English as a Second/Foreign Language
Special Topics in Functional English: The Sound System of English
This course is an elective offering for advanced (i.e., 3rd & 4th year) science and engineering students. While the course might be described as a pronunciation course, it is designed to promote learner autonomy in pronunciation development. Students study some fundamental concepts in acoustic phonetics (waves, source-filter theory, formants) and then investigate English pronunciation using acoustic phonetic software to look at waveforms and spectrograms. The goal is to prepare students to be able to autonomously evaluate their own pronunciation, set pronunciation development goals, and evaluate their own progress toward those goals.
Communication Strategies 1,2
This is one of the required courses in the English curriculum at Waseda University School of Science and Engineering. The course emphasizes the development of spoken communication skills by doing a variety of speaking and listening activities. This is a coordinated course and I am one of many teachers who are teaching it. In my sections, I emphasize students' use of classroom management English in addition to the main target language. Furthermore, I give students extended vocabulary practice in order to help them build their active vocabulary. Finally, students prepare for standardized tests through preparation of their own practice test items.
This course is designed to help international graduate students and post-docs improve their academic writing skills. Classroom activities involve helping students to become more aware of the somewhat more restricted genre of academic writing and how the writer goes about summarizing and evaluating existing research, making, supporting, and qualifying a claim, and drawing conclusions. Classroom activities are supplemented by extensive online writing exercises and a term-long project. Students are highly encourage to dovetail their project with current work in their own field of study. The web site for this class is resident on the university's restricted-access course management server. However, you may access some samples of the teaching materials on the right.
This was one of my major teaching efforts during my years at Northwestern University. The workshop series is roughly equivalent to about one half-term of study and is designed to help international graduate students at Northwestern who are preparing to take the TSE test of oral proficiency in order to serve as Teaching Assistants at the university. The workshop combines reflective discussion with simulated testing materials and instructor feedback to help students achieve their best score, but also to realize more broadly how to improve their oral communication skills. The web site for the workshop is resident on the university's restricted-access course management server. However, you may access some samples of the teaching materials on the right.
Language and Mind
I taught this course at Gunma Prefectural Women's University several years ago. The students were all majors in English Language in the Department of International Communication. This course was designed to give them a very basic introduction to psycholinguistics through experiential learning. We performed several in-class experiments (e.g., time-reading tasks, grammatical judgment tasks) in order to explore some basic concepts in the structure of language in the mind and how we process language. Special emphasis was given to first and second language development.
Language and Society
This is a course I taught for the Northwestern University Linguistics Department many years ago. The course was an overview in how language varies with respect to such social variables as region, social class, gender, age, and ethnic group. The course also examined how language is used to structure social relationships. The web site for this class is resident on the university's restricted-access course management server. However, samples of the teaching materials can be accessed on the right.