This is a one-semester course and is taught in English , only if there are some compliacated structures, the teacher uses Czech. Therefore, it is suitable for English speaking students.The programme of the course:The course is aimed at students who are interested in improving their listening and speaking skills (not only) in the field of the academic English.The starting level of English is at least B2. The course is for those sutdents whose level of the language is such that they will be able to understand and use the English language.The course will also deal with techniques how to approach tests.In-person learning:1 x 2 face-to-faceThe work in the course is divided between the listening and speaking, even though both skills will overlap each other. The listenings will be in the form of audio-recordings and/or videos which will be followed with a discussion. One part of the lessons will also be simple speaking activities (3-5-minute talks).Distance learning:1 x 60-90 minutes online (Microsoft Teams) once every two weeks, which will replace the face-to-face lessons and will be used for speaking, i.e. discussion and simple speaking activities (3-5-minute talks).Students will be required to have a video and audio connection so that they can actively participate in the lessons.Ca. 2 online lessons (Moodle) once every two weeks – the time required for the online work relates also to the individual approach and level of the English knowledge of a particular student – this part of the course will focus on the listening – it will be really important that students complete the Moodle assignments in time so that they can take part in the discussion which will be online and will follow the listening part.
Credits are determined by active attendance (50% of face-to-face lessons and/or the online lessons via Microsoft Teams – special cases will be looked at individually), regular preparation – in case of distance learning, submitting the online assignments in Moodle in time (100% of the assignments), 3-5-minute talk, final listening test.
Materials will be chosen from different sources, these will be available in Moodle (possible printing and/or working with the electronic version of the materials – notebooks, tablets; mobile phones are not recommended due to their small size.
The organization of the semester - Informatin on work with Moodle.
Information on 5-minute talks.
You will find the following in this section:
Listening comprehension - TED talks - a ca. 10-minute presentation on importance of English followed by a quiz - true/false questions, short-answer questions
Learning vocabulary from an English text - creating a dictionary of 6 words taken from the tapescript of the presentation
Questions relating to the topic to think about
The topic: Don't insist on English! - the importance English has gained, the dangers of English being such an important language for education.
I have chosen this topic because learning English relates to all of us, being students or teachers. Even though the presentation goes back to 2011, I still find the topic quite relevant today. I also found a few really interesting issues, questions, thoughts in this presentation. Hope, you will do as well.
1) Go to the TED talks presentation by Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!
2) Open the quiz (and/or print the pdf version of the questions - prepare the answers in advance and then enter in the interactive quiz online) and complete the questions.
3) You should listen to the presentation twice (but if you really need, of course, you can listen as many times as you wish)
4) Do not turn on the subtitles or read the tapescript before you actually compete the quiz. I rely on your honesty and believe you will not cheat because you want to learn.
5) You need to pass the quiz - 60% of correct answers.
6) After you pass the quiz, you will be able to access the tapescript. Listen again to the presentation with the tapescript, follow the writen text and mark the unknown vocabulary. Choose 6 words you do not know and/or find interesting and create a dictionary, the entries will include: the word in English, pronunciation, definition, example sentence, if you need and like also translation. This will be uploaded for me to correct it.
7) Finally, there are four questions relating to the presentation to think about. We will discuss those in the following on-line session on Monday 19-10-20.
IMPORTANT! - COMPLETE EVERYTHING BY THE END OF THE WEEK (SUNDAY 18/10/20) so that you can take part in the following on-line lesson in which we are going to focus on speaking.
This lesson is the on-line session in Microsoft Teams and follows the previous week work on the listening.
The plan for the lesson:
1) 5-minute talks
2) listening to the presentation from the previous week once again to remind you the topic
3) time to think about the questions relating to the topic
5) implementing the vocabulary in discussion
Materials for the MS Teams
Have the following materials ready for the on-line lesson in MS Teams on 19/10/2020. You do not need to print them as long as you are able to work.
In this section you are going to focus on listening again. This time there will be two listenings from the website https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish. The topic is "Coronavirus Pandemic".
The first listening "Will Covid-19 change cities?", however, is not so much about Covid-19, it is more about the pandemics in the past and the way how cities changed and how cities might change because of the pandemic we have today.
1) There is a vocabulary section before the listening itself - match the words with their definitions.
2) The question of the week - a multiple-choice question, the answer is in the listening.
3) The first listening - true/false questions.
4) The second listening - vocabulary - short-answer questions.
5) At this point tapescript is available - you can go through the text with listening for the third time.
The second listening "Coronavirus: Dealing with mass unemployment" is about the situation with the unemployment that we are now facing and which is yet to come, one of the biggest impact of the pandemic.
3) The first listening - multiple-choice questions.
Will Covid-19 change cities?
The question of the week.
What is the estimated population of Mumbai? Is it:
A) 15 million people?
B) 20 million people?
C) 25 million people?
You are going to find out the correct answer at the end of the listening. This is rahter a guess than real knowledge, so it is just for you to see how good you are in estimation (or how good your knowledge is, if you know the answer)
The following is the actual listening comprehension. Play the recording and complete the first tasks. Play the recording for the second time and complete the second task. You need to pass both in order to be able to open the tapescript. If you need and want, play the recording for the third time and follow the text. Look up any vocabulary you find important and do not know.
There is also the pdf version of the questions available, in case you would like to work with a paper while listening.
Coronavirus: Dealing with mass unemployment
How man people does Brad Smith predict will be left unemployed this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? Is it:
A) one quarter of a billion people?
B) one third of a billion people?
C) half a billion people?
In the follow-up on-line lesson in MS Teams on following Monday (02-11-2020) we are going to discuss the topic. There are some questions to think about. If you have any other ideas we could discuss feel free to come up with them during the lesson.
2) listening to the recordings from the previous week once again to remind you the topic
There is no extra material for this lesson. Have the material from the previous MS Teams lesson ready (vocabulary on discussion - agreeing, disagreeing etc.) also for this lesson and no extra work.
There will be no connection with the following speaking lesson on-line, so you have actually more time to complete this, as you can work on this section within next week as well.
In this Moodle lesson we are going to focus on listening test practice (even though there are some of you who have already passed the exam, but still there were more who preferred to get some practice). As there are only multiple-choice and short-answer questions in the listening part of the B2 exam, the focus is on those types of listening questions only, and because the B2 exam listening part takes inspiration in IELTS listening test - section 4, there are two sample section 4 IELTS tests with multiple-choice and short-answer questions. And finally, there is one more recording with some more tips on how to prepare for a listening test. You can listen to any recordings as many times as you wish, as this is a practice. However, do not forget that in the B2 exam you listen twice and in the IELTS exam only once.
1) At first there is a listening exercise on some advice/tips how to approach multiple-choice and short-answer questions - complete the text - short-answer questions.
2) Practice - IELTS sample listening test 1
3) Practice - IELTS sample listening test 2
4) Some more tips on listening practice.
Thurlow, S., O'Sullivan, K. Focusing on IELTS - Listening and Speaking Skills with answer key, Mcmillan
1) How to approach multiple-choice and short-answer questions in the listening test.
Listen to the recording and complete the notes on how to approach multiple-choice and short-answer questions. There is also a pdf version of the exercise so you can print it and work with the paper and then enter the answers into the exercise in Moodle. You need to pass this exercise (60% of correct answers) in order to be able to access the complete pdf version of the notes so that you have the material for inspriation what to do.
Now after having studied the advice/tips on how to approach the listening questions, go on with the sample tests and try to apply at least some of this advice/these tips.
Listen to the recording and complete the sample IELTS test 1. There is also a pdf version of the test so you can print it and work with the paper and then enter the answers into the test in Moodle. You need to pass (60% of correct answers).
The recording is at the website from which the test is taken. I hope, you will not cheat and try go look up the answers before you actually try and pass. You would cheat on yourselves only.
Listen to the recording and complete the sample IELTS test 2. There is also a pdf version of the test so you can print it and work with the paper and then enter the answers into the test in Moodle. You need to pass (60% of correct answers).
You need to scroll down a bit to find the recording and click on the play button
This is not an exercise. These are just some more tips for listening tests for inspiration.
This lesson is the on-line session in Microsoft Teams. This time it doesn't follow the previous Moodle lesson, which focused on the testing questions.
The topic of this lesson is: Studying Abroad.
2) Watching a very short video wiht comments on Studying Abroad and its challenges. (Handout)
3) Checking the answers, discussion.
4) Watching a short extract from a lecture of Prof. Guido Rings, Anglia Ruskin University - true x false (Handout).
5) Checking the answers, discussion.
Please print and have it ready for the on-line lesson on 16-11-2020.
Work online - the work we didn't manage to complete during the on-line session - OBLIGATORY - please, try to complete this before the next on-line lesson.
Clip E3 - the particular passage you need for this listening task is ca. 6:16 - 8:50. Of course, you can watch the whole lecture if you want, but the answers you need are in E3.
This is the second part of the activity from the on-line lesson on 16-11-2020 which we didn't manage to complete. If you could not take part in the on-line lesson, do not worry, the first part is not needed in order to complete the second one. We only discussed the challenges we may face when travelling abroad as e.g. students, the cultural shock can appear in both social/private and academic sphere.
The handout above includes both parts, for this listening task you need the second page - true x false questions.
The true x false questions are here in the version of the interactive exercise (see below) into which you can enter your answers to see if you are correct. We probably won't have time to get back to this in great detail, so you should do this in advance. The two situations in the question following the true x false statements are to be discussed briefly in the next on-line lesson.