Syllabus–summer 2014

Syllabi for my Xiamen University (厦门大学) Summer 2014 courses

Instructor: Mr. Michael Krigline, MA   ♦

This PDF file shows the syllabus or “plan” for each of my 2014 summer classes. It is subject to change, but should help you know where we are heading. NOTE to my current 厦门大学 students: Sometimes pages at take over a minute to “load” in China–I don’t know why; you can also find my EFL Movie Study Guides at The “Welcome” page and other resources may also be linked to

Click this link to see (or save) the file: XMU summer 2014 syllabus

I ALSO EXPECT all students to have read and understand the instructions posted at

General class descriptions (in English)

♦ US and British Popular Culture

You will be surprised how much you learn about your own culture and values as you interact about life in the US and UK. We will mainly focus on education and leisure activities in the US, touching on similar themes as we watch a British film. Students will also develop confidence and competence in English as they learn about important symbols like “Uncle Sam,” get to make creative presentations, and actively participate in pair-work and small group discussions.

Course requirements: Our American teacher (who has also lived in the UK) will use English as the medium of instruction, including all materials, subtitles, etc. Grades will be based on class participation and a written exam.

Materials: The instructor will prepare handouts.

♦ English for Special Purposes (Business English)

Worldwide, English is a key tool in conducting business. Our textbook introduces basic business concepts like Information Technology, Competition, Making Presentations, Planning, Telephone Skills, Interviewing and Making Business Contacts. In class, our American instructor will guide students to practice listening, information transfer, pair-work activities and group presentations and/or role plays to build both competence and confidence in using English.

Course requirements: Course participants must use “English only” in class, working with classmates and completing textbook exercises (oral and written). Grades will largely be based on a written exam.

Textbook: (Students must purchase this before the first class) Brieger, Nick & Comfort, Jeremy, 1998. Developing Business Contacts. Prentice Hall. 高级商务英语, 外语教学与研究出版社 ISBN 7-5600-1074-1

♦ English Movie Appreciation

Course description: Everyone loves movies, so in this course we watch and discuss some great films that open a window on western culture. Each week we will enjoy a film from a different genre (romantic comedy, fantasy, sports, etc), so there will be something for everyone. Hosted by a native-speaking American teacher, this class will help students build English vocabulary, listening and speaking skills.

Course requirements: All films will be in English with English subtitles, and students will actively discuss the films in English with a partner or small group. Grades will largely be based on a written exam.

Materials: Students will be expected to have access during class to the instructor’s EFL Movie Study Guides, found under the “EFL Movie Study Guides” tab at (Older versions can also be found under


©2014 Michael Krigline. See our Website Standards and Use Policy.

Monthly English Corner & Weekly Quote

  • June English Corner

    Here’s a tip to help improve your reading comprehension. When reading an article or chapter in a book, first read the first and last paragraphs. Then go to each of the subsequent paragraphs and just read the first sentence. Then skim or read quickly through the entire article. This will help you to get ahold of the main ideas and thereby greatly improve your comprehension. Understand the main idea; when reading, it is not necessary to understand all of the new vocabulary words. When many internationals read, they translate every word they don’t understand in a passage. This is known as the Grammar/Translation method and it’s an ineffective way of learning which takes far too much time. Try out the reading method I’ve just described, and I’ll see you next time at the English Corner.  © Mark Peter, M.A. Used with permission.

    Mr. Peter was my colleague at the Agape English Language Institute of Limestone College (Columbia, SC). After teaching ESL to recent immigrants and long-term visitors in the SC Public School System for several years, he returned to China (teaching English in Ningxia). Mark is currently teaching back in the US.
  • Jun 20

    “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”
    –Walt Disney (1901 – 1966; creator of Mickey Mouse, and the Disney entertainment industry)

    Note: A quote’s original source is not always known, and authenticity has not been verified. To find out about an author, type the name into a search engine (like Google or Baidu). One of my favorite websites for quotations is:     44


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