Quarter 4 homework

Oral Communication

  • Review pronunciation, dialogue vocabulary, article vocabulary, conversation strategies for units 1-23 of Orbits.
  • OC FB: Prepare unit 23 vocabulary, conversation strategies, and article in Orbits.
  • OC B & P: Prepare unit 22 vocabulary, conversation strategies, and article in Orbits. WARNING: The unit 22 article may be distressing to some people.
  • NB.: Conversation strategies in units 23 & 24 will help you a lot in the speaking test.
  • Attend World Plaza, and practice using the vocabulary and conversation strategies
  • Word Engine, at least 300 correct responses a week
  • Final speaking test and exam will focus on content from units 18 to 24 from Orbits.
  • Following from the “Anglophone” question, here are some videos that explain the origin of English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEaSxhcns7Y, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz8tEPXI25A, and Why English is spelt like that? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhqr-GNNgGo, and some Aus, UK, and US vocabulary today, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OEehlggPp0, (BTW, what Americans call a ‘biscuit’, British and Australians call a ‘scone’, and an ‘off-licence’ is different to a pub that requires a licence to sell alcohol).
  • Enjoy life, check Class Party info.

Communication Skills (Humanities)

  • Monday 17th Dec: Orbits unit 11 Culture Note & Conversation Strategies; Into Literacy, p107 Worker Rights (check vocabulary p99-100).
  • Preview and review pronunciation, mini dialogues, dialogue vocabulary, conversation strategies for units 1-11 of Orbits.
  • Possible speaking test topics: Into Literacy My Week in Palau Day 2 (p61-3); ‘Staying in an AirBnB or a Hotel’ (p38-9); Worker Rights (p107); Orbits story thoughts, feelings, and opinions; or an Extensive Reading book.
  • Extensive Reading, at least 4,000 words a week, and write a report for Thursdays.
  • Attend World Plaza, and practice using the vocabulary and conversation strategies
  • Word Engine, at least 300 correct responses a week
  • Have fun. Check Class Party info.


  • Review all writing skills studied this year.
  • Review vocabulary (p33) and article (p38-9) for ‘Staying in an AirBnB or a Hotel’, and business press Release structure and language in Into Literacy.
  • Task 10: Choose one of the following business related tasks.
    • Write a compare and contrast of two similar companies or products (eg: Tullys & Starbucks; Apple Macbook Air & Microsoft Surface; etc), but keep it simple. Which is better and why.
    • Write a press release for a new product. Think of a new product (can be something that already exists, but a little different) and write a promotion for it.
    • Consider that the compare and contrast requires better research and good structure to score good points. The grammar and language of the press release is more difficult, so this requires more editing, excellent adjective and verb choices, and grammatical accuracy to score good points.
    • References of course must be in English
  • Word Engine, at least 300 correct responses a week
  • Extensive reading (at least 3,500 words a week), and keep weekly reports.
  • Enjoy life

Communication Skills (Economics)

  • Review unit 5 pronunciation, dialogue vocabulary, grammar in the Active textbook.
  • Review article and vocabulary in unit 6 Ageing p76-78, unit 7 p86-7 Survival After Eight Days at Sea in Cover to Cover.
  • Preview An Amazing Athlete, unit 11, p146-7 Cover to Cover.
  • Friday 14th Dec: Review Active unit 6, Bargain Shopper, p56-7, do shopping game on p58.
  • Attend World Plaza, and practice small talk and conversation skills.
  • Have fun

Literacy Class 29th Oct

Double check this again later, as I am likely to update this with something I’ve forgotten.

On Monday the 29th Oct, you will need to submit the following in three separate piles:

  1. Task 8 corrections (if not already submitted)
  2. Task 9 (with checklist correctly completed, copies of references, topic research sheet). Do not finish this at 2am Monday morning, and then sleep and miss your first classes. Complete this before Sunday lunch at least.
  3. Extensive Reading reports (make sure you have a photo of each page in case you lose them)

On Monday we will do the typing test.

Sick days on 22nd and 23rd Oct

To all my students,

Sorry we missed our classes. From Monday morning I suffered very bad stomach flu. Which meant I experienced severe nausea, light headedness, almost passing out, extreme fatigue, sore muscles all over, and now dehydration and head and neck aches. I’ve of course seen a doctor, and still recovering at home. I don’t know if I can be back on Thursday, but I hope I can. If I can come back, I won’t be 100% my normal self, so I’ll need your help to get the class working well.

Oral Communication classes: We’ll start with presentation preparation for one topic of your choice between units 13 and 18 (yes, including Empiricism & Romanticism). Bring your laptop, and tether to the internet through your phone if you need internet access.

Communication Skills Humanities: We’ll start Extensive Reading poster presentation preparation. I lost my coloured markers, so please bring your own and other craft supplies. I will bring A2 sized poster paper.

Literacy: I’m really, really sorry, please don’t cry, but the touch-typing speed test will be delayed to the next Monday class. Please collect your marked writing from the office at R32, and revise it ready for the time we meet. Continue re-Reading and taking notes of interesting language and symbolism in Love Story.

Communication Skills Economics: I’m not sure what we will do yet. Keep doing extensive Reading, and prepare vocabulary from Cover to Cover unit 6, 72-3.

Homework Quarter 3

Oral Communication:

  • Word Engine, 300 correct responses each week, do 10mins a day of study.
  • Review and preview vocabulary, pronunciation, conversation strategies, and articles, for Orbits units 1-18.
  • Prepare your final report using an earlier video and your most recent. Due Monday 12 Nov, 12pm at the World Plaza. You can submit earlier if you want.
  • Prepare your presentation with your partner for any research task for units 13 to 18.
  • World Plaza is open from 11am to 6pm each weekday.
  • Enjoy life

Communication Skills (Humanities):

    • Word Engine, 300 correct responses each week, do 10mins a day of study.
    • Review and preview vocabulary, pronunciation, conversation strategies, and articles in Orbits.
    • Extensive reading.
    • Read Different Worlds and finish the book (included in extensive reading weekly word count).
    • Review Into Literacy p72 to 78.
    • Poster presentation preparation: With your partner, choose an ER book together, and start reading it. Note the structure, themes, and any interesting language, similes, metaphors, and personification.
    • World Plaza is open from 11am to 6pm each weekday.
    • Have fun


  • Review all writing skills studied.
  • Love Story must be returned on the 8th Nov.
  • Word Engine, over 300 correct responses each week.
  • World Plaza is open from 11am to 6pm each weekday.
  • Enjoy life

Communication Skills (Economics):

  • Review Conversation Structure
  • Review pronunciation
  • Review Active, units 1-6 dialogues, vocabulary, and Working on Language sections.
  • Preview Active, unit 6. Read and check vocabulary for all sections.
  • Cover to Cover, unit 6, p72-73 check vocabulary.
  • Extensive reading, read about 3,000 words each week.
  • Extensive reading reports due Tuesday 30th Oct (stapled). Take a photo of each page, in case you lose your reports.
  • World Plaza is open from 11am to 6pm each weekday.
  • Have fun

Communication Skills (E) speaking test will be one of these:

  1. Introduce your ER book
  2. Introduce where you grew up (Active unit 5)
  3. What you used to do when you were younger (Active unit 5)

Where does our news come from?

This article is a supplement to both Orbits (2017) and Orbits Lower-Intermediate (2018) books.

Vocabulary: Media, blog, social media, distributor, propaganda, journalist, news/media outlet, economical, product placement, political, politician, election, pollute, reliable, …

The US 2016 election revealed a major problem in society. The problem is the lack of ‘media literacy’. Media literacy is the ability to understand news and information. Many people think that it’s easy to read a newspaper, but the 2016 election revealed that countless millions of Americans were duped by Russian propaganda, and they did not even know it. This article will firstly discuss the origin of news in the past and today. Secondly, a discussion of how Americans are getting their news information today. Finally, the consequences of this.

Firstly, how do we get our news is important to know. In the past, the news came from newspapers. These newspapers employed their own journalists who went out to get their own news stories. There are two problems with this, it is expensive to employ a team of journalists, and the news could only come from local sources. Consequently, newspapers, TV news, magazines, and news blogs now buy news stories from each other, and news distribution companies like Reuters and AFP. Both Reuters and AFP have journalists all over the world finding and getting information. News distributors can write one story, and sell it hundreds of times, which is a cheaper economical than each newspaper sending their own journalists to write one news story to be used only once.

Today, media outlets (newspapers, tv news, news magazines, and news blogs) are finding more difficult to be profitable. Consequently, the media needs to make money from new sources. One new source of money is to be paid to publish articles that are like advertising for companies. For instance, Japan Today often publishes information about new electronic products. US media often publishes stories about political candidates. Basically, anyone, for any reason can publish almost anything, but they must pay.

Secondly, the traditional media is no longer the main source of news and information anymore. Many people in the US now create information, or discover sources of information, from websites and blogs, and share these in their social media feed. Consequently, for some, friends’ Twitter and Facebook feeds have become important sources of information for many. Polluting this feed are advertisements and fake accounts.

Finally, there is increasing evidence that the Russian government manipulated the US 2016 election. They did this quite simply by adding to the social media news feed messages that oppose each political party. These messages amplified the political and racial divisions in the US leading to intense hatred of each side. What will happen next? Nobody knows.

In summary, our source of news and information is not reliable anymore. Now there are paid product placements, and paid political articles in our newsfeed. Additionally, our social media is polluted with paid ads and fake information designed to keep us away from making good rational decisions about life. Consequently, we need to pay careful attention as to the real source of news and information.

  1. Summarise what you understand from this article
  2. What information was new and interesting to you?
  3. What happened to the US election in 2016? Could this happen in Japan too?
  4. How can Japan protect itself from another country manipulating the social media and the next election?
  5. How do you feel about this topic?

Homework Quarter 2

WordEngine data will be downloaded on Monday the 30th July, and no more data will be collected until Quarter 3.

Oral Communication FB, B, & P

  • Review pronunciation, vocabulary and conversation strategies in Orbits units 1-12.
  • Prepare Orbits unit 11 & 12 vocabulary and article, including answers/ideas to the discussion questions.
  • Do WordEngine; get at least 210 correct responses each week, but aim for 300. WordEngine data will be downloaded on 30th July, so marks collection will end then.
  • Visit Word Plaza as much as possible (open from 11am to 6pm each weekday)
  • Final speaking tests will be 19th to 25th July (a little early, in case of typhoon interruptions), and may include any article from units 7 to 12. Possible topics:
  • Unit 7-12
  • Unit 8 Research Task
  • Your own research task for units 11 or 12
  • Final report is due 12pm, 30th July. I’ll be in the World Plaza probably from about 10am to 12pm. Please try to submit before this day (in class). New video recordings will be done on 9th/10th or 12th/13th July. Start your reports as soon as you can.
  • During the speaking tests:
  • – Prepare for your own test (review vocabulary, articles, pronunciation, conversation strategies, own research on the topic, etc)
  • – Bring your laptop and work on your final report.
  • Enjoy life

Communication Skills

  • Review pronunciation, vocabulary, mini dialogues, and conversation strategies in Orbits, units 1-6
  • Do WordEngine, at least 210 correct responses each week, aim for 300
  • Do extensive reading, about 4,000 words a week, keep your ER reports up to date
  • Visit World Plaza as much as possible (open from 11am to 6pm each weekday)
  • Speaking test possible topics (to be confirmed later):
    1. Into Literacy: Extensive Reading, p27-8
    1. Into Literacy: Book Clubs, p105-6
    1. Blog: Where Does Our News Come From?
    1. Extensive Reading: Introduce a book you’ve read recently
    1. Orbits: “Summary of what has happened in the story so far, and what you think may happen next, and why”.
    1. Extensive Reading: Introduce a book you’ve read recently
  • Enjoy life


  • Review vocabulary for articles already studied
  • Review Into Literacy Section 1, Basic Essay Structures, 12-25.
  • Review grammar in Into Literacy, p79-84.
  • Do WordEngine, 210 correct responses each week, aim for 300.
  • Do extensive reading, about 3,500 words a week, keep your ER reports up to date
  • Final Report: Task 5 & Portfolio, due in class 23rd July
  • Enjoy life

Literacy Class Final Report

There will be updates, so come back to check this page regularly.

You should have these parts in your Task 3 report, due 24th May, and revisions due 31st May (TBC):

  • Metadata
  • Introduction
  • Body
    • Summary (of the whole novel, not just chapter one)
    • Critical Review (writing style)
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Checklist attached.
  • Topic research notes attached