Fall 2011                                                                                                                       Olesya A. Valger

ENG 101                                                                                                                        FFL 301

Speech Practice (Foreign Language)                                                                         Office hours posted

Course Description

This course introduces you to the basic analytical skills necessary for the language study; it also provides wide speaking practice in English. We concentrate on the English vocabulary united according to a range of topics and practise basic research, systematization, categorization and analysis of the material with its further application in oral and written speech. As this is an introductory course it embraces a lot of basic phonetic and grammatical patterns. The course is based on a series of individual and partner projects. Additional hours of practice are grouped under the name of “Foreign Language” course, which is an organic extension.

Required Texts

Arakin V. D.             Practical Course of English Language (6th edition)

Carolyn Graham       Jazz Chants: Rhythms of American English for Students of English as a Second Language

Carolyn Graham       Small Talk: More Jazz Chants

+ during the first term you should plan to purchase a good English-English dictionary of any main publishing house (Oxford, Longman, McMillan, Cambridge or Pearson). A CD version may be a good substitute initially, but there is no possible way to complete the studies at our faculty without a printed copy.

Course Requirements and Policies

Attendance – 10 %

Class participation – 20 %

Projects (Portfolio) – 30 %

Written tests and dictations – 20 %

Home reading– 20 %


I allow students to miss a total of two sessions with ‘no questions asked’. If students miss more than two sessions their grade will be marked down. Only special circumstances that may force them not to attend will be seen as an excuse. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the professor and other students to make up lost work. Dialogues, recitals or other oral tasks may be rescheduled individually. Written tests and quizzes may be done during my office hours. Dictations cannot be made up for.

Late arrivals will be marked and influence your grade. Systematic tardiness may fail your attendance and class participation results. I do encourage you to be considerate of your fellow students and be respectful.

Class Participation

It is the degree of your involvement in our work and the measure of your efficiency. All written and oral exercises, recited texts, retelling, translation, vocabulary analysis are included in your participation grade. You can get a good participation result if you do your homework responsibly, submit it in time, and take an active part in class work.

Individual and Partner Projects

This section embraces all the works that are unique. We will do several basic types of tasks:

Dialogues. Every unit will contain one or two dialogues. You make a dialogue together with a partner. You are given the topic and the vocabulary, so the purpose is to use as many words and phrases from the active vocabulary as possible and give a talk on a certain topic. A perfect dialogue is logical, humorous, and interesting-to-hear; it has no mistakes and is told fluently. You are free to play with the topic, use objects, wear costumes, and be as creative as you like. You are expected to speak loudly, clearly, with good intonation.

Cards. A card contains 10 sentences that you make up to practice vocabulary. Every sentence contains several words or phrases from the unit. On the one side of the card you write your sentences in Russian, on the other side you write their translation into English. In both variants you underline the active vocabulary. You may type and print your card, or write it by hand. Your handwriting must be easily read by all the students in the group.

Cards are used for pair work in the class, so if you fail to submit a card in time you cannot take part.

Vocabulary projects. From time to time you will be given a certain topic to do some research on. Your task is to find as many words as you can for this topic, look up their meaning, usage and pronunciation and then present them effectively to the group. This may be done as a Power Point presentation or in a free form.

Spelling practice. It is one eighteen-page notebook in which you copy down a piece of any fiction work to practice spelling. It should be done systematically and slowly during the term, and submitted in late December.

Oral Assignments. They may vary greatly from topic to topic, so the tasks will be distributed in class

Performance Requirements

No matter what the oral task is, you are supposed to speak freely in this class. Every referral to the text, reading sentences or abstracts, or just reading will influence your skills (and your grade) negatively. If you are afraid to speak, learn the text by heart. I promise it gets easier and easier every time you do it. It never does if you don’t.

Written Works

Every topic is completed by a test and a dictation. A test may contain two-way translation, matching, choosing a variant, inserting a preposition, or sorting the given words into categories. A dictation is a piece of authentic text you should put down from the ear. After you get the graded work back, you must do the correction work to mark your mistakes and never make them again.

Home Reading

During the term you read several fiction works and short stories by English-speaking authors. Once a month there is a class session where we work with these individual readings. While reading a book you put down the new words and interesting phrases from it. You also prepare a retelling of what you have read and tell it the class. Every piece of home reading will also include a special task that will be distributed later.

Free modern books can be found in the NSPU library and in the American Corner Center. Older books can be downloaded from or Please be respectful of copyright.

Home Reading Schedule for Term I

Late September – any short story of approximately 25-40 pages long; topic not specified.

Late October – any horror story or a mystery novel; length not specified.

Late December - any fiction work no less than 200 pages long; genre not specified.


The final pass is scheduled for the last week of December; the requirements are specified a month before.

The final exam is scheduled for January. It includes a card for translation, a text for retelling and analysis, a sentence to ask five types of questions to, and a dialogue to tell (it is one of the dialogues you make during the term). For the exam you bring all your works, dialogues, cards, tests, dictations and individual projects in a file. Your work during the semester is more important than your final exam. Your exam grade may not be more than one point higher than your term grade.

Collaboration and Plagiarism

Students are allowed and encouraged to collaborate in their assignments with other students. They are welcome to discuss ideas, tasks and readings, but they are required to write on their own. Free-writing works will be checked by special software that finds correlation between the text and the Internet resources.

Online Recourses

All the students are required to have access to the Web and check their e-mails daily. I will send some tasks and updates by e-mail, and I may also provide some interesting links for your consideration from time to time. All the questions and problems may be asked and solved online no later than one full day before the class.

My e-mail is:

Students with Special Needs

I encourage students with documented disabilities including non-visible disabilities to discuss with me, after class or during my office hours, appropriate accommodations.

Religious Holidays

Please inform me as soon as possible if you will not be able to submit a paper or take a scheduled test due to an official religious holiday so we can figure out an alternative schedule for completion of these assignments.

Environment-friendly Studying

I do encourage my students to be economical with resources and waste less paper. That is why I will distribute most of the materials we need for reading electronically. Unfortunately, the things we need in class have to be printed out for individual marks.


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