You are on page 1of 9

Course Syllabus

Teacher: James R. Hunt


email: hitjameshunt@gmail.com
Academic Speaking 2

1. What is the course about?

1.1 Description
This course makes use of aspects found in the CLEAR educational research project at
Toyo University. The philosophy of CLEAR emphasizes student-centered
communication in English, encourages collaboration in learning, task-based projects,
life-long learning, autonomy and empowerment.

This speaking course is the second part of the two-quarter Academic English Speaking
skills course that aims to improve general spoken English communicative ability as well
as developing skills necessary for spoken communication in academic situations.
Students will have ample opportunity to engage in discussion and to speak publicly in
small groups and in front of the class. They will learn about academic subjects such as
sociology, technology, engineering and psychology through TED talks and associated
comprehension activities in the textbook. Additionally, they will become engaged in
current events by following breaking news stories each week, sharing articles of interest
in small groups and discussing them. They will also have the opportunity to research
any topic of interest throughout the quarter, demonstrating a progressive development
of understanding of said topic, and presenting the results of this research to the class at
the end of the quarter.

In real life, language skills are rarely used in isolation. For this reason this course will
contain listening, reading, vocabulary development, and writing activities as well as the
speaking focus, to prepare you with knowledge of the academic subjects to be discussed
and presented on.

1.2 Content
to learn and practice the basics of group conversation and leadership
to help students gain the ability to discuss research on a particular topic
students will learn how to think critically and state opinions about current events in
English
Students will engage in a sustained Research in Depth (RID) project and share their
findings orally, informally in small groups, and formally at the end of the semester

1
Students will practice supporting their spoken message with a variety of different
visual aids including posters, infographics, and slides (Powerpoint etc)
Students will create (write, act in and edit) a short movie

2. How does this course contribute to my learning?


Specific Learning Outcomes Assessment Tasks Graduate Qualities

On successful completion of this You will be assessed on the Completing these tasks
course you should be able to: learning outcome in tasks: successfully will contribute to you
becoming

Communication in small groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 creative and analytical, engaged,


and to a large group empowered, knowledgeable, and
ethical

Develop capacity for critical 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 creative and analytical, engaged,


reflection and creative thinking and knowledgeable

Take advantage of learning 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 creative and analytical and


technologies empowered

Engage actively in learning while 1, 3, 4 and 5 knowledgable and creative and


gaining knowledge and analytical
understanding from familiarity

Develop critical thinking skills 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 creative and analytical,


and autonomy through empowered, engaged
experiential learning

Collaboration in small groups for 3 and 5 engaged, empowered,


a shared goal knowledge

3. How am I going to be assessed?

3.1 Grading Scale


S (outstanding), A (noteworthy), B (good), C (passing), D (fail), F or/ (insufficient for
consideration).

Note: A minimum of 2 podcasts/vlogs is required for eligibility to be considered for a


passing grade in this course. Any students not meeting this minimum requirements will
receive a / grade, indicating failure of the course due to insufficient participation.

3.2 Attendance Policy


Any student who is absent 2 classes during the quarter for any reason other than illness
confirmed by a medical practitioner will receive a / grade, indicating failure of the

2
course due to insufficient participation. Three late arrivals to class will be considered
one absence. Arriving 15 minutes after class begins or later will be treated as an absence.
Participation may be included in some task assessment criteria, however attendance
will NOT be a factor in determining the final grade.

3.3 Assessment tasks


Task Assessment Individual or % of Course Length or When to Where to
Number Tasks Group Grade Duration submit submit

1 Research in Individual 12% 5-7 pages/ Lessons 3, 7 In class


Depth notebooks slides X 3 and 11
with notes

2 Research in Individual 8% 10 minute Lesson 16 In class


Depth poster
Presentations presentation
and Discussions

3 21st Century Individual 20% 5-10 minutes Lessons 5, In class


Textbook and Group depending 9, 13 and 16
Presentations on topic
and Discussions

4 Hot Topics Individual 30% 40 minutes Lessons 3, In class


Notebooks, and Group continuous 5, 7, 9, 11
Presentations discussion and 13
and Discussions

5 GINOS Group 30% 5-10 minute Before Online


Podcasts/Vlogs (Triangles) podcast/vlog lesson 14

Assessment Task 1: Research in Depth (RID) Notebooks


Goal: For you to engage in an extended exploration of a single topic of interest throughout the quarter,
culminating in a presentation of your findings. For you to show curiosity and autonomy when
given free choice in your topic of study. For you to be given the opportunity to share your own
personal interests with the class. For you to progressively narrow down a topic of interest and to
pull the string of knowledge and see where it takes you.

Product: A scrapbook (digital or physical) of visuals, data and notes (not paragraphs copy/pasted from
Wikipedia!) on your chosen topic.

3
Format: For each of the three days assigned, students must create a 5-7 page slideshow/scrapbook that
expresses details of a single topic. By the third day this will total 15-21 pages/slides. Each of the
three days allotted to this activity should be a progression of the previous with more details
provided about the subject the student has chosen to research.

The topic of enquiry is completely up to you. Here are some suggestions: Who is/was (famous
person)? Why is the sky blue? How does my phone work? How does someone become an
Olympic medal winner? Why is Japan so low in global TOEIC rankings? Why do most non-
Japanese feel so strongly against whaling? What is the current state of robotics? Is social media
a positive thing? Why is (something) increasing/decreasing? Why is it difficult to learn a foreign
language?

You should demonstrate competence in the following skills:


1. Progressive increase of research.
2. Clear communication and explanation of information researched.
3. The ability to share and discuss (off script) your topic of research.
4. An interest in the research of your fellow students, and a willingness to question and
encourage them, stimulating their research.
5. Reflection on what was discussed in your group to help stimulate your own progressive
research.
6. Presenting your findings casually in group discussions without a script.

Criteria: 1. Visual evidence of research that progressively increases over the quarter.
2. Evidence of written research that backs up the visual aspect.
3. Ability to share the progress of your research in a casual forum through group discussions
(show and tell format).
4. The ability to answer questions on your work from an audience of peers.
5. A willingness to question and encourage peers in their research efforts.

Skills Assessed: Information Literacy, Applying Technologies, Organization, Collaboration, Communication

Assessment Task 2: Research in Depth (RID) Presentations and Discussions


Goal: For you to present the findings of your RID project with the class. For you to show what you have
learned, and to explain the path your research has taken you.

Product: A final short movie, created and narrated by you, explaining something you have learned this
quarter during your RID project.

Format: A movie of at least 3 minutes in length explaining some concept you leaned through your RID
research. You should create a movie in the style of TED Ed, and your target audience is junior
high school or high school students. You have creative freedom in how you communicate your
message (lecture, animation, drama etc).

You should demonstrate competence in the following skills:


1. Effectively communicating knowledge in a clear way to younger learners.
2. Creatively augmenting your spoken message through other modes of communication (e.g.
with visuals, characters, animation, stop-motion etc).
3. Having leant something yourself through your RID research (i.e. your movie will not parrot
banal or common knowledge, but will be educational and memorable to the majority of
viewers).

4
Criteria: 1. Evidence of extensive research over the quarter on a single topic.
2. A well thought out and well made educational movie at the end of the quarter.
3. Ability to share your research clearly and enthusiastically.
4. The ability to answer questions on your work from an audience of peers.
5. A willingness to question your peers on their research.

Skills Assessed: Information Literacy, Applying Technologies, Organization, Collaboration, Communication

Assessment Task 3: 21st Century Textbook Presentations and Discussions


Goal: To develop critical thinking and communicative competence through various assignments, both
collaborative and individual, presented in the textbook. These assignments are to help you dig
deeper into the topics introduced in the textbook, and to reflect on what has been presented to
you. To increase confidence and competence when presenting information in English.

Product: Group, pair and individual work leading to posters, infographics and short movies presenting the
results of critical thought and reflection on the topics presented in the textbook.

Format: Each unit ends with a communicative critical thinking assignment. Students will research the
assignment and produce various artifacts to communicate their work. These artifacts vary by
task, and include posters, infographics, presentation slides and short movies.

You should demonstrate competence in the following skills:


1. An understanding of the materials presented in the textbook.
2. Thought and reflection on the information contained in the TED talks.
3. An ability to further research or critically analyze each unit topic.
4. Creativity in presenting your work.

Criteria: 1. Effort put into research, preparation, and production of artifacts.


2. Ability to communicate your work using the presentation skills introduced with each
assignment.
3. Evidence of collaboration in the pair and group assignments.
4. Originality or depth of artifacts.

Skills Assessed: Information Literacy, Applying Technologies, Organization, Collaboration, Communication

Assessment Task 4: Hot Topics Notebooks, Presentations and Discussions


Goal: To develop critical thinking, self-growth and fluency through discussion of current
events in the news. To become well-informed global citizens able to express opinions
on a range of national and international issues. To discuss complex issues and
stimulate exploration of current events both in Japan and around the world.

Product: A notebook containing a summary, opinion and discussion questions for a current news
event each week, together with definitions of at least 5 (new or unfamiliar/essential)
vocabulary terms from the article. Notes taken during listening to news reports from
other students.

5
Format: Each week students will find a news article they are interested in, read it, write a
summary (100 words), an opinion/reaction, and three discussion questions connected
to the topic and contents of the story. On Hot Topics days we will share and discuss the
news articles, take notes while listening to peers reports, and discuss the contents.
You are expected to use the conversation strategies introduced throughout the course,
and to show progressive progress in utilizing those strategies both when presenting
information, and when participating in discussion.

You should demonstrate competence in the following skills:


1. The ability to summarize a news article.
2. The ability to write an opinion/reaction to a news article.
3. Critical thinking and deep thought through an ability to create discussion questions
(not yes/no, single choice answer, or comprehension questions) based on the news
article you have summarized.

Criteria: 1. A print out or photocopy of the original news article pasted into a notebook.
2. A summary of the article written in English (approximately half a page/100 words).
3. An opinion/reaction to the article (1 or 2 sentences).
4. At least 5 key (new or unfamiliar) vocabulary words with definition in English.
5. Good note-taking while listening to other students report their summary.
6. Effectiveness at communicating the news article to your group, and in leading
discussion of the contents.

Skills communication, organization, applying technologies, information literacy


Assessed:

Assessment Task 5: GINOS Podcasts/Vlogs


Goal: You will work in the study groups you made at the orientation camp (Triangles) to create
podcasts or vlogs for the Global Innovation Live! YouTube channel.

Product: Your group will make YouTube vlogs (with video) or podcasts (without video, only still images)
about any topic you choose. These can be interviews, explanations of aspects of life in Japan or
life at Toyo University, or any topic your group chooses. The point is for your study triangle to
produce an English video or podcast as a group. You will need to make and upload at least 2 of
these per quarter to be eligible for a passing grade.

Format: Create a 5-10 minute long podcast or vlog discussing, describing, explaining, or questioning/
investigating any topic related to your life in Japan or at Toyo University. You will do this task in
your three-person study groups (Study Triangles) arranged at the Freshers Camp. All meebers
of the Triangle should contribute equally to the podcast/vlog, so all members will be recording
themselves speaking in English. This is a free format in terms of content, but you must make a
podcast or video. You can teach YouTube viewers/listeners about Japanese culture, trends,
student life, innovation etc. Here are some suggestions:

1. Describing aspects of your life in Japan or on campus.


2. Evaluation of aspects of some aspect of your lives in Japan or on campus.
3. Describing your feelings about topics related to your life.
4. Considering your personal development, or future activities.

Criteria: 1. Ability to work well and productively in groups


2. Clear identification of strengths and weaknesses
3. Delegation of duties within a group
4. Clear expression of ideas

6
Skills Assessed: Problem Solving, Organization, Collaboration

(CS - Conversation Strategies textbook; 21st - 21st Century


Course Activities
Communication 2 textbook; RID - Research in Depth task)

Lesson # What key concepts/content will I Directed Study Independent Study


learn? Activities Activities

1 Conversation strategy: Correcting CS p.63-64 CS p.65-66


someone 21st p.82-92 RID research
Hot Topic preparation
Recognizing references to key terms

Pronunciation: Linking sounds

2 Conversation strategy: Eliciting CS p.67-68 CS p.69-70


information Hot Topic discussions RID research
1 Hot Topic preparation
Expression of opinion, group discussion, RID discussions 1
presenting information to a group based
on research

3 Conversation strategy: Starting and CS p.71-72 CS p.73-75


stopping a conversation 21st p.93-101 RID research
Hot Topic preparation
Presentation skills: Having a strong Presentation
ending preparation

4 Conversation strategy: Beginning and CS p.76-78 CS p.79-80


ending a phone call Hot Topic discussions RID research
2 Hot Topic preparation
Expression of opinion, group discussion, Presentation 1
presenting information to a group based (group, poster) on
on research another application of
biomimicry.

5 Conversation strategy: Expressing CS p.81-82 CS p.83-84


opinions 21st p.102-112 RID research
Hot Topic preparation
Recognizing facts and opinions

Pronunciation: Speaking in thought


groups

6 Conversation strategy: Making a group CS p.85-88 CS p.89-90


decision Hot Topic discussions RID research
3 Hot Topic preparation
Expression of opinion, group discussion, RID discussions 2
presenting information to a group based
on research

7 Conversation strategy: Discussion CS p.91-94 CS p.95-96


connectors 21st p.113-121 RID research
Hot Topic preparation
Presentation skills: Being personable Presentation
preparation

7
8 Conversation strategy: Summarizing CS p.97-98 CS p.99-101
Hot Topic discussion RID research
Expression of opinion, group discussion, 4 Hot Topic preparation
presenting information to a group based Presentation 2
on research (group, movie) about
donating money

9 Conversation strategy: Conducting a CS p.102 CS p.103-104


formal meeting 21st p.122-132 RID research
Hot Topic preparation
Listening for rhetorical questions

Pronunciation: Intonation in yes/no and


choice questions

10 Conversation strategy: Find the strange CS p.105-107 CS p.108


word Hot Topic discussions RID research
5 Hot Topic preparation
Expression of opinion, group discussion, RID discussions 3
presenting information to a group based
on research

11 Conversation strategy: Volunteering an CS p.109-112 CS p.113


answer 21st p.133-141 RID research
Hot Topic preparation
Presentation skills: Connecting the Presentation
ending to the beginning preparation

12 Conversation strategy: Applying all the CS p.114-116 CS p.117-118


conversation strategies 1 Hot Topic discussions RID research
6 Hot Topic preparation
Expression of opinion, group discussion, Presentation 3 (pair,
presenting information to a group based poster) about less is
on research more

13 Conversation strategy: Applying all the CS p.119-121 CS p.122-123


conversation strategies 2 21st p.142-152 RID research
Presentation
Listening for phrases that signal what to preparation
expect

Pronunciation: Intonation with wh-


questions

14 Conversation strategy: Applying all the CS p.124-125 RID research


conversation strategies 3 21st p.153-161 Presentation
preparation
Presentation skills: Using visuals
effectively

15 Expression of opinion, group discussion, RID research


presenting information to a group based presentation
on research Presentation 4 (pair,
slides) about an
animal that is under
threat

16 Review Review

8
4. What resources do I need to take this course?
Youll need either a laptop computer, tablet device OR a scrapbook for the Research in Depth
activities.

You will need a B5 notebook for the Hot Topic activities.

You will need a video camera (smartphone camera is ok) and movie editing software to make
your movie (there is free software available for editing - the teacher will recommend some
options to you closer the time).

Smartphones may be utilized in the classroom from time to time, but are not required.

4.1 Prescribed Texts


21st Century Communication, Level 2 by Jessica Williams. Cengage Learning. ISBN:
978-1-305-95545-5.

Conversation Strategies by David Kehe & Peggy Dustin Kehe. Pro Lingua Associates.
ISBN: 0-86647-189-8.