Advanced English course__ description

By Tom Myers,2014-03-20 13:39
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Advanced English course__ description

    Advanced English Course Description

Self introduction

    Some Key Concepts

    Thomas Jefferson: This institution (University of Virginia) will be based on the illimitable freedom of human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.

温家宝:大学应独立思考~自由表达 (independent thinking and free expression )


    Education: intellectual growth / develop your mind / mind economy/ mind is money / with the help of teachers and fellow students you identify your potential and develop that potential to the full/ IQ & EQ, not only fill a bottle but light a candle / learning strategies: give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats fish for a lifetime.

    Learning: discover your self / Know yourself / where are you and where you should go / know yourself and do your best for being guilty of nothing in this life

My motto: learn to learn and teach is not to teach. Teaching is not to fill a bottle

    (information), but to light a candle (inspiration, creative).

National requirement:




Four kinds of students:

    Smart and hardworking: always a success

    Smart but lazy: always a survival if not always a success

    Slow but hardworking: always survival and sometimes a success

    Slow and lazy: hopeless if not helpless (parents, teachers and fellow students)

Readers Strategies

1. Why people read

    To keep informed, question and think more deeply about their own ideas and experiences, consider the ideas and experiences of others, confirm their own ideas; For entertainment, escape, intellectual stimulation, emotional stimulation;

    Because they like to play with ideas, compare and explore different points of views; Because they are interested in a particular subject, particular authors style and


Getting started: Scan and Topic-Audience-Purpose

    Strategies for Analysis: Purpose-Achieved-Conclusions / Questions P: What is the authors purpose?

    A: How is that purpose achieved?

    CQ: What are the authors conclusions or questions?

2. Reading Hints: Making Your Mark

    1. It articulates the authors thesis or one of his / her major ideas.

    2. It suggests the authors purpose in writing the essay.

    3. It indicates the authors feelings, attitudes, or point of view about the subject

    under consideration.

    4. It is an example of a strategy used by the author to develop or support his / her

    argument or explain his / her point of view (e.g., C&C, C&E, definition, example,

    statistics, humor, etc.)

    5. It summarizes an important idea.

    6. It is an example of effective use of language (e.g., a vivid metaphor, simile, or


    7. It has a personal meaning for the reader (perhaps it corroborates their own

    experience or suggests insights and ideas that seem particularly interesting).

3. Some Important Reading Skills

    1. vocabulary in context (语境中的词汇)

    2. main ideas (主题思想)

    3. supporting details (支持性细节)

    4. implied main ideas and the central point (隐含的主题思想和中心论点)

    5. relationship 1 :语句或段落的关系1

     Transitions :过渡;,words that show addition and time :补充性和时间过渡词;

    6. relationship 2 :语句或段落的关系2

    7. fact and opinion :事实和观点;

    8. inferences :推理;

    9. purpose and tone :目的和语气;

    10. argument thesis, evidence, reasoning论点、论据、论证;

    4. Our Task: Language Skills and Learning Strategies (at an Advanced Level, with focus on Critical Reading and Critical Thinking)

    Critical: comes from the Greek root krito, meaning to discern, discover, or differentiate

Reading Critically:

    A. You read purposefully, with expectations arising from the context and your awareness of the kind of writing you are reading.

    B. You read sympathetically, with an appreciation for what the writer is trying to say. C. You read analytically, examining the different parts of the text to see how they are related.

    D. You read systematically, looking for contradictions in logic and shifts in meaning.

    E. You read imaginatively, fulfilling in gaps, extending and applying ideas.

    You become the writers partner, completing the circuit of communication.

    Critical readers do not just read for information, although they do work to notice important details. They do not simply accept the texts authority, but question

    its assertions and information. For such readers, texts are not merely monologues addressed by active authors to passive readers but dialogues between active authors and active readers.

Strategies for Critical Reading?



    utlining O


    Taking Inventory

    Analyzing Arguments

4.1 Critical reading:

     a. reading in which the reader reacts critically to what he or she is reading, through relating the content of the reading material to personal standards, values, attitudes or beliefs, i.g. going beyond what is given in the text and critically evaluating the relevancy and value of what is read.

     b. a level of reading in which the reader seeks to identify the underlying ideology of a text, which is realized not so much by what the writer writes about but by how people, events and places are talked about. Critical reading focuses on the analysis of textual ideologies and cultural messages, and an understanding of the linguistic and discourse techniques with which texts represent social reality. Critical reading is one dimension of critical pedagogy.

4.2 Critical pedagogy:

     An approach to teaching that seeks to examine critically the conditions under which language is used and the social and cultural purposes of its use, rather than transmitting the dominant view of linguistic, cultural and other kinds of information. Both the process of teaching and learning and its study are viewed as inherently evaluative or ideological in character.

4.3 Critical thinking:

    A level of reading comprehension or discussion skills when the learner is able to question and evaluate what is read or heard. In language teaching this is said to engage students more actively with materials in the target language, encourage a deeper processing of it, and show respect for students as independent (creative) thinkers.

    4.4 Critical Reading Skills (make the 5 important distinctions between) 1. the person and the idea

    2. matters of taste and matters of judgment

    3. fact and opinion

    4. literal statement and ironic statement

    5. ideas validity and the quality of its expression

5. Distinguish Facts, Interpretations, and Value Judgments.

    Making such distinctions and learning to defend them prove critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. Because learning to identify our ideas as facts, interpretations, or value judgments facilitates critical thinking, we need to define these terms very carefully.

What is a Fact?

    Scientists define facts as statements that are empirically verifiable, statements that no

    one can disprove. For instance, if it is a fact there are 6 ounces of liquid in a measuring cup, every one who correctly measures the liquid in the cup should come up with the same figure.

    Remember, however, that a fact, by itself, usually tells us very little. It is only when it is connected to other facts and interpreted that it comes to have a significant meaning. Furthermore, in complex situations, what many people call a fact may eventually be

    disproved when new data are uncovered.

    Question: How do we know whether a factual statement is true or false? Answer: We call a factual statement true when it can be checked out and

    empirically verified by other reliable observers.

What is an Interpretation?

    An interpretation is an explanation or opinion about some aspect of human experience. Interpretations may be used upon factual data and logical analysis, or they may simply be assertions of belief with little or no reference to factual data. We say that a person has an informed opinion or a considered opinion when he or

    she has arrived at an interpretation through careful thought and careful accumulation of supporting data. On the other hand, many interpretations, while they seem to make sense, are merely ideas that someone has accepted without looking for evidence or logical arguments to support them; or perhaps the supporting evidence is faulty or inadequate.

The following words denote various kinds of interpretations:

    Beliefs, opinions, attitudes, assumptions, theories, hypotheses, arguments, claims, inferences, deductions, generalizations, value judgments, prejudices, biases

A scientific theory would rank as an informed opinion insofar as it is based upon

    carefully collected data that has been checked and verified by trained scientists; a prejudice or bias is an uninformed opinion; it is an interpretation based upon inaccurate or very limited evidence.

    Question: How can we decide whether an interpretation is an accurate interpretation? Answer: We must evaluate the evidence upon which it is based, and we must consider whether the interpretation is logical.

What is a Value Judgment?

    A value judgment is a special kind of interpretation that indicates whether someone approves or disapproves, likes or dislikes, or considers something good or bad.

    Some value judgments are gut reactions, indicating the spontaneous (not necessarily rationally considered) personal preferences of an individual. For instance, the statement I love ice cream indicates a personal preference for this food. The

    statement Ice cream is good for you, however, is more than a personal preference,

    and the listener would expect you to have evidence to support your opinion. Here is another example. The statement, That was a good movie may really mean I

    enjoyed that movie, indicating nothing more than a personal reaction of one

    individual. However, if you have some knowledge of movie making, you might move from the gut reaction type of statement to a considered opinion, backing up your preference with an assessment of the camera technique, the acting, the editing, or other aspects of film production.

    Value judgments, then, like any interpretations, may be mere opinions or they may be what we call considered opinions or informed opinions.

Question: Can one value judgment be better than another?

    Answer: When a value judgment is a personal preference and affects no one but that individual (as when someone says, I like ice cream), then one judgment is a s good

    as another. It is simply each persons private preference. However, when a value

    judgment indicates that something is good or bad in and of itself, good or bad, that is, for everyone (for example, when some claims ice cream is good [or bad] for you),

    then we expect that judgment to be supported by evidence and logical arguments, and

    we reject it if it lacks such support.

6. Major Writing Strategies

    Analysis: the writer takes something apart (e.g. an issue, an article, etc.), examining the different parts of it separately and seeing how the parts relate to each other. In an analysis, the writer uses one or more of the strategies listed below Argumentation: the writer takes a strong position on an issue (often a controversial

    issue) and provides supporting evidence and logical reasons to defend that position. Cause & Effect: the writer explains what caused something and / or traces the effects or consequences or results of something.

    Classification: the writer sorts or groups things according to certain categories. Comparison & Contrast: the writer compares and contrasts two or more things, noting similarities and differences.

    Definition: the writer explains or defines what a word or a phrase or an idea means. Description: the writer vividly describes something so that the reader can form a mental image of it.

    Exemplification: the writer explains or defines or analyzes something by giving specific examples.

    Narration: the writer tells a story to illustrate a point or examine an issue. Process: the writer describes a process, step by step. This becomes an analysis when, in addition to describing the process, the writer also explains the significance of some of the steps of the process or analyzes the relationship of one step to another.

Secondary Writing Strategies:

    Anticipation criticism, asking a question, diagram and picture, dialogue, figurative language, historical data, humor, hyperbole, personal experience, quotation, reference to authority, repetition, rhetorical question, statistics

7. Recognizing Patterns:

    1. Personal writing and human interest writing:

    Personal Essay, Literary Essay, Social Comment Essay, Human Interest Journalism, 2. Expository writing:

    News Report, Editorial, Social or Public Analysis, Professional Article, Satire

8. Organizing Patterns

    A. Writing about what someone else has written

    Sample patterns:

    a. T-A-P the authors topic, audience, purpose

    b. T-A-Cq the authors purpose

     how it is achieved

     the authors conclusions (or questions raised)

    c. F-A-N what is the author for?

     What is the author against?

     What is the author (or what are you, the reader) not sure about? d. Summary-analysis-evaluation (this pattern may incorporate T-A-P, P-A-Cq, and F-A-N strategies)

    B. C&E: Cause and Effect Analysis

    Sample patterns: introduction: the situation or condition

     Short term causes

     Short term effects

     Long range causes

     Far-reaching effects

    C. C&C: Comparison and Contrast

    D. Process: Description of How Something Is (or Was) Done or Made

    Sample pattern: first, next, then, after

    E. Problem-Solution: Analysis of a Problem and Possible Solution(s)


    Sample pattern:

    introduction: describe the problem

     cause or causes of problem (theoretical, 理论分析色彩)

     way (or alternative ways) of solving (or dealing with) the problem

    possible drawbacks (practical, 可操作性~从理论到实践)

    anticipated effects and benefits of this approach to the problem


    F. Paper Comparing Two Articles

    Sample patterns:

    a. part-to-part organization

     ?. Introduction

     a. overview of the problem or issue

     b. introduce articles X and Y

     ?.Audience (who is being addressed and why?)

     a. X

     b. Y

     ?. How authors develop their main ideas (writing strategies)

     a. X

     b. Y

     ?. Conclusion reached

     a. X

     b. Y


    b. Whole-to-whole organization

     ?. Introduction

    a. overview of the problem or issue

    b. introduce articles X and Y

     ?.Analysis of article X

     ?. Analysis of article Y

     ?. Evaluation

This type of paper is a comparison of two articles. No matter what organizational

    pattern you use, you can link the different parts of your paper by using appropriate

    transition words. For instance:

    Like X, Y alsoUnlike X, YX is, while YComparing X to Y, we see

    Compared to X, Y isX and Y are both Both areNeither areX is similar to Y X differs from YX agreesY disagrees

    9. Distinguish Summary, Analysis, and Evaluation Summary (T-A-P)

    a. authors thesis

    b. other major ideas

    c. conclusions reached, or questions raised

    Analysis (P-A-Cq)

    a. authors purpose

    b. how achieved

    c. conclusions reached, or questions raised

    Analysis / Evaluation

    Does the author achieve his or her purpose?

    Are techniques of exposition effective?

    Is there evidence to support the thesis or argument developed by the author?

    Is the evidence persuasive?

    Is there any evidence or counterargument you can think of that might contradict or

    undermine the authors conclusion or any specific points made along the way? Do you think the author left out anything important? Evaluation / Personal Response

    Your reactions: Did you like the essay? Why? Why not? Were you convinced by it?

    o you agree or disagree? D

    What are your ideas about the issues being discussed? Did you learn something you didnt know?

    What idea seemed particularly interesting or significant? What do you question or wonder about?


    a. Tone: Is it informal? conversational? professional? Critical? Satirical? Amused?

    Encouraged? Pensive? Etc.

    b. Audience: is it general? Professional? Etc.

    c. Purpose: identifying the tone of the essay should help you define the authors

    purpose to persuade, explain, criticize, report, encourage, advise, reassure, influence,

    clarify, etc.

    d. How achieved: through personal experience, comparison and contrast, cause and

    effect, definition, classification, figurative language, reference to authority, statistics,

    telling a story, specific examples, satire, humor, etc. e. Conclusions reached

    f. Consider the title

    g. Can you see any relationship between the following?

     What is being said

     Who is saying it

     Who is being addressed (audience)

     How it is said (tone, style, writing starategies)

A summary identifies the thesis and the other major ideas and indicates the authors

    conclusions. Sometimes, the summary briefly suggests how the author develops his or her ideas. Remember: in a summary you report the authors ideas as accurately as

    possibly. Do not include your own opinions.

    An Analysis explains what, why, and how: that is, the analysis explains why the author wrote the article or essay (purpose), what his or her point of view is, and how he or she develops the main ideas (writing strategies). The analysis might also consider why the author chose those particular writing and argument strategies. An analysis may be developed without including any value judgment. That is, it is possible to interpret an articles meaning and explain the writing strategies used

    without saying whether you think the article was well-written or whether you agree or disagree.

    An Evaluation is a special kind of analysis that includes value judgment. Thus, in addition to interpreting and explaining the authors meaning and writing strategies, it

    also evaluates them. Because a persuasive evaluation depends on a thorough understanding of the material, careful analysis provides the groundwork for an evaluation. Most reviewers of articles, books, films, or the arts combine analysis with evaluation. When a review combines analysis and evaluation, it is called a critique.

    A Personal response can be a legitimate part of an evaluation, but a reader should attempt to separate his or her own response and personal convictions from the evaluation of the validity of the authors ideas, writing style, arguments, and insights.

    You must always supply evidence to support your interpretations and your evaluations.

10. Guidelines for Writing about Summary, Analysis, and Evaluation (112,


11. Some Important Words

    Transition words

    Although, however, while, nevertheless, but, still

    Since, because, consequently, thus

    Briefly, in conclusion

    On the one hand, on the other hand, in contrast, comparing

    Then, therefore as a result, so that

    Certainly, obviously, of course

    For example, for instance, in other words

    Likewise, similarly

    Moreover, furthermore, in addition, first, second, third, etc.

    Before, after

    Next, later, finally,

    Above, below

Words to replace Yes

    Declares, states, asserts explains, analyzes, considers, assumes, implies, indicates, Ridicules, laughs at, makes fun of, pokes fun at, notes, writes, informs, review,

    Mentions, compares, contrasts, suggests, recommends, advocates, assures, stresses, Remarks, comments, claims, connects, correlates, advises, emphasizes, Approves of, applauds, agrees, favors, argues, criticizes, complains, disapproves of, Is shocked by, believes, thinks, decides, protests, resolves

Words that describe Tone

    Calm, casual, conversational, informal, objective, technical, scientific, formal, nalytic, subjective, expressive, emotional, charged, unemotional, low-keyed, a

    detached, concerned, worried, bewildered, confused, authoritative, scholarly, academic, satiric, ironic, harsh, sarcastic, biting, bitter, cynical, dogmatic, didactic preachy, optimistic, encouraging, reassuring, hopeful, enthusiastic, pessimistic, serious, grim, cranky, complaining, scolding, critical, caustic, angry, hostile, antagonistic, adversarial, playful, lighthearted, amused

11. Classroom approach:

Read aloud (pronunciation, intonation, etc) ? interpret (faithful, expressive,

    elegant?) ? paraphrase (word, phrase, sentence, think in English, conceptual thinking closely related to abstract nouns) ? ideas, language awareness, analysis,

    appreciation or admiration (style, tone, sensitive to language form and function and conveying of meaning )


12. Thinking about Language

a. Denotation and Connotation

    Denotation: dictionary meaning, what a word really refers to.

    Connotation: emotional coloring or association that affect the way we perceive

    what they represent.

    b. The Language Ladder

    Moving down the language ladder:

    When we write and talk, our language is a mixture of concrete and abstract words.

    Words that describe what one can see, hear, touch and even smell. Specific details

    like these make writing more vivid and clear, helping the reader to understand

    what the writer means.

    Moving up the language ladder:

    In order to talk or write what you see or read or experience, it is also useful to be

    able to move up the language ladder and find a general idea that the specific

    details illustrate or suggest

c. Classifying and Categorizing

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