Blues Lecture/ Concert by Steve Gardner

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Born in Mississippi in 1956, Steve Gardner is an accomplished blues musician and photographer, having studied photojournalism at the University of Southern Mississippi and blues from the “School of Hard Knocks.” After working as a photojournalist in the States, he came to Japan, where he has freelanced for Japanese magazines as well as for Time and Newsweek. The interest in the blues that he found in Japan led him to create a picture book on Mississippi and the blues, Rambling Mind (1994). His first CD, “Rambling With The Blues” (2002) is this book’s musical counterpart. He recorded another CD in New Orleans, Louisiana, “Walkin’ the dog” (2008), and his newest release is a album named “Hesitation Blues.”

Through his music and stories, Steve Gardner will take us on a journey to Mississippi and show us where the blues came from — both geographically and spiritually. He will also speak about southern food culture and how that has been represented in the Blues.

EVENT: Open Lecture & Concert
WHEN: December 4, 2014 (Thursday), 3rd Period
WHERE: Aoyama Campus, 930 (Building 9, 3rd floor)

IE Core and Seminar teachers, as well as teachers of Reading I or II, should feel free to bring their classes to this special event.

Here is an article about Steve Gardner that was written by a professor in our department, Wayne Pounds, for the Metropolis magazine. It shows some of Mr. Gardner’s excellent photography and puts his music into historical context.

Click on the graphic (below) to access some fine blues songs about southern cooking, especially the art of barbecue.

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New Plagiarism Policy

The IE Program now has a new policy that addresses the problem of plagiarism. We do not see plagiarism as a greater problem at AGU than at other universities, and it may even be less of a problem due to the fact that plagiarism avoidance strategies are explicitly taught to our students. However, in order for students to get the most out of their education, and to ensure fairness across all classes, we felt that it would be beneficial to promote and enforce a clear plagiarism policy. Here is the document.

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Photos of IE Teacher Orientation 2014

Many thanks to all the teachers who attended the annual AGU orientation for teachers, and those who made fantastic contributions through engaging presentations. I can’t think of a more energizing way to begin the academic year. We are particularly grateful to Tom Anderson for his generous talk on techniques that teachers can employ to deal with stress. We are grieving his premature passing after hearing, on Thursday morning, that he passed away. He will be missed by all in the AGU community for his sincerity, professionalism, gentle smile, and willingness to go that extra mile.



Created with flickr slideshow.
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New English Department Teachers Handbook

A new handbook has been produced for teachers that introduces all of the IE (and related) courses, explains expectations for grading and classroom deportment, describes the AV and computer facilities in the classrooms, and much more. It is highly recommended that teachers, at least, skim through the document early in the semester and sit down and read it more thoroughly once the academic year is under way.

The document provides answers to many of the questions that teachers have asked the IE Program coordinators and members of the administration in the past, so please refer to the index of the document before firing off an email. Having said that, we are always glad to answer any inquires from teachers. They have made it possible for us to produce as comprehensive a document as this one has shaped up to be. Download the Handbook as a PDF by clicking HERE.

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IE Orientation for Teachers 2014 (updated)

Here is the tentative schedule for this year’s IE Orientation, which will be held from 8:30 AM to the early afternoon in buildings 15 and 17. Everyone will meet first in 17-808 (the 8th floor of the tall building to the left after entering the main gate). Coffee and snacks will be provided. Here is a PDF of the schedule.

2014-OrientationSched_Final

For the convenience of teachers, here are the latest updated documents related to IE Active Listening, IE Core, IE Writing, and Oral English:

2014 IE CORE Scope & Sequence PDF

2014 IE WRITING (Teacher Guide) PDF

2014 ACTIVE LISTENING Scope & Sequence PDF

APPENDIX for IE ACTIVE LISTENING Scope & Sequence PDF

LATEST ORAL ENGLISH (OE) Scope & Sequence

2014 ACADEMIC WRITING Teachers Guide

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Moving toward a paperless future

As much as possible, we would like to encourage teachers to strive for a paperless classroom. Professor Yokotani has offered a great idea toward making that a reality. Almost all teachers provide students with many handouts throughout the year. We can cut down our use of paper by making available, at least, some of those handouts online, either through a course website or by sending them directly to students through email (after setting up a mailing list).

The idea put forward by Professor Yokotani was for teachers to create smartphone-friendly handouts for students using a template document optimized for comfortable viewing on a smartphone. These days, a majority of the students in our classes possess smartphones of one kind or another, so this is an idea whose time has come.

Using Microsoft Word, you can produce a smartphone-friendly document by using these specs:

Margins = upper 5 mm, lower 5 mm, left 6.1 mm, right 6.1 mm
Header position = 4 mm from the top
Footer = None
English font = Ariel, 28 pt
Japanese font (if Japanese is used in the doc) = MS P Mincho,  28 pt
Font type and size for header and headings = Times New Roman 36

After the document has been saved using Word, it is recommended that it be converted to a PDF so that you can be sure that students will see it as you do. It should be viewable on most smartphones without the need for resizing, allowing for the efficient swiping between the pages of the document.

DOCUMENT TEMPLATE
EXAMPLE OF PDF CREATED FROM THE TEMPLATE (Try downloading to a smartphone to test it for readability)

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You can suggest that students download and use the free smartphone (or tablet) app “Adobe Reader” for their iOS or Android device. That way they will be able to store all the documents they receive in one convenient place and view them comfortably.

The following documents, prepared by Prof. Yokotani of the IE Committee, explain in detail how to view PDF documents on mobile devices. They have been formatted to appear nicely on mobile devices and they offer a step by step explanation of how teachers and students may view them on iOS or Android devices. Although the files will appear long and skinny on smartphones and tablets, they facilitate continuous scrolling and allow users to print out four pages of the document on one A4-sized paper.

How to view PDFs (DOC)

How to view PDFs (PDF)

How to view PDFs (PDF arranged so that all 7 pages can be viewed on a PC or printed on ONE A4 double-sized page)

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2014 Academic Year Schedule

Here is an English version of the Academic Calendar for 2014, lovingly prepared by Chihiro Matsuno-san: Academic Calendar 2014.

1stSemester

2ndSemester

The times when each of the periods begins and ends is as follows:

  • 1st Period: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
  • CHAPEL: 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
  • 2nd Period: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Lunch: 12:30 PM – 13:20 PM
  • 3rd Period: 1:20 PM – 2:50 PM
  • 4th Period: 3:05 PM – 4:35 PM
  • 5th Period: 4:50 PM – 6:20 PM
  • 6th Period: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
  • 7th Period: 8:10 PM – 9:40 PM
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Daniel Jackson’s successful completion of doctoral program

Professor Peter Robinson has informed us that Daniel Jackson, an adjunct lecturer with us from 2004-2008, is now Dr. Daniel Jackson as he has completed successfully a doctoral program in applied linguistics at the University of Hawaii. We heartily congratulate Daniel and wish him all the best. Pomaika`i.

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Daniel Jackson pictured with Professor Emeritus of Second Language Studies, Richard Schmidt, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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20th Annual IE Orientation for Teachers

This year is the 20th anniversary of the existence of the IE Program. It brings many changes, the foremost being the move of our freshmen and sophomore students to the Aoyama Campus. Although it may make for a somewhat population dense campus, with the additional students and teachers rubbing shoulders on one campus, a higher degree of vitality and positive synergy can be achieved. We also have the wealth of resources that Shibuya, and Tokyo in general, have to offer. From the standpoint of learning English, Shibuya–with its 9669 foreign residents (as of January of this year)–allows our students wider exposure to English than the more secluded and suburban Fuchinobe. Multilingual and multicultural entertainment, volunteer, community, and sporting opportunities abound. Please bookmark this Web site, which introduces students and teachers to engaging local events where English and other languages are spoken: http://www.agu4u.org.

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Our IE Orientation for teachers this year will take place on the 8th floor of the new Building 17 from 8:30 AM on Saturday, April 6th. Teachers may download the full schedule, map, and descriptions of presentations. We will first meet in room 17-810. We look forward to an exciting and motivating event. Many thanks to the teachers who are taking their precious time to participate and those who generously offered to share their knowledge and expertise.

2013 Orientation

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Schedule for 2013 / 2014 Academic year

Here is the schedule for this academic year in Excel format. Note that this year we have our final week of classes sandwiched between days of make-up classes. Also, please notice that while most workers in Japan will be enjoying Showa Day, Marine Day, Health & Sports Day, and the Emperor’s Birthday, we will be industriously occupied in classroom endeavors. To avoid any possible irony, “Labor Thanksgiving Day” will be a holiday for us.

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