English 319 Online: The Structure of English

 

spring 2013

General Course Information


 

Instructor: Dr. Robert S. Carlisle
Sections: 70 and 75; April 02, 2013 to June 12, 2013
Email Address: rcarlisle@csub.edu

Required Materials:

LaserIPA fonts from Linguist's Software, Inc. Please contact them by emial at fonts@linguistsoftware.com.

Recommended Texts:

Carlisle, R. S. (2011 ). Lectures in the Structure of English, 2nd Ed. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt.(ISBN: 978-0-7575-9261-4)

Carlisle, R. S. (2011). Exercises in the Structure of English. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt.(ISBN: 978-0-7575-8858-7)

 

Purchasing Textbooks

Students in Bakersfield may purchase textbooks at The Runner Bookstore on the campus of California State University. Students in the Lancaster/Palmdale area and in Santa Clarita may order books over the phone by calling (661) 654-2273. They may also purchase books in the bookstores at Antelope Valley College or at College of the Canyons.

Technical Requirements and Support

All of the lectures in this class were created using PowerPoint, and students must use a computer with that software installed. Fortunately, PowerPoint is avialable on every compter on the CSUB campus and on the daughter campus at CSUB-AV. Students who do not have PowerPoint on their personal computers may purchase it at a reduced cost by going through the university bookstore.

If students have difficulty with the content of the class, they need to contact the instructor, preferably using 'Discussion Topics' so that other students can see both the question and the answer.

If students are having any technical problems with Blackboard, or loading the IPA fonts from Blackboard to their own computers, then students need to contact the Blackboard Help Desk, either by telephone (661) 654-2315 or by email lmssupport@csub.edu. Students may also go to the E-Learning Services Building on the east side of the Walter Stiern Library.

Prerequisites

 

The only prerequisite for English 319 is English 110 or its equivalent.  Students do not need a background in linguistics or English grammar.

 

Accessibility

California State University, Bakersfield attempts to guarantee access to all classes by all students. Students can find CSUB's accessibility policies and services by going to the website for the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. In addition, E-Learning Services at CSUB has its own policy for guaranteeing access to students in online classes:

"California State University, Bakersfield is committed to providing equal access to Web-based information
for people with disabilities. This is in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, Section 508
of the Rehabilitation Act Amendment of 1998 and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and Executive Order 926 of
California State University."

To achieve the goal of universal accessibility, CSUB uses Blackboard as its Learning Management System (LMS), the first LMS to receive the Nonvisual Accessibility Gold Certification by The National Federaion of the Blind. Students can read more about Blackboard's guarantee of accessibility and its accessibilty programs at its website.

Course Description

This class extensively examines the three major components of the structure of English: phonology, morphology, and syntax. The first section of the class covers phonology, the sound system of the language. During this section students will learn the inventory of sounds, how they are formed, and how they are pronounced in different phonological contexts. This section will also cover basic syllable structure, stress, and intonation. For many students, phonology is the most difficult part of the class because it contains so many new concepts and terminology. To facilitate the students' learning of this material, I ask them to study the excellent animated material found at Phonetics: The Sounds of Spoken Language as they are working through the section on phonology. This site contains animations for the production of all sounds in English, displays the symbols for the sounds, and provides example words containing them. Previous students have found this site extremely informative, and even entertaining.

The second section of the class examines morphology, the system for forming and pronouncing words. During this section of the class students will learn what a morpheme is and how they are systematically combined to form complex words. The last section of the class covers syntax, the system for forming phrases and clauses in the language.

The three major sections of the class are further sub-divided into six modules, which allow the students to work through the content in a logical sequence. Students take a short examination at the end of each module.

A few given grammatical structures will be presented in reference to children and second language learners. Such an approach enables students to view grammar not as an isolated and irrelevant topic, but rather one that enables them to understand the type of linguistic structures that these groups produce and the reasons for their production. Specifically, we will briefly examine the pronunciation of English by native Spanish speakers and the deletion of inflectional morphemes by elementary school children (both native and non-native speakers of English).

We will also examine the relationship between phonemes and graphemes in English to try to determine why some children have so much difficulty learning to spell and read.

Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

Each of the three divisions of the class contains some broad objectives:

  1. Upon completing Part I: English Phonetics and Phonology, students will be able to:
  2. Upon completing Part II: General Morphology and Word Classes, students will be able to:
  3. Upon completing Part III: Syntax, students will be able to:

To determine whether the students have attained the general course objectives presented above, the instructor has created specific student learning outcomes. Each of the student learning outcomes will be associated with its appropriate module in the course. Students have the opportunity to fulfill the student learning objectives by completing the exercises for each module. Students will then demonstrate their level of knowledge of the learning objectives by taking the examination for the module. The content and form of the examinations are directly related to the exercises, so students must complete the exercises if they expect to do well on the examination.

Orientation and Pretest

All students in English 319 must complete an online orientation. Students may begin the online orientation as soon as they have access to Blackboard. The orientation will cover the Blackboard system, including locating the course, logging in, navigating, sending and receiving messages, and completing course requirements. The orientation does not last long and will make the online experience a lot more enjoyable.

During the orientation the students will learn how to take the pretest, which is also a requirement for completing the class. The pretest is in Blackboard and will be available to students from 9:00 a.m. on April 01 to 10:00 p.m. on April 10. The score on the pretest does not count as part of the students' final average in the class, so students should not study for it. The pretest is an assessment tool to measure student achievement over time from an initial score (the pretest score). After the students take the final examination, which is also the posttest, the instructor can then compare the two scores to determine how much students learned during the quarter. Students can expect to do poorly on the pretest. The average score over the last five years is 38.2. In contrast, the average score on the final exam, which covers the same material as the pretest, is 82.6.

Students must complete all 25 sub-sections of the pretest. Students who do not complete the pretest will lose access to Blackboard.

The Structure of the Course

English 319 Online is mostly an asynchronous course that allows students to study at their convenience and to work at their own pace, provided that they take all examinations on the scheduled days. As mentioned previously, the course is divided into three major sections: phonology, morphology, and syntax, which are in turn divided into six modules. Students are expected to follow the order of course content and to take the examination for each module only after they have completed all of the readings and exercises for that part. The course consists of two types of exercises; the first exercises are found in the book, Exercises in the Structure of English, and the second group of exercises is online. To do well in the course, students should precisely adhere to the order of course content and follow the procedure below.

To be able to see the symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet that are used in quite a few of the lectures, students must download the fonts in Blackboard and install them in the font folder on their personal computers.

Students will also find some 'Readings' and 'Summary Outlines' in Blackboard. Students should become familiar with the titles of these readings and read them at the appropriate point in the class.

Because the examinations are online and programmed to be released on specific dates and times, I must ask students to take their exams on the scheduled dates (see the table below); I have experienced quite a few problems trying to schedule individual examinations. Students will take the first six content examinations at any site; however, they must take the comprehensive final examination in the computer labs designated below and in the Calendar in Blackboard. Students must sign in when they get to the lab. I will not accept any proctored examinations from students who have not signed the attendance sheet. Students are also prohibited from using books and notes and from printing out in the labs.

Evaluation

Students are required to take seven exams during the quarter, two exams each on phonology, morphology, and syntax and a comprehensive final. Because all exams are online, all the questions will be objective. However, in some sections students will have to write in a few specific words and at times entire sentences.

As the last requirement, all students will be randomly assigned to a Discussion Group. Members in the Discussion Groups will collaborate with one another to write responses to five short answer questions. Students submit the responses as a group, and all students in the Discussion Group will receive the same grade. Most of the Discussion Group questions will have several sub-sections, and the instructor will grade the submissions on whether the students address all the sub-sections, development, accuracy, and clarity.

The five discussion Group Questions are found in Modules 2-6, and students must submit each one within 24 hours after taking the exam for that module. Each Group Question is worth 20 points, and the instructor will not assign a grade higher than the lowest possible passing score (12/20) to any late submissions. The instructor will score all submissions within 48 hours after the due date and time. Students will find further instructions for writing the short answer respones when they open each question.

The final average will be calculated according to the information in the tables below. The tables below also contain the dates, times, and location of each examination.

Section 70

 

Examination

Percentage of Grade

Deadlines

Room

Time

Discussion Group Participation

10%

variable dates

English Phonetics

10%

April 15

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Phonology and Spelling Patterns

10%

April 24

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

General Morphology

10%

May 01

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Word Classes

10%

May 15

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Phrases and Sentence Patterns

10%

May 29

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Subordinate Clauses and Grammatical Function

10%

June 10

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Comprehensive Final

30%

June 12

TBA

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 

Section 75

 

Examination

Percentage of Grade

Deadlines

Room

Time

Discussion Group Participation

10%

variable dates

English Phonetics

10%

April 15

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Phonology and Spelling Patterns

10%

April 24

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

General Morphology

10%

May 01

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Word Classes

10%

May 15

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Phrases and Sentence Patterns

10%

May 29

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Subordinate Clauses and Grammatical Function

10%

June 10

any site

10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Comprehensive Final

30%

June 12

Room 501

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Students will be able to see their grades immediately after the open period for the exam has expired.

As indicated in the tables above, examinations are given on specific dates and times, and students must take the exams on those dates. Also note that students may take six of the examinations at any site, including home. During those six examinations students may use books and notes; however, all sub-sections of the examinations are strictly timed, so students really do not have time to look up answers. The final examination is in a proctored environment, and students may not use either books or notes. They must also sign the attendance sheets in the designated lab when they arrive and leave. Students who do not take the final examination in the assigned location will receive a zero on the exam and a failing grade in the class.

Structure of Examinations

All examinations are online in Blackboard, and the sub-sections of the examinations cover the same material as do the online exercises. However, whereas students can retake the online exercises as many times as they wish, they do the sub-sections of exams only once. In addition, on all examinations students will see only one item at a time, which they must complete before moving on. Once students have completed an item, the system will not allow them to go back and change the answer. During the hours of the exams, students will not have access to the online exercises. Consequently, students need to complete the exercises before the exam begins. Each subsection is also timed, but I have given students more than enough time to finish. In fact, a statistical analysis of the exams given over the last several years reveals that the average time that students need to finish is less than half of the time provided. Students who have permission from Students with Disability Services to have time and a half to take an exam already have more than that amount of the time built into the exam. All of these procedures are designed to guarantee the academic integrity of the examinations.

Preparing for Examinations

Students essentially learn the material for this course by doing a large number of exercises in phonology, morphology, and syntax. Over the years, I have discovered a direct correlation between doing the exercises and scores on the examinations; students who complete the online exercises and the exercises in the exercise book do much better on the examinations than those who do not. Also, students who have higher averages on the exercises do better than those with lower averages. Students may take the online exercises as many times as they wish to increase their knowledge of the subject matter and to improve their grades. On the day of the final examination, students must turn in their exercise book and demonstrate that they have completed all the exercises.

In this syllabus I have explained quite a few rules for students to follow and their responsibilities in the online/hybrid environment. I suggest that students become quite familiar with these rules and responsibilities.

Grading

The instructor will follow the schema below for assigning grades:

 

Final Average

Grade

94.0-100

A

90.0-93.9

A-

87.0-89.9

B+

84.0-86.9

B

80.0-83.9

B-

77.0-79.9

C+

74.0-76.9

C

70.0-73.9

C-

67.0-69.9

D+

64.0-66.9

D

60.0-63.9

D-

0-59.9

F

 

Policy on Incompletes

Because this is an online class, which goes down after the last day of classes, students may not receive an incomplete grade. Students believing that they cannot finish the class should request to drop.

Communicating with Other Students and the Instructor

Students can communicate with one another by using the Discussion Topics, Mail, and Chat functions in the Communications folder in Blackboard.  When writing any questions or comments, students are expected to follow the rules of netiquette by avoiding profanity, sarcasm, and ridicule.  All entries under Discussion Topics are public, and students should place all questions about course content in the appropriate folder in Discussion Topics.  If students do not answer a question posted by another student within 24 hours, the instructor will reply.  Postings in Mail are private, and by using this feature, students may communicate with one another without fear of anyone else viewing what has been written.  Students may also communicate privately with one another using the Chat function, which the instructor with never enter.

To communicate with the instructor, students should use Mail within Blackboard, not the instructor’s campus email account.  The instructor makes a dedicated effort to respond to all student email inquiries within 24 hours.

Contract

During the orientation, all students will be asked to sign a contract in Blackboard. By signing the contract, students acknowledge that they must take the examinations on the specific dates and times stated in the syllabus. Students can find the contract in Blackboard under "Course Content".

Students will not be able to see most of the course content until they have agreed to the contract.

 

Getting to the Course

The course is located on a CSUB server running Blackboard , the web-based teaching software used to design the course. To get into Blackboard, students need a userid and a password. The userid for all students will be the same as that of their Runner accounts. The initial password for all students is the last five digits of their Runner identification number. However, students can change their passwords once they get into the system.

How Have Students Done in the Online Course

English 319 is a course that is offered online, face-to-face on campus, and on instructional television (ITV). The students in all three presentation modes read the same books and take the same examinations. A recent four-year study examining the test scores of 982 students in 25 sections of English 319 revealed that the students do equally well in all three presentations as indicated in the table below displaying the averages for the first three examinations and the final averages.

Presentation

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 3

Final Ave.

On campus

84.8

83.1

79.8

82.5

On ITV

85.7

82.3

77.1

81.7

Online

84.8

85.1

78.3

82.7

Important University Dates

April 22, 2013: Last date to withdraw without a "W" being recorded.
May 20, 2013: Last date to withdraw for a serious and compelling reason.

Welcome to the class, and I hope that you enjoy your online experience.


Syllabus for English 319 Online