Sunday, March 27, 2005

Death Row Inmate Nominated For Nobel Prize

From a news story by
CNN San Francisco Reporter Greg Lefevre
 Posted by Hello

Watch the news report and read the transcript,


Links to 'House of Saud'

House of Saud Posted by Hello

Hi there,

I hope that these links would help you understand the listening matetial on NPR.

The best link, I think, is the one of Frontline, House of Saud, at

Click on the Introduction to view video. This is a good video, it encapsulates the Saud's history in a short film.

The readings [interviews, analysis] will also help you understand its history and future events.

Another article that analyzes the Saudis and American political relations is at or click this tiny url

The listening material is produced by NPR and you could listen to it at

These links will be posted on my blog at and on our yahoogroups, Links area.

911 Calls Gone Wrong

CBS link

Cloze Posted by Hello

What's an Amber Alert? Click here

Vocabulary Exercise

Word Selection: Listening for details, click here

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Red Lake Rampage

On Monday, 16-year-old Jeff Weise allegedly killed nine people and injured more than a dozen others before killing himself at Red Lake High School in Minnesota. This is the worst school shooting since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
 Posted by Hello

Watch the video here

Read the transcript here

From CBS News [For higher level students]



Word Selection/ Listening for details


To watch videos from CNN student news, you will need to sign up for a free account. You will need to type in your access account number everytime you watch a video from CNN Student News.

Robbing Banks In The 21st Century

AS CBS News Correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports, thieves walked into the bank and installed a piece of computer spyware called a keylogger, a device that records every stroke you make on a keyboard.  Posted by Hello

For full story, click here:

Monday, March 21, 2005

CNN Student News

The Terri Schiavvo Case: Mercy or Murder Posted by Hello

4th year, march 21 Lesson

Man Growing Medical Marijuana Sent To Jail By Feds Posted by Hello

Man Growing Medical Marijuana Sent To Jail By Feds

Assignment. Post your answers to the Forum at

Sunday, March 20, 2005

March 21, Monday, 3rd year lesson

Secret Japanese-American Mission


Assignment: Post your answers on the Forum! Deadline is on March 28.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

March 18, Friday, 2nd year News lesson

Panhandler Controversy Takes to the Street-Signs


FORUM [Assignment]

Saturday, March 12, 2005

4th year, March 14 topic

Grads Enter Uncertain Job Market


Assignment: Post your response to the forum

Friday, March 11, 2005

Monday, March 14, 3rd year Cirque du Soleil

Lecture: Cirque du soleil accused of AIDS bias

Online Forum


recording audio

What I thought was going to be a good session turned out to be a huge frustration. All the preparations I did last night, the online vocabulary quizzes, cloze tests, all went down the drain when the audio/video material from my online source [CNN] did not work properly. It kept on buffering affecting the students' listening motivation. It was really difficult listening to the material and concentrating on getting the details was becoming a pain.

After class, I went to the office hoping to catch Mr. Tsai, our tech-support guy. He was there alright and I poured out all my frustrations. He suggested that I record the audio but will have to sacrifce the video. At this stage, I have no choice but give up video. He mentioned Total recorder which I have at home, and if it doesn't work, he can lend me a new software that does mp3 recording. I can't wait till monday- my class is on Monday!

Anyway, the moment I got home, I tried recording using Total recorder. It worked alright but I could not get rid of the noise. I think TR has done purposely injected noise so member will add the noise reduction feature which you need to purchase. This isn't an option for me. It's a good thing that BENQ has audio recorder built in so I used it instead. It worked fine but I will have to try this in class to see how clear the audio is if played in the classroom.

sigh. what an exhausting day.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

How to write a summary

Show this link to students, It is a guide on how to write a summary. Students will listen to the news material and read its transcript, then writes a summary of that news report.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

March 11 Lecture, Mt Helens Rumbles

Mt Helens Rumbles Posted by Hello

Coughing up ash: Mount Saint Helens reminds scientists that she's anything but inactive.
Steam and ash streamed out of Washington's Mount St. Helens on Tuesday. What are scientists saying about the latest rumblings from under the Earth?

Try the following activities:

Listen for Understanding [don't take down notes]

Listen again but this time take notes!

Listening for Details

Cloze Test

YOUR TURN: Go to our online forum and post your answers to the following questions:

If you lived near this mountain, what information about volcanoes do you think you would need to know? What questions might you want to have answered?

Why do you think that so much attention is being given to the activity at Mount St. Helens?

Group Work: Write a summary of the St. Mt. Helens material.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

'Checkbook journalism' threatens profession

Thoughts to Ponder 3

From Taipei Times, By Cheng Jim-ming鄭貞銘

Thursday, Aug 19, 2004,Page 8

"Some academics once suggested that news media be operated by those with the most knowledge, wisdom and virtue. The reason was quite simple: Since news media are influential, they may have a negative impact if they are operated by those without social responsibility."

"At the very least, the "scoop" should meet basic professional requirements of accuracy, objectivity and fairness. Otherwise, how can such "news" meet the test of both society and the media themselves?"

"When such "checkbook journalism" -- in which a publication pays interviewees to answer questions -- becomes a popular new term in journalism, shouldn't we be worried about the situation?"

REad the rest of the article, here.

Press ethics seen from Taiwan

Thoughts to Ponder 2

From editorsweblog

"What is interesting in the following Taipeh Times' article is that it is written in Asia. Cheng Jim-ming is a professor in the Graduate Institute of Journalism at Chinese Culture University and his paper could be written by some member of the Press Complaint Commission in UK: same values, same definition of journalism... Taking examples in Western and Asian media, he thinks that "since news media are influential, they may have a negative impact if they are operated by those without social responsibility... Recently, many of the media's self-proclaimed "exclusive" stories have caused the public to doubt the media. Some television stations so frequently claim that their reports are "exclusive, that we're unsure whether to laugh or cry... An article published in The Journalist recently described such exclusive reports as "a poison to professionalism." This description was absolutely right. The author wrote, "The local electronic media's `Taiwanese-style' scoops include almost everything ... This is proof of the electronic media's decline"... If we simply sacrifice ethics and restrictions due to pressure, our past efforts to improve news professionalism could be in vain." Article's conclusion: "The whole society will pay a price if our media are not in the hands of professionals."

Media's lack of social responsibility

Thoughts to Ponder

From Mediaaah!

"While most participants were clearly unhappy with the media’s apparently diminishing sense of social responsibility, the promotion of consumerist values in the media, the predominance of celebrity and lifestyle journalism, and the individual success story orientation of the minimal coverage given to serious issues, several of them also highlighted the need to acknowledge and build on the few positive developments that had taken place in recent years, especially with respect to media coverage of at least some issues relating to gender."

Updated News website with links

I've just updated my News 2004 website and it contains links to my favorite news sites. I hope that my students will take the initiative to use these resources to enhance their listening and comprehension skills. Listening to news can be interesting once you get the habit of doing it.


Made of snow

Snowman or snow dwarf? Whatever that is, it's the piling up of snow that fills a child's delight. Posted by Hello

Snow on the side

Snow on the sidewalk- a rare sight.  Posted by Hello

Winter's gone?

The weather plummeted to its lowest this week, March 05, 2005. Up in Ho Huang Shan Mountain in Nan tou, Taiwan, the cold front caused the snow fall that lasted for days. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 03, 2005

March 4, Fortune Telling Scams

Our lesson for today, March 4, is about preventing fortune telling scams. See


Look at the title and discuss, "what do you think this news is about?"

We'll look at the vocabulary and take the online exercises.

We'll also practice pronouncing words from our vocabulary list, and we'll be using Webster's Online dictionary at

Watch the video and take down notes.

Taking Better Notes

There are two main purposes for taking lecture notes:

* to help you concentrate
* to record information that you can review later

Write the main topics on the left side of the page.
Indent the main ideas slightly to the right.
Indent the supporting facts, details and examples even farther to the right

For example:British and American English are converging
- U.S. soldiers stationed in U.K. during World War II
- Influence of the media
- TV

TRY IT! Listen and watch the news report again and try taking down notes.
Based on your notes, write an outline of the story.
Based on your notes, report what the story is about using the third person point of view, "She thinks..."

All notes will be submitted after class.


Read the question below. Think about how you feel about the question.


1. Have you or anyone you know ever been to a psychic, fortune-teller or card reader? If so, what happened?

2. Do you think they are all fakes, or do you think some of them really have special powers? Explain.

3. Would you feel safer going to one that is licensed by your city? Why or why not?

Blogging Taiwan News

This blog is created for my Listening to News class. This will be my e-space for expressing my thoughts and opinions regarding the news and current events that I'll be discussing in class. This blog will likewise be shared to students to help them maintain their own blogs.

I am just hoping that this plan would work.

I guess, I'll just have to keep on blogging...