English Expeditions - Ritsumeikan University

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English 1 (Reading Skills)

Course Description

The aim of the reading component of this course is twofold. Students will form a basic core of reading skills (skimming, scanning, making inferences, recognizing patterns) and learn to apply these skills in an extensive reading environment. Additionally, the subject matter of the articles students will be reading will form a foundation for understanding light science materials written in English. Furthermore, in the writing component, students will develop the fundamental building blocks for the English writing skills needed in science and engineering communities.

Course Goals

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

  • quickly get the gist of and find specific information in a reading passage
  • identify the main ideas of a reading passage and summarize them
  • take an active role in academic discussions by expressing opinions and asking questions
  • identify the essay structure and paragraph structures of an academic essay
  • write opening and closing statements, thesis statements, topic sentences, summaries and transitions in an academic essay
  • write a properly-formatted body paragraph in a four-paragraph academic essay

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

Grading Criteria

Grades will be based on the following:

2 Quizzes 12/15
6 Pre-reading Exercises These exercises are graded on a 3-2-1-0 scale. If the exercises have been properly completed before class and all requirements of the task are fully met, you will receive 3 points; if they are adequately met, 2 points; if they are only partially met, 1 point; if you do not participate in the task or are absent, 0 points.
6 Post-reading Exercises
6 Extensive Reading Exercises 4 points each
2 Writing Assignments 4 points each
5 Extensive Reading Book Reports 1 point each
Late to class, using your cell phone, chattering in Japanese, sleeping in class, no text, no dictionary minus 1 point


Reading and Listening Skills AD 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

Class Unit Return & Review Pre/Post Extensive Workshop Writing Quiz Book Reports
1 Orientation
2 Unit 1   Pre-reading Unit 1        
3 Unit 1 Unit 1 Post-reading         BR 1
4 Unit 2   Pre-reading Unit 2        
5 Unit 2 Unit 2 Post-reading          
6 Unit 3   Pre-reading Unit 3       BR 2
7 Unit 3 Unit 3 Post-reading       Quiz 1  
8 Unit 4 Quiz 1 Pre-reading Unit 4        
9 Unit 4 Unit 4 Post-reading         BR 3
10 Unit 5   Pre-reading Unit 5        
11 Unit 5 Unit 5 Post-reading          
12         Writing 1st Draft   BR 4
13 Unit 6   Pre-reading Unit 6        
14 Unit 6 Unit 6 Post-reading     2nd Draft    
15             Quiz 2 BR 5

Course Can-do Goals

Course-related Language Skills

Reading Skills

  1. I can read authentic text that is 1–2 pages long and moderately complex.
  2. I can quickly find the information that I’m looking for in an authentic 1–2 page text.
  3. I can quickly get the gist of an authentic 1–2 page text.
  4. I can read and understand both concrete and abstract language, dealing with facts, opinions and feelings.
  5. When I see a new word, I can sometimes infer its meaning by the context or by the use of prefixes and suffixes in the word.
  6. I can paraphrase and summarize the main points of a reading section.
  7. I use an English dictionary for students. Mostly, I use it for confirmation and to be precise.

Recognizing Writing Structure

  1. I can recognize the structure of a four-paragraph essay.
  2. I can recognize the different parts of an introductory paragraph.
  3. I can recognize the different parts of a body paragraph.
  4. I can recognize the different parts of a concluding paragraph.
  5. I can recognize a thesis statement.
  6. I can recognize a topic sentence.
  7. I can recognize supporting sentences.
  8. I can recognize a transitional sentence.
  9. I can recognize a summary sentence.

Utilizing Writing Structure

  1. I can write a properly organized four-paragraph essay.
  2. I can write a properly organized introductory paragraph.
  3. I can write a properly organized body paragraph.
  4. I can write a properly organized concluding paragraph.
  5. I can write a clear and concise thesis statement.
  6. I can write a clear and concise topic sentence.
  7. I can write clear and concise supporting sentences.
  8. I can write a clear and concise transitional sentence.
  9. I can write a clear and concise summary sentence.

General Language Skills

Speaking Skills

  1. I can participate in a small group discussion and express my opinions, feelings, and reservations about a topic.
  2. When I know that people do not understand me, I can correct myself or rephrase what I said.
  3. I can use a variety of sentence structures and idioms.
  4. I can ask people to repeat when I don’t understand.
  5. I can use a number of strategies to keep a conversation going.

Academic Skills

  1. I can identify the important parts of a lecture and take notes in English.
  2. I can follow written instructions in class.
  3. I can follow verbal instructions in class.
  4. I can work with others in a group to develop a consensus.
  5. I know what a thesaurus is and I can use it.

Program-wide Standards

Grading Scale

90% or more, A+; 80-89%, A; 70-79%, B; 60-69%, C; below 60%, F

NOTE: At the end of your second semester, you will be taking a TOEIC-IP exam. 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-IP exam 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 into the TOEIC exercises, in order to encourage all students to practice their TOEIC test-taking skills in preparation for the TOEIC examination. For more information on the TOEIC examination, 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
Correctly complete 3 cycles of TOEIC exercises (350 questions) BEFORE the deadline. Correctly complete 3 cycles of TOEIC exercises (350 questions) BEFORE the deadline.
Score higher on the TOEIC-IP test than you scored on the placement test. *
Correctly complete 3 cycles of TOEIC exercises (350 questions) BEFORE the deadline. Correctly complete 3 cycles of TOEIC exercises (350 questions) BEFORE the deadline.
Score higher on the second TOEIC-IP test than you scored on the first TOEIC-IP test. *

Fulfilling the above requirements will result in five extra-credit points being awarded for each English class in which you are enrolled.

NOTE: Students who have failed to properly submit all homework assignments or have been found in violation of our academic honesty policy are ineligible for extra-credit points.

* NOTES for FALL Classes:

Note: TOEIC Bridge-IP scores will be converted to TOEIC-IP scores for all calculations.
  1. Students who don't take the TOEIC-IP exam, score fewer than 200 points, or have a 20% or greater drop in their scores will receive -5 points in each course.
  2. For students who do not fall into a. above, the top class (largest gain) in each group receives 7 points.
  3. For students who do not fall into a. above, the top five scores in each class receive 7 points.
  4. Students who do not fall into a.-c. above will receive 5 points if they have completed 3 cycles of the Online TOEIC Exercises before the deadline and have scored higher on their current TOEIC-IP exam than on their previous exam.
No Academic Honesty Violations HW Complete TOEIC Ex Complete Took TOEIC-IP Exam TOEIC-IP Score Gain TOP 5 TOEIC-IP Score TOP TOEIC-IP Gain Class TOEIC-IP Score >200 TOEIC-IP Score <20% Drop Extra-
Credit Points

オンラインTOEIC Exercisesを期限内に3サイクル終了すると、1回生前期と2回生前期には、履修中の全必修英語科目でボーナス得点(Extra-credit Points)が5点ずつもらえます。ただし、出席が足りていない場合、未提出の課題がある場合、および、不正行為が一度でもあった場合は、ボーナス得点の加算はありません。


  1. TOEIC-IPを受験しなかった場合、受験してもスコアが200点未満だった場合、および、スコアが前回よりも20%以上下がった場合は、受講中の全必修英語科目で5点ずつ減点されます。
  2. クラス毎に前回の試験からスコアが平均どれだけ伸びたかを算出します(出席が足りていない学生のスコアは計算に入れません)。スコアが最も伸びたクラスを、英語のクラス編成グループ別に、レベル毎に選びます。そのクラスの全員に対して、履修中の全必修英語科目にボーナス得点を7点ずつ加点します。ただし、上記aに該当する学生はボーナス得点はもらえません。
  3. bに該当しなかったクラスでも、各クラス、高得点5位までの取得者に対して、履修中の全必修英語科目にボーナス得点を7点ずつ加点します。ただし、aに該当する学生を除きます。
  4. 上記b,cに該当しない場合でも、オンラインTOEIC Exercisesを期限内に3サイクル終了し、かつ、前回の試験からスコアが伸びていたら、履修中の全必修英語科目でボーナス得点を5点ずつもらえます。
注)1回生については、得点の伸びを算出する際、入学時に受験したTOEIC Bridge-IPの得点を公式の換算式を用いてTOEICの得点に換算します。


The following guidelines are designed to make your English classes run a bit more smoothly. Please take the time to read each of them carefully and ask questions if any of the points are unclear.


  • No chattering when someone else (especially the teacher!!) has the floor.
  • In-class tasks must be completed in English. English classes meet only once a week for 90 minutes. If you speak Japanese while you're in English class, you're wasting possibly your only chance to practice English every week.
  • Use only a ballpoint pen for text-based exercises. It is important to learn from your mistakes and if you use a pencil, you'll probably end up erasing your mistakes. If you find that you've made a mistake, cross it out with a single line (so that you can still read it and learn from it!).
  • Attendance is taken only once per class. If you come late, be sure to write your name on the blackboard so that the teacher can mark you present after class.
  • Turn off all portable telephones during class and remove them from your desk during class.
  • Do not do homework from other classes during your English class.


Language courses in the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering are designated as lectures. You are required to devote two hours of study outside of class for every one hour inside the classroom. The following are suggestions to help you use the textbook, both inside and outside of the classroom, to its fullest.

  • Since we only have a few minutes together each week, it is important that you thoroughly prepare for each class. Fully complete each assignment, writing as many details as possible, before you come to the classroom. If you are absent, check your syllabus for the scheduled assignment.
  • Always, always, always bring your text to class! If you've forgotten your text, then borrow one of your classmates' and make copies for the lesson that we will be covering in class that day. You cannot expect to do well in class if you don't have your book. Remember, if you don't bring your text to class, you will have one point deducted from your in-class exercise score for that day.
  • Although we may not have time to cover every section of each unit in class, you are still responsible for the entire unit. Therefore, when reviewing each unit, make sure that you review the entire unit.
  • Do NOT open your textbooks in the classroom, including before class begins, until your teacher instructs you to do so.

The Academic Honesty Policy for S&E English Classes

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

  1. Copying answers from another student's exercise, quiz, etc. before or during class.
  2. Showing your exercise, quiz, etc. to another student before or during class.
  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. 他者のQuiz, Exercise(予習用課題、復習用課題を含む)の答えを勝手に盗み見たり、写させてもらったりした場合
  2. 他者にQuiz, Exercise(予習用課題、復習用課題を含む)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。