REC SEMINAR 2004 (4.15~)
30 weeks Thursday 1.30-3.00
Teacher: Michael Furmanovsky
Text: No Text
E-Mail: michael@world.ryukoku.ac.jp


This is a class for students who feel they are ready to make the transition from “learning English” to
“learning in English.” The class will be discussion-based and will focus on topical “human interest”
stories from newspapers and magazines. Although discussion topics will come from up-to- date
online (or paper) newspapers and magazines, the emphasis will be on articles that give us an insight
or understanding of human behavior and changes in contemporary culture. We will look at the many
ways in which the lifestyles, values and daily culture of people in both in Japan and the English-speaking
world are changing due to technological innovation and globalization. Students will take turns in locating
an article of interest and introducing it for discussion for the following week. Depending on the difficulty
level of the article or their degree of interest in the topic, students can chose whether to do additional
research on the topic using the Internet, or simply focus on the language aspects of the article.

Likely topics for discussion are:

Marriage, the family and gender roles
Raising children in today’s world
New technology and its effect on communication styles
Educational differences between Japan and western countries
Contemporary booms and fads
Changes in language use-both English and Japanese
Changing diet and food eating patterns in Japan and the west
Media and Media Literacy
The US election of 2004
Comparing past and present popular culture
Environmental problems
Changing patterns of crime