Faculty of Information Technology, BUT

Course details

Conversation through Hot Current Issues

JA3 Acad. year 2019/2020 Summer semester 3 credits

  • The conversation class opens the opportunity to talk about social and scientific controversial issues occurring daily on TV and in newspapers and makes students think more deeply about these matters.
  • The aim is to bridge the gap between the artificial classroom conversation and the natural, real-life discussion, and encourage students to talk about things which really matter to them on a personal, political and moral level.
  • Students are expected to give presentations providing basic information on the topic. They are intended to be used as springboards for the discussions.

Guarantor

Walek Agata, Mgr. (DFL FEEC BUT)

Deputy Guarantor

Language of instruction

Czech

Completion

Credit+Examination (written+oral)

Time span

26 hrs exercises

Assessment points

60 exam, 40 half-term test

Department

Instructor

Walek Agata, Mgr. (DFL FEEC BUT)

Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

Active participation in classes along with passing a written exam will show that a student is able:
  • To communicate with greater confidence when engaged in more sophisticated debates,
  • to use a wider vocabulary based on the topics discussed including slang, phrasal verbs and idioms,
  • to apply smoothly and carefully all common grammar rules during conversation (grammar tenses, relative clauses, time clauses, conditionals, passive voice, modal verbs)
  • to use proper stress and intonation,
  • to give well-structured, attractive presentation
  • to negotiate, persuade, express and defend opinions.

Learning objectives

  • The aim of the English conversation class is to involve students effectively and in a stress-free way in discussions so they could feel more confident when engaged in more sophisticated debates.
  • We want students to practise a range of speaking skills such as negotiating, persuading, expressing and defending opinions, giving presentations, and also proper using stress and intonation.
  • Vocabulary including slang and idiomatic expressions will be constantly extended and revised.
  • The key aspect is to motivate students to create the content of the classes by themselves.

Why is the course taught

The course enables students to acquire professional vocabulary, language functions and language skills necessary for active participation in seminars, lectures and other activities in the information and communication technology sector.

Prerequisites

Prerequisite kwnowledge and skills

The student signed up for the class is expected to be able:
  • To use general vocabulary from all common areas (family, home, food, jobs and career, health and sickness, travelling and transport, sports, hobbies),
  • to apply carefully grammar rules during conversation (grammar tenses, relative clauses, time clauses, conditionals, passive voice, modal verbs),
  • to speak clearly with certain error tolerance,
  • to understand very well classes taught in English.

Study literature

  • MacAndrew, R.: Instant Discussions. Thomson Heinle, 2003. 96 pgs. ISBN 9780759396302.
  • MacAndrew, R.: Taboos and Issues. LPT, 2001. 96 pgs. ISBN 9781899396412.
  • Wallwork, A.: Discussions A-Z. Cambridge University Press, 1997, reprinted 2013. ISNB 978-107-61829-9.

Syllabus of numerical exercises

TOPICS TO BE COVERED IN THE CONVERSATION CLASS:

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - WHERE DO WE GO?
What are the main dangers of scientific advances? Will science end the world or save the world? What are the most important inventions/discoveries ever? Will AI rule the world?

SUCCESS/HAPPINESS - I WILL WIN NOT IMMEDIATELY, BUT DEFINITELY
What is the success? Is success measurable in terms of money, power, knowledge? Does success equal happiness? What makes us feel happy? Does happiness lie within us or outside us? Do you think some nations are happier than others?

NOT MY TYPE - FALL IN LOVE OR RAISE IN LOVE?
How do we select our mates? What is the most annoying thing about women (men) and what inspires us? What definitely brings us on our knees? Would you forgive a one-night stand?

MONEY - THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL?
Can you imagine living in a world without money? Would there be no poverty? How would the world be different if all the money was shared out equally among all people? Is money really the root of all evil? Are rich people more attractive?

IMMIGRATION AND RACISM - NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL
Why are we racists? Will racism ever disappear from the world? How do you feel about black and white marriages? What are the benefits of immigration?

FUTURE - IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DO IT
Are we able to learn from history? To what extent can we influence the future? Should we worry about the future? What should we worry about? What are the future challenges we are going to face?

RELIGION - NO NEED FOR CHURCHES
Is political Islam a threat to the world? What do you think about a Muslim dress code? Do we need religion? Do we need God?

SPORTS - YOU ARE YOUR OWN LIMIT
Why do we do sports? What is good/bad about competition? How easily do we give up? Where are our limits?

LIFE IS A JOURNEY
Why do we travel? Is travelling a journey to ourselves? To what extent are we willing to go beyond our comfort zone? What are the (dis)advantages of solo travelling?

TELLING LIES, FAKE NEWS, CONSPIRACY THEORIES
Is it better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie? Are conspiracy theories trustworthy? Why are they created? Does truly objective news reporting really exist?

Progress assessment

Semester tests ... 40 points.
Final exam ... 60 points.
To pass this course one needs a minimum of 50 % in all activities.

Controlled instruction

The content and forms of instruction in the evaluated course are specified by a regulation issued by the lecturer responsible for the course and updated for every academic year.

Exam prerequisites

  • Written test (40 points), it contains vocabulary,
  • presentation (45 points), speech (15 points)

Course inclusion in study plans

Back to top