EXPLORING CONTEMPORARY ISSUES 5
Days: Monday through Friday Time: 2:25-3:40
Instructor: Russell Johnson Room: L215
Phone: (206) 450-5838 Email: email@example.com
Office Hours: By appointment only Office: R230
Contemporary Issues is a topic based class in which we will esxplore a variety of current events and controversial issues. It is a class that will integrate reading, speaking, and listening through lively interchange or facts and opinions, agreement and disagreement. Information sources may include current articles from newspapers and news magazines, internet websites, radio, TV and video. Those topics will be pursued through research reading, small group discussion, debate,a nd presentation. The goal of the course is for you to increase your facility in English through a non-threatening, high-interest environment.
· Course Outcomes:
· When the course is finished, students will be able to:
· Discuss current events
· Work effectively in groups and lead discussion groups
· Paraphrase and summarize ideas
· Recognize and use new vocabulary
· Participate in debates
· State opinions and beliefs
· Develop arguments and counter-arguments
· Anticipate opponent’s arguments
· Research, analyze, and present issues to a large group
· Evaluate the effectiveness of presentations
· Take effective notes from orally presented information
Three-Ring Binder, Writing Implements, A Thumb Drive, an English only paper dictionary is 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.
· The first presentation will be made individually and based on a spefic structured assignment.
· In the second presentation, students will work in pairs to develop presentations related to given topic. Student pairs will have a good deal of flexibility in choosing a focus to take on that topic.
· The third presentation will involve groups of three or four students and, while topics will require instructor approval, students will have freedom to select a controversial that the group agrees on.
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:
· Magazine or periodical articles (at least one)
· Newspaper articles (at least one)
· Visual aids
· Vocabulary list with definitions
· Discussion questions
· Comprehension questions
· Large and small group discussions
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 absences 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 will assume you do not have any.
Grades will be based on the following components. You will receive both mid-quarter and final grade reports.
· Participation, attitude, and effort 20%
· Homework 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 arrangements only)
Letter grades will be based on the following percentages:
<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 (DCC) office, room B233-G (telephone 425.564.2498 of 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.