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IFLS 012: Academic English II (Spring 2018)


Kent Lee, IFLS, Korea University

  • Mailbox: 국제관 208A
  • Office & office hours: 국제관 720, by appointment
  • Email: See the syllabus or textbook (course booklet)
Course info

Course load: 2 hours/week, 1 credit Class locations: 국제관 (International Studies Hall) Sections

IFLS 012-42 MW 10.30-11.20 국제관 #307a
IFLS 012-52 MW 13.00-13.50 국제관 #511
IFLS 012-47 Tu/Th 12.00-12.50 국제관 #412

1 Course description

This course deals with academic English for your college studies, including (1) academic English writing and speaking skills, and (2) critical thinking skills. The focus will be on academic English for writing and presentation skills for your future college courses.

1.1 Readings and materials

Textbook: Course packet, about ₩8000-10,000, from a print shop near campus (probably at the 空문화사 [공문화사] print shop near the 후문, the back gate on the way to Anam Station).

2 Weekly materials & assignments

2.1 Weeks 1-2: Introduction

  • Read the introductory chapters of the textbook on your own (chapters 1-2).
  • Google Form #1: Fill out this form of basic information about yourself, and submit it. This counts as a minor grade. (The form works, though it won't send you a confirmation.) The link will have been sent to you by email from the Blackboard system.

2.2 Weeks 1-2: Evaluating sources

2.2.1 Internet sources

Look at the following websites. Discuss: how reliable and trustworthy are these sites? What criteria can help you distinguish good sites and sources from bad ones?

  1. Pacific tree octopus
  2. CIA realizes it has been using ...
  3. Dihydrogen monoxoide: The truth

2.2.2 Newspaper article samples

Now look at the following news stories about a border controversy in Hong Kong. Which seem biased, neutral, informative, or reliable, and why?

  1. Global Times [1]
  2. South China Morning Post [2]
  3. CNN [3]
  4. Reuters [4]
  5. New York Times [5]
  6. Business Insider [6]

2.2.3 News outlets

Look at the following news outlets, and discuss the following.

  • Which ones seem reliable?
  • Which ones would be worth citing for information in a college paper?
  • For Korea, which news outlets would be more reliable, and which ones would be less reliable?
  1. Fox News http://www.foxnews.com
  2. Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com
  3. New York Times http://www.nytimes.com
  4. New York Post http://www.nypost.com
  5. Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
  6. Washington Post http://www.washtingtonpost.com
  7. Der Spiegel http://www.spiegel.de
  8. Frankfurter Allgemeine http://www.faz.net/aktuell
  9. Frankfurter Rundschau http://www.fr.de
  10. El País (Spain) http://www.elpais.com
  11. Le Monde (France) http://www.lemonde.fr
  12. Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com
  13. Time Magazine http://www.time.com
  14. McClean’s http://www.macleans.ca
  15. The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com
  16. The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk
  17. BBC News http://www.bbc.com/news
  18. The Sun http://www.thesun.co.uk

2.2.4 Science news sources

Now look at the following science news websites; which ones seem reliable or worth citing?

  1. National Geographic http://www.nationalgeographic.com
  2. Wired http://www.wired.com
  3. New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com
  4. Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com
  5. Science News http://www.sciencenews.org
  6. IFLScience http://www.iflscience.com

2.2.5 Science news examples

Now look at the following sites reporting on an issue in health and biomedical news. Which ones seem more reliable, and why?

  1. The Independent Does spending too much time on smartphones ...
  2. Tech Advisor How much screen time for kids
  3. Very Well Family Negative effects of too much cell phone use
  4. Forbes Phone addiction is real ...
  5. Psychology Today Too much screen time ...

For the Psychology Today article, discuss the following.

  1. Click on the links in the text, where you see names and years inside parentheses. What are these articles? What kinds of articles are these? How reliable and credible are they? Can you understand them?
  2. What are the references at the end?
  3. From the different sources in the table above about phone / device usage, which ones might you cite if you were writing a college paper on the topic?
  4. If you were writing a college paper on the topic, would you cite sources like those that are cited in the Psychology Today article?

3 Assignments

3.1 Minor ten-point assignments

Minor assignments are short assignments that are graded on a ten-point scale, and include short paragraph assignments (¶), Google Forms (GF), brief presentations, and in-class tasks. This may also include a couple of in-class and/or online surveys (these are for data collection or research purposes, and you get ten points simply for doing them). A few assignments may count as two or three 10-point assignments.

3.2 Midterm & final project

The course will center around the topics of popular misconceptions, including fake news, false beliefs, and logical fallacies. This theme allows us to develop critical thinking skills that are needed for college and for life in general. See the grading criteria in the Appendix for writing and presentation assignments.

3.2.1 Midterm

The midterm will be an in-class writing task. The writing topic will be related to one of the topics or units in the course, and you will have some flexibility in choosing your topic.

3.2.2 Final presentations

We may do individual or group presentations. My preference would be group presentations, where each group focuses on a general theme that encompasses the specific topic of your final paper.

3.2.3 Final paper

The final will be out-of-class writing, based on the midterm. This will probably be turned in via the online KU Blackboard.

3.3 Grade scale

You will be graded according to the following framework (though this might be adjusted slightly later). See the course packet for specific grading criteria.

Attendance and participation 15%
Minor ten-point assignments 10%
Midterm 20%
Presentation assignment 25%
Final essay 30%