Lesson 11


  1. Kanji survey for the Names project
  2. What does cc: mean? (with activity)
  3. Class protocol
  4. Copying and pasting

As a project for the students, their names will be displayed in a large, attractive font style (gif images), and they will explain the meaning(s) behind their names in English. As part of this project, I took surveys to determine which font style of five would be the best choice. (The reasons why only one will be available are boringly complicated, but if you really want to know...) People surveyed included non-Japanese who cannot read Japanese, non-Japanese who can, Japanese people, and my students. For more details, see the preliminary report.

Not all of the students had responded to the survey yesterday, so we began class with an explanation of what the survey was for. The students were asked to submit their votes today if they hadn't already. Furthermore, because they'd gotten a more detailed account of what the fonts would be used for, they were allowed to change their earlier votes if they wanted to.

What does CC mean?
After that, I asked them to go to the on-line lesson materials describing what "cc" means. I pointed out that they had already cc'd messages in the past, so this was a review. In fact, though, we could say it is a formalization of knowledge of something they'd had prior experience with. Also, as explicit language instruction, they were shown that "cc" can be used as a verb.

(By the way, when I give explicit language information such as "CC is a verb", I explain that in both English and in Japanese. When reading the on-line example which includes "...I cc'd a copy to your boss", I tell them in Japanese that cc'd is the past tense of cc. Furthermore, when explaining the Names project above, I told them first in English, then in Japanese, and then expanded on it in English. It's a mixed-level class, and I want to reach all of them.)

They were then told to either do the activity, or to respond to their e-mail if they had a lot to do. By the end of the lesson, one hadn't been able to do the activity at all, but I assured her that it was OK. She'd been busy responding to e-mail.

Class Protocol
During a part of the lesson when the students were all engaged in either the activity or e-mail, two students were waiting patiently for me to finish tutoring one student before asking me if they could go next door to get their dictionaries. When they got back (it only took a minute), I called for everybody's attention, and gave a two minute "lecture" on class protocol. I told them that, basically, this course was different from others that they were used to. Any time I'm not explicity leading them in an activity, they are free to leave their seats or leave the room if they have to, without seeking permission. I'm often busy with individuals or small groups, so if someone wants to use the toilet, get something they'd left in their classroom, or go ask another student for help, etc., they should just do it, rather than waiting to catch my attention to seek permission.

Copy and Paste
Today's activity (getting information from a homepage on an event, and inviting another student to that event) was a good chance for students to use copying and pasting techniques. Rather than prepare on-line material for this, I went around the room and showed them (in groups of two or three) how to do it. I highlighted an event notice and, from the Edit menu, chose "Copy". I then opened up a mail document, clicked in the message area, and from the Edit menu of the message, chose "Paste". I then highlighted any extra material or wide blank spaces and deleted them. The students were very receptive to this concept, seeing immediately how it would save them a lot of time. In fact, in the messages I'd received as part of the cc, it appears that they all used this technique.

The reasons why we'll only have one font avaible for the Names project:
Because kanji fonts, especially these detailed, display fonts, take up a lot of disk space, and the fonts available to me are shareware fonts which a friend will upload from his computer to my home computer via a local BBS, and because phone time in Japan is charged by the minute for local calls, only one font will be available. (Note added later: The font we finally decided on takes up over 5 megabytes.)

(c) Bill Pellowe
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