Welcome to Conversation I! I’m your professor for the Summer 2015 session of the course.
I’ll be posting updates, materials, handouts, and more here, though I’ll set Blackboard to alert you when I’ve posted something new.
For now, there’s not much for me to share besides your syllabus:
That file is in PDF format, the same format I’ll use for most of your handouts. If it doesn’t open for you on your computer, you need some PDF reader software. I recommend either Adobe PDF Reader or Foxit PDF Reader if you’re on using Windows. (If you’re not using Windows, PDF should be automatically supported on your computer.)
A few more things:
1. Please make sure you buy a clean copy of your textbook. It can be new or second-hand, but the pages must have NO writing from anyone else, since you need to complete the exercises yourself and I will be checking them as part of your homework grade. Here’s the book you need:
2. You need the right writing tools for this class. Please don’t use Haansoft’s Hangeul software. It handles English text terribly. Most computers on campus have MS Word. If you don’t have it at home, you can also use Open Office, which is free office suite software just as good as MS Office.
3. Check the syllabus carefully! The syllabus is a contract between you and me. If you stay in the course, you’re agreeing to follow the rules on the syllabus, including doing all the work mentioned in it.
4. Participation is key. Maybe in some classes you can sit quietly and not participate. My classes require you to join in and take part. I’ll be tracking participation carefully and it will be an important part of your grade. Also, when I give the class a chance to decide something, speak up! (If you don’t, you can’t complain about the result!) Practical English I is a writing class, but it will still involve discussions, group work, interaction, and talking. Come to class ready to contribute.
5. Risk is good! You won’t get better at writing in English if you don’t take risks. If you’re not taking risks, you’re not expanding, and that means you’re not learning, either! Don’t worry about making a mistake… instead, worry about not taking enough risks.
6. I recommend you review the posts under the Advice From Prof. Gord link above. For our class, I especially the following ones:
- Emailing Your Professors (Some tips for polite and efficient emails to your professors.)
- Formatting You Written Work (Tips on how to format written homework. You NEED to read this.)
- Homework and Responsibility (About how homework works in my class.)
- On Grading (About how I grade your work.)
- On Unreasonable Requests for Time Off (ie. “I have a job, so I can’t come to class this semester!”)
- On Giving Presentations (I don’t think we’ll do presentations, but it’s good advice anyway.)
- On Plagiarism (Don’t get stung: read this and learn!)
If you have any questions about what I’ve written in those pages, feel free to ask me.
It’s going to be an interesting summer. Get ready!