This class is open to students of any age who would like to undertake the study of formal college-level English and is intended to provide an academic environment that is comfortable for students with a wide range of learning styles, from those who prefer a traditional classroom environment to those who prefer to do all their work online and everyone in between. Even the use of pencil and paper is acceptable, though (together with quill and parchment or stylus and clay tablets) it is discouraged.
Record keeping, introductions The first class is always confused and chaotic as mundane tasks are completed. We will try to confine the chaos to the first half hour.
The textbook is SAT ACT TOEFL College Prep English Practice, available at the EIE bookstore and Amazon.com. We will use the text as a foundation and reference for grammar and style but will explore many other sources in multiple media, all of which will be supplied in our online classroom.
Discussion of class curricula
This class will focus largely upon immersion in formal academic English. The specific subject matter covered is very flexible and will be tailored to the needs and interests of the students, ranging possibly from the study of classic literature to essay writing, test-taking skills, memorization practice, note taking, debate and oratory, research paper development and may very possibly explore other entirely serendipitous and unanticipated realms.We covered a great deal last year including three Shakespeare plays (Twelfth Night, Much Ado about Nothing, Henry V) together with some Jane Austen, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, Abraham Lincoln, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jerome K. Jerome, Maya Angelou, Bertrand Russell, David Berlinski, Thomas Paine, Douglas Adams, Kenneth Grahame, Stephen Hawking and many other greats. Please feel free to peruse last year’s postings in the assignment forum.
We engaged in debates, recitations and lectures, wrote scripts, essays, papers and narratives and were inspired by some of the greatest writers and orators of the English speaking world.
We read and studied papers in scholarly journals and practiced both writing and speaking in formal academic English.
And we had fun doing it! Now, let’s start again with new direction and enthusiasm.
In-class time is used only for for interactive activities: oratory, discussion and recitations and never for reading, writing, watching videos and doing assignments, all of which take place on or off-line during the week. Absent online participants will be able to take part in the in-class sessions.
Though class sessions are recorded, there is no camera in the classroom; only audio and screensharing are broadcast and archived. We just switched the class broadcasts to Google Plus last year, having previously used WiziQ. Neither is ideal as they use a technology that is perpetually in its infancy and never permitted to mature. Class recordings are unedited and often fraught with problems or wasted time as attempts are made to solve those problems. Please be indulgent.Our online classroom contains a vast trove of English language resources ranging from full text books and audiobooks to films, plays, software and all of the assignments and activities generated in previous years. Please feel free to explore. We will use these and expand upon them.
Questions, suggestions and discussion