J155 Assignments & Tests
Spring 2012 Preparation and Participation Grade
Preparing for a class session
It is the student's responsiblity to check course materials files (the files on bSpace) in a timely way to make sure they are downloadable and readable with his or her computer configuration. Please contact me immediately if there is a technical glitch of some sort.
The material for this class will be very challenging to some and rather easy to some. If you are spending more than 3 hours to prepare for a session you are spending too much time. Please talk with me.
I believe that outside of class preparation time is absolutely critical to this class. Our time together in class represents only 20-25% of the total time I expect you to put into this class, so I will do my best to try to understand if you are spending enough time, and in the right way, preparing for class sessions. It is for this reason that the "Participation Profile" is the largest single component of the course grade.
Every story is provided in full in its original Japanese. You have these support documents: vocabulary glosses, audio recording of the story, and English translation. In class, you are allowed to use the vocabulary glosses but you cannot use the English translation, at all, ever. While I will ask "What does this sentence mean?"-type questions now and then, this is not a read and translate class. You will be asked for the most part questions that explore theme, style and sound elements and it these questions that need to be answered well for the preparation grade. Please discuss with me any difficulties or anxiety you might have over this. I recognize that students are at different reading levels.
A typical class session structure is likely to be as follows (although there is considerable variation), so prepare for the day with the below in mind:
- Before class begins homework is put on the desk in the front of the room, if homework is due (all students)
- Memorized passages will be checked (on odd numbered sessions, usually three students by random card draw)
- Usually student presentation(s) come before announcements
- If there was a 30-second sound file in the day's material, it will be checked now (all students, written answers)
- I will ask students about "sound events" for the day's material. By this I mean sound events that help in some important way with conveying an important message, substantive literary effect, or less-than-minor emotional content of the story (every session, three students by random card draw)
- I will ask students about what they think they might have gotten from the story by reading it in the original that they otherwise would not have appreciated (every session, three students by random card draw)
- I will ask about specific vocabulary items that have had attention drawn to them on the gloss (every session, three students by random card draw)
- We will begin to talk about specific sentences and/or passages.
- We become more thematic in our discussion towards the end of class if the ideas I would like to cover have not already come out in discussing specific passages.
Glosses are GUIDES NOT ANSWER SHEETS! Please consider context to determine reasonable meanings of words. Some students over-rely on the English phrasing used on vocabulary lists. These glosses were not designed to provide the specific meaning of a word in a specific context. Students who provide meaning of sentences when asked by simply quoting the English on the vocab gloss when it isn't quite right haven't yet fully prepared. Visual information on glosses is testable.
About sound files
I expect you to listen to the sound files. This class emphasizes sound structures and this helps capture them. The files are the basis for a portion of the midterm exams.
Participation means contributing comments or questions to the class discussion as well as attentive listening to others (whether that is me or other students). While laptops and tablets are OK for use in this class, they should only be for your notes and access to the PDF materials. Multitasking in any form is not welcome. Our material is difficult and I think students who place their full attention on the class are getting more out of the class session.