Department of English The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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1 TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE Department of English The Chinese University of Hong Kong ENGE 1310 Communications for English Majors I Prof. Jason Gleckman Room 321, Fung King Hey Building Tel: (To be updated) Description: ENGE1310 is designed to prepare English majors for their ongoing work in the English Department as well as to give them skills needed in their future careers. The course focuses on enhancing students abilities in writing, speaking, reading, and listening; by extension, the course also aims to enrich students skills at overall thought and expression. The small size enrollment of sections of ENGE1310 facilitates the intensive amount of both student interaction and teacher feedback required for the course, a first step on the road to communicative expertise in English, to global citizenship, and to transforming the world for the better. Content, highlighting fundamental concepts Topic Writing Contents/fundamental concepts PARAGRAPH STRUCTURES: Topic sentences (must convey ideas) Paragraph transitions Ending paragraphs on strong (non-summarizing) sentences Focusing paragraphs Appropriate paragraph length Use of supporting evidence such as examples, quotations, facts, and statistics LARGER PROSE STRUCTURES: Thesis statements Outlining Associating similar ideas in similar paragraphs Various structural patterns for essay writing (such as narrative, definition, problem/solution, comparison/contrast, etc.) Introductory and conclusion paragraphs WRITING STYLE: Writing various types of paragraphs (such as humorous, descriptive, logically persuasive, emotionally persuasive) Speaking FLUENCY: Speaking spontaneously at length Speaking without verbal tics Speaking without backtracking Speaking in complete sentences Pronouncing words distinctly Verbal pacing Varying vocal tones Vocabulary enrichment COMPORTMENT (gestures, eye contact, etc.) FORMAL PRESENTATION SKILLS:

2 Preparing brief, informative, and entertaining speeches INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION SKILLS: Keeping remarks precise and concise Responding, in a polite and focused manner, to the remarks of others Posing relevant questions Reading Identifying elements of good writing (thesis statements, colorful descriptions, topic sentences, transitions, etc.) Annotating texts Identifying a writer s aims Identifying rhetorical tones, strategies, and patterns (irony, hyperbole, climax, etc.) Identifying genres and types of writing Listening Participating alertly in class discussions, in both small and large groups Capably summarizing the remarks of others Identifying key points of another s spoken words Researching Plagiarism Citing Sources Recognizing where information/research is needed Locating appropriate sources of information Evaluating the validity of research sources Using a variety of research sources Self-Reflection Regularly reviewing one s learning processes, achievements, and areas requiring further development Learning outcomes Writing Students should be able to write professional-calibre English characterized by logical coherence and expressiveness. Students should demonstrate mastery of such elements of writing as topic sentences, thesis statements, and the use of supporting evidence such as quotations, examples, and facts. Students should be able to compose first-rate, lengthy scholarly essays on a variety of topics as well as display mastery of other genres of writing. Speaking Students should be able to comport themselves professionally in both formal and informal contexts involving English speaking. Such professional speech involves such elements as keeping spoken remarks concise and focused, utilizing a rich vocabulary, creating varied and complex sentence structures, and integrating various rhetorical strategies such as humor and pathos. Students should be able to present their ideas spontaneously as well as in presentation form. Reading Students should be able to comprehend English-language texts ranging from the relatively

3 simple (such as reports and newspaper articles) to the highly complex (such as literary texts). Students should be able to read closely and demonstrate awareness of a writer s aims and the rhetorical strategies used to achieve those aims. Listening Students should be able to comprehend varieties of spoken English and respond intelligently to the comments of others. Researching Students should be able to continue with their University studies in other classes, armed with the basic ability to incorporate the work of others into their own efforts at communication. Students should have a firm grasp of the nature of plagiarism and the scholarly modes of ensuring its elimination from their work via citing sources fully and accurately. Self-Reflection Students should develop a sense of themselves as lifelong learners and participants in society who are able to constantly improve their communication skills. Representative learning activities WRITING Representative learning activities in ENGE1310 primarily include writing several drafts of extended formal essays (some recent topics have included persuasion essays, personal narratives, interviews, and analyses of such literary genres as poems, short stories, and movies). Other activities may include short informal writing responses, and exercises in writing different prose forms such as autobiographical presentations, memoranda, proposals, correspondence, and short public speeches. SPEAKING Some of the activities utilized to promote speaking skills include debates, brief spontaneous speeches (including joke-telling), both formal and informal presentations (for example on people one admires, places of interest, song lyric analysis, educating classmates on specific topics, etc.), ongoing class discussions, and taking on the teacher role in the classroom. READING Activities used to promote reading skills include such things as close reading, annotating (in groups and as individuals), reading aloud, answering questions about texts, and responding to the writing of others including that of classmates. LISTENING Sample activities include providing feedback to the spoken comments of classmates, viewing and discussing professional speeches, and vocabulary enrichment. RESEARCHING Sample activities to encourage information literacy include an introduction to library resources, practice at paraphrasing the words of others and keeping quotations brief and significant, learning to ask the questions that can further one s research, narrowing down a research topic, evaluating the validity of research sources and types of arguments, providing a range of research sources, distinguishing between various types of persuasion. SELF-RELFECTION Some activities include keeping journals, presenting brief classroom sharings concerning such topics as intercultural communication challenges, and analyzing one s own creation/revision processes. Assessment scheme Task nature Description Weight Written work Students will normally produce three to four drafts of each of two to three written essays, 60% one of these generally to be reviewed by the

4 Oral work student s peers, the others to be reviewed and commented on extensively by the teacher. In addition, shorter writing exercises are assigned. Students are expected to attend class regularly and participate actively. The small size of ENGE1310 classes means that regular attendance is necessary to do well in this aspect of the course. In addition to regular, active participation, students must engage in formal oral activities (such as delivering prepared presentations and spontaneous speeches) and informal ones (such as taking on the role of teacher in the classroom). 40% Tentative syllabus (Prof. Gleckman ) Week One Week Two Weeks Three and Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Week Nine Week Ten Week Eleven Introduction to course Discuss paper topics for Persuasion unit; what makes a good essay topic? What are some of the pitfalls in choosing and researching an essay topic? Unit on Persuasion Essay topic due; discuss essay introductions and thesis statements Persuasion unit Discuss plagiarism and Works Cited Discuss focusing paragraphs (topic sentences and outlines) Discuss recognizing the need for supportive information when writing Discuss ways of finding information when doing research Discuss evaluating the validity of research sources First-draft Persuasion essay due Persuasion unit Discuss paragraph transitions; more discussion of structuring paragraphs and writing good paragraphs Second-draft Persuasion essay due (peer review) Persuasion unit Class debate Begin Short Story unit (reading and discussing sample stories) Final-draft Persuasion Essay due Short Story Unit Discuss close reading and annotating, discuss using quotations in essays Spontaneous speeches presentations Short Story Unit Discuss importance of communicating ideas in every sentence; reducing facts, plot summary, etc. in favor of focusing on ideas Classwork on topic sentences stressing ideas First-draft Short Story essay due Short Story unit

5 Discuss essay outlines and strategies for composing strong topic sentences Week Twelve Short Story unit Reflection on the processes of creation and revision Second-draft Short Story essay due Week Thirteen Conclusion; final draft short story essay due date to be determined Learning resources for students There is no required textbook for this course. Students are provided with numerous handouts ranging from material on proper citation methods to copies of poems, short stories, short plays, and essays. Feedback for evaluation As with all courses in the English Department, students evaluate the course through a survey and written comments at the end of the term. In addition, discussion of class activities and their effectiveness is ongoing, given the ample opportunity during class for discussion of pedagogy and the range and effectiveness of the approaches students are taking in accomplishing the course goals. Professor/Lecturer/Instructor: Name: Professor Jason Gleckman Office Location: Room 321, Fung King Hey Building Telephone: Teaching Venue: Website: Other information:

6 A facility for posting course announcements This course meets twice a week and provides intensive teacher-student communication options via class meetings and frequent communications between teacher and students. Academic honesty and plagiarism Please read carefully the information regarding academic honesty on the following website: Fill in the declaration form and attach it to your paper.

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