GSIAS English IV Fall 2020
In class this week, we went over the Word, Quote, and Joke of the Day before going into our news briefing session. Today’s news briefings included items on Middle East peace, Covid 19 vaccines, the virus’s effect on the use of plastic, and a high rating for the Rome airport for virus safety. We finished with a look at California wildfires and claims that their cause can be found in climate change.
We finished off today’s session with a presentation on the introduction to our text this semester, Presentation Zen. We will continue talking about that book next week. Before class, please read the Preparation section, which includes chapters on Creativity, Limitations, and Constraints; Planning Analog, and Crafting the Story.
Also next week, please be ready to tell us a story about an intercultural or "languacultural" faux pas, which the instructor refers to as a “Bull in a China Shop” experience. If you have visuals for your story, that’s great; but if not, that’s also fine. Just tell the class about an experience when you were confused or embarrassed or something confusing happened to you that showed you something about another culture.
See you in class,
At our second class meeting, we got to know each other a bit better. This class has varying interests and needs, and the instructor will endeavor to meet as many of them as possible within our limited time frame.
The general routine each week will consist of:
1. A Word, Quote and Joke of the Day to start things off right. Instructions are linked here.
2. News briefings: Each student will bring in one news item weekly, to be presented (not read word-for-word) along with commentary on issues or language, questions or discussion ideas on items. Students should coordinate together to ensure that there are no duplicated efforts on the same stories. Please select news stories that are internationally relevant and interesting. If they are controversial and worthy of discussion, that's much better.
3. We will also work on presentation and public speaking techniques in this class. We will start that by going over Presentation Zen 3rd, edition in class together. Get the Kindle or paper version t Amazon.com or however you can. For next week, please read all of the Introduction (through page 25) .
4. The first major assignment, A "Bull in a China Shop" Experience, will be presented Oct. 7th. Please read the assignment and be thinking about your topic. We will talk about it more in class Week 2. I want you to email or bring a hard copy to class of a detailed, one-page proposal of your presentation by class time Sept. 16th (Double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font).
On the day you present, before you give your presentation, please give me a copy of your written version. I must have a written copy of your script, notes, and/or PowerPoint in my hand to follow along and make notes on as you present.
5. Also, because I am an English teacher (and a word person), I will sometimes bring in items (hopefully) of interest and utility on language matters. Students are also encouraged to bring in any language/ presentation/current affairs topics that are interesting and useful.
Coronavirus and all, our class got off to a good start with an online Zoom session of the entire class. After tracking first day attendance, we took some time to introduce ourselves in our virtual classroom.
Next, we moved on to a brief course overview, and the instructor got some ideas from the class and shared general information about plans for this semester.
Next week, we'll be presenting News Briefings after our Word, Quote and Joke of the Day opening routine. Please coordinate which international news stories you'll be sharing with the class.
News Briefings should be interesting, current and internationally relevant. Controversial news that might lead to discussion or something that includes interesting language use are especially good choices. Be prepared to spend a few (3-5) minutes talking about your story and please don't just read the news article aloud. Make sure not to cover the same issue as a classmate.
Also, remember to have your Word, Quote, and Joke of the Day ready at the beginning of class.
We will talk next week about our first major presentation assignment for the semester.
We will continue to use the same Zoom location for our online class sessions this semester.
We will meet at our regular class time each week in this Zoom room online (Meeting ID: 858 3361 0930).
You will receive an email from me with the classroom password. Please do not share it with anyone outside our class.
You can access Zoom discussions with your computer, tablet, or phone, but something with a big screen and a webcam will work much better.
See you in class!