English for Northern America
FEKT-XASAAcad. year: 2017/2018
This course is designed for students who have a good enough ability to communicate in English. The aim of this course to make language students aware of North American culture, the different dialects, political and economic differences from the European way, along with a better orientation of Canada and the United States. The course is intended to improve the communication abilities of the student in specific situations, and to improve writing skills of each student as well.
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Speaking and presentation (oral and written) are important.
The use of everyday social expressions and idioms in American and Canadian English, and the context in which they are used, are also an integral part of the course.
A better knowledge of the geography of Canada and the USA.
A better knowledge of the political process in Canada and the USA.
A knowledge of the differences between the educational system in North America compared to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
A better knowledge cuisine, nature and humor in Canada and the USA.
BAN3, XAN3, BAN4, XAN4 or an Intermediate level of English or better
Recommended optional programme components
Recommended or required reading
R.MacNeil and W. Cran,Do You Speak American? 2007.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Teaching methods include lectures and audiovisual presentations. Students have the option to give presentation in front of their peers.
Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes
40% semester test:
40 questions altogether based on classwork and downloaded slides (see "osnova"). The test is in the form of short answer questions on different themes related to North American studies.
The maximum points possible on the semester test is 40, the minimum is 20 in order to pass it.
The exam is written and listening:
- The written part is based on writing a detailed answer to a cultural studies topic on either Canada or the USA.
- The listening part is based on an unknown listening text.
The maximum points possible on the exam is 60 (30 points on the written part and 30 points on the listening part). The student must receive a minimum of 50% on each part of the exam in order to pass.
Language of instruction
1. Political Systems. Differences between the United States and Canada and comparison with Europe. Attitudes towards their own sovereignty.
2. Comparison of American English and British English-with a comparison of Canadian English too. Greetings/Telephoning.
3. Geography of the USA. Comparison of different regions in the country. Demography, ethnic and religious background of population.
4. Geography of Canada. Comparison of different regions in the country. Differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada. Linguistic issues.
5. Traveling across the USA and Canada. Use of buses, trains and cars. Natural and man-made sites to visit. How to respond and react as a tourist?
6. Technological feats-the building of the Hoover Dam given as one example. Other major technological feats in North America.
7. Educational system. Differences between North America and Europe. Requirement for entrance into universities.
8. Employment in North America. What are the necessary requirements? What type of engineers are needed? Presentation of C.V., going to interviews, etc.
9. Invitations and restaurants. How to make and respond to an invitation? Different attitudes towards food in different parts of each country.
10. Recreational and cultural activities in the United States and Canada.
Sports, music, national holidays, other freetime activities.
11. Taboos. Political correctness in the areas of sex and gender, religion, politics and alcohol. Race relations and multiculturalism.
12. Review of above topic areas for semester test.
13. Semester test for course written.
Vocabulary development and knowledge of American English. Encouraging students to communicate actively. Expanding the student's knowledge of the United States and Canada. Developing written abilities in professional situations.
Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences
The content and forms of instruction in the evaluated course are specified by a regulation issued by the lecturer responsible for the course and updated for every academic year.