December 18, 2020

In the three classes that remain (12/18, 01/08 and 01/15) each student will get a chance to practice doing his or her presentation. After that practice, the teacher will send a revised version of the powerpoint file with notes about how to improve pronunciation and performance of the speech. Every student should practice performing the speech many times. Record your voice and listen to the recording. Think about how to do it better, then do it again. After you have practiced enough, make your final version of your powerpoint file, with an audio recording, and send it to the teacher by email attachment. You don't need to convert it to a video file. If the file is too large to send as an attachment file, put it in Google Drive and share link with me by email.

Find the best microphone possible. Sometimes the internal microphone in a computer or smartphone doesn't sound very good. Try to use an external microphone that you can plug into your computer. The earphone-mic headsets for smartphones are usually good enough (see the photo below). Check your recording and try not to record breathing sounds or unwanted sounds like your microphone moving against your clothing and so on.


Remember the video lessons that we watched during the class about voice training, voice imitating, stressed and unstressed syllables, and linking between words. The challenge of the presentation assignment is to apply these skills.

That is all you need to do to finish the course, but be sure to attend all the classes to listen to the other students' presentations. The presentations are much more interesting if students ask questions about their presentations.

Here are some video lessons to review:


How to Relax your Accent, Part 1: Connected Speech & Linking in English. The final consonant of a word links to the vowel at the start of the next word. This was the most important linking that we practiced. Example: She danced-in-an-extraordinary way. The hyphens indicate the linking between words.


Advanced speaking practice: English Imitation Lesson

Friday December 11, 2020

Today four students practiced their presentations. I want every student to have this chance to practice before they record their final version. I want to give each student some advice about pronunciation and speaking, and I want students to ask questions about the presentations' content.

The deadline for the final recording is one week after you practice your presentation during the class. That means the students who practiced on December 11 should submit their final recording by December 18. We will finish all the practice during the next two classes on December 18 and January 8. The final class of the academic year is January 15.

Practice is the most important thing. Repeat your recording several times before you make your final version. Do voice warm-up exercises. Pronounce difficult words correctly, link words together, vary the stress pattern, and speak in your best "public speaking" voice. Use a good external microphone if possible (like a headset for a smartphone, for example). Listen to your practice recordings. When you are ready, record your final version.

You can send your final recording as a Powerpoint file. You don't have to convert it to a video file format, and you don't have to record video if you are worried about privacy. Just audio is OK.

November 27, 2020

Finish your first draft of your final project (without a voice recording) and send it to the teacher as soon as possible.

Use this video to review the lecture about air pollution. Study the vocabulary at the beginning of the video, then listen to the lecture. Replay the video with the sound off while you practice reading aloud the text that appears on the screen.

Download the document for the lecture about air pollution. Study pages 3-8 to understand ways to use English to present evidence and explain cause and effect.

November 20, 2020


To follow up on our lesson comparing Lincoln and Kennedy, we watched a scene from the movie JFK. For homework you need to answer three questions about it in this quiz (see the questions below). Follow the link to the online quiz and write three short answers. You can learn about the movie from the Wikipedia page about it.

You need to finish the narration script of your presentation by the end of November.

The three homework questions in the quiz:

1. According to the explanation of the lawyer, Jim Garrison, did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot anyone on November 22, 1963?
2. According to the explanation of the lawyer, Jim Garrison, what is the problem with the “magic bullet theory”?
3. According to the explanation of the lawyer, Jim Garrison, what does the Zapruder film prove to us about the JFK assassination?

Friday November 13, 2020

Work on your final project. You have to finish your first draft by November 30th. The first draft includes your PowerPoint file and the notes in the PowerPoint file. You will add the voice recording after November 30th.

Use this video to practice listening and reading aloud of the lecture comparing Lincoln and Kennedy.


To follow up on our lesson about Lincoln and Kennedy, next week we will view a part of the film JFK.
Prepare for the film viewing by reading the Wikipedia page about it.

Friday November 6, 2020

Download the transcript and notes for the short lecture comparing Lincoln and Kennedy.

Use this video to practice listening and reading aloud of the lecture comparing Lincoln and Kennedy.

Work on your final project. You have to finish your first draft by November 30th. The first draft includes your PowerPoint file and the notes in the PowerPoint file. You will add the voice recording after November 30th.

You have probably noticed that I don't check homework very often. This does not mean the homework is not important. Perhaps I am lazy, but I work this way because I think you are not high school students anymore. You don't need a teacher checking everything you do. You are adults now, so if you are serious about learning, you will do the recommended homework each week. If you do the homework well, your final project will be good, and that is how you will get a good final grade.

Friday October 30, 2020

Download the transcript and notes for Life Lessons from an Ad Man (WITH NOTES). Use the notes to write a summary of the lecture. You should be able to explain what the speaker said about each point in the notes. Be ready to speak about the part of the notes that was assigned to you.

Finish the spoken text of your final presentation by the end of November. Write the text in the notes section of a powerpoint file.

Voice training practice: How to Relax your Accent, Part 1: Connected Speech & Linking in English. Do the listen and repeat exercises that begin after the 11-minute mark. If you like this practice, you can also do Part 2 and Part 3 in this series.

Friday October 23, 2020

Please download these files to review what we did in class this week:



3. The English transcript of the video Life Lessons from an Ad Man. This document is for future study. You don't have to read it this week, but watch the video and keep the transcript on your computer for future use.

Before the next class, watch the video Life Lessons from an Ad Man (16 minutes). You can watch it with Japanese subtitles if you want to.

Begin work on your final project.

Friday October 16, 2020

Choose your presentation topic and begin preparation of your presentation.




Download the transcript for the lecture about advertising. Read it, check vocabulary, and ask questions about it during next weeks class, if there is anything you don't understand.

Practice performing the lecture with this video. Listen, pause the video, and repeat each line. Say the words as a connected group of words, and imitate the stress pattern. After you practice a couple of times, turn down the sound and make a recording of your performance. Listen to your performance and think about how to improve. You don't need to send the recording to the teacher.

Friday October 9, 2020

Choose your presentation topic.

Download this updated file for the lecture about sleep research. There are important notes on page six. While you look at these notes, practice making a speech that summarizes the lecture. You will perform this in class next week.

If you would like to review the voice training video that we watched, go to this link. Remember the three things the teacher advised for warming up your voice before an important speech:
1. relax your neck, throat,  shoulders, and stomach.
2. hum for ten minutes, and try to make your chest vibrate as you push your voice lower.
3. Say "QE, QR" repeatedly. This warms up the muscles of your mouth and jaw. Q makes your lips a small circle. E makes your lips a wide horizontal line, and R makes your mouth open wide vertically.


Friday October 2, 2020


Download the transcript, pronunciation notes and notes for the lecture about sleep research.

Review the voice coaching videos we watched in class:

Amy Walker, tour of American accents

Amy Walker, voice coach, voice affirmation

Choose the subject of your final presentation--biography of a famous person.

Friday September 25, 2020

In an email, please send the teacher a yes or no answer to these two questions:

1. Would you like to share your email address with your classmates?
2. Would you like to share your presentation from the first semester with your classmates? (For students who were in my Public Speaking course last semester.)

Final Project:

Presentation assignment for this semester: Biography. Create a multi-media presentation (Powerpoint) about a famous historical figure. Write and produce your own script and narration for the presentation. Biographies of contemporary popular culture figures are excluded.

I would like students to finish the first draft of their final projects by the end of November, then finish the final draft by mid-December. During the last two or three weeks, students will show their presentations to their classmates.

This week's homework:

1. Listen to the lecture about sleep research.
2. Download and read the transcript of the lecture about sleep research.


Faculty of Social Innovation, Seijo University, Tokyo. Instructor: D. Riches 2020/12/16