January 10, 2020

Final homework for this year: practice reading aloud the final lecture that we studied in December: A Brief History of the American Civil War. In the final class on January 17, every student will have to perform this reading aloud exercise, and it will be recorded. We will focus on these skills:

pace (natural speed, not too fast or too slow)
clear pronunciation
strong, loud voice,
pausing in the right places
stress in words and in sentences
reading words aloud in clusters, not one by one
not adding vowels to words as if they were written in katakana

You can use this video to practice reading aloud.

Before you practice, watch this video of a speech made by a voice coach (you can turn on Japanese subtitles). Before you practice the lecture about the American Civil War, do the voice warm-up that he demonstrates, and think about all the elements of the tool that is called "your voice": register, timbre, prosody, pace, pitch and volume.

December 6, 2019

Finish your presentations and practice them. Rehearse! Practice, and practice again! In a loud, strong voice! Everyone now has a well-prepared powerpoint file that has been corrected and revised by the teacher. This biggest problem you have now is the performance of your message. Learn your script very well and practice it. Deliver your message with a loud, clear voice. Pronounce words clearly. Pay special attention to the unfamiliar words that are difficult to pronounce. Teach the difficult vocabulary at the beginning of your presentation.

The second period group (10:40-12:10):

On 12/13, go directly to room 803. We are going to join another class there. Hiroi, Yukari, Shuntaro and Takumi were well prepared on December 6, so they will do their presentations on 12/13. Everyone else should be ready to do their presentations the next week on 12/20.

The third period group (13:00-14:30):

Everyone needs more time to practice their presentations on 12/13. Be ready to do your final presentation on 12/20 or 01/10.

November 15, 2019

Practice reading aloud the next lecture we are studying: a comparison of two American presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Play this video, and after you listen to it, play it again with the sound off. Read the script aloud while the video is played. Practice speaking in a loud, strong voice, and put stress on the correct words and syllables.

To use subtitles while watching a video on your computer, VLC Media Player is a good, free software program that you can use with Windows, Mac or Linux computers.

Homework for the month of November is to prepare your final presentation.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that your first draft is ready to show to the teacher by November 29.

October 25, 2019

Practice reading aloud the next lecture we are studying: a comparison of African and Asian elephants. Play this video, and after you listen to it, play it again with the sound off. Read the script aloud while the video is played. Practice speaking in a loud, strong voice, and put stress on the correct words and syllables.

Bring an 8GB USB drive to the next class so that you can get some video files.

To use subtitles while watching a video on your computer, VLC Media Player is a good, free software program that you can use with Windows, Mac or Linux computers.

Homework for the month of November is to prepare your final presentation. Make sure that it is ready by November 29.

There is no class on November 1 because of the campus festival. The next class is on November 8.

September 27, 2019

I showed the class an example of a presentation about a movie. My example was about the movie Groundhog Day. You can review it again by downloading this pdf file.

Speaking practice: Until the time of the final presentations, we will do speaking practice by using short videos of simple lectures. Students will study the transcripts and watch the videos to see how the speakers use voice and gestures, then the students will practice and use the techniques of the teachers in the videos as a way of improving pronunciation, voice clarity and overall effectiveness of their public speaking.

You can practice the first lecture by listening to this video which shows the words spoken in the lecture as a slideshow. After listening to it, turn off the sound and read the text out loud. You can listen to the original lecture with this audio file.

September 20, 2019

Presentation assignment: Students received a copy of the presentation assignment during the class. If you need another copy of it, you can download it here.

Speaking practice: Until the time of the final presentations, we will do speaking practice by using short videos of simple lectures. Students will study the transcripts and watch the videos to see how the speakers use voice and gestures, then the students will practice and use the techniques of the teachers in the videos as a way of improving pronunciation, voice clarity and overall effectiveness of their public speaking.

You can practice the first lecture by listening to this video which shows the words spoken in the lecture as a slideshow. After listening to it, turn off the sound and read the text out loud. You can listen to the original lecture with this audio file.

Faculty of Social Innovation, Seijo University, Tokyo. Instructor: D. Riches 2020/01/10