23rd Annual IE Program Orientation for Teachers

We look forward to an energizing, mind-expanding, and enjoyable IE Orientation for teachers on Saturday morning. Below you will find the program. If you click on it, you will be able to download the notes describing each of the presentations.


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New Version of Academic Writing Book

In Academic Writing we have transitioned from using MLA style to APA. This is the newest version of the textbook that will be used in all of the Academic Writing classes: Academic Writing Textbook.

The book will not be printed for students so there is nothing for them to purchase. They should use the PDF of the textbook.


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Welcome to the Open Campus

We hold our Open Campus so that prospective students–and their parents or other family members–can get the “flavor” of Aoyama Gakuin University. Our hope is that you will enjoy it to the fullest and tell others about your experiences here.


Discussion during an open lecture on “human trafficking” for IE students and teachers

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IE Orientation 2015: An Event to Remember

We’re looking forward to an energizing and engaging IE Orientation this year, with several senior teachers presenting for the first time. There will be updates on our evolving approach to plagiarism prevention, sessions on bringing cultural awareness and exchange into the classroom, a “pecha kucha” showcase of IE Seminars, an explanation of how to self-publish, an exciting technology panel, and a roundtable on best practices in IE Active Listening by veteran instructors of that course.

This year’s IE Orientation will be more streamlined, with only the two final presentations overlapping. This should ensure less chaos, better time management, and more opportunities for everyone to gain exposure to information, ideas, and suggestions that apply across courses rather than just related to the particular course(s) they have been assigned.

IE Orientation

Here is the schedule. Just to remind you, the IE Orientation will begin at 8:30 AM on Saturday, April 4th, in Building 17, where we will meet briefly for coffee in room 17-808 before moving on to room 17-810 for the first session. The only session that will not be held in 17-810 will be the one titled “Best Practices in IE Active Listening,” which will take place in the Goucher Building–15-502.

The Scope & Sequence for IE Core has been updated for 2015. The biggest change is the addition of some plagiarism awareness activities and tasks at each of the three levels. Even though this document is most directly relevant to IE Core teachers, it is highly recommended that IE Writing and Active Listening teachers take a look at it as well since this is an integrated program and the changes in one course has knock on effects on the others.

We have also prepared an updated version of the English Department Handbook–a useful reference source for the rules, policies, and regulations of the department. It has helpful information about what you will need to do should you have to call in sick, etc. Teachers new to the department should definitely look through the text to see what it covers. Continuing teachers are strongly encouraged to take another look at it since there have been some updates.

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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 are the PDF and DOC versions of the policy.



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New documentary about post 3/11 Tohoku

A documentary film dealing with the lives and experiences of Tohoku-ites recovering​ from the triple (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear) disaster is due to premiere this coming autumn. Linda Ohama is the Canadian filmmaker directing the documentary–“TOHOKU NO SHINGESU: A New Moon Over Tohoku”–which is now in the sound editing phase of production. She is planning to visit Japan after the film has been completed for the screening of her film and a lecture tour.

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An excellent public speaker, Linda has given talks to students and faculty members at Aoyama Gakuin University for a number of years, to much critical acclaim. As the work of a film maker constantly involves retooling and learning new things, it is a profession that is all about lifelong learning. You can see a write-up on the film at the 8 bit news site: http://8bitnews.org/?p=4621. A link to National Film Board of Canada’s website where a previous film by Linda Ohama–“Obachan’s Garden”– can be seen in its entirety is https://www.nfb.ca/film/obachans_garden.

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Calendar for 2015 Academic Year

Access an English version of the schedule for the 2015/2016 Academic Year here:




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Blues Lecture/ Concert by Steve Gardner


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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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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