English Language I

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


"Outline of the "5 "
"course......................................" "
"...................................... " "
"Presentation................................"7 "
"............................................" "
".............. " "
"Objectives.................................."8 "
"............................................" "
"............... " "
"Outline of "9 "
"contents...................................." "
"........................................... " "
"Development of "11 "
"contents...................................."11 "
".................................. "13 "
"1. Speaking "17 "
"............................................"22 "
"........................................ "33 "
"2. Reading "39 "
"............................................"43 "
"......................................... "45 "
"3. Listening " "
"............................................" "
"....................................... " "
"4. Reading " "
"............................................" "
"......................................... " "
"5. Writing " "
"............................................" "
".......................................... " "
"6. Reading " "
"............................................" "
"......................................... " "
"7. Classroom English " "
"............................................" "
"........................ " "
"8. Reading " "
"............................................" "
"......................................... " "
"Activities.................................."48 "
"............................................" "
"................ " "
"Bibliography................................"49 "
"............................................" "
"............. " "
"Self-check "50 "
"exercises..................................." "
".......................................... " "
"Key to self-check "52 "
"exercises..................................." "
".............................. " "





OUTLINE OF THE COURSE






MODULE 1. Welcome to university





MODULE 2. Wanna be a teacher?





MODULE 3. English around the world





MODULE 4. Words, words, words





MODULE 5. School days





MODULE 6. Blue for a boy, pink for a girl





MODULE 7. Once upon a time





MODULE 8. Let's play!





MODULE 9. A planet for children






PRESENTATION


In this module we have chosen University as a topic so that students will
become familiar with their new educational environment and will thus be
able to understand others and to express their needs and hopes in relation
to that new context, while using English as their means of communication.
Module 1 includes a series of activities aimed at developing the students'
basic linguistic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. To that
end, a number of texts are presented and the different activities stem from
them. These activities not only contribute to the development of the above-
mentioned basic skills, but also encourage linguistic analysis and study
skills in the students.

To begin with, the students engage in a conversational activity, which
tries to make them find out as much as possible about their peers. Then
they read the teachers' letter of introduction, which gives them a warm
welcome plus a general idea of what is to be expected of them. This letter
is then analysed in terms of register and text organisation. At this point,
it is suggested that students should keep a record of different text types
that they can later on use as writing models.

Next, the students are presented with a listening activity. They watch the
UIB's presentation video in English, which provides them with a model
description of their own campus. On the basis of that listening
comprehension exercise, students review English vowels and diphthongs and
become familiar with the phonetic symbols used to represent them.

Central to this module is the reading selection in which a Spanish
postgraduate student describes his experience at Oxford University. At
different points in the interview, he establishes a contrast between the
British and the Spanish educational systems. The contrast between different
educational systems is further explored by a later reading in which a
Japanese scholar looks at British vs. American higher education.

Module 1 presents the writing project that students will be asked to carry
out throughout the course, namely the elaboration of an alternative guide
to the UIB. The academic presentation standards which students will be
requested to follow are also introduced at this point together with the
teachers' marking code.

Each module focuses on an aspect of classroom English as this is viewed as
a central part of the course. In this case, the classroom English section
considers different ways in which teachers can introduce themselves to a
class and can use everyday social expressions with different functions. The
module ends with a reading in which students scan different course
descriptions in order to obtain specific information.

OBJECTIVES


The objectives specific to this module can be summarised as follows:

Introducing oneself and getting to know each other.

Becoming familiar with some of the basic language used to describe
university life.

Investigating register and text organisation.

Reviewing English vowels and diphthongs.

Reflecting on different educational systems.

Practising question formation.

Engaging in a writing project on university life.

Reviewing the present tenses.

Scanning a text for specific information.



OUTLINE OF CONTENTS


1. SPEAKING

1.1. Questionnaire: Getting to know each other

1.2. Language study: Discourse markers. Understanding others and making
oneself understood







2. READING

2.1. Teachers' letter of introduction

2.2. Language study: Investigating register

2.3. Language study: Investigating text organisation

2.4. Learning to learn: Keeping a record of different text types







3. LISTENING

3.1. Quiz: Finding out how much you know about the UIB

3.2. Watching the UIB presentation video

3.3. Language study: English vowels and diphthongs







4. READING

4.1. Interview with a Spanish postgraduate student at Oxford University

4.2. Language study: Question formation

4.3. Further points of language study





5. WRITING

5.1. Writing project: Elaborating an alternative guide to the UIB

5.2. Presentation requirements and marking code










6. READING

6.1. British vs. American university education: A view from a Japanese
scholar

6.2. Language study: Introducing American and British varieties of
English

6.3. Language study: Reviewing the present tenses







7. CLASSROOM ENGLISH

7.1. Introducing yourself

7.2. Using every day social expressions with different functions (e.g.
greeting/parting/getting attention)







8. READING

8.1. Harvard School of Education course descriptions

8.2. Learning to learn: Scanning

DEVELOPMENT OF CONTENTS




1. SPEAKING

1.1. Questionnaire: Getting to know each other

During the first days of a course, many teachers ask you to fill out index
cards with some personal information. This is also a good time to find out
more about your classmates' backgrounds and expectations as well as to
become aware of your starting point as English language learners. The
following questions might help you do both these things. Work in small
groups and get to know more about each other by answering the following
questions:

How did you decide to study this degree?

Do you feel your English mark in the university entrance examinations
reflects your linguistic competence? Why / Why not?

Have you registered yet?

How many credits are you taking this year?

Which subjects are you taking? What's your schedule/timetable?

Have you attended other classes yet? What were they like?

Do you work? What do you do? Would you like to teach in the future?

Do you have any special hobbies or interests?

Do you live in Palma? Near or far from the university?

Now we would like you to comment on the kind of English input you have been
exposed to so far:

Did you take any English classes/tuition outside of school?

Were your English classes at school taught entirely in that language?

Have you ever consulted any reference books in English?

Have you ever been to an English-speaking country? If so, where and for
how long?

Have you ever had any opportunities to practise English outside your
classes? Where? How often?

Do you read English books or magazines? Do you listen to cassettes, CDs
or radio programmes in English?

Do you watch videos, TV programmes or films in English?

Do you have any English-speaking friends, penpals or keypals?

Are you a regular Internet user? Do you chat in English?

If most of the answers to the second part of the questionnaire were
negative, chances are that you will need to find ways to broaden your
English input. Would you know how to go about doing the things just
mentioned? Once you are finished discussing these questions, choose a
spokesperson to report your findings to the rest of the class.

1.2. Language study: Discourse markers. Understanding others and making
oneself understood

One of the first needs you have probably felt when trying to communicate in
a foreign language is the need for checking both that you understand others
and that you are making yourself understood. There are a number of
discourse markers in English that enable you to fulfil those functions. The
following are just some examples. Try to incorporate them into your speech.
They will be particularly valuable in the new situation you face at
present. You may find it difficult to follow your teacher lecturing in
English. Perhaps you are not used to his or her accent or to listening and
taking notes at the same time. In addition, some terminology related to
course content will be unfamiliar to you. In all probability, all these
problems will diminish as the year progresses, but a list of helpful
expressions may come in handy whenever you run into trouble.



Checking understanding

Pardon (me) / I beg you pardon

I'm sorry, but ...

Excuse me for interrupting, but ...

May I ask a question? / I have a question about ...

I didn't get/(quite) understand that

I'm not following you now

If I understand you correctly, ...

Could you spell/write/read/repeat that, please?

Would you mind repeating that / saying that again?

What (exactly) do you mean/understand by ...?

Do you mean to say that ...? / In other words, (you're saying) ...

Could you explain ... a little further?



Making oneself understood

You know

I mean

If you know what I mean

Am I making myself clear/understood?

Are you (still) following me / with me?

Have you understood so far?

Is that clear?

Have you got it? / Got that? / Right?

OK so far?

What I mean to say is that ...

The thing is that ...



Notice that some of these discourse markers also function as pause fillers
(e.g. you know, I mean), that is, they fill in the pauses while we are
thinking of what to say next.

We are often at a loss for words. At such times, developing the ability to
paraphrase (i.e. say what you mean using different words) is one of the
best ways that we can get round our lexical gaps. In order to practise this
skill, you will now be given a list of words in your language that you
should try to explain to your partner in English without resorting to a
translation:

oposicions funcionari troncals Campus Extens

2. READING

2.1. Teachers' letter of introduction

Read the following letter of introduction to the course and then do the
tasks in connection with it.



Ramon Llull (Office 330)

University of the Balearic Islands

Cra. Valldemossa, km. 7,5

07071 Palma

October, 2000



Dear student,

First of all we would like to welcome you to your first-year English
language course. My name is Maria Juan and I'll be your English language
teacher this year and possibly next year, too. My colleague María Loredo
has also participated in the elaboration of the materials we'll be using
and will also teach some sessions. We both hope this new course will be a
rewarding experience for the teachers and students alike.

For most of you this will be your first year at university and, most
likely, you will have some difficulties in getting used to this new
environment. The gap between secondary education and university life will
be hard to bridge, but at the same time it will definitely be a challenging
adventure.

To begin with, you will have to get used to larger classes, which will
often be taught entirely in English. On top of that, English teachers will
expect you to have a good command of the language, at least an intermediate
level at the beginning of the course, which unfortunately will not always
be the case. By the end of the first year you are expected to have reached
an upper-intermediate level, which, in turn, should progress to advanced by
the end of your second year.

Apart from that, you will have to develop a greater autonomy as a learner,
familiarising yourself with new situations such as going to libraries and
finding information. You should also learn to take advantage of university
facilities, tutorials and group work. Above all, you must be ready to work
hard and on a regular basis since linguistic competence cannot be
improvised.

Throughout the two English language courses, Idioma Estranger i la Seva
Didàctica I and II, we shall present a series of materials and activities
aimed at developing your linguistic competence. The main difference between
our proposal and the materials available in general English books at upper-
intermediate and advanced levels lies basically in the following aspects.
On the one hand, our materials are meant to provide basic tools to help you
cope with your future needs as English teachers. For example, classroom
language will be present in both years. In addition, there is an emphasis
on oral production since we feel that English should be used as the
language of instruction and, what is more, that oral skills are of the
utmost importance at the primary school level. On the other hand, most
materials have education-related issues at their core in the hope that you
will find them highly motivating. Last but not least, they are meant to
develop your awareness of how language works through critical linguistic
analysis.

We would also like to mention that we favour a communicative approach to
language teaching/learning and that we have pursued an integration of the
four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) in most activities.
Despite large classes, we shall encourage active participation.
Constructive criticism would be most appreciated in order to adjust our
teaching to your learning needs.

Finally, we would like to finish congratulating you on the choice of your
degree. From our own experience, we can assure you that, despite obstacles
and inevitable ups and downs, the teaching profession is really worth the
effort. We wouldn't be writing this letter unless we thought so, would we?

Good luck in this new journey you are about to start. We shall be there to
help you!

The teachers

2.1.1. Text Analysis: Reasons for writing

When people write they usually do it to communicate something to other
people. What might have been the teachers' reasons for writing you a
letter? Find examples of the following in the text:

( An icebreaker

( Giving instructions

( A statement on methodology

( Warnings

( Giving advice

( Stating objectives

( One of the oldest teaching strategies: Acting friendly on the first
day of class (i.e. a wolf in sheep's clothing)

( Others

2.2. Language study: Investigating register

In written texts, register is a device used by the writer to show his/her
position and attitude in relation to the reader. There are different shades
of register. We could place a very formal register at one end and a very
colloquial one at the other. In between neutral and informal registers are
some other possibilities.

Which register is most appropriate for the letter above? Why?

What features would you expect to find in an informal letter? Can you find
any of those features in the previous letter?

Now, reflect for a couple of minutes on the effects of being addressed
personally: 'Dear student'. Marketing experts long ago discovered its
power. Have you ever been sent a personal letter which, in fact, turned out
to be an advert of a product they were trying to make you buy?

2.3. Language study: Investigating text organisation

Match, if possible, the following headings with different paragraphs of the
letter. Some of the headings may not fit. The result of your matching could
easily have been used as a draft by the teachers before writing the letter.
This kind of exercise will develop your awareness of the discursive
structures that underlie a given text.

1. Target students Paragraph 1

2. Working habits

3. Course description

4. Entrance requirements

5. Offer of support

6. Welcome formula

7. Social life

8. University facilities

9. Contents of materials

10. Examination dates

11. Methodological approach

12. Formulaic opening

13. Formulaic closing

14. Registration procedures

2.4. Learning to learn: Keeping a record of different text types

Learning tips!

( Keep a record of different text types (e.g. letter models). It will
save you a lot of work.

( Memorise some useful formulaic expressions that appear frequently in
letter writing or in other text types.





The UIB's hall of residence

3. LISTENING

3.1. Quiz: Finding out how much you know about the UIB

3.1.1. Learning to learn: Anticipating information

Learning tip!

One of the techniques for effective listening is anticipating information.
The following exercise will help you to develop this strategy.

3.1.2. Some history

Before seeing the presentation video of the UIB, get into small groups and
try to guess some information about the history of our university. Several
options are presented for each of the points below. Try to circle the
correct one. Then watch the video and check whether your guesses were
correct. Notice that this exercise deals with dates. Make sure you can read
them out correctly. How do we read other dates such as 1900 or 2000?

The origin of the University of the Balearic Islands dates back to 1283 /
1483 / 1643 when the Estudi General Lul.lià was founded to teach Arts and
Science / Theology and Arts / Medicine and Philosophy.

In 1673 / 1773 / 1883 its status was consolidated with new studies.

In the 70's / 60's / 50's the faculties of Science, Law and Art were
established as branches of the University of Barcelona.

Finally, transfer of the UIB to the Autonomous Government of the Balearic
Islands took place in 1996 / 1992 / 1994.

3.1.3. Degrees and Diplomas offered

Scan the following lists and tick the degrees/diplomas that are not offered
at the UIB. You can also rank from 1 to 5 the degrees that you think are
the most popular. Then check your answers as you listen.



"Diplomas " "Teaching: "
"Business " "Physical Education "
"Social Education " "Infant Education "
"European Studies " "Music "
"Nursing " "Primary Education "
"Technical " "Foreign Language "
"Engineering: " " "
"Computer " "Tourism "
"Management " " "
"Computer Systems " "Labour Relations "
"Telematics " "Social Work "


"Degree Courses " " "
"Architecture " "Portuguese "
" " "Philology "
"Business Administration " "Philosophy "
"and " " "
"Management " "Physics "
"Biology " "Nuclear Physics "
"Biochemistry " "Geology "
"Law " "Geography "
"Economics " "History "
"Environmental Studies " "History of Art "
"Catalan Philology " "Ancient History "
"Spanish Philology " "Educational "
" " "Psychology "
"Archaeology " "Chemistry "
"Mathematics " "Organic "
" " "Chemistry "
"Education " "Civil "
" " "Engineering "
"Social Education " "Chemical "
" " "Engineering "
"Environmental Education " "Engineering in "
" " "Computer "
"Psychology " "Science "
"Infant Psychology " "Forestry "
" " "Engineering "


Top five studies

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

3.2. Watching the UIB presentation video

As you listen to the UIB presentation video, try to do the following
exercises.

3.2.1. Double degrees

Are there any agreements with other universities leading to double degrees?
Which ones? Complete the missing information:

_________________ Philology

_________________ Philology

_________________ Engineering

_________________

3.2.2. Strong points

Which of the following aspects make the UIB stand out among the leading
universities in Spain?

Facilities for the disabled

New technologies

Number of research projects

Natural surroundings

Cheap fixed-price lunches

Evaluation programmes

Research output

Publications

3.2.3. Governing bodies

The UIB is governed by a series of bodies. Match their names with the
functions they fulfil. Then check your answers with the video.


"Governing "Functions "
"bodies " "
"1. Student "a) It works with the Rector in the "
"Council "co-ordination and implementation of "
" "university policy. "
"2. Assembly "b) It encourages the wider society of "
" "the Balearic Islands to participate in "
" "university life. "
"3. Rector "c) It is the highest representative "
" "body in the university. It is "
" "responsible for decision-making and "
" "control of the university community. "
"4. Executive "d) S/he is chosen by the Assembly and "
"Council "is the highest academic authority in "
" "the university. "
"5. Senate "e) It is the highest body of student "
" "representation. "
"6. Social "f) It is a collegiate body that deals "
"Council "with the day-to-day management of the "
" "university. "


3.2.4. Other university services

3.2.4.1. The following is a list of other university services. Mark them
depending on whether their services are offered only on an internal level
(I) or are open to the public (P).

— Information Bureau

— Legal Advice Service

— University Admissions

— Sports Activities

— Cultural Activities

— Communication Unit

— Library and Documentation Service

— Language Unit

— Publications

— Analysis and Test Laboratory

— Computer Graphics and Advanced Multimedia Unit

— Geographical and Territorial Information Systems Laboratory



Library

3.2.4.2. Note-taking

Take notes about at least four of the following university services. What
are their functions?

R(esearch) + D(evelopment) (OTRI):

International Relations Service:

Audio-Visual Unit:

Computer Science Unit:

Institute of Education Sciences (ICE):

Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA):

University-Enterprise Foundation:

3.3. Language study: English vowels and diphthongs

Many of you will not be familiar with the basic terminology of phonetics.
One of the aims of the pronunciation sections in the different modules is
to familiarise you with it. In addition, we would like you to review
English sounds starting with vowels and diphthongs.

3.3.1. English vowels

There are twelve vowel sounds in English. They are represented by the
phonetic symbols below. To illustrate them, we have taken some words from
the last fragment of the video tapescript we have just watched. Let's
listen to it again, this time trying to focus on the quality of its vowel
sounds. Can you spot any additional examples of the different sounds?

"/((/"university " "/(/ "challenge "
"/((/"ease " "/((/"youth "
"/((/"courses " "/((/"staff "
"/(/ "number " "/(/ "century "
"/(/ "quality " "/(/ "should "
"/(/ "research " "/(/ "commitment "


Notice that there is often a lack of correspondence between sound and
spelling in English. As things are, most vowel sounds can be represented by
various vowels or vowel combinations.

The sound /(/ as in the /((/ is known as the 'schwa'. This is the most
common vowel sound in English. It is never stressed and is often found in
weak forms. In fact, many unstressed syllables are realized as the schwa in
the reduced phonemes of connected speech.

3.3.1.1. Practising vowel symbols

Try to write down the correct symbols for the words below and then check
your answers with the video.

a) / / university

b) / / youngest

c) / / demand

d) / / modern

e) / / number

f) / / it

g) / / excellency

h) / / all

i) / / students

j) / / meet

k) / / forgotten

l) / / support



3.3.2. English Diphthongs

There are eight diphthongs in English. They are made from two vowel sounds
put together. The first sound is longer than the second sound. For each
diphthong, examples from the last part of the UIB presentation video have
been provided where possible. Can you add any other examples to the list?

/((( islands, primarily, providing, ...

/((( down ...

/((( range, placed, made, greatly, Spain, ...

/((/ bear ...

/((/ real ...

/((/ shown, focussed, ...

/((/ tour ...

/((/ voice ...

4. READING

4.1. Interview with a Spanish postgraduate student at Oxford University

4.1.1. Before you read (Parts 1 & 2)

Imagine you have a relative or a friend who is a student at Oxford
University and is now here on holiday. Write down five questions you would
like to ask him/her.

1



2.



3.



4.



5.






( Miguel punting on the Isis

4.1.2. As you read (Part 1)

You are going to read the first part of an interview in which Miguel Mulet,
a Spanish PhD student at Oxford University, tells us about his personal
experience of the British university system in an informal and often
humorous tone. As you read, take note of the aspects of university life he
mentions which differ from Spanish higher education.


__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
______________


__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
______________


__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
_____________


__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
______________


__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
______________




Q 1: Miguel, I believe that you did a degree in Engineering at Imperial
College in London and that you are currently writing a PhD dissertation at
Oxford University. Tell me, how does a Spaniard manage to enter a British
university?

The main difference between British and Spanish universities is that the
former are extremely flexible in their acceptance procedures. Usually to
enter as an undergraduate you need to take the British 'A' (Advanced)
Levels (official exams taken at 18+). Generally, you come to the university
for an interview and given your past performance in the previous set of
official exams (GCSEs at 16+) and how keen you appear to be during the
interview, the department makes you a conditional offer. People tend to do
3 or 4 A levels, the university will ask you to get at least 2Bs and an A
for example. In June you take the exams and if you get these marks, or
better, you are in. Academic departments tend to be ranked according to the
quality of their teaching and research. Better departments will tend to
make higher score offers, for example it is very rare that Oxford will make
offers below 3 As for any subject. However, this is not the only way of
getting into British universities. In fact, the university may make you an
unconditional offer if you persuade them that you are talented and keen. In
this case, they may look favourably at your qualifications regardless of
where you got them. [...] In the end it all boils down to an arrangement
between the Department and you, and you don't need to go through
ministerial paperwork or convalidation exams as it happens in Spain.
Another plus point of UK education is that until now if you had a place in
a university and you were a EU citizen you would get your fees paid by the
local authority of the place at which you are studying.

Q 2: Have you ever had any difficulties with the language?

No, never, I spoke English since I was small. It's true that at first some
colloquial expressions were hard to get, but you get used to it. Friends of
mine that had not spoken English from childhood did not seem to have much
difficulty either. The best way to learn a language is to go to the country
itself, and it's amazing how quickly you pick it up.

Q 3: Did you find it difficult to adapt to British lifestyle? If so, in
what ways?

I always say (jokingly) that there is no British lifestyle and if there is,
it is not worth adapting to! One thing is for sure, the quality of life is
miles away from Majorca, no doubt. However, as a student you do live quite
well given that you have opportunities that other people don't have
(discounts on transport, entertainment, etc). If you study in Oxford or
Cambridge then the quality of life is quite better in general because the
universities provide more things and the towns are nice to live in.

With respect to Spain, studying in England is easier in terms of paperwork
and organisation. The university is very well organised and provides all
sorts of entertainment and welfare services. They try to make sure you are
happy. They do get involved in your education and your welfare. This is
easier in the UK with respect to Spain since the univs. are smaller
(Imperial has only 5000 students for example), and there is greater control
over the studentbody. However, the country itself is quite bleak. It tends
to rain a lot. It is cold. The food is generally poor (perhaps an
understatement) and the people are not the happiness of the orchard (as
Spaniards may say). People are always correct, but rarely friendly.

To explain the difference between England and Spain let me give you an
example that I think depicts very well the attitude in each country. In
Spain you go to a civil servant to get something done and in most cases
(unless his football team won the previous night) he will not be
exceedingly corteous, or caring or friendly. However, you meet him ten
minutes later in a bar, and I am sure he will invite you to a coffee and
tell you his life and penuries, and if you support the same football team
he might even invite you to two coffees. In England you approach a civil
servant and he will be extremely corteous, kind, sometimes even genuinely
caring. However, you see him in a pub later on and I bet you 100 to 1 that
he will not even acknowledge your presence with a hello.

Still, I am being quite nasty and most people are great and full of
interests, particularly in Oxford, and regarding their civic values they
are well ahead of us, specially in terms of collaborating in charities and
societies, respecting each other in the streets, respecting the laws and
norms for living together, etc. Still, all this need for associating might
be a compensation mechanism for their lack of warmth and a way to feel they
belong to something.

One nice thing is that in Oxford I have friends from all over the world,
from France to South Africa, from China to Chile...

Q 4: Which are the major differences between the Spanish and the British
higher education systems in your opinion?

Apart from the flexibility and the openness I mentioned earlier, the main
difference is that British degrees are generally less formal and more
applied than in Spain. This, some may say, makes them more realistic. For
one thing, degrees are shorter, usually 3 years, except for engineering
which tends to be 4 and medicine which is 5-6 (as everywhere else). The
nice thing is that everything is very focused and applied. I did a year of
biochemistry, for example, and I did not have to do general physics or
chemistry. Every subject had direct relationship with the area I was
centering in and I got a good feel for the subject quickly. Luckily it was
so and it helped me to see early enough that I did not want to become a
biochemist.

The selection process is quite tough and hence few people drop out of
college. This also means that it is very rare that people retake exams. If
you fail many subjects without a good reason, you are invited to leave.
This makes the university less overpopulated than in Spain, and perhaps
more efficient. Having less unemployment and valuing middle grades more
makes this not necessarily a trauma, whereas in Spain it seems that
everybody needs a university degree and if possible at the highest level.

I must also say that degrees are very well organised and syllabuses are not
at all designed to fail people. You could say they are easier. I prefer to
think they are better taught and more realistic. Further, since most
degrees are 3 years, people after this time can decide what they like to
do, either continue in college to do Masters and PhDs (of which there are
many varieties) or perhaps do other more vocational courses (like teaching,
etc.) or enter industry, including finance, services and so on. This makes
the higher education system more flexible to fit the needs and demands of
everybody.

4.1.3. After you read (Part 1)

In small groups, discuss the following questions:

Were any of the questions you had predicted asked by the interviewer?

Were you surprised by any of the information Miguel gave?

Do you agree with Miguel's comments in relation to Spain?

Would you prefer to study in Britain rather than in Majorca from what
Miguel describes? What pros and cons would there be?

4.1.4. As you read (Part 2)

You may want to read the second part of the interview with Miguel now. As
you read, fill in the blanks with one of the connectors in the box. Which
contextual clues help you to make a choice?

well in fact for a start apart from ...

as you know otherwise still however

Q 5: How is Oxford University organised?

Oxford University is disorganised! ____________ (1), not really, let's say
it has a very peculiar organisation. We inherit a system that has come down
more or less untouched from the 13th century. In the Middle Ages, Oxford
was a seat of learning where scholars gave lessons in convents to which the
richer people could send their sons, mainly to study theology and religion.
This evolved over time and the convents became colleges that confederated
around a central body called the university. In this regime the colleges
would prepare their students for the exams set by the central university.
This would also issue the degrees. In fact the colleges ran most of the
teaching and the university only examined and gave degrees, and maybe
sometimes organised a general lecture. This is quite the same nowadays
particularly for humanities degrees. Today colleges have tutors who oversee
that you learn what you are taught in the lectures in your academic
department. ____________ (2), lectures are by far less important than these
tutorials. In a tutorial you are confronted face to face with a fellow ( a
teaching member of the college) who asks you to write essays on different
topics which you then discuss with him/her. The college also runs fake
exams (called mods or moderations) to check that you are progressing OK.
Finally at the end of the 1st and 3rd years, you sit exams at the
university, in fact at the university schools, the building where all
official exams in Oxford are held. As you see, this is more or less the
same that happened 600 years ago.

Q 6: Oxford is no doubt one of the most prestigious and traditional
universities in the world. Could you tell us about some of its traditions?

Well, Oxford is full of traditions that are as stupid as they are fun!
____________ (3), there's all the dress code for the exams and official
ceremonies: this is called sub-fusc (dunno why!) and consists of dark suit,
white shirt, white bow tie, gown and mortarboard. You wear this regalia
when you matriculate (join the university), take the exams (including your
PhD viva) and graduate (leave with a bit of paper, and a great relief,
under your arm). All these events are very ceremonious and full of little
rituals that you must go through, generally involving some incomprehensible
mumbling in Latin. ____________ (4) these things that nowadays seem to have
been copied everywhere, each college might have their own little 'dos',
such as the May balls. These are balls where the students get fairly
sloshed (drunk), and everybody dresses in black tie, i.e. what in Spain is
called esmokin; except for the girls that either look very pretty (the
minority) or more commonly something like a cross between a wedding cake
and a Louis XVI sofa.

Leaving the drunk aside, another great tradition here is rowing.
____________ (5) we do a lot of that and not only those guys that keep
losing against the other place, the blues (or univ. team), but also anybody
else who is merely interested in pulling on an oar. All colleges present a
number of boats (also called 'eights' because they carry eight rowers) to
the regattas that are held throughout the year. Since the Isis (also called
Thames downstream) is a narrow river as it passes Oxford, the boats start
one after another and the purpose of the race is to catch or bump the one
in front.

Q 7: What is life like in a college?

Quite good. This is one of the things that makes your life in England
bearable. In my case, I am in a graduate college. It is small and only for
people doing PhDs, MScs, etc. Before I was in a college for undergrads and
grads, but it is better to be in one for PhDs if you are doing one since
____________ (6) they tend not to pay attention to the interests of the
Middle Common Room. In a college you have a Senior Common Room for fellows,
a MCR for us, and a Junior Common Room for undergrads. These are both
places where you can sit and chat away (and smoke if you do and they let
you) and also associations of the students that present their interests and
needs to the governing body of the college. In fact, students have quite a
lot to say, although perhaps not a lot is listened to. ____________ (7),
you get the opportunity!

Colleges usually have some playing fields to play hockey, rugby and
football in winter, cricket and lawn tennis in summer and squash during the
year. The colleges also provide punts to go on the Isis. Punts are barges
that you push around the Isis during summer looking very proud to have
finished your exams, while trying to dribble the tourists that shipwreck
around you.

Colleges also organise nice dinners and most important of all formal halls.
Food is generally poor except one or two days a week, when colleges have
formal hall and provide poor food that looks good. For formal hall, you
need to dress formally, a suit and the gown are requisites. [...] The hall
consists of long tables where students sit on benches at the end of which,
and raised some inches above the floor level, there is a shorter table
unmysteriously called 'high table', where the college SCR eats.

Q 8: Do students generally belong to clubs/associations?

Yes, the more the better, it looks good on your CV and is fun. Also a good
way to socialise as they say here. Yep, everybody belongs to a number of
things, the most talented would for example row or play rugby, play in an
orchestra or quartet, shout their brains off in the Tory or Labour Society,
the Save the Children Charity or Amnesty International and why not perhaps
attend some lectures at the Spanish society, or even blabber some
Shakespeare with the college theatre group.

Q 9: What do students do for fun?

The above, and other things I am not going to mention in this very serious
interview...

Q 10: What are your prospects?

FINISH MY PHD!!!!! and afterwards look for a job that will make me a
billionaire and retire at 40. No, seriously, look for a job I like and that
will pay up in terms of motivation (and money) for the effort I have put
into my PhD. I want to go back to Spain at some point and I am on the
lookout for research posts out there. ____________ (8) this is very
difficult at the moment. [...] Apart from all this, I hope to continue
enjoying those things I have learned to do during my stay at Oxford and
Imperial like rowing!

4.1.5. After you read

Let's check comprehension. Which of the following statements are true (T)
or false (F), or 'it doesn't say' (DS)?

Tick the appropriate box and prepare to justify your answer.

" " "T "F "DS "
"1) "Colleges were originally convents."( "( "( "
"2) "Tutors supervise students "( "( "( "
" "individually. " " " "
"3) "Mods count towards your final "( "( "( "
" "mark. " " " "
"4) "Other universities have imitated "( "( "( "
" "Oxford rituals. " " " "
"5) "Bumping other boats can be "( "( "( "
" "dangerous. " " " "
"6) "Some colleges are just for grads. "( "( "( "
"7) "Graduate students can sit at the "( "( "( "
" "'high table'. " " " "
"8) "Miguel belongs to the Spanish "( "( "( "
" "society. " " " "
"9) "He plans to retire at 40. "( "( "( "
"10)"All in all, he seems to be "( "( "( "
" "enjoying his stay at Oxford. " " " "


4.2. Language study: Question formation

4.2.1. No doubt asking and answering questions is a very important skill
for the foreign language learner. It is also a skill you will need to use
if you embark, for instance, on the survey activity proposed in section
5.1. Here are some incorrectly formed questions for you to correct. In
order to do so, you may want to check out the information on questions
provided below (section 4.2.2.).

Why children always get on your nerves?

( ...

Do you know why did she go back home?

( ...

Did they were hoping you would join them?

( ...

Let's go out, do we?

( ...

When you bought that car?

( ...

Is she agree with you?

( ...

How many time have you been going to English classes?

( ...

For who is this?

( ...

What did happen?

( ...

Can you tell me who is that girl?

( ...

4.2.2. Question forms

In many languages, including Catalan and Spanish, the distinction between
questions and statements is made only through intonation in speaking and
punctuation in writing. English, however, relies basically on grammar to
draw this distinction.

The following are some basic rules of question formation:

a) Information Questions with all main verbs (except 'be') are formed in
the following way. Note that if we form a question in the Present Simple or
Past Simple, we must provide the do/does/did auxiliary.

Question word + auxiliary verb + subject + main verb + complement(s)

"Why "do "they "come "to campus every "
" " " " "morning? "
"How long "did "Mary "stay "at the hotel? "
"What "has "the kid "got "in that box? "
"How often "should "you "brush "your teeth? "
"Why "couldn'"we "meet? " "
" "t " " " "
"Where "are "they "flying "on holiday? "


When the main verb in an Information Question is the verb 'be', it is
placed before the subject:

Question Word + the verb 'be' + subject + complement(s)

Why are they angry?

What is the answer to her question?

Where were you last night?

What was that?

b) Questions that only require a Yes/No response are formed by inverting
the first auxiliary (whatever type it is) and the subject.

"e.g"Is she all " "Are they coming?" "Should she "
". "right? " " " "play? "
" "Have you got a " "Has Mr Smith " "Do you like "
" "light? " "arrived yet? " "to read? "
" "Have you been " "Were the awards " "Has she "
" "seeing Dr Brown?" "given last " "arrived yet? "
" " " "night? " " "


c) When the question asks about the subject (who / which / what) rather
than a complement of the sentence, we do not use an auxiliary to form the
question, but we have to conjugate the main verb.

e.g. Who saw Tom? Which comes first? What happened?

Compare: Who shot Kennedy? with Who did Oswald shoot?

d) Questions tags are usually formed with the auxiliary of the verb in the
first part of the sentence. We tend to use negative tags with positive
statements and positive tags with negatives.

e.g. She's brilliant, isn't she? You don't care, do you?

e) The normal order of subject and verb in statements is maintained in the
case of embedded and reported questions.

e.g. Could you tell me what time the train gets here? (embedded
question)

e.g. He wanted to know what time the train got there. (reported
question)

f) How long is used to ask about a period of time or a physical length or
distance.

e.g. How long does it take to go to the airport?

e.g. How long is the Amazon River?

g) Prepositions generally come at the end of questions (except in formal
situations).

e.g. Who are you going out with?


4.2.3. Question tags

Question tags are used to check information or ask for agreement. Negatives
are nearly always contracted, although full forms are possible in speech.
We can make the meaning of a question tag more precise through intonation.
If we are pretty sure of something (i.e. if the tag is not a real
question), we use a falling intonation: our voice goes down on the question
tag.

(

e.g. It's pretty nice outside, isn't it?

However, if we really want to know something, we use a rising intonation:
our voice goes up on the tag.

(

e.g. She's passed all her exams, hasn't she?

In pairs, practise saying these questions out loud.

4.2.3.1. You can also complete the following tags and read them with
different intonation patterns:

Nice weather, ____________ ?

Let's go out, ____________ ?

They used to beat her, ____________ ?

You can play the piano, ____________ ?

She wouldn't go, ____________ ?

You're a bit selfish, ____________ ?

I'm old-fashioned, ____________ ?

You like oysters, ____________ ?

Do sit down, ____________ ?

Give me a hand, ____________ ?

She never says what she really thinks, ____________ ?

I should go to visit her, ____________ ?

4.2.3.2. For additional practice, you may use tags to check on what you
have learnt about your classmates in the last few weeks. As most of you
have not known each other for a long time, there are bound to be things
that you are quite sure about and things that you are uncertain about.

(

e.g. You come from Bunyola, don't you? (fairly sure)


4.3. Further points of language study

4.3.1. Vocabulary

In the interview, Miguel uses two verbs, mumble and blabber, connected to
speaking. In the following exercise we will look at these two verbs plus a
few others which also refer to different ways of speaking. Can you match
the examples given to their meanings?

1) All these events are very ceremonious and full of little rituals you
must go through generally involving some incomprehensible mumbling in
Latin.

2) [...] or even blabber some Shakespeare with the college theatre group.

3) She whispered a secret in my ear.

4) He made a garbled report of the speech.

5) He grumbled at the low pay offered to him.

6) He tends to stammer when he gets very nervous.

a) make an incomplete or unfair selection from statements, facts, etc.,
esp. in order to give false ideas.

b) speak one's words indistinctly, as with the mouth partly closed; mutter.

c) utter (complaints) in a nagging or discontented way; grump.

d) speak haltingly with a tendency to repeat rapidly the same sound or
syllable.

e) talk without thinking; chatter.

f) speak in a soft, hushed tone, esp. without vibration of the vocal cords.

4.3.2. Comparison

In this section we will just comment on two aspects of comparisons which
are exemplified in the interview, namely the use of adverbs of degree in
comparisons and the structure the...the.

4.3.2.1. Much, by far, quite, etc. with comparatives and superlatives

When talking about lectures and tutorials, Miguel says:

In fact, lectures are by far less important than these tutorials.

This is an example of the way in which comparatives and superlatives can be
premodified by much and by far, as well as by other adverbs of degree such
as quite (meaning 'absolutely'), almost, nearly, practically and easily.

e.g. She isn't nearly as young as she pretends to be.

e.g. This sofa is much more comfortable than it looks.

e.g. I'm practically the oldest in the company.

4.3.2.2. The...the...

We can use comparatives with the...the... to say that things change or vary
together.

e.g. The more I study, the less I seem to learn.

e.g. The longer the story, the happier he is.

A short form of this structure is used in the expression The more the
merrier, as in sentences ending the better such as The sooner the better
or, in Miguel's words:

(Q 8: Do students generally belong to clubs/associations?)

Yes, the more the better, it looks good on your CV and is fun.

4.3.3. In other words...

Try to give equivalents for the following words and phrases Miguel uses.
Resort to the dictionary if needed.

e.g. In this case, they may look favourably at your marks regardless of
where you got them.

( ... In this case, they may look favourably at your marks no matter where
you got them.

1) In the end it all boils down to an arrangement between the Department
and you.

( ...

2) With respect to Spain, studying in England is easier in terms of
paperwork and organisation.

( ...

3) [...] and there is greater control over the studentbody.

( ...

4) The selection process is quite tough and hence few people drop out of
college.

( ...

5) Before I was in a college for undergrads and grads, but it is better to
be in one for PhDs if you are doing one since otherwise they tend not to
pay attention to the interests of the Middle Common Room.

( ...

5. WRITING

5.1. Writing project: Elaborating an alternative guide to the UIB

In this module we are presenting the writing project that you will carry
out throughout the course. The writing sections in the rest of the modules
are aimed at helping you draft and refine your contributions to the
project. These sections provide models of the different text types you are
asked to produce and make you focus on various aspects of the writing
process that may cause some difficulties.

This writing project seeks to provide you with a general framework which
will, nonetheless, be flexible enough to account for individual tastes and
learning needs. The final product we are trying to produce is a guide to
the UIB which we would call an 'alternative' guide as opposed to official
accounts of our university, such as the one you have been exposed to in the
UIB presentation video. In other words, this should be your guide, as it
will be written from your perspective. We do hope that you will be proud of
it and be willing to share it with other groups. In fact, one of the nice
things about the project is that you will actually be writing for an
audience (your class and possibly other English classes) and that at the
end of the process you will have some interesting reading to do (your
mates' contributions).

For this project, you are asked to work both individually and in a group.
The writing is basically done at the individual level, but the group as a
whole has to co-ordinate a number of things including contents,
presentation and layout. The writing project is actually optional, but we
hope that you will find it worth doing!

The writing activities we propose have been grouped under four different
headings: transcribing, summarising, describing and writing about personal
experiences and opinions. We have chosen to work on these four writing
skills as we believe that, first, they are all important for you to develop
as university students and that, second, they will be helpful not just in
this subject but hopefully in others as well. In each of the four sections,
the left-hand column introduces several writing activities, while the
centre column gives some indication of how to go about a given activity
(collecting information and procedure to follow) and the right-hand column
lists the topics or materials that could be used for. After the four groups
are outlined, you will find some further guidelines as to how to carry out
the project. Make sure you read and understand them well.

GROUP 1: TRANSCRIBING

"WRITING ACTIVITY "DATA COLLECTION / "SUGGESTED "
" "PROCEDURE "TOPICS/MATERIAL "
"Reporting and "Designing a "What has motivated"
"interpreting the "written "students to become"
"results from a "questionnaire or "teachers of "
"survey. "an oral interview "English as a "
" "to be answered by "foreign language. "
" "fellow students "Students' "
" "(either in English"expectations at "
" "Teacher Education "entering the UIB's"
" "or else doing "English Teacher "
" "other degrees). "Education Program."
" " "First impressions "
" " "about the UIB. "
" " "What UIB students "
" " "do in their "
" " "leisure time. "
" " "Others. "
"Transcribing an "An informal talk "Information on "
"informal talk. "with a 3rd year "courses; "
" "English Teacher "recommendations on"
" "Trainee or with an"how to organise "
" "English Teacher. "one's course load;"
" " "advice on key "
" " "reference books; "
" " "suggestions on how"
" " "to improve one's "
" " "English. "
" " "Appraisal of the "
" " "UIB's Teacher "
" " "Education "
" " "Syllabus. "
" " "Others. "
"Transcribing the "Tape-recording a "Differences "
"most interesting "few minutes of an "between the "
"excerpts from an "interview with a "student's home "
"interview. "foreign student at"university and the"
" "the UIB. "UIB. "
" " "Impressions about "
" " "lifestyle in the "
" " "Balearic Islands. "
" " "Others. "
"Transcribing "An excerpt from a "A scene related to"
"fragments from an "film or a radio "education. "
"English film or "programme in "A scene about "
"from Palma's "English (a minimum"young adults. "
"English radio "of 5 minutes). "Others. "
"station. " " "


GROUP 2: SUMMARISING

"WRITING ACTIVITY "DATA COLLECTION / "SUGGESTED "
" "PROCEDURE "TOPICS/MATERIAL "
"Attending a "Note-taking. "A book "
"cultural event " "presentation, a "
"held at the UIB " "performance, an "
"(if available, one" "exhibition or a "
"having to do with " "lecture. "
"the culture of an " " "
"English-speaking " " "
"country) and " " "
"writing a summary " " "
"about it. " " "
"Summarising the "Gathering "The UIB's "
"main "information and "presentation video"
"characteristics "examining it "in English. "
"and contents of "critically. "The UIB's guide in"
"one of the studies" "English: Facts & "
"offered at the " "Figures. "
"UIB. " " "
"Summarising an "Choosing an "An article from a "
"article. "article and "magazine or a "
" "reading it in "newspaper about "
" "depth. "higher education. "
" " "Suggested "
" " "publications: "
" " "Majorca Daily "
" " "Bulletin, Speak "
" " "Up, Newsweek, "
" " "Time, The "
" " "Observer, The "
" " "Independent, The "
" " "Guardian, The "
" " "Times, etc. (The "
" " "library at the UIB"
" " "has a good supply "
" " "of periodical "
" " "publications in "
" " "English as well). "
"A review. "Familiarisation "A university "
" "with what is being"service. "
" "reviewed. "A reference book "
" " "(an English "
" " "grammar or "
" " "dictionary). "
" " "A textbook to "
" " "learn English. "
" " "A CD-ROM to learn "
" " "English. "
" " "An electronic "
" " "reference book. "
" " "A service on the "
" " "Internet. "
" " "Others. "


GROUP 3: DESCRIBING

"WRITING ACTIVITY "DATA COLLECTION / "SUGGESTED "
" "PROCEDURE "TOPICS/MATERIAL "
"Describe the "Finding out facts "Consulting the "
"campus as a whole "and figures about "UIB's Information "
"or a part of it. "the campus and its"Office and its "
" "vicinity. "publications in "
" " "English. "
"Describe a person "Personal "Academic "
"you have met at "experience in "interests. "
"the UIB. "combination with "Developing "
" "an interview. "relationships at "
" " "the UIB. "
" " "Career "
" " "expectations. "
" " "Others. "
"Make an annotated "Finding "Things to avoid. "
"list of useful UIB"information on the"Things not to "
"addresses. "most useful UIB "miss. "
" "addresses, "Unusual aspects. "
" "organising them in"Others. "
" "topic areas and " "
" "giving advice to " "
" "fellow students. " "
"Presenting two "Interviewing "Transport. "
"contrasting points"fellow students "Exam preparation. "
"of view on a given"and staff members."Others. "
"aspect of UIB " " "
"life. " " "
"Writing an "Finding out about "A university "
"exaggerated "fellow students' "service. "
"description of an "experiences in "University "
"aspect of UIB "addition to one's "facilities. "
"life. "own. Using a "A student or a "
" "humorous but "staff member at "
" "respectful tone. "the UIB. "
" " "Others. "


GROUP 4: WRITING ABOUT PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS

"WRITING ACTIVITY "DATA COLLECTION / "SUGGESTED "
" "PROCEDURE "TOPICS/MATERIAL "
"An "Personal "A sad/merry event."
"autobiographical "impressions and "A lucky "
"anecdote. "past experiences "coincidence. "
" "at the UIB. "Others. "
"An opinion essay. "Having a reaction "A recent news item"
" "against or in "about the UIB. "
" "favour of "A recent news item"
" "something and "about education at"
" "finding convincing"large. "
" "arguments. "Others. "
"Writing a letter "Using a formal "Enquiring about "
"to an academic "register "exchange "
"authority. "appropriate to the"programmes, "
" "situation. "grants, "
" " "accommodation, "
" " "studies offered, "
" " "etc. "
" " "An application. "
" " "A complaint. "
" " "Others. "
"Writing a letter "Addressing fellow "Issuing an "
"to another "students at the "invitation. "
"student. "UIB or students at"Making a request. "
" "other universities"Apologising. "
" "in an informal "Others. "
" "manner. " "
"An expository "Personal "About the reasons "
"essay. "experiences and "that moved you to "
" "expectations. "become an English "
" " "teacher and/or the"
" " "expectations you "
" " "have about this "
" " "degree. "


(Adapted from Tragant, Stone and Navés 1997: XIII-XIV)

GUIDELINES

Your guide should include a minimum of 4 contributions of different
types (groups 1/2/3/4).

These contributions should be individually signed.

It should have a cover and a table of contents with reference to page
numbers inside.

Avoid one-sentence paragraphs.

Don't forget to edit your work.

Criteria used to evaluate: adequacy to guidelines and presentation
requirements; linguistic quality (grammar, vocabulary, spelling); textual
quality (organisation of contents, development of ideas, punctuation, use
of cohesive devices); layout; creativity; amount of personal contribution
and involvement.

5.2. Presentation requirements and marking code

5.2.1. Presentation requirements

( All of your writing should be typed and double-spaced.

( There should be no crossing out or scribbling.

( Remember to indent paragraphs or to leave an extra space in between
them.

( Please, leave ample margins for comments.

( Use layout that is in accordance with text type.

( Presentation should be as attractive as possible (use of non-verbal
aids: pictures, drawings, etc.).

5.2.2. Marking code

Rather than correcting your work, we will use a marking code to signal
problematic areas in your writing. That way, you will be given the
opportunity to reflect on your mistakes and learn from them. The marking
code is as follows:

sp spelling e.g. Maravellous ( marvellous

ww wrong word e.g. His notes ( marks/grades were all very good.

wf wrong form e.g. they lived happy ( happily ever after.

wo word order e.g. I like very much flowers ( flowers very much.

t tense e.g. I have got married ( got married two years ago.

c concord e.g. People is ( are usually nice to me.

gr grammar e.g. He is interested in go ( going to Turkey.

^ missing word e.g. In England ^ ( it rains a lot.

Ø omit e.g. They have a car that it ( Ø breaks down all the time.

p punctuation e.g. My name's Martha, ( . I live in Palma.

? unclear You need to rephrase your sentence

( well done Good grammar, choice of vocabulary, organisation ...

6. READING

6.1. British vs. American university education: A view from a Japanese
scholar

You are next going to read a text in which Kenji Kitao, a Japanese scholar
who is very familiar with American and British higher education, describes
the organisation of classes in the British university system and contrasts
it with its American counterpart. Try to get the information required to
complete the chart below. Whenever this is not possible, write a dash.


" "Britain "The United States "
"emphasis laid on " " "
"textbooks " " "
"lectures and " " "
"seminars " " "
"outside reading " " "
"teaching styles " " "
"assignments " " "
"exams " " "
"evaluating " " "
"teachers " " "
"teachers' " " "
"availability " " "


The Organization of Classes

Britain

Students' learning is more emphasized than teaching, like in Japan.
Students are given long bibliographies related to the class. The teacher
points out the books on the list related to the particular topics being
discussed in the class, and if students are interested in that topic, they
can do additional readings, but there is not usually much required reading.

In Britain, many classes do not have a required textbook. The bookshop has
many books related to classes, but there is no indication of what classes
they are for, as there would be in an American university bookstore. If
students think a certain book is useful they can buy it.

As mentioned above, most classes include a lecture and a seminar, and each
usually meets for an hour each week. In lectures, the teacher mostly talks
to the class. There are very few questions and answers in lectures. If the
class is large, it is divided into several seminars; if it is small, there
is only one. In a seminar, students may watch a video tape or do some other
type of activity and have discussions in a group or/and as a class.
Students may make presentations in the seminar.

Students can usually understand lectures in British universities without
doing any outside reading in advance. It is, to a certain extent, up to
individual students what they want to emphasize, which parts of the class
they particularly want to spend time and energy on. Some seminars, in
contrast, require reading assignments or other outside preparation, and
without doing them, it is hard to understand and participate in the
seminar.

As I have explained, in American universities, it is often difficult to
follow the class without reading. All students are required to read the
same materials. Students are allowed to choose topics for their papers. For
the higher level classes such as seminars, students do more individual
work, but they still have to do a lot of assigned reading.

Teaching styles, of course, vary in British universities. Some teachers are
well organized, and teach according to the schedule, covering their
subjects in an organized way. Some are not well organized, and they just
pick up certain issues to discuss in the class, perhaps depending on what
the students are interested in. No tests are given, and all parts of the
course are not necessarily evaluated, though students integrate some of
what they have learnt in their essays. If they do not want to study hard,
it looks like it is possible to study a minimum to get a degree. How much a
student gets out of a program depends to a great extent on how self-
motivated that student is. Teachers seem to be less willing than American
teachers to spend time for the students in their classes, except for
teaching itself. Teachers are supposed to have office hours, but it seems
to be much more difficult to see them outside of the class for all students
except their own advisees.

The United States

In the United States, teaching is very important. If teachers do not teach
well, students complain. If many students did not understand, people think
that the teacher did not do a good job. The teacher has big responsibility
to make sure that students understand. In a sense, students are consumers
and the teacher is offering services.

Students have the right to evaluate their teachers, and they usually do so
at the end of each course. That evaluation includes a lot of aspects of
teaching, such as explanation, using audio-visual materials, preparation,
using good examples, answering questions, and organization of classes.

Most classes have required textbooks and recommended books. It is very
difficult to follow the class without required textbooks, since the class
requires readings from them.

Classes are not usually divided into lectures and seminars. There are some
lecture classes, where the teacher just gives a lecture, and students ask
questions at the end. Most graduate level classes are lectures and
discussions. Participating in discussions is very important. Higher level
classes involve very little lecturing. They emphasize discussion and
presentations by the students.

In American universities, students' evaluations are counted for teachers'
promotions. Teachers have office hours for two to four hours a week, and
students can see them at their office easily. They show a willingness to
see students and help them. They are supposed to help students, and that is
part of their jobs, and part of their evaluation from their students
depends on the availability to students.

Exams are more important in basic courses. They cover everything taught in
class, plus reading done outside of class. Students have to study hard to
understand everything, memorise important information, and apply the
theories that they have learned. In seminars, which are more advanced and
for fewer students, exams are not emphasized, but individual research,
presentations in class, and writing papers are emphasized.

Many courses have two tests, a paper, and other projects, and teachers have
to grade all of them. If students complain about their grades, which is not
uncommon, the teacher has to explain why that grade is given.

Kitao 1999


6.2. Language study: Introducing American and British varieties of English

If you ever study at a British or an American university you will be
exposed to one of two varieties of English which differ considerably in
terms of pronunciation, and also, to a lesser extent, in terms of
vocabulary, spelling and grammar. In this exercise, you are given some US
education-related words and asked to provide their British equivalents.


"American English "British English "
"to play hooky " "
"to flunk " "
"grades " "
"to practice " "
"college " "
"to major in " "
"fall " "
"eraser " "
"to enroll " "
"Scotch tape " "
"vacation " "
"program " "
"bulletin board " "
"math " "


Do you know any other?

6.3. Language study: Reviewing the present tenses

The account of higher education by Kenji Kitao has mainly been done in the
present. What are the forms used: simple or continuous, active or passive?
Why has the writer chosen to use these forms?

Present tenses continue to be a source of trouble for students of English
long after they have understood the relevant rules. The most typical
mistakes our students make are the following:

( Leaving out the third person –s

e.g. This pattern with a fronted complement often occur ( occurs in
exclamations.

(Sometimes a pronunciation problem can be involved. Section 2.5. in Module
6 deals with the pronunciation of plurals and third person endings)

( Wrong choice of form

e.g. Listen, Jack, I call ( 'm calling you to talk about the new house.

The rest of this section reviews some important aspects of present tense
use.

6.3.1. Present Continuous (also called Progressive) or Present Simple?

Which tense do we use to talk about the following?

1. habitual actions

2. annoying habits

3. states

4. general facts

5. temporary events and actions

6. changing and developing states

Here are some examples. Can you match them to 1-6 above?

a) She's always dropping litter.

b) Ice melts at 0°C.

c) I go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

d) The use of the Internet is becoming widespread.

e) I like her.

f) He's feeling unwell.

6.3.2. Other uses of the Present Tenses

In exceptional circumstances the Present Simple can be used to refer to
past time in order to create a sense of immediacy in certain types of
informal, spoken narrative (e.g. So he enters the room and threatens to
kill her).

We normally use the Present Simple to talk about habitual actions.
Sometimes, however, the Present Continuous may be used with certain time
expressions (e.g. all the time, constantly, forever, always). The
repetitiveness of the action is expressed in this way (e.g. They're
constantly inviting me to their place) and at times the Present
Continuous also expresses irritation.

The Present Continuous is often used to talk about future arrangements
(e.g. I'm meeting Katie at three on Friday). The Present Simple is often
used to talk about timetables (e.g. The Southampton train leaves at six
p.m. on Tuesday.).

6.3.3. Differences in meaning

Explain the differences in meaning between the sentences in each of the
following pairs. Suggest contexts in which each form would be appropriate:

I. He drives. / He's driving.

II. They always send me e-mails. / They're always sending me e-mails.

III. He has a bath. / He's having a bath.

6.3.4. Practising present tense forms

6.3.4.1. Think of people you know well and tell your partner what they are
probably doing just now (e.g. My sister's probably working at her
office).

6.3.4.2. Keeping the same people in mind, mention any annoying habits they
my have (e.g. My mother is constantly nagging me about my room).

6.3.4.3. Tell your partner about your new daily routine as a university
student (e.g. This year I need to get up at 7:00 in order to catch the
bus). Each time try to incorporate one of the words or expressions in
the box below.

every day / quite frequently / once or twice a week / at the weekends /
hardly ever / from time to time / as often as I can / usually / never /
more than I'd like to / in the afternoon / at night / seldom / sometimes

7. CLASSROOM ENGLISH

7.1. Introducing yourself

On the first day of class, you will probably begin by introducing yourself.
This is a contextualised situation which will help your pupils understand
what you are saying and will also help you establish the use of English in
the classroom as something normal right from the start. Naturally, the
language to use varies widely, depending on what you choose to say about
yourself. Still, some of the following sample phrases may come in handy:

Useful language

Let me introduce myself

My name's (Maria/Toni) and I'm your new English teacher / teacher of
English

I'll be teaching you English this year

I'm a teacher trainee and I'll be teaching you for four months

I've got (three) lessons with you

I live in ... / My hobbies are ... / I have ...

7.1.1. Role-play: Introducing oneself

In small groups, you can take turns introducing yourself to others. The
rest of group members can take the role of pupils. You should try and make
the situation seem as natural as possible and use any contextual aid to
help get your meaning across. The following guidelines might help you:

T Introduce yourself to the class. Ask pupils to say their names.

PP Introduce yourselves.

T Give more details about yourself (hobbies, etc.). Ask pupils to give
details about themselves.

PP Explain a bit more about yourselves.

7.2. Using everyday social expressions with different functions (e.g.
greeting/parting/getting attention)

The teacher can use everyday phrases related to recurrent social situations
(e.g. greeting, parting, getting attention) which can later on be easily
transferred to other real life situations. In this way, the teacher is
demonstrating these phrases in context and helping the pupils understand
the form-function relationships at work in English.

The list of everyday social expressions which can be used in class is
practically endless. The following are just some examples. What is the
function of each?

Good morning, everyone.

Have a nice weekend.

Thanks for your help.

See you on (Wednesday / Friday)!

Pay attention, please.

God bless you!

Listen.

Can I have/borrow your pen?

Here you are.

Can you think of any other exponents for those functions?

(

(

(

(

(

8. READING

8.1. Harvard School of Education course descriptions

8.1.1. Before you read

If you wanted to study a year abroad, what kind of information would you be
interested in getting about the chosen place? Suggest different ways in
which you could get that information.

8.1.2. As you read

The following is a description of four courses offered by the Harvard
Graduate School of Education (http://gseweb.harvard.edu). Scan (see section
8.2.) the texts in order to answer the questions below.

1) Which of the courses has a prerequisite subject?

2) Which courses are not being offered in 99-00?

3) Do you need anybody's permission to enroll in any of the courses? Whose?

4) Which course is limited to students in a certain program?

5) Suppose that you wanted to take a course with a practical orientation,
which one would you choose?

6) If you needed to complete your schedule for the second term, which
course could you take?

7) In one of these courses the teacher has not been decided as yet. Which
one?

9) You should hurry if you want to register for one of these courses as the
number of students is limited. Which course is that?


Harvard Graduate School of Education COURSES OF INSTRUCTION, 1999 - 2000

LEARNING AND TEACHING (L&T)

T-005 Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

Instructor to be announced

What is education? What are its goals? Why is education of value? Are these
questions that can be answered once and for all, or do their answers depend
on historical and cultural factors? In an effort to answer these and
related questions, we will study works of philosophers such as Plato, Jean-
Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington,
and John Dewey. Two papers are required.

Half course; spring; Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. - Noon.

T-101 *[Teaching and Curriculum in Schools]

Vito Perrone

This course will consider issues of teaching and learning and the process
of transforming subject-matter knowledge into teaching materials and
instructional strategies for elementary and secondary school classrooms.
Focusing on the needs of students, particularly considering them as
learners and knowers as well as members of communities, this course will
give participants experience and practice in the design and development of
curriculum to meet these needs and interests. Through different
perspectives on curriculum, the use of case studies of actual classroom
situations, and the development of a curriculum project, this course offers
participants the opportunity to reflect on several aspects of teaching. The
course has a fieldwork component. Enrollment is limited to 15; permission
of the instructor is required.

Half-course; not offered in 1999 - 2000.

T-134 *[Teachers and Learners in School]

Eleanor Duckworth

This course will be held in the Mission Hill School, a Boston pilot
elementary school. We will work in classrooms, looking closely at the
children's learning. In addition to the course, students must schedule an
additional visit each week to the school. Weekly written work and a final
paper will be required. Permission of the instructor is required.
Prerequisite: T-440.

Half-course; not offered in 1999 - 2000.

T-216 *Teaching World Languages

Veronica de Darer

This course will focus on methods and approaches to foreign language
teaching at the secondary level. As a background, students will become
familiar with the current methodologies in foreign language instruction
within the context of contemporary linguistic and learning theories. Basic
tenets of audiolingualism, notional/functional, and communicative
approaches to language teaching will be presented. Workshops will be
devoted to the teaching of reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
Students will also become familiar with designing curriculum that combines
the four skill areas in content-based units. Other aspects of the course
may include topics such as the teaching of vocabulary, pronunciation, and
literature in the language classroom; issues in testing; classroom
interaction; drama techniques; grammar instruction; video; and alternative
methods such as the Silent Way, Community Language Learning, and TPR. The
course will provide minilessons using the techniques we discuss in class.
The course is limited to students in the Teaching and Curriculum Program
and the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program; permission of the
instructor is required.

Half-course; fall; Thursday, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

8.1.3. After you read

8.1.3.1. Vocabulary

Find words or expressions in the text to mean the following:

treball de camp

treballs escrits

obres d'autor

matrícula

professor

primer quadrimestre

segon quadrimestre

assignatura quadrimestral

tallers

8.1.3.2. Discussing courses

In your opinion, which of the courses could be of high interest to a
primary school teacher?

Do any of the courses particularly interest you?

Does the UIB offer any similar courses?

8.1.3.3. Role-play

Work in pairs. One of you works at the information desk of the HGSE, while
the other is a student who wants to enroll in a course, but is undecided as
to which one to take.

8.2. Learning to learn: Scanning

Learning tip!

Sometimes full understanding of a text is not required in order to get the
information needed to complete a certain task. You can simply SCAN a text,
that is, glance at it quickly but not very thoroughly, in order to try and
get the information asked for. At other times, you are told to get the gist
of the text. You then go through the text quickly in order to see what it
is about. In other words, you SKIM the text.



ACTIVITIES


A. The conversation with Miguel Mulet which is included in the module is
really part of a longer interview. If you enjoyed his version of the
British higher education system as compared to the Spanish one, you may now
be interested in reading the full text. It will be made available on the
Web server:
http://ce.uib.es:9798/SCRIPT/MLM6301/scripts/serve_home.


B. Following the models provided by Miguel's interview as well as by Kenji
Kitao's text, you could write a short essay contrasting two things you know
fairly well. For example, you could compare the secondary school system you
went through to your first impressions of university life.



C. Summarise the most relevant aspects of university life you have learnt
about in this module and make a list of further questions you would like an
answer to.



D. Following the models provided by the Harvard School of Education course
descriptions, write a description for this course. Remember to include a
brief description of its contents and assessment procedure plus other
practical details such as the name of the instructor and the code number.



E. Make a list of common words in English and try to figure out which
vowels or diphthongs they contain. You should check your answers with a
dictionary that provides phonetic transcriptions.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


«Course descriptions 1999 - 2000». In Harvard School of Education:
[http://gseweb.harvard.edu]



EASTWOOD, J. (1999): Oxford Practice Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University
Press.



HALL, E.; JUNG, C. S. (1999): Reflecting on Writing. Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press.



KITAO, J. «British vs. American university education: A view from a
Japanese scholar»: [http://ilc2.doshisha.ac.ip/users/kkitao]



STRAUCH, A. O. (1997): Bridges to Academic Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.



The University of the Balearic Islands (video). (1998). Palma: Servei de
Recursos Audiovisuals de la UIB.



TRAGANT, E.; STONE, J.; NAVÉS, T. (1997): Llengua Anglesa I. A Language
Course for English Philology Students. Barcelona: Edicions Universitat de
Barcelona.









SELF-CHECK EXERCISES


1. Which of these degrees is not offered at the UIB:

a) Educational Psychology

b) Mathematics

c) Archaeology



2. There are _______ vowel sounds in English.

a) five

b) eight

c) twelve



3. The most frequently used vowel sound in English is _______ .

a) /(/

b) /(/

c) /((/



4. Before they enter university, British students need to take some
________ .

a) GCSEs

b) A-levels

c) Mods



5. Oxford university is ________ .

a) disorganised

b) a confederation of colleges

c) comprised of several convents



6. Which of these questions is not correctly formed?

a) What killed Mary?

b) Could you tell how do I get to the airport?

c) How long are you staying for?



7. Which of these tags is not appropriate for the preceding statement?

a) Let's go, shall we?

b) Do sit down, don't you?

c) They've been away for a long time, haven't they?



8. Which of these comparatives is ungrammatical?

a) The more it is dangerous, the more I enjoy it.

b) The richer he gets, the less he shares things with others.

c) The sooner the better.



9. I couldn't make out what she was saying. She was ______ an
incomprehensible prayer in Hebrew.

a) grumbling

b) stammering

c) mumbling



10. Which of these words would probably not be used by an American English
speaker?

a) marks

b) grades

c) results



11. The present continuous is used to indicate _______ in this example: My
mother is constantly nagging me about my room.

a) a state

b) irritation

c) a temporary situation



12. 'Scanning' means _______ .

a) reading for the gist

b) reading for specific information

c) the same as skimming



KEY TO SELF-CHECK EXERCISES


1. c)





2. c). There are five vowels in English (a, e, i, o, u), but twelve
different vowel sounds plus eight diphthongs.





3. a). The most frequently used vowel sound in English is the schwa. Most
unstressed vowels are realized as the schwa in English. Therefore, we
should try hard to get this sound right. This will not be very difficult
for Catalan speakers as they have that same sound in their mother tongue,
namely 'e neutra'.





4. b). GCSEs are taken at sixteen and mods are fake exams to control on a
student's progress at university.





5. b). Miguel first says that Oxford is disorganised, but he immediately
checks himself and explains that rather than disorganised Oxford has a
peculiar organisation. It has inherited a system that has basically come
down untouched from the 13th century. Colleges used to be convents to which
the rich would send their sons to study theology and religion. This evolved
over time and the convents became colleges that confederated around a
central body called the university. In this regime the colleges would
prepare their students for the exams set by the central university. This
would also issue the degrees. In fact the colleges ran most of the teaching
and the university only examined and gave degrees, and maybe sometimes
organised a general lecture. This is quite the same nowadays particularly
for humanities degrees.





6. b). The first option is right and it has what as a subject. It means
'What was responsible for Mary's death?'. We could also form a different
question (What did Mary kill?) in which Mary is the subject of the sentence
and what is the object. In this case the past auxiliary did is used and the
answer to the question could be, for instance, a bug.



7. b). The correct version would be Do sit down, won't you? The tags won't
you and will you are used to invite people to do things. The do in the
first part of the sentence is emphatic in this example. With a statement
such as You generally sit down to work the tag would have been don't you?





8. a). We cannot keep the normal affirmative word order to form the
comparative in this example. The correct sentence is thus: The more
dangerous it is, the more I enjoy it.





9. c). The lady is speaking indistinctly, but there is no indication that
she is repeating sounds or syllables (i.e. stammering) or that she is
discontented (i.e. grumbling).





10. a). American speakers tend to use the term 'grades'. Speakers of both
dialects can actually use the word 'results'.





11. b). This is not really a state sentence, which would include a verb
about one of the following topics: existence (e.g. be, exist), mental
states (e.g. think, understand, believe, know), wants and likes (e.g. love,
hate, prefer), possession (e.g. belong, possess, own), senses (e.g. feel,
smell, taste) and appearances (e.g. appear, look, seem). We generally use
the present simple to talk about states. It is also quite clear that the
sentence cannot be interpreted as a temporary situation since the adverb
constantly is used. We have seen that the Present Continuous tense can be
used to indicate that an action is both recurrent and possibly a source of
irritation, as in this case.





12. b). Scanning involves reading a text quickly in order to get some
specific information, whereas skimming is also a quick form or reading. In
the latter case, however, you are trying to get the gist of the text. In
other words, you want to have a general idea of what the text is about.




-----------------------
Our glosses for the above vowels and diphthongs are based on the British
variation of English.


GCSE ( (in Britain) abbrev. for General Certificate of Secondary Education:
a public examination in specified subjects for 16-year-old schoolchildren.
It replaces the GCE O-level and CSE.


2 Bs and an A ( examples of a common grading system in English-speaking
countries, A being the best possible mark and B second best.


fees ( charge or payment.


bleak ( cold and cheerless.


understatement ( statement that expresses an idea too weakly.


civil servant ( a person who works for a government department.


syllabus (pl. –es or –bi) ( outline or summary of a course of studies;
programme of school studies.


PhD ( Doctor of Philosophy.


scholar ( person with much knowledge, usu. of a particular subject.


sub-fusc ( dark in colour.


bow tie ( necktie made into a bow: knot made with a loop.


gown ( loose flowing robe worn by members of a university, judges, etc.


mortarboard ( square cap worn as part of their academic costume by members
of a college.


regalia ( emblems or decorations of an order.


viva ( oral examination.


do ( (colloq.) entertainment, parties.


i.e. ( abbrev. from Latin ita est, meaning 'that is'.


to row ( propel a boat by using oars.


the other place ( here Cambridge University.


MScs ( Masters of Sciences.


punt ( flat-bottomed, shallow boat with square ends, moved by pushing the
end of a long pole against the river-bed.


dribble ( help to move forwards.


Learners sometimes confuse questions of the type Who saw Tom? and Who did
Tom see? in which the question word acts as subject or object respectively.




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