Listening to and Discussing News

Course Code: LDN101
Day: Sat Time: 13:30-15:20 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Semester: Summer Instructional Language: English Location: In-Person (Tokyo)

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Course Description

In order to understand the impact of newsworthy events that take place around the world every day, this course will explore and examine contemporary news topics not only for their sociocultural significance, but their historical significance as well.
To accomplish this goal while aiding in the language acquisition process, students will be provided with English language input sources that support their understanding and bridge gaps in their knowledge.
In addition to actively participating in each class, students will be expected to conduct research outside of class and prepare short presentations to improve the 4 skills of communication and utilize their background knowledge to enrich each session and further deepen the narrative around different news topics.

Learning Objectives

1. Students will be able to establish and practice self-study strategies in order to bring about more autonomy and independence in their approach to language learning.
2. Students will be able to apply critical literacy skills to become more actively engaged with media in any form and to enrich their approach to discussions.

Who should take this course

Those who want to continue improving their English proficiency while gaining deep and meaningful knowledge of world systems and contemporary culture in the context of major news events.
English Level: High-Intermediate to Advanced


No required textbook (Supplemented by instructor)


David Phillips

Instructor Biography

David Phillips earned his MAT in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern California and has been working as an Academic English Instructor at Temple University Japan since 2016 and started working at Seikei University from April 2023. In addition to his university work, he also serves as an examiner for the Eiken Foundation of Japan throughout the year. Prior to living and teaching in Japan, he taught sociocultural anthropology to first-year undergraduates at the University of Washington and Intensive English courses at Seattle Pacific University for 5 years. David is focused on continuing to apply a sociocultural approach to every class lesson as a way to utilize student background knowledge and build co-created classrooms in which every student has opportunities to contribute and actively participate. When he is not teaching or publishing works on adapting materials for cultural responsiveness and autonomous learner development, David is working toward completing a doctorate degree in English Pedagogy at Murray State University and producing episodes for his YouTube channel called, "The Rhythm Circuit," which features a global listening base.