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)

During speaking tests

Don’t waste time, be productive.

  • Prepare for your own speaking test
  • Help a friend prepare for their speaking test
  • Review vocabulary, pronunciation, conversation strategies
  • Do WordEngine
  • Work on your final reports.
  • Do extensive reading for your other class
  • ONLY use ENGLISH!!!

The change between speaking tests must be quick, otherwise we might not be able to finish. Bring your speaking test feedback marksheet with your name and student number on it.

Communication Skills class:  The speaking test is a 5-8 minutes. Speaking test possible topics:

  1. Into Literacy: Extensive Reading, p27-8
  2. Into Literacy: Book Clubs, p105-6
  3. Blog: Where Does Our News Come From?
  4. Extensive Reading: Introduce a book you’ve read recently
  5. Orbits: “Summary of what has happened in the story so far, and what you think may happen next, and why”.
  6. Extensive Reading: Introduce a book you’ve read recently

Oral Communication class sample videos

It is still class time, so use English only!

With your partner(s),

  • Find a quiet place, not in front of other classes, they won’t like the noise
  • Do a sound check, and make sure it all works and records. Make sure the red cameras are set on Mountains, and the black ones are set on Video. Make sure the external mics are switched on.
  • Also do an audio recording with your smart phone (not video) in case there’s a problem with the camera. If you need to send Andrew your audio, do not send your iPhone video (the file is too big), and do not use a Japanese language only file sending service, or one that needs Andrew to sign up to.
  • Start the video with your name and student number.
  • Speak for about 8 minutes
  • Return to the classroom with 30 minutes of leaving, make a copy of your video (do not cut & paste, and do not delete it)
  • Make a note of your camera number.
  • During class time, and while away from the classroom, use ONLY ENGLISH!
  • Start watching the video and make notes on it for your final report. The black video cameras have a headphone jack, so use a splitter and headphones with your partner.
  • For the black cameras, use VLC Media Player or QuickTime to view the video files
  • Include any visual-communication information in your final report if it helps.

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?