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MELD 1D03 Social Perspectives:Languages

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. N/A N/A


Office: Chester New Hall 228/231

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23718

Office Hours: NA

Course Objectives:

Course Description:

An exploration of a variety of language registers and styles. Topics explored through role-playing, the collaboration of bridging peers, and guest speakers.


Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • engage in appropriate interactions with peers, staff, and professors
  • clearly express your opinions in lectures, tutorials, and seminars
  • engage in group discussions
  • use appropriate verbal and body language for speech acts
  • speak persuasively
  • reflect on your learning
  • evaluate information and arguments and respond appropriately
  • summarize and report on information obtained from peer presentations and guest speakers
  • create a learning portfolio to document your learning throughout the MELD program

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

1.Feak et al. (2009). Academic interactions: Communicating on campus. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. 

2.TED Talks. (2015). 21st Century reading: Creative thinking and reading with TED talks 2. Boston, MA: National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning. 

Method of Assessment:

MELD Term 1 Grading

Scheme (IELTS/CEFR):

  • (<60 %) = 5/ B1.2
  • (60 %-69 %) = 5.5/ B2.1 [PASS]
  • (70%- 79 %) = 6/ B2.2
  • (80 %- 100 %) = 6.5/ C1.1


  • Attend 80 % of the classes on time (late arrivals will be counted as absences)
  • Actively contribute and participate in 80 % of classes (complete assigned homework prior to class; speak English in class; refrain from using electronic devices for purposes not related to the class)
  • Attend 80 % of mentor meetings on time (late arrivals will be counted as absences)
  • Complete and submit 7/10 of mentor reflections on time
  • Achieve an average of 60 % on the following items:
  • three oral journals
  • two oral summaries
  • four discussion group tasks
  • Complete Speech Act assignments with written or oral evidence (audio/video) of each of the following:
  • Making complaints
  • Emailing with instructors/staff
  • Making requests
  • Making appointments & apologies
  • Giving & receiving thanks
  • Accepting & rejecting advice & recommendations
  • Complete initial set-up of Learning Portfolio
  • Complete annotated portfolio log of artefacts for Learning Portfolio
  • Complete a total of 10 English contact hours for MELD Passport
  • Complete 5 hours by Week 7
  • Complete 5 hours by Week 12  
  • Score a minimum of 5.5 (IELTS)/B2.1 (CEFR) on the mid-year speaking exam


MELD Passport:

For this course, you will be required to participate in some related workshops, as well as additional events/activities in order to complete a minimum of 10 English contact hours (5 hours by Week 7 and 5 additional hours by Week 12).


Required MELD Passport activities for MELD 1D03:

  • Scavenger Hunt (Term 1)
  • What You Need to Know to Succeed in MELD
  • Reading a Syllabus


*Claudia and your instructors will tell you about other events/activities throughout the semester


Learning Portfolio:

In term 2, you will be creating a learning portfolio to demonstrate your learning during the MELD program.  You will begin collecting items from all of your MELD courses in Term 1.  Some will be required, and some will be completely your choice.  The goal is not to collect only perfect work, but to show a picture of your growth during the MELD program. For this course, these are your portfolio items.  Please note that some are required while others can be chosen by you.  Pay careful attention to the number of items required.

Required Portfolio Items:

  • Portfolio set-up    
  • Annotated portfolio log                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Items of Your Choice (minimum 3 items):

  • Any tasks from this course, journals, summaries, discussion groups, speech acts

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Attendance and Late Submissions:

Regular attendance is required to successfully achieve course outcomes.  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to complete any work done in class. 

All work must be submitted in class on the due date.  Do not submit assignments by email or slide them under the instructor’s door. Late assignments will only be accepted with prior consent from the instructor and appropriate documentation to support your inability to submit the work by the due date. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Schedule of Topics and Assignments:








Sept. 6-9/16

Style, Register, Direct vs. Indirect Communication

Dale, pp. 85-90, pp. 95 (pdf); Feak et al., Chapter 1

Oral Journal


Sept. 12-16/16

Students’ Expectations & Attitudes

Feak et al., Chapter 2, pp. 22-40



Sept. 19-23/16

Classroom Discussions; Making Complaints

Feak et al., Chapter 2, pp. 41-55; Chapter 6, pp. 148-169

Speech Act Assignment


Sept. 26-30/16

Discussion Groups

TED Talks, Unit 1, Lesson A & B

Discussion Groups


Oct. 3-7/16

Emailing with Instructors & Staff; Making Requests

Feak et al., Chapter 3, pp. 56-71



Oct. 10-14/16

Mid-term Recess (NO CLASSES)


Oct. 17-21/16

Making Appointments & Apologies

Feak et al., Chapter 3, pp. 72-86

Oral Journal; MELD Passport (5/10 hours due)


Oct. 24-28/16

Discussion Groups

TED Talks, Unit 5, Lesson A & B

Discussion Groups


Oct 31-Nov. 4/16

Interacting with Instructors, TAs, Professors; Giving & Receiving Thanks

Feak et al., Chapter 4, pp. 87-109; Guest Speaker

Oral Summary


Nov. 7-11/16

Accepting & Rejecting Advice & Recommendations

Feak et al., Chapter 4, pp. 110-118

Speech Act Assignment


Nov. 14-18/16

Discussion Groups

TED Talks, Unit 7, pp. Lesson A & B

Discussion Groups


Nov. 21-25/16

Class Interactions

Feak et al., Chapter 5, pp. 119-146; Guest Speaker

Oral Summary; MELD Passport (10/10 hours due)


Nov. 28- Dec. 2/16

Discussion Groups

TED Talks, Unit 10, Lesson A & B

Discussion Groups


Dec. 5-7/16



Annotated Portfolio log; Set-up of Learning Portfolio