparation and Review etc.)

At least one hour of preparation and review will be necessary before each class.

Assessment Criteria and Methods

final presentation 50%, class participation 50%

Because the pandemic is likely to affect plans, there will be no final examination. Instead, there will be a final report assignment. The theme is famous historical events. Each student has to make a presentation about a famous historical event that happened before 2002 (that is, before you were born). 

Textbook

No textbook required. 

Expectations for Enrolled Students

Students will have to review the material studied in class. Listening skill is the most important skill to develop for first year students, so students will be encouraged and guided to find listening material for their own independent study. Students will have to begin work on their final projects early, submitting the first and final drafts on time. A successful presentation requires two things: 1. preparation of the text and images of the Powerpoint file and 2. Rehearsal of the presentation performance.

Method to Contact the Lecturer

riches[at]seijo.ac.jp or WebClass