Lower Intermediate English Conversation / Intermediate Conversation 1 (Spring 2020)
Prof. Kent Lee
Dept. English Language & Literature, Pukyung National University
Time: S. 103: Tue/Thu 12.00-13.15pm; S. 104: 15.00-16.15pm
Office & office hours: by appointment
Temporary, provisional syllabus
This website will go along with my syllabus and materials in our LMS for this course, as well as materials that supplement my course book.
- 1 Weekly lessons
- 2 Midterm project: Scholarship application
- 3 Personal statement
- 4 Final interview
1 Weekly lessons
Everyone should fill out the following Google Form, which asks for general information about you, and some survey questions about your attitudes toward English. If you are taking more than one course from me this semester, you only need to fill this out once.
Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.
1.1 Week 3
- Day 2
- 02 April (Thu);
You can look at the handout, and view the lecture video. At times you will need to pause the video, think about the question, and talk to someone. You can arrange to talk to a classmate that you in the department, especially if you know someone taking this course. Otherwise, please find friends, classmates, or other persons, and discuss the questions with them.
Based on the MBTI, you will fall into one of sixteen personality types, e.g., INTP, ESFJ, INFP, etc. You should discuss your results with a partner or classmate. You also need to search online for what some Internet sites say about your personality type, and about possible careers or jobs that supposedly are suitable for your type. Think about these, and discuss whether you think this information is accurate.
1.2 Week 4
- Day 1
- Day 2
1.3 Week 5
- Day 1
- Day 2
1.4 Week 6
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Light verbs guide
- Lecture video part 1
- Lecture video part 2
- Google form: Light verbs
- Google form: Midterm preparation
Links to all lectures for the rest of the semester are in the LMS and on my Youtube channel.
2 Midterm project: Scholarship application
Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.
Imagine that you are applying for a scholarship. Your answers should be honest, but should also persuade a scholarship committee about how you are good student who deserves a scholarship. You can use some of the contents from your previous assignments for this assignment. So far we have discussed your personality, your future goals and hopes, your major, possible careers, and academic and personal motivation. These topics are designed to prepare you for this midterm assignment, and our discussions and minor assignments about these topics are relevant and useful to the midterm.
- Due date
- 12 May (11:59pm) in the LMS assignment section.
The project involves two components:
- An oral interview for a scholarship application (discussion component); this counts as the midterm grade. (For Spring 2020, this will not be done as a group interview, but via the LMS.)
- A formal personal statement to apply for the scholarship, in the form of a semi-formal essay; this counts as another major grade, and will be due some time after the midterm, in May or June.
For the interview, you will upload a video in the LMS of about 3-7 minutes. Your video will consist of the following two components.
- An opening statement (2-3 minutes): A general personal statement, explaining why you are applying for the scholarship. You should probably use the points from your last Google Form assignment (the midterm preparation form), and develop them in more detail. That form is intended to help you to craft this part of your video. Your statement should address points like these.
- Which scholarship you are applying for
- Why you are applying for it
- Why you think you deserve it, qualify for it, or need it
- Tell us about yourself. This can include any necessary background information, and relevant information based on our previous assignments and discussion topics in class: your personality, future plans and goals, your academic and career plans, why you chose your major, academic motivation, and any other information about yourself that is relevant to your scholarship application
- Your plans for the rest of your university studies (for some, this may include master's / Ph.D. studies)
- Your plans after college - career plans, as well as future goals / objectives / hopes / motivation / vision for your future
- Answers to specific questions (about 2-3 minutes): In this segment, you will answering specific questions from the scholarship committee. For Spring 2020, due to the online semester, you will be emailed some questions to answer, based on the type of scholarship that you want to apply for (the questions will be in an email sent with some scores or brief comments on your Google Form).
You can apply for a sophomore or senior year (third or fourth year) scholarship. You can imagine that this is somewhat in the future, and you can project yourself into the future for this assignment, as long as your details about yourself and your accomplishments are realistic. In general, you will want to address a couple of the following points.
- Explain how you as a student have overcome difficulties or challenges, e.g., in your own studies or major.
- Explain your best strengths as a student.
- Explain why you have good potential as a student in your field or major (even if your grades are not perfect).
- Explain why you have good potential after graduating with your degree, e.g., as a future graduate student, worker, teacher, or professional in your field.
2.1 Scholarship information
The Li Kai-an Scholarship Foundation (LKSF) is an agency that has granted awards to deserving students at several prestigious universities, and now plans to offer scholarships to undergraduate students at PKNU. This is a one-year scholarship to cover college tuition costs, and is available to students of any grade level or age.
To qualify, you must demonstrate (1) academic or personal excellence merit; (2) personal or financial need; (3) current or future potential, such as academic, scientific, practical, leadership, business or entrepreneurial potential; or (4) educational or administrative talent, for example, in proposing improvements to academic programs, policies, departments, or curricula.
You need to provide specific, unique, and persuasive reasons for why you deserve the scholarship. The scholarship committee receives hundreds of applications per year, and can only give out a limited number of scholarships, so they have to be rather skeptical and picky, in order to decide who deserves one of their scholarships.
2.1.2 Scholarship types
There are several scholarship options available, which are described below. Each scholarship will fund one year of studies (and maybe an extra semester or summer semester) so you can focus on your studies or your project.
|1||Scholastic Excellence Scholarship||SES||Merit based. |
This is for those who love studying, have clear ideas of why they are studying in their majors, know what they want to do in their major, and are likely to succeed after college. You should show that you have specific objectives and interest in your first major, second major, and/or minor; you have real potential and ability; and you have specific plans for success after college. (If your post-college plans seem different from your major, that may be okay, if you can justify your plans convincingly.) It may also help to show that you are a well-rounded person with skills other than being a super-geek who lives in the library.
|2||Future Success Scholarship||FSS||Merit / career based. |
This is for those who have clear goals and potential for success, not only in college, but especially in their future careers. You need to be able to show that you are not only a good student, but that you will likely succeed in your career. You will need to argue convincingly that you have strong academic, career, leadership, and/or personal skills; specific and realistic plans and goals; and clear potential for career success. (If your post-college plans seem different from your major, that may be okay, if you can justify your plans convincingly.)
|3||Financial Need Scholarship||FNS||Need based. |
This is for those who are good students or have strong potential, but are hindered by your own and/or your family's economic limitations (or other similar needs). Applicants must show that they have financial needs, but also need to show convincingly that they also deserve it due to their skills, abilities or potential, both in school and after college. This can include personal, academic, intellectual, career-related, or other strengths, and clear goals or objectives for your studies and life after college.
|4||Senior Project Scholarship||SPS||Project / research based. |
This is for those who want to undertake a senior-year research project in any major. Your application should include a specific research proposal, with specific rationale, objectives, expected outcomes or results, and the likely benefits or value of your project. You should show that you know your topic well, and that you have the skills and abilities to do it well.
|5||Creator Scholarship||CS||Project based. |
This is for those who dream of doing a creative project after college, such as making an independent movie, or writing and publishing a book or books. This scholarship will fund your senior year of studies at PKNU, so you can focus on your project. This is for those who have serious plans, a great idea, and genuine potential for success. It may be okay if the project may not seem directly related to his/her major, if you can justify this, e.g., if you can explain how your college skills might help with your creative project. You should show that you have specific, realistic plans for your project; a specific topic; specific objectives; some relevant experience or background; and the ability to carry out such a project. For a film, it will help if you have some clear ideas about film details, production schedule, budget, personnel and staff to hire, marketing, audience appeal, and its prospects for success. For a book or writing project, it will help to show clear ideas about the book topic, clear rationale and objectives, schedule, audience appeal, and its prospects for success.
|6||Business & Entrepreneur Scholarship||BES||Merit / career based. |
This is for a person who wants to start a new company or business, e.g., to exploit a new niche, to offer a new product or service, or to develop a new and creative business idea or business model. This scholarship will fund your senior year of studies at PKNU, so you can focus on your project. The applicant needs to show that s/he has a clear, unique, original, and interesting idea; realistic plans and objectives; a strong potential and ability for such an undertaking; and has thought out the project well.
|7||Inventor Scholarship||IS||Project / career based. |
This is for a person who wants to research, invent, develop, and maybe even market a new invention, such as a new device, a new material, or some kind of novel idea. This scholarship will fund your senior year of studies at PKNU, so you can focus on your project. The applicant needs to show that s/he has a clear, unique, original, and interesting idea; realistic plans and objectives; a strong potential and ability to carry out the project; and has thought out the project well.
|8||Inventor-Entrepreneur Scholarship||IES||Project / career based. |
This is for a person who wants to create and market a new invention, and to do so needs to start a new company. This scholarship will fund your senior year of studies at PKNU, so you can focus on your project. This is a combination of the entrepreneur and inventor scholarships above. You can try this if you think you're a genius -- yes, you're really hot stuff.
|9||Self-Improvement Scholarship||SIS||Merit based. |
This is for those awesome people who have overcome challenges in life (in the past few years), or have greatly improved from a mediocre student to an excellent student (academic improvement). Your story should be unique, genuine, interesting and convincing, and you also need to show that you have clear ideas and plans for your major and for life after college. (If your post-college plans seem different from your major, that may be okay, if you can justify your plans convincingly.)
|10||Future Professional Scholarship||FPS||Merit / career based. |
This is for those who want to become teachers, professors, or researchers in their fields, or for those who want to enter other professional careers, e.g., medical doctors or lawyers . You should show success in your current studies; clear future potential and ability; and clear ideas about what you want to do and why.
|11||Secondary Education Leadership Scholarship||SELF||Project based. |
Do you want to make a difference by advocating for changes in secondary education (middle school or high school) in your country, especially for English education in Korea? You can address specific programs, policies, or teaching practices in middle schools, high schools, or hagwons. Your ideas should involve a careful analysis of a specific aspect of the problem, and a specific proposal or solution to improve it. Your ideas should be specific, unique, well thought-out, and original (not something that anyone would think of), as well as feasible and realistic. You will need to convince skeptics who may resist changing the status quo, so your plans and arguments should be specific and convincing. The scholarship will fund your studies and allow you to spend extra time to research and promote your ideas.
|12||University Education Leadership Scholarship||UELF||Project based. |
Do you want to make a difference by advocating for changes in your department, its program, its curriculum, or especially, how EMI (English-medium instruction, 영강) and EMI policy are implemented in the department or college (e.g., 공과대학, 경영대학...)? That's great, because the administrators at PKNU who are responsible for EMI really have no idea what the heck they are doing, and they desperately need your help. Your ideas should involve a careful analysis of a specific aspect of the problem (e.g., a specific problem in the department, in its curriculum, or with EMI in the department), and a specific proposal or solution to improve it. Your ideas should be specific, unique, well thought-out, and original (not something that anyone would think of), as well as feasible and realistic. You will need to convince skeptics who may resist changing the status quo, so your plans and arguments should be specific and convincing. The scholarship will fund your studies and allow you to spend extra time to research and promote your ideas.
2.2 Assignment evaluation criteria
2.2.1 Oral interview / discussion sessions
These will be conducted in Week 14 and/or Week 15, in groups. Each group will play the role of committee members who interview applicants; and each group will play the role of applicants being interviewed.
Each person will have at least two minutes to give a short statement about why s/he deserves the scholarship, followed by 2-3 minutes for questions from the committee.
- (A) For interviewers
- You need to develop and ask good questions to determine which applicants would deserve a scholarship.
You may receive a minor ten-point grade for your effort as an interviewer, and/or for filling out a brief form to evaluate the candidates.
- (B) For applicants
- Persuasive explanation, details, and examples – enough to persuade a scholarship committee to at least seriously consider your application;
- Clear goals for future studies and career; an understanding of what you are studying and what specifically you want to focus on; evidence of maturity, self-awareness, sense of purpose, and reasonable goals and plans
- See the grading criteria below.
- Your interview score will be an individual grade for your performance only,
though you will interview with a group of applicants. This score is the major discussion / presentation grade for the course.
- The grading criteria for the in-class interview / discussion task are as follows. Each person receives an individual score. A few categories like #3 and #4 may overlap, depending on your type of scholarship (I may average your score across both categories, depending on how relevant they are for your topic).
|1.||Rationale, goals, objectives||Clear rationale & explanation for your application, e.g., specific objectives, goals, and personal potential; clear focus|
|2.||Contents||Sufficient overall contents & preparation; enough good contents for a two-minute personal statement|
|3.||Support||Sufficient details & explanations about your strengths, abilities, e.g., your personal and/or academic strengths, skills, accomplishments, and your future potential.|
|4.||Details||Sufficient details & explanations about your plans, objectives, e.g., your personal and/or academic strengths, skills, accomplishments; a persuasive explanation of your potential in carrying out your plans. For projects, this can also include, for example, details about your project, plans, rationale, feasibility, etc.|
|5.||Clarity||Clear explanations, easy to understand follow; clear wording & vocabulary|
|6.||Organization||Well-organized and structured, good flow; flow indicated by intro, transition words & expressions; clear intro and conclusion|
|7.||Speaking & vocal delivery||Clear, audible voices; clear speaking & delivery; good vocal volume & intonation; the presentation quality indicates adequate rehearsal and preparation; no excessive fillers, pauses (uh, um), pauses, unfinished sentences; good pace|
|8.||Interaction with audience||Eye contact, body language, posture, etc.|
|9.||Value||Overall personal, social, artistic, academic, practical, commercial, and/or scientific value & benefit of your application and/or project and/or plans; creativity and originality; feasibility of your plans or project|
|10.||Effectiveness||How effective is your talk; its persuasiveness and informativeness to members of a potential scholarship committee. |
3 Personal statement
The syllabus refers to one major written assignment. Due to this online semester, I am modifying this assignment somewhat. This is a major assignment, which will be due by the end of the semester. You will write a one-page paper to answer one of the following questions.
- Explain one reason why you deserve the scholarship. (This is based on the midterm assignment.)
- Explain one reason why a company or organization should hire you. (This is based on the final assignment.)
This should focus on one specific reason. You will be graded on how specific your reason and explanations are. You can choose either #1 or #2, depending on which is more practical for you and your situation. I am less concerned with grammar and style, so this can be in semi-formal style (but not too colloquial).
Length: 1-1.5 pages (if double-spaced; that is, no less than one full page, and no more than 1.5 pages) Due date: 26 June
- Useful links
- Writing a personal statement (scholarship)
- Here are two final paper samples, for two general types of scholarships, with thesis statements and topic sentences highlighted.
- English presentation expressions guide
See the page on writing personal statements for scholarships for ideas some information and ideas on possible types of scholarship applications that you might like to do, and the kinds of points that you would like to discuss in your interview and personal statement.
4 Final interview
For your final project, you will recorded your responses for a mock job interview. You will have chosen a company or organization to apply for in one of your minor assignments. You will record a 5-10 video to answer some job interview questions that I will email you based on your prospective company / organization.
You should prepare for questions and be ready to convince the interviewers of your qualities, since they will probably be looking for qualities and information about following areas.
- The candidate’s background, skills, qualifications, relevant educational background, training, character, personality (aspects that are relevant to the job), intellectual qualifications, goals, motivation, long-term commitment, future potential in the company, etc.
- Ability to work independently and with others
- Suitability for the particular job and for the particular company / organization
- Ability to adapt and grow
- Awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
A major grade on a 100-point scale. The grading criteria are as follows.
- Objectives: Clear goals / objectives as a job applicant
- General contents: Sufficient answers; answers are sufficiently informative, of sufficient length to give satisfying answers to the questions; not too short (but not too long or unnecessarily wordy).
- Specific contents: Answers contain specific and sufficient details
- Clarity: Answers are clear, understandable, logical, logically organized, realistic, and relevant to the questions
- Speaking and vocal delivery: Clear, audible voice; good vocal intonation
- Audience interaction: Good poise / posture, confidence, eye contact, body language
- Effectiveness: Persuasive and informative answers
- Audience reception: Your answers and overall performance are well received by the committee members; your performance is sufficiently impressive to the committee members
Length: A recorded video of 5-10 minutes. Due date: 25 June (Thursday)
These might be helpful for you.
- Guide to top interview questions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mHjMNZZvFo
- Some job interview vocabulary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZPsbvkCfE9ecsT7pdForYIAkWMpEv1szyL7CxZjYWLs/edit?usp=sharing
- Possibly useful expressions: http://www.kentlee7.com/eap/lecture.expressions.pdf
4.2.1 Interview prep 1: A prospective company
After watching the lecture videos this week, please think about a place where you would like to apply for your first job right after college. It could be a company, college / school (e.g., teaching jobs), institute, NGO, agency, or whatever (after college or after doing a master's or Ph.D. degree). I want you to tell me about the company (or institution / entity), why it is a good company or entity, and reasons why you would like to work there. Such reasons might include its vision, future potential, business model, success, background, growth, or other reasons. You will record yourself and upload the file here in the LMS.
- Due date: 31 May (Sunday before midnight)
- Format: any video format, e.g., normal smartphone or laptop video recording (or audio, if you absolutely cannot record video)
- Length: about 1-2 minutes
Grading will be based on effort and quality.
4.2.2 Interview prep 2: Describing yourself
Imagine that you are applying for the company or organization that you talked about in your last assignment. For the final interview assignment, you will record a video to After watching the lecture videos about job interview questions this week, you will record a short video of yourself in which you answer the following questions.
- How would you describe yourself? (maximum: 60 seconds)
- Why should we hire you? (maximum: 90 seconds)
- Due: 14 June
- Format: Recorded video (or audio)
These will be graded according to how effective and persuasive your responses are, and how specific your responses are to the organization / company to which you are applying.
4.2.3 Past interview tasks
In past years, I have used the following fictional organizations for this assignment. For Spring 2020, I am not using these, but I may use these in later semesters for practice purposes.
Here are the companies and institutions that you can choose from for your job interview. You will select a company / institute to apply to, and a particular department, unit, or job type listed in the descriptions below, e.g.: marketing, advertising, research and development, cultural heritage, legal affairs, human resources / personnel management, communications manager, media production, content development (in education), administrator, administrative assistant, or teaching in a particular department (e.g., chemistry teacher, Latin teacher).
- Huge Media Corporation (HMC)
This is a new international media company based in China and Canada, which is entering the Korean market. It is known for various cable and online channels for news, educational, entertainment, and sports programs. It attempts to promote and distribute Korean music and programs internationally, and to bring foreign media programs to Korea and other countries. HMC also produces its own programs (documentaries, educational shows, news, etc.) for domestic (in Korea) and international distribution, and wants to produce contents to educate others about Korea and other countries. It has openings for people in many job positions such as media production, broadcasting, content development (developing ideas and contents for programs), IT (information technology), marketing & advertising, consumer research, and others.
This is a new international company that is expanding into the Korean market, and also plans to open new research centers and factories / production facilities in Korea to make products for domestic sales and for export. Its specialty is consumer products made with newer and high-tech materials and designs, such as apparel / clothing items, office supplies, sporting goods, household items, and some smaller consumer electronics items; it is also known for making new electronics / engineering materials that other tech companies use for their products (e.g., Samsung, LG, Apple). This company has many openings for sales, marketing, materials research, product research and design, product testing, consumer research, legal affairs, and personnel management. Humanities majors may be particularly helpful for marketing, personnel, product design, product testing, and consumer research.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development collects data and conducts research on economics, trade, finance, economic / political / government policy, labor issues, poverty, social problems, education systems, the environment, public health, and other matters related to economic growth. The OECD is based in Paris, and publishes reports and works with various governments and companies. Job openings are available for researchers, data analysts, policy analysts, and project coordinators and leaders in different areas. Fluency in French or English is required; proficiency in other languages is also helpful. Your job will mainly be based in Paris, and the job may require frequent travel.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is based in Paris. UNESCO conducts research and conducts numerous projects to promote educational, scientific, and cultural reforms and improvements in various countries. The agency works with various governments, conducts conferences and symposia, and advocates for various reforms in member countries. Its goals include reducing poverty, sustainable economic development, preserving and promoting culture and cultural diversity, improving education, and promoting scientific research (natural and social sciences). Program areas (for research, programs, and advocacy) include education, natural sciences, social / human sciences, culture and communication / information. Many job openings are available in different policy areas as data analysts or researchers; program specialists or coordinators; legal affairs & lawyers / legal officers; and administration. Your job may be based in Paris, Bangkok, Manila, or Beijing, and may require frequent travel. Fluency in French or English is required; proficiency in other languages is also helpful.
- High School #1
This is a new high school outside of Busan, which is particularly known for humanities and foreign languages, including digital humanities (integrating humanities and technology) and social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, linguistics, political science, economics). It is located in the countryside a few km north of the city. This school has a number of openings for teachers and administrators in many areas.
- High School #2
This is a new high school outside of Busan that is particularly known for science, engineering, and some social sciences (e.g., psychology, linguistics, anthropology). It is also located in the countryside a few km north of the city. This school has a number of openings for teachers and administrators in many areas.
4.3 See also
- Hundreds of scholarships have been awarded to students at Hogwarts, Gotham City University, Metropolis University, Monsters University, Mars University, Wossamotta University, and Starfleet Academy.
- Entre·pre·neur [ˌɑːntrəprəˈnɜː(r)] (특히 모험적인) 사업가[기업가; a person who starts a new business or company
- Cur·ricu·lum [kəˈrɪkjələm] 교육과정; the different courses of study in a school, department, or major, and the contents that are considered to be essential or required for all students, along with electives; plural: curricula / curriculums; adj.: curricular
- Scholarship committee members include:
- Li Kai-an, the founder of the scholarship foundation, and the CEO of The Matrix, an innovative AI research company.
- Li Da-pang, a linguistics professor from the University of Illinois, who specializes in extra-terrestrial linguistics.
- Snively the Wonder Fish, Director of the Pentagon's Skynet Project
- Antinostraticus Boink, starship captain
- Oetken Len, professor of Martian linguistics, Mars University.