English Reading and Discussion
Instructor: Brenna Staats
KAIST Language Center
This course will focus on improving students’ English fluency and ability to participate in
general discussions by utilizing news articles from various sources and short stories by
American author Mark Twain. Additionally, this course will help students improve their
ability to read for main ideas, details, and to infer meanings. While reading selections,
students will work on developing a broader vocabulary and will be responsible for a running
list of new words encountered during the course. Extensive English practice will occur
through a variety of learning techniques including individual, group, and pair work as well as
student led discussions designed to promote an intense understanding of English by the
I expect you to ask questions when you do not understand a concept, the language or
terms used, etc. If you are confused, it is likely someone else is as well. I am here to
increase your English conversation skills. I will not know that your skills are not
increasing unless you tell me.
I expect you to participate in the lecture and class activities. This is a discussion course,
and there will be many opportunities for you to practice your English skills. This way I
am able to gauge your understanding and modify the lecture and activities to fit your
needs. This process will also allow me to offer immediate feedback of your skills.
I expect you to take notes. The brain learns in a variety of ways including oral, visual, and
kinesthetic. The more senses that are engaged, the more likely the student is to learn the
material. I will be speaking and using occasional visual aids, by taking notes, you will
increase your brain’s ability to make and/or strengthen synaptic connections.
I expect you to get out of this course what you put into it. If you are prompt to every class,
ask questions, request feedback, complete the assignments, I expect you to learn a great
I expect professional respect regarding this course including silencing cell phones and
arriving prepared and on time. If there is an emergency, please step into the hall to take
your call. If you must arrive late, please enter quietly without disrupting others and
immediately become engaged in learning. If no students are present 15 minutes after
scheduled start time, class will be canceled.
I expect you to use English at all times. As this is an English discussion course, use of
other languages is highly discouraged.
I am looking forward to getting know each of you! I am available for a short time after class
if you have any concerns, questions, or would just like to chat. Please send me an email if
you have any other questions or would like to make an appointment.
1 Introductions and syllabus; How the Brain Learns article and discussion
2 World Hunger article and discussion
3 Personality article and discussion
4 Topic to be determined: Small group-led discussions
5 A Ghost Story by Mark Twain
6 Facebook Banned in Education article and discussion
7 Journalism in Tennessee by Mark Twain
8 Topic to be determined: Small group-led discussions
9 National Geographic article and discussion
10 Taming the Bicycle by Mark Twain
11 Banned Books article and discussion
12 Topic to be determined: Small group-led discussions
*Subject to change based on needs expressed by students.