Academic English Basic

A dinosaur
LecturerChad NILEP, Associate Professor
DepartmentInstitute of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 2015 Spring
Recommended for:1st year Liberal Arts Students (11.5 hours / session One session / week 15 weeks / semester)

Course Overview

The objective of this course is to develop basic English reading and writing and skills related to the study of university-level arts and sciences. The aim is to allow Nagoya University students to acquire the abilities appropriate for success in a research based university. Attention is given to paragraph structure as a key to logical text construction. For that reason, students learn about both reading for essential information as well as constructing convincing arguments in their own writing. Students broaden their abilities to read English materials, to write well organized paragraphs, and to use appropriate English expressions.

Key features

Students read both extensively and intensively. For extensive reading, each student chooses books, magazines, news articles, or other material that interests her or him personally. Students read these materials every week, and write a journal to record how many pages they read, what new vocabulary they learned, and what ideas interested them. For intensive reading, students read one essay each week about world food ways, answer specific questions about this reading, and discuss that information in small groups.

The writing process includes thinking, preparing, writing, and revising. Each week in class students write a paragraph during 15 minutes of timed writing. Students read one another’s papers and comment on their form and clarity. Three of these paragraphs are revised on the basis of peer comments and then graded.

Course content

Students work on writing well-structured paragraphs and practice a writing process that includes preparing, writing, and revising to improve written work. Every week in class students practice writing a paragraph very quickly. Three of these paragraphs are rewritten and submitted for a grade. Students also read extensively outside of class in addition to reading in class. Students learn about world cultures by reading and writing about food ways.

The course is taught entirely in English. Students are required to participate actively in class discussions and to write paragraphs in English. Grades are based not only on English language ability but also on control of writing forms such as proper topic sentences and paragraph structure.


Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Peter Menzel, FaithD’Aluiso, Tomoyuki Tsuruoka and Yoshiaki Sato. Shohakusha, ISBN 978-4-88198-601-1.

Course Schedule

Week Contents
1 Class introduction. Food in Australia
2 Timed writing; Topic sentences. Food in Chad
3 Brainstorming. Food in China
4 Revising and editing. Food in Cuba
5 Supporting the topic; Reading journal check 1. Food in France
6 Unity in writing; Revised paper 1 due. Food in Germany
7 Common mistakes
8 Using an outline
9 Outline for revising
10 Coherence
11 Transition signals; Revised paper 2 due. Food in Kuwait
12 Logic in academic writing. Food in Mexico
13 Papers with several paragraphs. Food in Mongolia
14 The writing process. Food in Turkey
15 Course wrap-up and final review. Final projects due. Food in America

Lecture Handouts


  • [Class introduction. Food in Australia](https- //


  • [Timed writing; Topic sentences. Food in Chad](https- //


  • [Brainstorming. Food in China](https- //


  • [Revising and editing. Food in Cuba](https- //


  • [Supporting the topic; Reading journal check 1. Food in France](https- //


  • [Unity in writing; Revised paper 1 due. Food in Germany](https- //


  • [Common mistakes](https- //


  • [Using an outline](https- //


  • [Outline for revising](https- //


  • [Coherence](https- //


  • [Transition signals; Revised paper 2 due. Food in Kuwait](https- //


  • [Logic in academic writing. Food in Mexico](https- //


  • [Papers with several paragraphs. Food in Mongolia](https- //


  • [The writing process. Food in Turkey](https- //


Course grade is based on written assignments, a reading journal, self-study, and work in class including timed writing and group work.

Last updated

June 12, 2020