Welcome to English 1C (which is generally about oral communication). The aims of this course include providing students with opportunities to (a) use oral English skills obtained prior to entering the university, (b) extend that knowledge through a variety of speaking and listening activities, and (c) gain confidence in their ability to function in English both inside and outside the academic community of the university.

The Basics ...

Our class syllabus is available on Oh-o Meiji, of course, or you can take a look here at our trusty syllabi, either for English 1C (Monday 1st) or English 1C (Monday 2nd; Wednesday 1st, 2nd).

One of the most important aspects of speaking any language is using the correct register. This refers, of course, to the level of politeness and the vocabulary and usages appropriate for that particular level. As you will soon know from class, you should address me in a particular way, both in person and when sending email. The latter — sending email — is a task you'll need to employ several times this year, and I hope you'll find it useful training for when you must do so in the future. Thus, here we have the particular style that I require when you write a polite e-mail.

Our Digital World

Apologies for not having uploaded this earlier! Here is the worksheet on digital devices from class. As you know, you will not hand it in in our next class (but you will hand it in a week or two later).

Having considered your personal Internet lifestyle, perhaps you noted some positive points. One of the most eloquent advocates of the benefits of the cybersphere is Clay Shirky, who penned an essay in 2010 titled The Internet makes us smarter (Shirky, 2010).

On the other hand, a fair number of people maintain that the Internet is not beneficial, instead causing considerable harm to users. Among those folks is Nicholas Carr, whose 2010 essay asserts that the Internet makes us dumber (Carr, 2010).

A small challenge for you, good people: how about giving up your cell phone and all of your other electronic devices for 90 days? One young man that did is Jake Reilly, featured in this interview and in the video to the left.

May 16, 2016 — Here, good people, are the guidelines for your reaction report to one of the three ICT articles (i.e., Carr, Shirky, or Reilly).

In a recent article Nancy McCormack (2010) addressed the question of whether "Are e-books making us stupid". Specifically, she looked closely at what might become of libraries as we move increasingly toward reading e-books instead of paper books. The abstract is here Abstract
In 2008, Nicholas Carr published a provocative article titled "Is Google making us stupid?" in which he pondered the effect of the internet and electronic sources generally on the brain. This paper discusses one source specifically, e-books, and explores whether libraries are acting wisely by moving from print to electronic book collections. The topic is considered from the vantage point of the library and from that of the patron. Specifically, the prospect of an all or largely all e-book future is considered and whether that future means an end to traditional library collections and services. The potential problems for gdeep readingh are also considered, and, specifically, whether e-books can serve as an adequate substitute for patrons who will no longer be able to use electronic collections in the way they once used print. In short, this paper explores whether e-books are making us librarians and patrons stupid.
(mouseover to read it); contact me if you're interested in readng the entire article.

International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

As you know from our class discussion, IPA represents a nifty method of showing pronunciation exactly. English spelling is, of course, quite inadequate, and katakana has its shortcomings as well.

Several links should prove helpful as you venture in to the world of IPA. One includes a wealth of information about the IPA, courtesy of Omniglot, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages. Another helpful page comes to us from the International Phonetic Association.

Here is the phonetics webpage from the University of Iowa that we checked in class, and here is the explanation sheet from class, too. Very cool animation here, people.

 IPA notes from class (pptx): 

Night at the Museum

As you all are aware, we have been enjoying a movie set in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. However, Good People, you may not just watch and listen, although the listening practice is certainly our primary goal. You will also prepare a written report (with a partner or alone—your choice) that will be due by July 30 (Saturday). Your report will be about something from the movie; you could, for example, write about the creation of moai (sample paper here), President Theodore Roosevelt, Gulliver's Travels, railroads in the American West, or Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of course, there are many, many more things you could investigate.

If you happen to have some extra time, here is the movie script, which is also good for listening and reading practice.

Breakthrough Plus (Craven)

This section includes random — yet somehow related — links from the units in our textbook, Breakthrough Plus by Miles Craven. Enjoy!

Unit 1 (Lifestyle) — This video shows one of the residence halls, South Hedges, at Montana State University.

Unit 2 — Here we have an interesting webpage about "manly hobbies" for those of you so inclined. The pictures, many of which are quite old, are wonderful. (My father enjoyed several of these, by the way.) Just in case you'd like to know more, here is a similar list of manly hobbies from the magazine called Men's Health.

Some interesting sports here ... or perhaps "crazy sports" would be a better title.

Unit 3 (Roommates) — Roommates, a most singular topic. Trust me on that on. Let's take a look at some university students in Montana (one of my almae matres); while we're doing so, notice the living arrangement and the university environment.

In this first video you'll meet Amy and Julie, who are roommates at the U of Montana. Just in case you're wondering, I graduated from the U of Montana a few years ago ...

Another UM student, Corrina, talks about her life in Missoula as a UM student.

Unit 4 (Interests) — More here.

Unit 5 (Telling a Story) — We are, of course, natural storytellers. Here we have a TED Talk by Jonah Willihnganz about telling stories.

As you'll see toward the end of this chapter, flash mobs are an interesting and fun phenomenon. Here we find examples Pirates of the Caribbean and Do Re Mi.

Unit 6 (Celebrations) —One of the festivals mentioned in our book is the Dragon Boat Festival, about which we have this wonderful clip.

Discussion Strategies (Kehe & Kehe)

This section includes random—yet somehow related—links from the units in our textbook, Discussion Strategies by David and Peggy Kehe. Enjoy!

Unit 3 (Rescues) — Just recently three sailors were rescued from a very remote island after they cleverly spelled out HELP using palm fronds. In another happy story, a mother and her small son were rescued from the jungle in Columbia.

Unit 4 (Music and Math) — An interesting story here from the Vancouver Sun on the relationship between music and math.

Unit 7 (---) — Buffalo scene from Dances with Wolves buffalo hunt (start about 1:50) and a clip on Cody the Buffalo, the true movie star.

Unit 10 (Stress) — Dr. Robert Spolsky on This Emotional Life. A second clip titled Stress Response: Savior to Killer


As you know from class, I require polite email. Recall, too, that if you send me a file, the filename has a certain form.

Here's an example of the report style that you should use.

URL: www.jimelwood.net/students/meiji/english1C/english1C.html

Date last updated: June 2, 2016 * Copyright 2016 by Midas, Cyrus, and all the other lunatics.