2016 Global Debate on Computational Life Sciences for Doctoral Students

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Academic unit or major
Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences
Instructor(s)
Yamaguchi Yuki  Simon Matthew Gillett  George Grey  Kurt Yoshimi Saito  Derek Yakiwchuk  Akira Sato  Chu Ray  Chu Ray  Tuan Smit 
Course component(s)
Lecture
Day/Period(Room No.)
Intensive ()  
Group
-
Course number
ACL.A604
Credits
2
Academic year
2016
Offered quarter
3-4Q
Syllabus updated
2016/7/1
Lecture notes updated
-
Language used
English
Access Index

Course description and aims

This course for doctoral students is aimed at cultivating their practical ability of scientific debate in English. Experienced instructors, native speakers of English, provide practical training of English communication using an original textbook developed for this course and scientific articles and speeches as topics. Each class focuses on a specific skill, and basic expressions essential for English communication in academic settings are presented. In the final few classes, expressions useful for presentation and exchange of ideas are presented through mock presentation by each student. Since students at a similar English language level take the course in a small class, learning effectiveness is high.

The aim of this course is to improve comprehensive English communication skills on science and technology-related topics.

This course is closely related to Global Communication on Computational Life Sciences A/B, Global Presentation on Computational Life Sciences A/B, and Global Writing on Computational Life Sciences. Particularly, Global Debate on Computational Life Sciences is considered as a continuation of this course.
Students' qualifications will be assessed with the practical debate skills from the viewpoint of the qualities for doctor.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. organize their thoughts, state them in a logical and persuasive manner, argue for or against effectively, and thereby proceed discussion and debate smoothly.
2. increase their English proficiency by 1 or more levels.

Keywords

English, intercultural communication, discussion, debate

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
- - -

Class flow

Level-check interview is conducted in the first class. Based on the results, class organization is determined. In each subsequent class, a specific goal is set, and students are asked to perform British Parliamentary style debate over a specific topic selected from scientific articles or speeches. Homework assignments are due in almost all the classes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Level-check interview is performed on a one-on-one basis to evaluate students' English language proficiency levels. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 2.
Class 2 The Rules of Debate: The rules of debate are instructed, and an opportunity to practice is given. Students must comprehend the flow of debate, the roles of proposition teams and opposition teams, and how both teams should construct their arguments. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 3.
Class 3 Participating in Debate: Debate is conducted based on the speech “How about Monotasking?" Students must be able to state their arguments or counterarguments by making use of the skills "presenting arguments" and “rebutting arguments.” Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 4.
Class 4 Connecting Your Ideas: Debate is conducted based on the speech "Driverless Cars Coming Soon.” Students must be able to make their arguments intelligibly by making use of the conjunctions offered in Chapter 3. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 5.
Class 5 Segmenting Your Talk: Debate is conducted based on the speech "What the Police Know About You.” Students must be able to make their arguments intelligibly by making use of the phrases offered in Chapter 4. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 6.
Class 6 Referencing: Debate is conducted based on the article "Food Labeling a Major Concern.” Students must be able to state their arguments or counterarguments by making use of the skills "referencing the counterpart's statement” and ”interpreting facts.” Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 7.
Class 7 Stressing to Convey Better: Debate is conducted based on the speech "Teach Statistics Before Calculus.” Students must be able to state their arguments or counterarguments by making use of the skill "stressing important information.” Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 8.
Class 8 Student-Led Discussion 1: Students give a short presentation on their own research, followed by Q&A and discussion. Students must be able to give an academic presentation and answer questions using the skills given in the course. A chairperson must be able to chair the session by using the skill "useful expressions for the discussion leader.” Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 9.
Class 9 Student-Led Discussion 2: Students give a short presentation on their own research, followed by Q&A and discussion. Students must be able to give an academic presentation and answer questions using the skills given in the course. A chairperson must be able to chair the session by using the skill "useful expressions for the discussion leader.” Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 10.
Class 10 Rhetorical Questions: Debate is conducted based on the article "The Trouble With Retractions.” Students must be able to make their arguments intelligibly by making use of the expressions offered in Chapter 9. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 11.
Class 11 Review & Debate Session 1: The speaking skills offered in the past lessons are reviewed. Debate is conducted over the topic selected by students. Students must be able to discuss and debate by making use of the skills given in the course. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 12.
Class 12 Review & Debate Session 2: The speaking skills offered in the past lessons are reviewed. Debate is conducted over the topic selected by students. Students must be able to discuss and debate by making use of the skills given in the course. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 13.
Class 13 Review & Debate Session 3: The speaking skills offered in the past lessons are reviewed. Debate is conducted over the topic selected by students. Students must be able to discuss and debate by making use of the skills given in the course. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 14.
Class 14 Review & Debate Session 4: The speaking skills offered in the past lessons are reviewed. Debate is conducted over the topic selected by students. Students must be able to discuss and debate by making use of the skills given in the course. Students must complete pre-class assignments for Class 15.
Class 15 Final Debate: Debate is conducted based on the speech "Welcome to the Genomic Revolution.” Students must be able to discuss and debate by making full use of the skills given in the course.

Textbook(s)

A free textbook is distributed.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

None required.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' course scores are based on (i) pre-class assignments, (ii) active participation in discussion and debate with voluntary use of the speaking skills introduced in the course, and (iii) the final examination.

Related courses

  • ZBA.A405 : Global Communication on Computational Life Sciences A(ACLS)
  • ZBA.A406 : Global Communication on Computational Life Sciences B(ACLS)
  • ZBA.A403 : Global Presentation on Computational Life Sciences A(ACLS)
  • ZBA.A404 : Global Presentation on Computational Life Sciences B(ACLS)
  • ZBA.A501 : Global Writing on Computational Life Sciences(ACLS)
  • ACL.A603 : Global Writing on Computational Life Sciences for Doctoral Students

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

・Students must have completed Global Communication on Computational Life Sciences A or B. Pre-registration is necessary to enroll this course. As a general rule, students are allowed to enroll only one course from Science and Technology Communication Subjects of the Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences (ACLS) at a time.
・Enrollment is limited to students in Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences (ACLS).

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