July 8, 2020

I haven't been posting the homework in recent weeks because it is a small class and I communicated with the students by email.

This week the homework is to finish the writing exercise that we started in class--the one about research on the effects of television on childhood development.

Even though this is a writing class, this week I suggested some speaking practice. Try this lesson given by a teacher who has a YouTube channel. Next week, tell me your comments about this "imitation" technique. What do you think? Would this be useful weekly practice?

June 10, 2020

Continue with your research for the thesis you will write in the second semester.

You can download the grammar review file that we studied in class: grammar structures for conditionals, speculations, hypotheticals, future possibilities, considerations of the present and past unreal... if... See the story The Shipwrecked Men (the errors have been fixed in this updated file).

Here are the grammar worksheets that we did during the class (conditional sentences). You can download the pdf file, print it and write the answers. We will check the answers one more time next week.

Here is the Powerpoint file about conditional sentences from the Azar Grammar website (www.azargrammar.com/)

June 3, 2020

Continue with your research for the thesis you will write in the second semester. Keep your notes well organized and keep a record of all the sources you use. Use Zotero or a similar software tool to build a database of sources (see the May 23 homework).

You can download the grammar review file that we studied in class: grammar structures for conditionals, speculations, hypotheticals, future possibilities, considerations of the present and past unreal... if... See the story The Shipwrecked Men.

May 27, 2020

You can download the files that we used in class:

Common Errors in Student Writing

Millions and Billions: How to write and say large numbers in English and Japanese

Vocabulary and language structures for describing cause and effect

Transcript: Air Pollution and Urban Forests

Audio file: Air Pollution and Urban Forests

Homework: Use the notes on page 5 of the transcript file above as the basis of a written summary of the lecture. Explain the processes and the causes and effects described in the lecture.

May 23, 2020

I had a lot of technical trouble with online sessions in Zoom and Google Meet today, so we had to stop the class early. I have posted the information for the lesson here.

I wanted to introduce several websites and online tools you can use to keep a record of your research sources and format them correctly in various styles such as APA, MLA and Chicago.

First, I introduced the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University:

This website has a lot of guides for writers, but the link above goes to the guides for citation styles such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. If you browse through this source, you will see examples for how to format all the various types of sources: books, web pages, articles, videos, films etc. You will also see that there is a tool that formats the sources for you. You enter the source's data, then the tool creates a reference correctly formatted with commas, periods, quotation marks, italics etc. all done in the correct way according to the rules of the style. After the tool creates the reference, you can copy and paste it into a Word document.

As you do your research, be sure to collect the information about your sources and add your sources to a list that will become your bibliography or your end notes. You need to create a bibliography, which is a list of all your sources. You also need to create end notes (or footnotes) which is a numbered list of notes that refer to specific pages in your research paper where the source is quoted or discussed. The bibliography sources do not refer back to pages in the document. The bibliography and the end notes are formatted differently, so you have to be sure to create both lists as you proceed with your research.

Another good tool is Zotero (https://www.zotero.org/). This is an application that you can download and install on your computer. You can enter the data for your sources and create a database for later use. The program can create correctly formatted references for your bibliography and end notes. It also has extensions that you can install in browsers. With these browser extensions, you can quickly capture the data from an online article or a book that is listed on Amazon. You can create a Zotero user name that will allow you to synchronize your data on different devices.

If you want to check out other citation tools, here is a list of twelve of them:

May 20, 2020

We spoke about common grammar errors that students make in their writing assignments. Most students know the grammar rules, but they need practice in proofreading carefully and correcting "careless" errors. We studied a transcript 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 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.

Extra study, bonus material (not homework): Listen to this short video to get some advice about how to get a more stable Internet connection. This is good advice for people who are having trouble with home Wi-Fi.

May 13, 2020

There were a few problems during our first online class on May 13. Next week (May 20) we will use Zoom instead of Google Meet. Also, please follow this advice so that everyone can have a better experience of the online lesson:

1. Turn off your speakers and use an earphone/microphone headset, if you can get one. If one person has speakers on, the sound goes back into the microphone and creates an echo. If you don't have an earphone/microphone headset, use earphones at least.

2. I was glad to see that you were not shy about turning on your camera. Here are some good tips for getting the best camera appearance. Put the camera a little above your eye level, not below your face. Put a light behind your computer, facing toward you. Avoid having strong light sources behind you.

3. Turn off your microphone when you are not speaking.


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).

Come back next week ready to talk about your ideas for your thesis. What are you going to study and how do you plan to do research on this topic? Who is your thesis adviser?

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: