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Home: UEC Academic Skills 2B Course

Academic Skills 2B Course
Fall 2012

Note: The Fall 2013 page is here and the Spring 2013 class page is here.

In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly more important to be able to communicate with and understand different cultures.

We live in an era of rapid globalization in which being able to communicate across cultures is imperative to our ability to function in a diverse workplace, city, and world.

This course is designed for students interested in enhancing their cross-cultural communication skills required in international settings.

It will also cover various everyday topics dealing with international culture, enabling students to broaden their global horizons and enhance their understanding of the world.

Students will be given the opportunity each week to share their overseas experiences and opinions of the countries covered in our textbook by posting their stories in this online forum.

Each week students will also be expected to comment on at least one story posted by another student.

Online story submission guidelines:
1)  Stories must be original and a minimum of 75 words (Please do not just go to Wikipedia and copy & paste).  smiley
2)  Comments on other student stories should be meaningful & at least 15 words.
3)  Stories should be submitted every week by 9 pm Sun. night, and comments on other stories should be submitted by 9 pm Tues. night.

First stop will be America. Then Saudi Arabia. And so on, all around the world, in accordance with the list of countries below.

If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me by clicking on the Contact Me button in the upper right corner of this page or at my email address provided in class.

Good luck & enjoy !!

Cultural presentation group project:

Students will work together in groups of 3-4 students to study & conduct an in-depth cultural comparison of at least 2 countries on various topics such as youth culture, dating and marriage, food and drink, fashion, education, corporate culture & business manners, student life, friendships, family, etc.

On Wed. Jan. 23, 2013, all study groups will be required to give a 5-10 minute presentation, using software like PowerPoint, Keynote, etc., to report on the results of their research. Within each 10-min. time slot, please plan on about a 6-min. talk, to allow sufficient time for Q&A and time for the next group to set up.

Presentation schedule:
9:10-9:20 - Ivan's group
9:20-9:30 - Liisa's group
9:30-9:40 - Madis' group
9:40-9:50 - Reo's group
9:50-10:00 - Robin's group
10:00-10:10 - Takuya's group

Time will be given at the end of the rest of the classes for these groups to work together, but it is likely that they will also have to meet on occasion outside of classroom hours, particularly toward the end of the semester in preparation for the final presentation.

IBC (Introduction, Body, & Conclusion) presentation format

Sample presentation outline

Beginning & Ending Your Presentation

Gary's Relaxation Technique


                           Cultural Presentation Day video              
                           (View in separate window here.)

  0:00  Job Recruitment - Mexico & Japan
  9:14  Family Values & Wedding Traditions - Russia, Egypt, & India
22:02  Life of a Science Student - Estonia vs. Japan
34:02  Dating & Food - Japan & China
43:47  Cross Culture - Biggest Celebration Day - Japan, Indonesia, & Germany
56:21  Splendid Festivals in China & Japan

NORAD Tracks Santa video cams (33 videos)  new icon
Japan cam, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, & Okinawa
China cam, including the Great Wall, Beijing, Tiananmen Square, Bell Tower, Xi'an, & the Terracotta Army
Southeast Asia cam, including the Phi Phi Islands & Bangkok in Thailand
Central Europe cam, including Berlin, Germany
Mexico cam, including Guadalajara, Acapulco, & Mexico City

                                 Show 'N' Tell Day video                        
                           (View in separate window here.)

 0:00  China #1
 5:22  China #2
11:41  Estonia
22:42  Germany
34:10  Indonesia
40:23  Japan
43:49  Mexico
53:29  Thailand

Caretta Shiodome Xmas Illuminaton 2012 
(until Dec. 25)

Flightradar24 (real-time global aircraft tracking map)

Jambo International (outdoor hiking/volunteer/charity club)

GoSkyWatch & Planets iPad/iPhone stargazing apps

Fall Colors:

Tony the Tiger  smiley

Diamond Fuji

Metropolis magazine

CNN Student News

Course Syllabus

Toastmasters International (public speaking club)

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Gary J. Wolff
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