This course will focus on listening, discussion and oral presentation skills. Students will learn how to discuss a topic and to voice their opinion in a logical way. The course will deal with a variety of contemporary topics which will be introduced through readings, radio broadcasts and video texts. Small group discussion will be the focus of the first half of the course. Other activities will include interview skills with an emphasis on actively asking questions. By the end of the course students should feel confident speaking in English in front of their peers. From the second half of the semester, students will be required to prepare and deliver a 10-minute oral presentation relating to their research activity.
1 Introduction: “Ambitions”: writing about yourself, asking about your classmate.
2 Japan and the Nobel Prize. Prestige and science.
3 (Mock Press Gallery interviews of famous people, weeks 3 to 6)
Science journalism; global warming: advocates and sceptics.
4 Science and technology in popular media.
Talking about your research for a lay person.
5 Talking about your research to a specialist audience; academic societies and conferences. Successful and unsuccessful oral presentations as seen on Youtube.
6. Material and imagined worlds: what is really important to us?
7 (Oral presentations start).
Japan’s changing views of the outside world and Japan’s security.
8 Overseas aid and development politics.
9 Opinion polls on attitudes to future scenarios.
10 Immigration futures.
11 Values, cultural capital and cultural nationalism.
12 Soft power and popular culture.
13 Oral tests.
14 Oral tests.
The lecturer will distribute readings each week on topics which will form the basis of discussion and written assignments.
Course evaluation will be 40% for participation in weekly class activities, 20% for homework assignments, 30% for a 10-minute class presentation on a research topic, and 10% for an oral test.
Students should come prepared and have an interest in English.