Now that you've graduated from JHS, you ought to have learnt about 1,000 English words. Perhaps later as adults, and after a few years of English study abroad, that number may increase to about 5,000 words. By contrast, a college-educated native English speaker (such as myself) knows about 20,000 word families (for example, 'run, ran, runs, running, runner, runners' is the word-family for RUN). When you compare these numbers the road to mastering English starts to seem steep, especially if you also consider how nuch time the typical English classroom spends on grammar rather than vocabulary. And yet, which would you rather carry on a trip overseas, a phrase-book or a grammar guide?

There is good news, though. Of the hundreds of thousands of English words, a small number-between 3,000 to 4,000-occur very often. If you can simply recognize (rather than produce) the first 1,000 of these high-frequency words, you'll comprehend 75% of most types of English -- written or spoken. The basis for this SHS Oral Communication class, then, is to receptively learn as quickly and enjoyably as possible these high-frequency words.

To do this, we'll be watching and listening to video movies throughout the year. In each class, you'll see each movie in roughly fifteen-minute portions and be introduced to a WEEKLY WORD-LIST of about 40-45 new words through two class activities (some words you'll know from JHS). In the PRONUNCIATION ACTIVITY, you and an assigned-partner choose the word from the weekly word-list which matches what the teacher says; after that, for the LISTENING ACTIVITY, you first receive a transcript of the movie on which some words are missing and, then, you watch the movie to identify (again, with an assigned-partner) the missing words as they are spoken by the actors and actresses. These two activities are worth 25% of your end-of-term mark. Each week after that, you'll have a short multiple-choice WEEKLY WORD-QUIZ to check whether you know the Japanese meaning of each word on the Weekly Word-list; WEEKLY WORKSHEETS will be provided. These quizzes are worth another 25% of your end-of-term mark. Finally, the remaining 50% of your mark comes from the BIG EXAM at the end of term, which is very similar to the WEEKLY WORD-QUIZ except that it is based on all the words learnt in the term. (Note that misbehavior during class jeopardizes any and all marks.)

Hopefully, then, by the end of the course you'll not only have knowledge of the thousand or so word families most useful for English communication, but, through video movies, you'll have also enjoyably listened to tens of thousands of words being naturally spoken and acted.