SemesterFall Semester, 2023
DepartmentGeneral Education Courses in Foreign Languages
Course NameCollege English I
InstructorYU YI-SHAN
Course TypeSelectively
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule






Content and Reading Assignment


Teaching Activities and Homework


Course overview

  • Self-Introduction

  • Icebreaking and social interactions

  • Watch Introduction to Cross-cultural Communication (CCC) Unit 1 Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions [Video] on Moodle


College life

  • College: New demands and expectations

  • Email Essentials & Etiquette

  • Writing assignment 1:

    Emailing your instructor


Unit 1: Hopes and Dreams

  • Dreams and ambitions

  • Listening & Discussion

  • Speaking: Your dreams


Unit 1: Hopes and Dreams

  • Living the dream

  • Vocabulary & Reading

  • Writing assignment 2:

    Summary writing (p.11)


Unit 2: Reading the World

  • Description of two books

  • IELTS Speaking Introduction

  • Speaking: Sharing of your favorite books/movies

  • Listening & Discussion


Unit 2: Reading the World

  • An African in Greenland; House of Day, House of Night

  • Watch CCC Unit 2 Voices Around the World [Video] on Moodle


Unit 3: Pristine Places

  • An interview with National Geographic explorer and marine ecologist

  • Listening & Discussion

  • News reading


Unit 3: Pristine Places

  • Exploring the Okavango Delta

  • Vocabulary & Reading


Mid-term exam

  • Written exam

  • Prepare for presentation


Student presentation 1

  • Individual presentation

  • News article sharing


Unit 6: Education

  • A podcast about school rules around the world

  • Listening & Discussion

  • Watch CCC Unit 3 Education [Video], Voices Around the World [Video] on Moodle


Unit 6: Education

  • Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school

  • IELTS Writing Introduction:

    Diagram Analysis

  • Vocabulary & Reading

  • Writing assignment 3:

    Graph/ table description writing


Unit 8: The Real Me

  • A radio show about teenagers

  • Listening & Discussion

  • Watch CCC Unit 2 Stereotypes [Video] on Moodle


Unit 8: The Real Me

  • Ms. Marvel: Teenage comic superhero

  • Characteristics of a good presentation

  • Vocabulary & Reading


Student presentation 2

  • Group presentation

  • Event discussion


Final exam

  • Written exam



Intercultural Communication (Online module)

Moodle lessons, Unit 1-3



Intercultural Communication (Online module)

Moodle lessons, Unit 1-3


Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

Class time will be devoted to activities that allow you to practice and interact in English. To successfully complete the course, you must prepare the assigned homework prior to class and, while in class actively participate in discussions and pair/group work. Your final grades are determined by the following course components:

  • Participation (including attendance, class discussion, and homework): 20%

  • Written assignments: 30%

  • Oral presentations: 20%

  • Midterm and final exams: 30%

Attendance and Participation

Attendance will be recorded in every class. Any absence will be counted against your records unless a leave of absence is requested to the instructor by email, prior to or by the end of the absent day. Habitual lateness will also jeopardize your attendance records. Participation grade will be based on your before-class preparation and the contribution you make to the learning experience of others. Contribution includes your in-class questions to the instructor, insights and comments regarding class content, answers to the instructor's questions, and reactions to other students' contributions.

In-class exercises/quizzes

Periodically throughout the semester, writing/listening exercises and pop quizzes will be given in class. These exercises and quizzes can NOT be made up. However, with an approved leave of absence, missed quizzes, which otherwise would count as zero, will not count towards your composite final grade.

Oral presentations

You will give an individual oral report and a group presentation during the semester. For the individual report, you will give a 3-minute PowerPoint presentation on one recent article written from CNN, BBC, The Washington Post, or The New York Times. For the group presentation, in a group of 3-4, you and your groupmates will talk about one of the topics covered during the semester. The presentation should be approximately 10 minutes, followed by a 5-minute discussion. Notes are allowed, but you cannot read directly from the scripts. More details will be provided in class.

Note: For group assignments, individual grades will still be awarded reflecting your individual effort, participation and achievement in the group. In short, not every member of the group will receive the same grade.

Written assignments

In addition to the periodic in-class and take-home writing exercises, there will be three written assignments for the course. In each assignment, you will respond to the writing prompts regarding a cross-cultural issue. Your papers should show you have completed and thought seriously and critically about the readings and videos provided for you. You are also encouraged to research the topic and cite your sources. The grading rubric for the written assignments is available on the class website.


All materials, including the readings, handouts, and information provided in class will potentially be included on mid-term and final exams. The mid-term exam is a written test, and the final exam contains a written test and a speaking test. The written tests include vocabulary/grammar questions, a listening/reading section, and short writing tasks. The speaking test requires you to answer two or more questions, each question for two minutes. The instructor will evaluate your ability to respond to the questions appropriately and to speak for an extended period of time without hesitation, deviation or repetition. The grading rubric for the speaking test is available on the class website. No make-up exams will be given unless you have received the instructor’s permission in advance.   

Textbook & Reference


  • Required textbook: Perspectives 4 by Amanda Jeffries, Daniel Barber & Lewis Lansford (2018)

Note: The textbook will be used for two semesters.  NEW and unused textbooks are recommended. 

Please purchase "Perspectives 4 Student Book" instead of Perspectives 4A or Perspectives 4 Workbook.

  • Supplementary readings: To be distributed in class.

  • Resources:


BBC Learning English:

TED talks:


  • Study materials for Introduction to Cross-cultural Communication (CCC)

(a) Dimensions of national culture [Reading]

(b) Country comparison [Reading]

(c) Hofstede's six cultural dimensions

(d) Host Chris Rock rapped over Asian-American 'joke' [Video] 

(e) Chris Rock criticized after Asian joke at Oscars [Video] 

(f) People Aren't Happy With Chris Rock's Asian Joke At The Academy Awards [Reading] 

(g) Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: Talking About Women [Video]

(h) The Origins of Stereotypes [Reading]

(i) Stereotypes and Prejudices [Reading]

(j) College Classroom Culture

(k) Formal and informal classroom culture in the U.S.

(l) A Conversation with Chinese and American Students [Video]

(m) How Do American, Chinese and French Students Characterize their Teachers' Communication? [Reading]


Urls about Course
Online Module on Intercultural Communication:

College English Rubrics_Rev..pdf