Thursday, June 26, 2014

ENG317 - Fall 2014

ENG317 - Practical English Conversation

BUFS - Spring 2014

Instructor: Jeff Lebow
This is the class blog for Lebow's ENG317 Course.  I will use this site to post materials related to our discussions and sometimes ask you to post written opinions about the topics we cover

Group Notes:  ENG317-04  ENG317-05

Writing Documents: ENG317-04  ENG317-05

End of the Semester Message
from Jeff
June 22, 2014 

Dear Students, I hope your first weekend of summer vacation has been enjoyable. 

I have now posted your grades for ENG317 public. I do so with somewhat of a heavy heart. 

The university's new grade quotas are: 
  • A,A+'s : maximum 25% 
  • B,B+'s: Maximum 45% 
  • C,C+'s at least 30%
...and there is no way to trick the system into allowing higher percentages. 

As a result, several of you received lower grades than you deserve - certainly lower than I would have given you if I had total grading freedom.

Some of you will see your grade and think "What! I deserve an A+ or at least an A!". I understand and probably agree. Unfortunately, I was only able to give three A's in ENG317-04 and four A's in ENG317-05. I was also required to give at least the same number of C's or C+'s. I did my best to be as fair as possible, but was still left feeling that the results are unfair to some of you.

Please know that regardless of what grade you received, I appreciate the hard work and positive attitude you showed as classes. Thank you for a great semester. I enjoyed our class time together and especially appreciate the bravery and creativity you showed in tackling the 'final challenge'. I hope the course was useful and/or interesting for you as well. 

Wishing you all a great summer, 

P.S. I plan to continue experimenting with online language learning webcasts throughout the summer. I will send out an invitation when I begin and would welcome participation from any of you who are interested.

Week#15 Assignment
By June 14, create a blog post with information and links about your Final Segment. This should be original writing. Do not copy and paste from another source.

Week#14 AssignmentLook at the information about the Final

All students must complete the ‘Final Show Segment Plan’ form by Sunday, June 7.

Week#12 Assignment (due May 25): Over the weekend, please create a short blog post describing which sites you checked out and which ones you thought were most interesting or useful.

Week#11 Assignment  (Due May 12/13)
Bring a news story of any kind that you can describe and discuss. Bring a print out of this and a few discussion questions. The article can be about any type of news (politics, sports, entertainment, health, human interest, etc.) . An English article is preferred , but if you choose an article in a different language, you must be prepared to discuss it in English.

Week#3: Culture Handouts (Part 1)   Likes & Dislikes:   Korea     China
Week#4: Pronunciation: Minimal Pairs, Practice Site, Resources
Week#5: Learning Discussion, Story Relay, &  Group Notes GuessWord

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lebow’s ENG317 Final 2014

Optional Vocabulary Assignment

For those interested in booting their midterm vocabulary scores, here is an optional assignment.

Go to your classes Group Notes page ENG317-04  ENG317-05Choose at least 10 challenging words or phrases that you did not know at the beginning of the semester. Use those words appropriately in a piece of creative writing.  The stories can be silly or funny as long as the vocabulary is used correctly.

This needs to be posted on your blog by June 20 and can result in up to 3 additional points being added to your midterm vocabulary score.

You are going to be a guest on The HELLO Show. (HELLO = Hangout English Language Learning Online), an informative, entertaining, show for advanced learners of English like yourselves.   Bonus points to anyone who can think of a cooler name than the ‘Hello Show’.

Think of yourself as a reporter, commentator, expert, educator, or anyone else who has something to say on this kind of show.  You are responsible for an interesting 5~10 minute segment.
Possibilities include...
  • Covering a recent local, national, or world news story. Summarize and prepare to share comments,opinions, and/or language learning points.
  • Guide Segment (e.g. best place to pizza in Busan, the skateboard scene in Korea)
  • Society Segment - trends, fashion, social issues
  • Entertainment - Intro and discussion of a popular TV Show, movie, musician
  • Reading Review - discussion of an article or book you’ve read
  • Language Learning segment - use materials to provide instruction on some kind of language skill (e.g. pronunciation, idioms, grammar, etc.)
  • Anything else you think would be interesting, informative, and/or educational. Generally speaking, topics which include opinions (not just facts) tend to make for more interesting conversations.
    DON’T READ on air - you can prepare notes and an outline, but DO NOT READ.

Segments can be done alone or with a partner. You can do this ‘on air’ streamed live with (hopefully) an interactive audience or ‘off air’ in a closed Hangout.   Either way, the segment will be recorded. Doing this ‘on air’ will earn you extra points for bravery.  Everyone is encouraged to tune in during ‘on air’ segments to make comments and ask questions in the text chat room.  To tune in go to
You can see a couple of of last year’s webcasts at:

During Week#15 (June 9~13), you will meet with Jeff (face to face or via Hangout) to discuss plans for your segment and have a final one-on-one (or one-on-two) chat with Jeff. Tentative times to meet face-to-face include Monday, June 9, 4~6pm and Thursday, June 12, 11am~1pm.  Hangout meetings will likely take place in the evening.  We will schedule these in class next week.

We will also discuss scheduling preferences for ON AIR times next week, but tentative possibilities include Sunday and Tuesday evening, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. (Jun 15, 17, & 18)

All students must go to the course website and complete the ‘Final Show Segment Plan’ form
by Sunday, June 7.   I will publish a schedule after that.

Final Segments Schedule
Sunday, June 15, 7~9pm ON AIR
박은정, 김경선 Trouble Counseling 신다경, 박성은  Gender Issues
나혜정 Stress
성동현 Drinking (8pm-ish) 심진영 Smart Food Choices 김아현 Desserts
최동윤 , 이성은: Kpop
황지은, 황효민 Ghosts

Wednesday, June 18, 6:30~7pm (Off-air)
왕의녕, 우흠혜, 장이정 정수아 China/Korea Differences

Wednesday, June 18, 7~9pm (ON-air) 김성환, 천동민 Indian/Thai Food 황규성, 김청호  Cross-fit
양효선 Cosmetics
(8pm-ish) 박찬미  Korean Attitudes toward Appearance 최용훈 Drunk Driving
최성원 - Teaching
Hangout Tips: 

  • You can join your Hangout early, but please mute your microphone when it's not your segment.  If you want to make a comment or ask question, unmute yourself to do so. 
  • If you've been watching a Hangout in session and then join it when it's your turn
    A) turn  offf the live stream first or close the Hangout Center page.
    B) do not interrupt by saying something 'Hi, can you hear me'?
    C) Mute yourself, wait for Jeff to say hello, and then unmute yourself 
  • Use a headset or earbuds. 
  • Be prepared with an outline of what you plan to discuss, but do not read. Do NOT READ. DO NOT READ. DO NOT READ! This will be a real conversation, not a prepared monologue or dialogue. . 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Self-image, Self-Esteem, & Plastic Surgery


 Self Image & Self-Esteem

Plastic Surgery


Plastic Surgery/Self-Image Question  (part 1)

  • What do you like most about yourself (physical and personality traits)?
    Any suggestions from other group members?
  • What don't you like about yourself? (physically and otherwise)
  • What would you like to change about yourself?(if anything)  What DON’T you want to change?
  • In which situations do you feel most confident?  Least confident?
  • Do you think men and women  judge  themselves differently? How so?
  • Who do you think is the most beautiful/handsome person in Korea? in the world?
    What makes them so attractive?
  • Generally speaking, what do you think makes people attractive? (inside and out)
  • Who is the most attractive person in your family/circle of friends?  confident? image-obsessed?

Plastic Surgery/Self-Image Questions  (part 2)

  • How much time do you spend making yourself look better each day? What do you do?
  • How do you think self-esteem and physical attractiveness affect each other?
    In what ways does society (especially Korean society) help boost and destroy individual self-esteem? (family members, classmates, bosses)
  • Does attractiveness affect one's success in life?
  • How are expectations and consequences of physical attractiveness different for men and women?
  • Is it better to be physically attractive, intelligent, or wealthy?
  • Do people spend much time and money on beauty?
  • Women, do you ever go out without any make-up? When?
    Men, do you have an opinion on how much make-up women wear?
  • What do you think about plastic surgery?
  •          - Would you (did you) ever have plastic surgery?
                  If so, what would you(did you) change?
             - Do you think there should be an age limit for people to have plastic  
               surgery?        How old?
             - Why do you think Korea is #1 in global plastic surgery?

    • Is your ideal of beauty different than your parents or grandparents?
    • Is it better to achieve the ‘perfect look’ or embrace your own unique look?
    • Do you think tattoos and piercings are attractive?  Why or Why not?
    • Are beauty pageants good or bad? Why?
    • What are some of the drawbacks of being very attractive physically?
    • Do you think skin color affects whether a person is regarded as attractive or not? Why?
    • How is the Korean,  Russian, or Chinese ideal of beauty different from other ideals of beauty?
    • Would you prefer to ‘age gracefully’ and naturally, or battle the toll of time by going ‘under the knife’?

    Plastic Surgery

    Highest Plastic Surgery Rates for 2009


    CountryTotal ProceduresTotal PopulationPP10K
    South Korea365,00049,232,00074
    United States1,300,000309,000,00042

    Global Statistics (From:

    Carla Bruni - Before & After