English Expeditions - Ritsumeikan University

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Communication Skills

Course Description

The aim of this course is to develop students’ basic communication skills in the context that they will most need those skills: graduate school. Within the context of going abroad to present a paper on their graduate research, students will learn skills needed for traveling (e.g. asking for/giving directions, making reservations), negotiations, survey taking, and problem solving, as well as be introduced to skills involved in making a presentation at a conference. Additionally, students will learn to start and continue a conversation naturally, using a number of communication strategies such as asking follow-up questions and giving extended answers. They will also learn about turn taking and how to control the flow of a conversation by adding information. Finally, writing skills will be practiced with a short essay using the Online Homework Submission and Evaluation System.

Course Goals

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • introduce themselves and talk about familiar, everyday conversation topics
  • ask for opinions and either agree or disagree politely
  • discuss various personal and ethical problems and solutions
  • write an essay and submit it online
  • conduct one cycle of academic research

For more detailed information, check the Can-do Goals for this course.

Grading Criteria

Grades will be based on the following:

12 Textbook Unit Activities Textbook unit activities are graded on a 5.0 to 0 scale. If all requirements of the task are completed at an exceptional level, you will receive 4.5 to 5.0 points; if they are fully met, you will receive 3.0 to 4.0 points; if they are adequately met, 2.0 to 2.5 points; if they are only partially met, 0.5 to 1.5 points; if you do not participate in the task or are absent, 0 points. 60 points
1 Oral Examination 10 points 10 points
10 Writing Exercises 1 point each 10 points
2 Writing Workshops 5 points each 10 points
1 Homework Assignment 10 points (no late homework is accepted) 10 points
Late to class, using your cell phone, chattering in Japanese, sleeping in class, no text, no dictionary Minus 1 point  


Communication and Computer-based Learning Skills: English Expeditions, Seibido Publishing Co., Ltd.

Note: You are required to purchase a copy of this text for this class. Any possession of a copy of this text (even if it is your own copy) from a previous semester will be considered a violation of academic honesty.

English-English Dictionary

You are required to bring an English-English dictionary to class every day. See the list of recommended dictionaries below for more information.

Course Schedule Print

Class Unit Writing Exercise Workshop Homework Quiz Agenda
1 Orientation & Unit 1 Orientation Orientation Orientation Orientation  
2 Unit 2 I        
3 Unit 3 II        
4 Unit 4 III        
5 Unit 5 IV        
6 Unit 6 V Writing I      
7     Writing II      
8 Unit 7 VI   HW8    
9 Unit 8          
10 Unit 9          
11 Unit 10 VII        
12 Unit 11 VIII        
13 Unit 12 IX        
14   X Oral Exam Prep      
15         Oral Examination  

Course Can-do Goals

Speaking Skills

  1. I can introduce myself in English when meeting someone for the first time.
  2. I can talk about familiar, everyday topics: my university and major.
  3. I can talk about familiar, everyday topics: my hobbies and interests.
  4. I can talk about familiar, everyday topics: my past experiences.
  5. I can talk about familiar, everyday topics: my future plans, goals, and predictions.
  6. I can talk about familiar, everyday topics: graduate school.
  7. I can talk about familiar, everyday topics: regional, domestic, and international issues.
  8. I can ask effective follow-up questions.
  9. I can ask for and give opinions.
  10. I can agree with someone politely.
  11. I can disagree with someone politely.
  12. I can talk about personal and ethical problems.
  13. I can talk about solutions to personal and ethical problems.
  14. I can answer questions from an immigration officer.
  15. I can make a hotel reservation on the telephone.
  16. I can make a restaurant reservation on the telephone.
  17. I can order food and drinks from a waiter at a restaurant.
  18. I can ask a salesperson at a clothing store for assistance.
  19. I can ask for directions when I am lost.
  20. I can give directions to someone who is lost.

Writing Skills

  1. I can say the name of my university, college, department, and major in English.
  2. I can use Brainstorming and Clustering effectively.
  3. I can write an introduction for an essay.
  4. I can write body paragraphs for an essay.
  5. I can write a conclusion for an essay.
  6. I can use peer-feedback to rewrite parts of an essay.
  7. I can rewrite an essay based on feedback received from a teacher.

IT Skills

  1. I can submit homework online.
  2. I can view homework feedback and complete follow-up online exercises.

Academic Skills

  1. I can identify a research question and develop survey questions individually.
  2. I can identify a research question and develop survey questions as a member of a group.
  3. I can conduct research by gathering survey data from others.
  4. I can analyze results by tabulating survey data.
  5. I can analyze results by ranking survey data.
  6. I can present survey findings individually to peers.
  7. I can present survey findings as a member of a group to peers.

Program-wide Standards

Grading Scale

80% or more, B; 60-79%, C; below 60%, F

NOTE: At the end of your second semester, you will be taking a TOEIC®L&R IP Test. You will then be re-streamed for your second-year courses based on the results of this achievement exam, your placement test, and the numerical average of all of your first-year English courses. Therefore, it is important to strive for not only a high letter grade, but also for the highest numerical grade that you are capable of.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend class regularly. Failure to attend class regularly may result in a reduction of the student's overall grade. Students will be penalized 3 'demerits' for each absence and 1 'demerit' for each 30-minute period they're late. Students who accumulate more than 15 'demerits' (the equivalent of 5 absences) will receive an unsatisfactory grade ('F') for the course, regardless of their actual score. As a rule, no make-up work will be given for unexcused absences.

NOTE: Students who fail to take the TOEIC®L&R IP Test will have 5 points subtracted from the total score of EACH English class they are enrolled in.

English-English Dictionaries

You are required to bring an English-English dictionary to class every day. The following is a list of quality paper dictionaries for English language learners. You may use any other dictionary or you may elect to use an electronic dictionary.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Oxford University Press.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Longman Press.
Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, HarperCollins Publishers.

Online FAQs

A bilingual set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been prepared for each course, as well as a general set for the entire curriculum. You can access these FAQs from the menus on your English Expeditions home page. Please read all of your FAQs before your second meeting.

Extra-Credit Points

The English Expeditions extra-credit system is tied to your TOEIC®L&R IP Test results, in order to encourage all students to practice their TOEIC-IP® test-taking skills. For more information on the TOEIC®L&R IP test, see the TOEIC® Exercises section of your Online Education text. The extra-credit point system is as follows:

Semester One Semester Two Semester Three Semester Four
No extra-credit points are available. Score higher on your first-year TOEIC®L&R IP Test than you scored on your placement test. No extra-credit points are available. Score higher on your second-year TOEIC®L&R IP Test than you scored on your first-year test.

NOTE: Extra-credit points are only available for regularly matriculating (no genkyuufukki) students in all levels of English 3, English 4, English 7, English 8, and Super-Advanced and Advanced-level English 10.

The Extra-Credit points available are outlined in the chart below.
Note: TOEIC® Bridge-IP scores will be converted to TOEIC®L&R IP Test scores for all calculations.

No Academic
TOEIC-IP Exam Extra-
Credit Points
Took Exam Score Gain Score
> 200
< 20% Drop

The Academic Honesty Policy for S&E English Classes

The following will be considered violations of our academic honesty policy:

  1. Copying any answers from another student's exercise, doing any exercises together with other students, or using a textbook from previous years. Exercises are to be completed entirely on your own.
  2. Showing any portion of your exercise to another student.
  3. Using any form of 'cheat sheet' in performing an exercise, quiz, etc.
  4. Taking copies of an exercise, quiz, etc. (including unused copies) outside of the classroom. (This includes taking pictures of the exercise, quiz, etc.)
  5. Using writing instruments or telephones during feedback of an in-class exercise, quiz, etc.
  6. Copying answers from another student's exercise, quiz, etc. while it is being administered.
  7. Copying any portion of a homework exercise from another student.
  8. Allowing any portion of your homework exercise to be copied by another student.
  9. Copying (or closely paraphrasing) portions of a homework assignment from other sources (printed matter, the Internet, etc.) and presenting it as your own, regardless of whether you acknowledge the source. This includes using translation software to translate any portion of your submission into English.
  10. Sharing Rainbow or English Expeditions User IDs or Passwords with another student.

Any of the above violations will result in a score of 0 for ALL exercises on that day, as well as forfeiting your chance for extra-credit.



  1. 他者に(たとえ一部でも)課題の答えを写させてもらった場合 (課題を複数で一緒にやること、そして、過年度のテキストを使用することも含みます/課題は必ず独力でやること)
  2. 他者に(たとえ一部でも)課題の答えを写させた場合
  3. Quiz, Exercise等において、カンニングペーパー等を使用した場合
  4. Quiz, Exercise等の答案(未使用のものも含む)を不当に持ち帰った場合 (カメラ付き携帯等による撮影も含みます)
  5. Quiz, Exercise等のフィードバックの際、筆記用具、携帯電話等を手にした場合 (正答を盗もうとしたとみなします)
  6. その他、Quiz, Exercise等の実施を妨害する行為、他者の受験を妨害する行為、 替え玉受験等も、不正行為とみなします。
  7. Homework Assignmentにおいて、他者のAssignmentの一部または全部をコピーした場合
  8. Homework Assignmentにおいて、他者に自身のAssignmentの一部または全部を コピーさせた場合
  9. Homework Assignmentにおいて、書籍やWWWのサイトから得た情報をそのまま、 もしくは改ざんの後、断りなく(引用を明記せずに)、自身のAssignmentに盗り入れた(すなわち著作権を侵害した)場合(英語の授業で課されるassignmentの多くは、引用を明記する、しないにかかわらず、一切の引用を認めていません) 。これには翻訳ソフトの使用も含みます。一旦日本語で書いて、それを翻訳ソフトを利用して翻訳して提出することは、それがたとえ一文であっても許されません。
  10. RainbowやEnglish ExpeditionsのユーザーIDやパスワードの授受があった場合

上記、および上記に類する「不正行為」があった場合は、当該学生の当該科目における、その日の得点を0点にするとともに、Extra-credit pointsはすべて無効になります。