Syllabus Can Change Until October 3rd

Advanced Speaking & Listening C

  • September 2016 – January 2017
  • Mondays & Thursdays
  • 2:50pm to 4:20pm
  • Library Room 3

Instructor: Richard Schoonmaker ( Rick )

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 8am to 9am

(Contact Rick by email to make an appointment)

Class Website:


Students will learn to negotiate meaning in conversation and they will learn to prepare for various topics of conversation and specific communication contexts. Students will also prepare for presentations and give presentations, in small groups and individually. Students will improve their vocabulary and language-learning skills for life-long learning. They will listen to a large amount of meaning-focused, comprehensible English in order to improve their listening skills. Finally, students will often study the vocabulary, culture, and grammar for business English and English for intercultural communication. 


Students will work in groups, with partners, and with their instructor on various tasks that will require them to use English to negotiate meaning and coordinate actions. Individually and with other classmates, they will complete work on the class website and complete tasks in the classroom. Individually, students will sometimes complete homework at home. Students will give presentations and watch videos. They will prepare for classroom conversations and games. They will participate in listening circles. And all activities will include elements of language-focused learning and meaning-focused communication.

Your homework assignments are always available on the Calendar page of the class website, so you have no excuse for not participating online (even when you are absent from class). If you miss class, you can click on the In Class tabs of the calendar to see what you missed in class.


Assignments: All assignments must be turned in on the date requested. All students are responsible for finding out what they miss during class if they are absent.

Absences: If you are sick and cannot make it to class, you are required to email me before class begins. If you do not, it will be counted as an unexcused absence. If you have an emergency and are not able to contact me before class, you are required to contact me as soon as possible.

If you miss too many classes, you will need to attend extra English Lounge sessions or extra Academic Advising sessions to compensate for the classes that you miss. Two English Lounge sessions or one Academic Advising session will compensate for one missed class period. You can compensate for 3 missed classes, not more. Please complete this form when you attend English Lounge or Academic Advising to compensate for missed classes: Compensation EL:AA Form


If you have a question about an assignment, please post your question in the text box at the bottom of the calendar page. For all other questions, please contact the instructor directly. If you wish to privately ask your instructor a question, please send him an email  or text; he will respond as soon as possible. If your question is not private, please post it on the class website (because someone else may have the same question). Do not use Moodle to contact the instructor. 


2 Business Venture

By Roger Barnard & Jeff Cady, Michael Duckworth, Grant Trew



  • Presentations & Note Taking : 30%
  • Tests & Quizzes: 20%
  • Homework: 20%
  • Participation/Attendance: 30%
  • English Lounge: Extra Credit


  • 90% to 100% = S
  • 80% to 89% = A
  • 70% to 79% = B
  • 60% to 69% = C
  • Below 60% = F


  • [ A ] → [96 – 100] → [4.0]
  • [ A- ] → [92 – 95] → [3.7]
  • [ B+ ] → [88 – 91] → [3.3]
  • [ B ] → [84 – 87] → [3.0]
  • [ B- ] → [80 – 83] → [2.7]
  • [ C+ ] → [76 – 79] → [2.3]
  • [ C ] → [72 – 75] → [2.0]
  • [ C- ] → [68 – 71] → [1.7]
  • [ D+ ] → [64 – 67] → [1.3]
  • [ D ] → [60 – 63] → [1.0]
  • [ F ] → [0 – 59] → [0.0]

Important Information about Grading: In order to learn a second language, a student must use the language as much as possible. The amount of meaning-focused language practice is far more important than the amount of language-focused knowledge of grammar rules or memorized vocabulary. Therefore, your grades are based mostly on the amount of practice that you complete. Ideally, when someone learns a second language, most of the practice (60% to 70%) will be meaning-focused activities, and the remaining study will be language-focused (direct study of grammar and vocabulary, etc). If you wish to get a good grade, and certainly if you wish to pass this course, you must come to class often, you must participate often, and you must use English a lot. Furthermore, you are expected to frequently make mistakes when using English.

If you wish to know your grade at any point during the term, simply calculate the percentage of assignments that you have completed: For example, if you have completed 100% of all assignments, you will have a grade of A. If you have completed 70% to 90% of all assignments, you will have a grade of B. If you have completed only 60% to 70% of all assignments, you will have a grade of C. If you wish to have a grade of S, you will need to complete more work than the amount assigned, or you will need to give an amazing effort when completing 100% of the work during the term.

Make-Up Work: If you need to make up a test or other assignment, you must contact your instructor by email and request to take the test or other assignment at a special time. You must do this; Your instructor will not do this for you. Normally, tests will be made up at 8:00am or 8:30am. You may also take a make-up test during the instructor’s office hours.

Student Responsibility: Your instructor will do his best to give you an excellent learning experience this term. Foremost, he wants you to gain valuable reading and writing skills in English. In addition, he wants you to enjoy the class and develop the healthy habits of a lifelong language learner. Your instructor genuinely cares about you and wants to help you to achieve your goals in life. Therefore, at any point during this term, if you think that the instructor is not providing a valuable learning experience for you, you must contact him or meet with him as soon as possible to share your concerns.

Learning Community: Learning a second language is something that you must do with others. You have to speak and listen to other people; you have to write for others and read the thoughts of others. You must negotiate meaning in conversation and work together to construct meaning in groups. Language is something that always requires at least 2 people, and usually more. Therefore, caring for your classmates is paramount.

If you are deliberately unkind, mean spirited, rude, or offensive to a classmate during this term (unprovoked),  your participation grade will drop significantly. If you are offensive 3 or more times, your participation grade will be 0 for the term. And keep in mind that your instructor speaks and understands Japanese.