Essay Annotation Sheet

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Final Presentations! Schedule & Grading Criteria

Tuesday, June 23 (Z.D.R. Mackin)

Tuesday, June 30 (Ruchika Popli)

Tuesday, July 7 (Ruchika Popli)

Mayu Asada

Kosuke Ikeda

Saeko Ikeda

Daiki Kato

Kohei Nagashima

Natsuki Nakano

Tomoaki Hika

Miwa Fukatsu

Suka Kano

Takeru Matsumoto

Kohei Nagashima

Ayaka Suzuki

Atsuhiro Uchida

Kento Yoshikawa

Ryoto Imamura

Tomona Ishii

Mana Kubota

Shota Murano

Natsuki Nakano

Saaya Nakano

Yukako Sada

Students are evaluated according to seven categories collected under the rubrics of Logic, Rhetoric, and Delivery. Each small category is worth five points, leading to a maximum grade of 35 points (this exercise is worth 35% of your final grade). Presentations are expected to be well-organized, polished, rehearsed, and professional. It is not allowed to read your presentation to the class, although small notecards can be used (beware: excessive reading loses points in the rehearsed category). Details on the seven grading categories are below:

Logic (10 pts):

  • Organization: Did the presentation appear coherent and well organized?

  • Research: Was the topic sufficiently researched?

Rhetoric (10 pts):

  • Grammar: Was correct grammar employed?

  • Vocabulary: Was vocabulary both interesting and accurate?

(If it appears that the student is taking risks and exploring language outside of his/her comfort zone, then eventual errors will be graded more forgivingly)

Delivery (15 pts):

  • Rehearsed: Was the presentation well-rehearsed? (i.e. not using notecards) Was delivery confident and fluid?

  • Pronunciation: Was the pronunciation accurate?

  • Voice & Body: Was the student’s voice varied and engaging? Did the student use effective gesture and body language?

Looking forward to seeing your excellent presentations!

How to make your English not Suck. Nouns.

This woman does not like dealing with nouns.
This woman does not like dealing with nouns.

Virtually all Japanese second language speakers of English have trouble with nouns. What’s the difference between “a cat” or “the cat”? What is the difference between “I like dogs” and “I like dog” (hint: you say one of these only if you like eating them). If “beer” is uncountable, why do we say “I would like a beer” at restaurants? Why do we say “President Obama,” but also “The President of the United States of America.”  If “love” is uncountable, why do we say “a mother’s love”?

I know, it’s a mess.

Fortunately for you, here is a useful resource for figuring out how to find articles for nouns.

For you cheaters, here is a simple web-based flowchart that provides the answer for you.

6/16: Final Presentation Workshop


Bring to class a typed script of your presentation (3 copies).

  • This is the text of what you actually plan to say. You will be speaking for about ten minutes, so this means about 5-7 pages, typed and double spaced.
  • Scripts must be written in clear, intelligent English free of grammatical errors.
  • One copy will be delivered to the professor.

For inspiration on how to make a good presentation check out this talk on learning languages by Timothy Doner.

Breaking the Language Barrier. A Ted Talk

Tim Doner is a polyglot; of his twenty languages, he speaks English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, German, Turkish, and apparently even a little Japanese. Here, he gives a great presentation on his learning technique, and also gives a great addendum on why we should learn languages. Note also, his affable style. If you can present like this kid, you are on your way to being an expert.

Assignment for 6/2

No preparation for you except for the Martin Luther King project from last week.

In the meantime, enjoy a poem about English pronunciation:

The Chaos

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Saysaid, paypaid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via

Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.
From “desire”: desirableadmirable from “admire”,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol
and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. 50
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
But it is not hard to tell
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but desert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker“,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor“,
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.
Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance
. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year
and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you’re not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
Episodes, antipodes,
, and obsequies.
Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan.
The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget ’em
Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight—you see it;
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry
and awry. 220
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion, Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess—it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir.
Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce;
Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation—think of Psyche!—
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won’t it make you lose your wits
Writing groats and saying ‘grits’?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??
Hiccough has the sound of sup
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Gerard Nolst Trenité a.k.a. “Charivarius” 1870 – 1946

[published as an appendix to his textbook Drop Your Foreign Accent: Engelse Uitspraakoefeningen (Haarlem: H D Tjeenk Willink & Zoon, 1920)]

Assignment for 5/26: Jokes and Humor

We all know that a little bit of humor goes a long way when speaking before an audience. It can break the ice, dispel awkwardness, and put people in a generally good mood.

On the other hand, when humor goes wrong, it can be a disaster. Have you ever told a joke and nobody laughed?

And then there is the language component. See how many of these 53 jokes you understand (they’re not terrible actually. Some are pretty funny):

Now, these kinds of jokes are more properly called “riddles” in English. A riddle usually consists of a question followed by a funny answer. Short jokes can take all kinds of forms. Mitch Hedberg is the master of the short joke (also known as the “one-liner” because it takes up only one line of text):

But jokes can be long too. See, for example, this long joke by Norm McDonald, about a depressed moth talking about his problems:

Often, a longer joke will take the form of a story. Here’s a good example of a classic long-form joke:

There’s a funeral, and the gentlemen carrying the casket accidentally bump into a wall. A moan comes out of the casket, so they open it and find out the lady inside isn’t actually dead. She lives for another ten years, finally dies. So she has another funeral, the men are carrying out the casket, and from the audience the lady’s husband shouts: “watch out for the wall.”

A joke like this probably translates into Japanese pretty well, but oftentimes humor is hard to carry across languages. Sometimes they become incomprehensible, such as this one translated from Japanese to English:

Guy #1: What does a spider taste like?

Guy #2: I don’t know, what?

Guy #1: It’s sour!!!

Guy #2: ???

And then, of course, there are things that one might find humorous in a foreign language, but are not at all funny to natives; for example, gaikokujin find it hilarious that かわい and 怖い sound sort of similar. David Ury is one of these:

And yes, for the record “rice” and “mice” will not make your English-speaking friends laugh very hard. Sorry.

Your in-class assignment for the week: Tell 3 jokes.

  1. A riddle, or one-liner.
  2. A long joke. Something that takes a few sentences to tell.
  3. A translated joke. Something from Japanese that, when translated into English, either works pretty well, or, alternately, is rendered totally strange. Don’t worry if it translates weird; we’ll enjoy the confusion.

If you don’t know any jokes in English, just Google it. Also, Comedy Central is a decent place to start.