December classes will be devoted to presenting news briefings, issue discussions, a discussion on our individual and shared English needs, and examining Anglo-American language and cultural features by examining real-life situations.
Please email any presentation documents to firstname.lastname@example.org using the following format:
Subject: : ”Need English GSIAS & your name”
After the usual opening formalities (Word, Quote and Joke), we relaxed this week and watched a video documentary about Barack Obama.
Things to think about for discussion next week --
1. How has colonialism and its aftereffects changed attitudes around the world?
2. How has colonialism affected your attitudes or those around you?
3. What do you think of the thesis -- that opposition to colonialism defines Obama's character?
4. Future of Obama presidency -- effects around the world?
Several people have news items to bring to class next week, and we will also talk about language and culture.
Focus on English Improvement
2. Issue ideas
3. Work on Terms of Address--to be continued
4. Look at English Next – talk about English needs in the future. How good do you want your English to be?
What do you need English for? Please download and skim the document yourself before we meet again.
Presentation/skit? -- My English Language needs
5. Attitude adjustment/empowerment. Talk about educating ourselves, behavior modification, “brainwashing.”
Links: Positive Self-Talk, Stimulating a Positive Attitude .ppt, Goodreads summary and review.
6. Intercultural encounters -- later
During the Week 4 session (9-27), we talked about topics in the news regarding Libya, the Senkaku-Diaoyu clash, and the Muslim film controversy. Our major discussion was about the reasons and possible solutions for suicide, which is a high cause of death in Korea.
Some memorable lines: “Suicide is a disease of modernity,” and something that only affects poor (or lower middle-class) people in rich countries, possibly because poor people in poor countries don’t have as much reason to feel bad because of their fellow countrymen (and women).
One of the big reasons for increasing suicide rates, and the time when it really started to increase, was in 1997-98, during the economic crisis here.
During Week 5, (10-4) we looked at:
2. Bulls in China Shops -- very interesting presentations ranging from confusion in the UK, Denmark, Holland, Canada, and Korea. I'll try to give some feedback and a score when we meet 10-11.
The Bull in a China Shop presentations and related discussion took up most of the session, so we finished off by putting together a tentative agenda for next week.
When we meet on 10-11, plan to start working on a regular session, with W-Q-J, issue discussion?, any leftovers, a langua-cultural topic, and a look ahead to our next major assignment (debate or presentation?)
1. Word-Quote-Joke (at the beginning of the session -- 9 a.m.)
2. 2 or 3 News leftovers we haven't shared yet, plus possibly one or two from me.
3. A presentation from Ms. Zang about her missed class day.
4. Cultural stuff we started on 9-27 (please bring handout to class with you).
5. Professor B-H will share a Korean cultural question of interest with the class if we have time.
We started out this week with a news briefing session that seemed to run a little long. It felt like there were a few too many stories on too many varying issues, with more reciting than discussion going on. We need to work onthe format a bit to encourage more involvement by all students.
Links to some of the stories are here:
We will also continue with an issue discussion and languacultural topic of interest Sept. 27, and announce plans for after Chuseok (Bull in a China Shop anecdote/experience).
See you in class!
The second session saw our class get going with a slightly larger group, and students got off to a good start with a great word, quote, and joke of the day.
We began our class session by meeting a few new students from Ethiopia who are joining our international group, and we went on to our second regular activity, presenting news briefings.
Topics of stories included environmental issues, Asian nations’ conflicts over territory (issues of national sovereignty & property rights), U.S. presidential linguistics, a growing gender gap in terms of success (some now saying that women are surpassing men), and lots of questions and ideas about a news item on why Korea’s suicide rate is so high.
Links from this week's stories/topics:
We moved on to a brief discussion on linguistic anthropologist Michael Agar’s ideas about languaculture -- the intersection of language and culture. This helped explain a bit about the upcoming major assignment, a short paper and presentation (about 10 minutes) on a languacultural surprise that you have experienced. The assignment is entitled Bull in a China Shop. Check out this link for more information on cultural value differences: http://www.ldldproject.net/theoretical_foundation.html
For Next week:
Word – Quote – Joke
News Briefing: Bring five copies of your story for classmates to share and be prepared to quickly go over the major points of your interesting and controversial news item in class. Coordinate with classmates to ensure we don’t bring the same news item.
After our news session, we will have a round-table discussion on Suicide, which may touch on issues such as Korea's high suicide rate, economic, lifestyle and other reasons for differences in suicide prevalence in countries around the world, what factors we think lead to higher suicide rates, and how suicide rates can be reduced. Happiness, economics, mental health, and other factors in suicidality may be worth talking about too. Please do a bit of research this week and bring a few pieces of data related to the topic(s) to talk about in class. Plan to hear some new ideas and share your own.
Evgeniya will moderate our discussion. She will start with brief recap of her report from this week on the high Korean suicide rate, and move on to open the floor to discussants who will talk about other facets of the problem.
Jon Bahk-Halberg's GSIAS English class started off the Spring 2012 semester with a small but enthusiastic group. After a brief introductory session, we spent the first session talking about our plans for the course.
Beginning next week, we will start our regular routine: The class will start off with students presenting a word, quote, and joke of the day. Please have them ready to go before class begins at 9 a.m. sharp. You may write the word and quotation on the whiteboard or bring them on a USB flash drive for projecting on the multimedia screen. This DOES NOT mean that these three opening items are to be primarily read and presented in text to your classmates. Your job is to explicate the word and quotations, going over definitions, uses, and perhaps origins for your classmates. The joke is to be told to the class, not presented for them to read. Please practice your joke or short presentation on the days' quotation and word before you come to class, so you will be familiar with what you want to say.
After our openers, we will move on to our second regular activity, with students presenting a news briefing to each other. Each student should bring in two news items, selected because they are of interest and concern internationally and/or to Koreans, but not just "Korea-specific" issues. They need to be international issues with some importance for Korea (or everybody), or Korean issues or import to the international community. This means that a news item about a kimchi-making competition in Seoul or a violent crime in Los Angeles without any broader implications that make them worth talking about as international issues might not be the best selections for our class news briefings. Please coordinate with your classmates to be sure that we don't have duplicate stories. You may want to divide things up geographically or by topic area. I leave that up to the class. Just be sure to bring copies for everyone of two interesting and important international news stories, preferably with discussion topics that can be drawn from them.
In addition, you are encouraged to suggest language topics that the class may want to work on. Your instructor will bring in a variety of language development topics, with the focus on spoken language the first half of the semester, and more aimed at help with writing the second half.
In addition, we will periodically have class presentation sessions, as well as interrupting the routine with bigger issue discussions from time to time.
You can also expect to have a chance to work on presentation skills this semester, as well as on some writing projects, which can vary depending on class needs.
Please feel free to let me and your classmates know about any suggestions or ideas you may have to make this class a great experience for you.
For next week, Sept. 13, please remember to bring two news briefing items of international interest to share with the class and discuss. Highlight any unusual vocabulary, terms or unfamiliar ideas for the rest of the class and explain them. It is also a good idea to plan a couple possible discussion questions around the topic of your briefing item.
We will also talk about our first major assignment, the Bull in a China Shop paper presentation, due to be shared with the class on Oct. 4th.
Thanks, and see you Tuesday!