English II Presentation and Discussion

Revised Syllabus 2021/09/19

An earlier version of this syllabus was published on the university website in February 2021, but since that time the corona virus pandemic has forced the university to implement distance learning during periods lasting several weeks. This revised syllabus reflects the necessary changes required by the uncertain situation. Some of the details of the lesson plans have been left as "to be announced." A state of emergency is presently in force in Tokyo (2021/09/19), so classes will be held online until it ends. Class will be taught on campus if the state of emergency is declared over.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to let students have as many opportunities as possible to practice what they learned in English II: Public Speaking; through thorough exercise students can improve the knowledge and skills necessary for giving a presentation, asking questions, and holding discussions in such formal contexts as academic conferences and business meetings. Because we may not be meeting  in a classroom every week this semester, it will be difficult to develop some of these skills, but we will try. Through this course, students should become better speakers in formal settings and learn how to prepare a presentation based on research of the chosen topic. For a final project, students will have to produce a multimedia presentation for which they write a script and record narration. They will rehearse the presentation during the classes.

Course Goals

Students can make effective use of common words/phrases appropriate for formal spoken interactions.

Students can interact with others appropriately and effectively in formal settings.

Students can research a chosen topic and discuss their findings in their presentations.

Students develop strong voices and clear pronunciation.

Teaching Methods

Students will study some of examples of speeches and short lectures by native speakers of English. During a presentation only one person speaks while about nine other students listen, so presentation success depends on the comprehension skills of the audience. About half of the preparation time will be spent on developing the skills needed to comprehend a presentation and to make it comprehensible. In order to make themselves understood, students will focus on error correction of their written drafts, then on pronunciation and rehearsal of pre-existing scripts (not always their own original scripts). In addition to the practice described above, for a final project students will prepare a multimedia presentation. Students will receive feedback on performance of their presentation with regard to such elements as voice quality, language errors, pronunciation, design of audio-visual materials, and content.

Course Schedule

1. Course introduction. Review of assignments done in English II: Public Speaking. Speech example: Placebos and Controlled Studies. First listening and reading of the transcript. Taking notes on the speech. Explain the tasks and assignments for this semester and expectations for participation and attendance.

2. Further listening practice with previous speech. Error correction. Summarizing the speech and performing the speech.

3. Speech example: (To be announced). First listening and reading of the transcript. Taking notes on the speech.

4. Further listening practice with the previous speech example. Error correction. Summarizing and performing the lecture.

5. Speech example: Compare and contrast: Two American presidents. First listening and reading of the transcript. Taking notes on the speech.

6. Further listening practice with the previous speech example. Error correction. Summarizing and rehearsing the speech. Introduction of the JFK assassination.

7. Speech example: About JFK, the dramatic film directed by Oliver Stone, and studies of the JFK assassination. First listening and reading of a dialog excerpt. Taking notes on the text.

8. Further listening practice with the previous materials. Summarizing the facts presented, interpreting the facts.

9. Speech example: (To be announced). First listening and reading of the transcript. Taking notes on the speech.

10. Individual guidance on student presentations through email and voice-over-internet calling (through Zoom etc if necessary). Students work independently to finish their final projects.

12. Rehearsal and performance of student presentations.

13. Rehearsal and performance of student presentations.

14. Rehearsal and performance of student presentations.

15. Review lesson. Performance of some selected final drafts of student presentations.

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

Participation and preparation 40% Presentation assignment 60 


No textbook is required.

Expectations for Enrolled Students

Attend all the classes, make efforts speak English in class, and participate in all activities. Stay on schedule with all the assignments. There are 15 classes per semester. At the end of the course, any student who has been absent for more than 1/3 of the classes, for whatever reason, cannot get credit for this course. Note that this permitted number of absences gives a student a reasonable allowance for any absences due to illnesses, injuries, and emergencies. For example, if a student were absent 4 times for no good reason, then absent once because of a serious injury, then absent again to attend a funeral (reasonable excuses for absences, usually), he would still fail to get credit for the course because 4+2=6, which is more than 1/3 of 15. Stay in contact with the teacher through your Seijo University email account, Campus Square for Web, the class website and WebClass.

During the corona virus pandemic, students must stay home if they have even light symptoms of a cold. For this reason, it might be difficult for some students to achieve a good attendance record. Those students who have to stay home because of illness will have a opportunities to do extra assignments so that they will not be penalized for absences.

For the same reason, the teacher may have to stay home if he "catches a cold." In that case, some classes may be held online. We may also teach classes online if another state of emergency is declared. In other words, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how this course will be conducted.

Method to Contact the Lecturer

riches[at]seijo.ac.jp or WebClass (email is the preferred method)