July 29, 2020

For the last two lessons this semester we developed reading, listening, note-taking and writing skills by practicing the integrated skills type of question found in the TOEFL test.

July 13, 2020

Read the transcript for the lecture about How Babies Learn Language, and fill in the information on page 9. You don't have to make a recording this time, but you can get listening and speaking practice at this video link.

July 6, 2020

In this week's lesson I gave you some tips on software you can use to make better recordings:

1. Audacity: a free software program for audio recording. This software has tools for improving the volume and sound quality of recordings.

2. Teleprompter: There are various programs for computers and smartphones that turn text into scrolling text. Teleprompters are used by professional announcers when they speak in front of video cameras, but you can use them too as a way to improve your public speaking. There are expensive hardware teleprompters and there are inexpensive and free software teleprompters. Watch this video about how to use a teleprompter. The speaker also gives good advice for public speaking in general.

Try this lesson given by a YouTube channel. Try it, then next week tell the teacher your comments about this "imitation" technique. What do you think? Would this be useful weekly practice public speaking skills?

June 29, 2020

Make a recording of the lecture How the Internet Works. Use this video as a guide to pronunciation. Be ready to review the lecture next week and make a summary of it from notes.

June 22, 2020

We began to study the lecture about Pompeii. You can download the transcript of the lecture as a pdf file. Your homework is to make a recording of the lecture and send it to the teacher as an attachment file. Use this video to read the words of the lecture while you practice and make your recording. Be sure to practice it a few times before you make your final recording. Concentrate on pronunciation, variation in stress, and speaking in strong public speaking voice.

June 15, 2020

Download the pronunciation guide--review of phonemes, vowels, semi-vowels, consonants, syllables and stress patters.

We used a short lecture about Napoleon to practice using different aspects of your voice. You can watch the video of the lecture again at this link: Lecture 1 Napoleon.

I made another version of the lecture with this video: https://vimeo.com/345189730

If you play my version of the lecture, you will hear my voice. Your homework is to turn off the sound of the video and just play the video silently. While it is playing you read the words out loud and make a recording of your voice on your smartphone or any other recording device. Be sure to practice a couple of times before you make a recording. Use an earphone/mic headset, if you have one, for better sound quality. Use the six tools of your voice toolbox (discussed in this video that we watched during the class). Read out loud with a strong voice, as if you were in a large room speaking to fifty people. Send the recording to the teacher by email as an attachment file. Be sure to give it a file name that shows your last name and first name and the date of the recording (suzuki-taro-2020-06-21, for example).


June 8, 2020

Review the lesson by watching this video Air Pollution and Urban Forests. Watch it again with the audio turned off, and as the words appear on the screen, read them aloud. Focus your attention on reading groups of words together at the speed they appear on the screen. Concentrate on correct pronunciation, variation in stressed and unstressed syllables, and speaking with a strong voice--a public speaking voice. With your smartphone, make a recording of your narration, then send it to the teacher as an email attachment. To get the best sound quality, use the headset/microphone that comes with most smartphones. The speaking activity is focused on technique rather than content. Future homework assignments will require you to create original content and narrate it with good technique. 

June 1, 2020

Review the transcript of the video that we studied. Check the vocabulary in bold font, and be ready to discuss the topic next week. You should be able to the explain causes and effects that are in the two economic "software programs" that Mark Blyth described in his short talk.

Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/oXK0Z-9ntEQ


Review the grammar notes on using nouns and verbs to explain cause and effect.

May 25, 2020

We spoke about common grammar errors that students make in their writing assignments. See this list of common errors and the advice about getting better at correcting errors before you submit your homework. Most students know the grammar rules, but they need practice in proofreading carefully and correcting "careless" errors.

We listened to a lecture, then we studied a transcript of the lecture in which each sentence had an error. After we corrected the errors, we saw a page of notes on the lecture. Use these notes to write your own summary of the lecture. Proofread your summary carefully, then submit it by email to the teacher. The document is at the link below (see the notes on page 6):

Theories about Dinosaur Extinction

See these grammar notes on using nouns and verbs to explain cause and effect.

May 18, 2020

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). 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 in an MSWord file. 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