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Challenges: Listening & Speaking, Fall 2012 – Gord's Classes

Challenges: Listening & Speaking, Fall 2012

Here are your challenges!


  1. You will complete the challenges in sequence. While you can work on Challenge #2 while I am still making up my mind about Challenge #1 (and I recommend you do so) you cannot be counted as successfully completing Challenge #2 until Challenge #1 is finished (and so on — you can’t finish #5 until #1-4 are finished).
  2. You cannot submit more than one completed challenge in the space of two weeks. If it is week 11, and you have submitted only one challenge before week 14, then you can complete only 3 more challenges (one each for Week 11, 13, 15) and therefore you cannot progress beyond Challenge #4 at best. Also see #4.
  3. Please attempt to be respectful in your challenge work. For example, while I don’t have a problem with curse words in videos (when appropriate), I do have a problem with racist or sexist comments, even if they are intended to be funny. You may take a risk if you like, but understand that I may need to ask you to try again.
  4. Remember that the people you are interacting with some of these challenges are people. Try to really connect with them, and treat them with respect, honesty, and dignity. Avoid forming “fake” temporary relationships with them as much as you can. Especially non-Koreans tend to experience being approached by Korean people for no other purpose than English practice, and it’s up to you whether you will be just another bad experience for someone, or a positive, refreshing exception!
  5. If you submit a challenge and your professor decides that you have not succeeded at the challenge, then you will have to attempt it again. This may happen for a number of reasons, such as:
    • You failed to follow the rules. (So read them carefully!)
    • You failed to fulfill the “spirit” of the core challenge in some way (for example, in challenge #5, if you happen not to be funny).
    • You broke some other rule (such as plagiarism, or copying someone else’s script, or speaking disrespectfully to someone in a non-dramatic video).
    • You infringed on copyright and academic rules. (Plagiarism and copyright are important issues. Go online and read about them!)
    • If your challenge submission is otherwise deemed sub-par, or it seems apparent you would learn something from trying again. On a second submission of borderline quality, the class will be asked to rule, collectively, on your work.

And now… the Challenges!


OBJECTIVE: Make a Video of Someplace Cool in Bucheon for Foreign Students.

EVIDENCE: Your video will be available on our class Youtube Channel. This is evidence enough. I will provide a password to the class in class on 11 Sept.


  • Introduce a place not everyone knows about. It should not be a “famous” place, but instead a good place. By good I mean unusual, interesting, worth visiting.
  • The place should in the in the area of Yeokgok — that is, not more than 20 minutes away from Yeokgok by bus or subway. However, the place should be off campus and it needs to be interesting. If it is not interesting (for foreign students), I will not accept the video, and you will have to try again.
  • Use you English to explain whjy the place is interesting and worth visiting.
  • Introduce the place in an interesting way.
  • Upload the video to Youtube.
  • Make an effort to provide information and instructions that will help the foreign student find the place even if he or she cannot speak Korean!


  • Don’t use Korean to explain the place. (One or two words is okay, especially if it’s the name of the place.)
  • Don’t introduce a place everyone knows about. Choose something unusual and interesting.
  • Don’t post a video of less than 7 minutes.



OBJECTIVE: To get five non-native speakers of English who are also strangers (not a friend of yours) to speak with you in English for at least five minutes each, by enticing them with a free service.

EVIDENCE: You will arrange for a friend to take photos of you providing the service to five different people. You will then print the five photos, and write a 1 page summary about the experience: what you did, how it went, how people reacted, and what you learned.  You will print the summary and photographs, staple them together, and submit them to me in class.


  • Set up a place where you can offer the free service on campus.
  • Clearly advertise the service in English and Korean.
  • Provide a service people will want. (Manicure, hand massage, hair braiding, portrait-sketching, makeup advice, book-carrying, offering a Tarot card reading or palm reading… it’s up to you.) It should be a service you can actually do competently, or at least you can do well enough to satisfy your “customer.”


  • Don’t use more than one or two words of Korean during the time you’re providing the service.
  • Don’t make your customer feel uncomfortable if you can help it.
  • Don’t ask your friends to accept your service: these people should be strangers.
  • Don’t target English Lit or English Language & Culture students:  you should try to get students from any major to accept your service.



OBJECTIVE: You will get your friends to sit still and listen to you explain/teach something to them in English. You don’t need to teach them English, just teach them SOMETHING. The lesson should be at least 15-20 minutes long, and your friends must actually have learned what you were teaching.

EVIDENCE: You will:

  1. Videorecord the “lesson”;
  2. Give your friends a “quiz” on the subject, consisting of 3 multiple-choice questions. Hand in printouts of the quiz, along with a CD-ROM with the video file, to your professor in class.


  • Ask friends who are not fluent or highly skilled in English.
  • Teach  them something using only English words. The concept should be somewhat complex.
  • Teach an an interesting and engaging way.
  • Think about how to explain your complex subject to your friends using simple English.
  • Write a fair and evaluative quiz without using words you didn’t use in your lesson.


  • Don’t use words too difficult for your friends to understand.
  • Don’t pick only friends who speak English.
  • Don’t just lecture: find an interesting way to teach!


CHALLENGE #4: Get Your Friend to Speak for 40 minutes with you in English

OBJECTIVE: You will get a non-native English speaker to talk with you for 40 minutes. The person will be a friend of yours; for this challenge, the definition of “friend” is someone you feel comfortable with, and who (hopefully) feels comfortable with you too.

EVIDENCE: You will record an MP3 of the conversation and submit it to your professor by email.


  • Encourage your friend, and support him or her by offering words when they need help.
  • Confirm that your friend is understanding the conversation as you are having it.
  • Record a decent quality MP3 file. If the quality is too poor, you will be asked to repeat the challenge.
  • Talk about something both you and your friend are interested in.
  • A day later (if possible) interview your friend about the experience. Include this in your MP3 file as well.


  • Don’t tell your friend WHY you are doing this. Your friend should have no idea this conversation is for a class.
  • Don’t use vocabulary that is too hard for your friend.
  • Don’t allow the conversation to switch to Korean unless absolutely necessary.
  • Don’t force an unwilling person to do this challenge with you. If the first friend you ask refuses, try another.
  • Don’t be too much longer than 40 minutes… but especially don’t be less than 40 minutes.


CHALLENGE #5: News Report Podcast

OBJECTIVE: You will perform a news report podcast recording. In other words, you will record a fake news report that sounds as close as possible to a real news report in an English-speaking country.

EVIDENCE: You will email the MP3 file to your professor.


  • Record as high quality a recording as you can.
  • Listen to real news reports and try to study their structure, so you can use it in your own news report.
  • Edit your MP3 to remove unnecessary noises and pauses, and improve its quality.
  • Present the news report in as interesting a way as you can: use tone, emphasis, and other forms of expression to make your report as interesting as possible.


  • Don’t use copyrighted music or audio files. If you do, you will be asked to redo the challenge.
  • Don’t copy the script of a real news report: you need to write your own news report.
  • Don’t feel you have to report on real news: a fake news report would be acceptable too!


BONUS ROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CHALLENGE #6 : Interview 5 People on Campus

OBJECTIVE: You will interview 5 people on campus regarding the a question we will decide in class.

EVIDENCE: You will take notes about each person you interview, filling out a form the record the results of the interview. You will also include 5 mp3 files–one for each person you interview–of the interviews, and submit them by email, along with a copy of your notes and results of the survey.


  • Ask interesting questions.
  • Try to make the people you talk to comfortable even though you’re speaking in English.
  • Discuss an interesting and important topic. Choose one theme or topic in your interview.


  • Don’t “just” interview people. We want them to feel that they’re really getting a chance to express their opinion. So act like you’re really, seriously interviewing them.
  • Don’t forget to make copies of your notes paper, where you can quickly record the results.
  • Don’t she shy: you need to talk to 5 students who are not English Language & Culture/English Lit majors.