Exploring Contemporary Issues 5A #6245
Days: Monday through Friday Time: 3:30 – 4:20
Instructor: Doug Clark Room: L217
Office phone: (425) 564-3067 Email: email@example.com
Office hours: M-Th 10:00-11:30 Office: C230
Contemporary Issues is a topic based class in which we will explore a variety of current events and controversial issues. It is a class that will integrate reading, speaking, and listening through lively interchange of facts and opinions, agreement and disagreement. Information sources may include current articles from newspapers and news magazines, internet websites, radio, TV and video. Topics will vary according to your interests. Those topics will be pursued through research reading, small group discussion, debate, and presentation. The goal of the course is for you to increase your facility in English through a non-threatening, high-interest environment.
When the course is finished, students will be able to:
No required text
English only dictionary strongly advised
During the course of the term, students will make three presentations, which will progress in the degree of student independence regarding topic choice and the number of students working together.
In the second and the third presentations, pairs and groups will conduct research, prepare reading materials and activities, and present the material to the class. The materials and activities for each of these presentations should include:
Your group will decide which activities and materials you want to include in your presentations and what will be required of your classmate audience. There are numerous ways to create interest and inform your classmates about the issue you have chosen. You might consider handouts, debates, video or audio clips, guest speakers, and role plays.
Each round of presentations will be “debriefed,” which means as a group we will examine, discuss, and evaluate components and activities that seemed to be successful and those that were not and why. Strategies and techniques for effectively organizing a presentation and being an effective public speaker will be emphasized.
The role of the instructor in this course is mainly to facilitate and that will be especially true during the second half of the course.
Successful students in this class will:
· Plan to attend class every day and arrive on time. Regular absence or lateness is seen as a sign of a bad attitude. . If you are absent 20% of the time, you cannot pass the class.
Participate in class discussions and activities.
Be adequately prepared for class. If you are absent you are still responsible for homework and material covered.
Show respect for others in this class. We are all here to learn and can learn a lot from each other.
View our classroom as an English-only environment.
Ask questions. If you don’t ask questions, I assume you don't have any.
Grades will be based on the following components. You will receive both mid-quarter and final grade reports.
· Participation, attitude, and effort 10%
(Absences and lateness have a negative effect)
· Homework 10%
· Completion of student evaluations 10%
· Project work:
*the quality of preparation and materials gathered
*your portion of your group’s presentation
*your ability to work with your group. 40%
· Listening comprehension quizzes 30%
(Make-ups by prior arrangement only)
Letter grades will be based on the following percentages:
93-100% = A
84-92% = B
75-83% = C
<75% = D (Repeat level, satisfactory effort)
F (Repeat level, unsatisfactory effort)
Students With Special Needs:
Students with disabilities who have accommodation needs are required to meet with the Disability Support Services (DSS) office, room B233-G (telephone 425.564.2498 or TTY 425.564.4110), to establish their eligibility for accommodation. The DSS office will provide each eligible student with an accommodation letter. Students who require accommodation in class must review the DSS accommodation letter with each instructor during the first week of the quarter. Students with mobility challenges who may need assistance in case of an emergency situation or evacuation should register with Disability Support Services, or review those needs with the instructor as well.