Sunday, 20 January 2019

Week 1

Dear students,
Today you will sign in. (You should sign in as soon as you arrive in class every week as your time of arrival will be recorded).

attendance record

Then, I would like to ask you to participate in a pre-course survey that I ask all my students.

pre-course survey

Then you will learn about your course and what is expected of you (see previous post).

Kind regards,
Chris Elvin

Welcome to Oral English II - 2019

Welcome to Oral English II. The success of this course depends entirely on you and your participation. Please be responsible and do your best!

Oral English II
Spring 2019

Instructor: Chris Elvin

Course Description

Welcome to Oral English. This class is designed to accomplish the following:

1) Discuss stories in the news.
2) Keep a vocabulary notebook.
3) Research a topic, and give a group presentation of it.

Course Assessment and Grading Criteria

a)      20%   Serving as discussion leader
b)      40%   News summary writing
c)      20%   Vocabulary tests
d)      20%   Presentations

a) Serving as discussion leader (20)
You should introduce yourself to the others, address the others by name, make eye contact, and use body language to communicate.
Choose a news item from a newspaper, or an online source. Prepare your summary before class. Orally summarize it in class to your group (do not read from notes). Solicit opinions from others about it. Ask follow-up questions. Paraphrase others. Express an opinion in your summary if you wish to do so. The length of each discussion will be eleven or twelve minutes, ideally with no Japanese and little silence.

If you are not group leader, you may still engender a lively talkative group by agreeing, disagreeing, asking opinions, interrupting, clarifying, asking questions, and giving reasons. You are encouraged to do so.

An absent discussion leader is extremely costly to the success of the class, so you must attend both sessions per semester to earn 20 points. If you are present for your session you will earn 10 points. If you are absent for your session, you will be penalized 10 points.

Discussion leader vocabulary homework:
After you have served as group leader, it is your responsibility to upload three vocabulary items to the class vocabulary database via the online form (You will have to submit three times).
Discussion leaders do not need to write a summary nor update their vocabulary notebooks during the week that they lead the discussion.

Vocabulary Upload Form

For each word, you should give a meaning (in English or Japanese), and use the word in a sentence, that helps learners to understand its meaning.

Discussion Leader Assesment:
After your discussion leader has finished, please provide feedback to her via the online form below:

a) Described the main points of the article without reading: 1 point
b) Explained vocabulary when needed, using only English: 1 point 
c) Paraphrased partners’ comments accurately: 1 point
a) Asked partners questions, used their names, and encouraged their participation: 1 point
b) Used follow-up questions and rephrased them as necessary: 1 point
c) Employed questioning to direct the discussion and to clarify points: 1 point
Non-verbally Communicating

a) Frequent, natural eye contact: 1 point
b) Appropriate, helpful gestures: 1 point
c) Good posture and sensitivity to the body language of other group members: 1 point

The points that you assign to your discussion leader will not affect that person's grade, nor yours, whatsoever. Honesty is the best feedback you can give.

b) News summary writing (40)
After the discussion has ended you should summarize one of the day’s discussion topics (who, what, where, when, why, how). Conclude with your opinion. Each summary writing exercise should be between 150 and 250 words. You will have until the end of the lesson to post your summary. Each of these summaries will be graded from zero (plagiarism) to four points (excellent).

You should use your own words – otherwise you may be charged with plagiarism. 
Examples of plagiarism are; copying a sentence, copying a sentence but changing a few words for synonyms, copying phrases, and using vocabulary that is beyond your understanding. Students who are accused of plagiarism will get a maximum grade of “C” for the semester.
Please use the online form below for submitting your summaries.

News Summary Writing Form

c) Vocabulary tests (20)
There will be two online vocabulary tests based on all of the words that you uploaded to the database as discussion group leaders. One will be mid-term, and the other at the end of the semester. 

d) Presentations (20)
There will be a mid-term presentation and a final presentation, both of which will need preparation before you speak. Research a topic. Then deliver your presentation. You will be assessed on fluency (not reading), grammar range and accuracy, vocabulary, pronunciation and content. You should speak for at least three minutes, and you should not read your speech nor bring a script.


You will normally have five or six discussions per class led by the discussion group leaders, who will rotate from group to group. Your group members will be chosen at random by the teacher. After the discussions, there will be time for summary writing, vocabulary notebooks, or studying the words in the database.

Week 1: Orientation
Week 2: Group discussion 1
Week 3: Group discussion 2
Week 4: Group discussion 3
Week 5: Group discussion 4
Week 6: Group discussion 5 
Week 7: Online vocabulary test, mid-term presentations
Week 8: Mid-term presentations
Week 9: Group discussion 1
Week 10: Group discussion 2
Week 11: Group discussion 3
Week 12: Group discussion 4
Week 13: Group discussion 5
Week 14: Online vocabulary test, hand in vocabulary notebooks & discussion summaries portfolio, Final presentations
Week 15 Final presentations

Anything else?

Why not visit the chat room? It is a great way to practice English.

Aoyama Gakuin University Attendance Policy

Your absences may affect your final grade. Please be present for all classes and do not be late. You should anticipate that trains don't always run on schedule during rush hour in the morning. As soon as you arrive in class (and no earlier), please sign in using the form below.

attendance record

Kind regards,
Chris Elvin

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Vocabulary Test 4

Dear students,
Please click on the link below to take the test.

Vocabulary Test 4

Kind regards,
Chris Elvin

Summary Update

Dear students,
Here are your final scores as a group.
Kind regards,
Chris Elvin

December 20th lesson

Dear students,
On December 20th and January 10th, you will have your final pesentations. Each person should speak for a minimum of three minutes. The topic is university. You should research well, think critically, say something new and interesting, and show your academic integrity by not copying.
Five points will be for content and five for English. You must use your own words. If you read, I won’t be able to assess your English. Everyone should be ready to talk today even though we will not finish all speeches.

Today you will hand in your vocabulary notebooks (8 points), take a vocabulary online vocabulary online test (10 points), and start your presentations.

Also, please do the Aoyama University online class evaluation.

Please do a survey for my private research about ability and intelligence.

Ability and intelligence

Kind regards,
Chris Elvin

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Week 1

Dear students, Today you will sign in. (You should sign in as soon as you arrive in class every week as your time of arrival will be record...