Choose a controversial topic and find two articles on this topic with opposing or different points of view: one article “for” and one “against”. (The original articles may be in either English or Japanese, but of course your response must be in English).
summarize in one paragraph the main arguments in each article.
“The test was prepared by Sakuragi. It’s unfair because he and Kawaguchi knew what kinds of questions are included.”
The fact that Sakuragi chose (not “prepared”) the test does not by itself make it unfair. It would only be unfair if he had told the students about the test (he did not), or if he had taught them a certain way especially for that test. He did not, nor did Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi made his method clear (using music and movement) well before the English contest was decided.
“I disagree with learning English to pass entrance exams and not for communication.”
the topic is the content of the video. In this case, the students are trying to pass an entrance exam. In the video, Sakuragi explicity states that he is not teaching students to communicate but to pass the entrance exam.
Therefore, the above opinion is a straw man and is rrelevant.
“Enjoying studying is important, I think.”
Irrelevant. The video makes no mention of making study enjoyable a goal or purpose. The purpose is simply to prepare students to pass the English entrance exam. Therefore, this comment is a red herring.
“I agree that in order to acquire English, learners should use English, because the purpose of language is to communicate.”
Irrelevant. A red herring. Kawaguchi in the video does not have the students use English in order to help them communicate. In fact, Sakuragi explicity states the purpose is not communication but entrance-exam preparation. The above sentence is the writer’s personal opinion, but it is not an argument and is irrelevant to the topic.
“Kawaguchi says that, when you are on a date, you don’t use difficult words. I think this is true. To acquire language we need to present our feelings (thinking).”
Red herring. The final sentence is the writer’s personal opinion, but it is not supported by anything in the video. The video does not show students learning to express their feelings, nor does it discuss the importance of expressing one’s feelings, or whether or not expressing feelings is necessary in order to acquire language.
Some criticisms are irrelevant because they are factually incorrect. E.g.,
“Learning English while exercising is good, but it is only effective if students already have a certain basic knowledge of English.”
TPR is a well known method for teaching beginners in which instructors give and demonstrate commands and movements and learners copy the movement while hearing the commands. It is therefore incorrect to say that “learning English while exercising (i.e. while moving) is only effective if students already have a basic knowledge of English.”
“Sakuragi’s opinion is too simple. His powerful voice is persuasive but one-sided.”
It is true that simply by speaking loudly and passionately a person may sound persuasive without actually making any logical arguments, and in fact there is an example of this in the video (by Kawaguchi). The writer making these accusations should rather use actual quotations from the video to illustrate the points he/she is trying to make.
Write a response essay to the article “Majority Rule Equals Tyranny” by Walter Williams. Download the document here: majority-rule-equals-tyranny
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“Censorship creep”: the question asks you to define the meaning. Many students wrote, “It means increasing censorship”, but strictly speaking, that is the result of censorship creep, not the definition of the meaning. Answer the question.
What was “always the intention”, according to the article?
The purpose was always “to block far more than dirty pictures”.
What non-pornographic sites were also filtered?
Gay and lesbian sites and sex education sites.
Does the author think that a “social or moral framework” is necessary for the Internet?
No. There is no ‘social or moral framework’ in a library, so why should there be one on the Internet?
What is the evidence, according to the article, that pornography harms young people?
There is almost no evidence (“scant”).
What does the author think the real purpose of the “porn filter” is?
The author thinks, or suspects, that the real purpose of the “porn filter” is not to block pornography and protect the children but “a convenient way to block a lot of content the British government doesn’t want its citizens to see” without any proper public debate and discussion about it.
What do you think “extremism” means, and why does the author put it in quotation marks (“..”)?
Extremism means different things to different people. However, in the case of a national law, the meaning needs to be defined clearly and publicly, so that people everywhere know exactly what is permitted and what is not. The author puts it in quotation marks (“…”) because the author suspects that the government will use the word to persuade people to accept the new law, but then expand the meaning of the word to include “content that the British government doesn’t want its citizens to see”, such as information about file sharing and free music downloads, or simply sites critical of the government. Of course, such sites will not really be extremist according to a dictionary definition.
What does the author mean by “in the name of protecting children”?
The author means that protecting the children may well be used as an excuse to control adult behaviour in ever increasing and surprising ways.
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Why the details about the peer edited journal, etc?
They show that this article was accepted by a professional peer-reviewed journal.
The details allow anyone to check this journal to see if in fact the article was published in it or not.
What are the numbers in parentheses for?
They refer to the references or sources of information which the writer used to write this article.
What is the meaning and purpose of “References” on p. 2?
They give the precise details about the sources the writer used for evidence for his article. This information allows anyone to identify and find (and read) those sources to check if what the writer says is true.
If the instructor says, “It is raining now”, you can check with yoru own eyes by looking out the window or going outside. However, if the instructor says (or writes) something like this, how do you know if it is true or not?
Pryor was married to Patricia Price in 1960 and divorced the following year. .
From this marriage, a son, Richard Pryor Jr. (1961), was born.
What kind of evidence would you want to see for these claims?
Here’s an example from Wikipedia:
Bob Newhart has called Pryor “the seminal comedian of the last 50 years”.