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MELD 1D03 Social Perspectives:Languages

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Anna Moro


Office: L.R. Wilson Hall 4041

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Please consult individual instructors

Course Objectives:

Course overview

This course explores English in social contexts, particularly registers and styles. Particular emphasis will be placed on language in academic contexts, including listening to and engaging with academic lectures.


Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Be comfortable organizing their thoughts and expressing themselves in various settings and registers while adhering to basic social and academic etiquette.
    1. Students will learn how to build relationships with other students, following common Canadian conventions and avoiding offense.
    2. Students will explore cultural differences between their home country and Canada including stereotypes both places have about the other and how to handle those differences in various interactions.
    3. Students will practice techniques for engaging in formal and informal conversations and discussions including small talk, asking questions, involving others, directing the topic, etc.
    4. Students will learn techniques for effective telephone calls along with the proper etiquette involved.
    5. Students will learn how to handle misunderstanding as a result of language barriers.
  2. Learn and implement skills for developing general, academic, and discipline specific vocabulary.
    1. Students will explore the complex world of smileys, acronyms, and text messages.
    2. Students will be introduced to colloquial language and its meaning.
  3. Master academic survival skills – notetaking, time management, group work, studying, test-taking, classroom responding, interacting with professors and TAs, understanding assignments.
    1. Students will be introduced to the basic structure of University and the services that are offered.
  4. Establish proficient receptive skills in reading and listening.
    1. Students will practice listening to lectures and learn a variety of techniques to help them follow along.
    2. Students will apply several annotation and note-taking techniques as they listen to lectures.
  5. Value and engage in reflective practice.
    1. Students will discuss the value of reflective practice and what it takes to reflect.
    2. Students will reflect on their experience of culture shock and how they can find the support they need.
    3. Students will reflect on their ongoing preparation for university level studies in English.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required texts

  • Cavage, C., & Lockwood, R. B. (2017). University Success Oral Communication Transition Level. Pearson Education.
  • Wallwork, A. (2016). English for Interacting on Campus. Springer International Publishing.

Method of Assessment:

Quizzes (3)  15%

Midterm Exam1  15%

Documented Program Reflection  10%

Participation2  10%

Receptive & Expressive Vocabulary Assessment3  5%

Attendance & Participation in Ling 1Z03 tutorials4  10%

Final Exam5  35%

= 100%


1To be held the week of November 5th.

2Students cannot earn participation marks without attending.

3To complete this assessment students will sign up in OscarPlus.

4The linguistics attendance and participation grades will be submitted by the Linguistics 1Z03 TA.

5Students must pass the final exam to demonstrate that they have met the appropriate language benchmark. The final exam will be held during the McMaster final examination period (December 7-20).

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Policy on missed work/late penalties

Course assignments must be submitted on the due dates, unless permission for an extension has been granted by the instructor before the due date. Extensions may be granted for legitimate reasons (e.g., MSAF, or medical or other documentation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities Advising Office). Late assignments will be penalized by 10% a day (including weekends).

MELD Course attendance policy

Students are expected to attend, be prepared for, and participate in each class. This is critical in order to ensure maximum exposure to academic English, and to meet the learning objectives of the course.

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:

Course schedule








Sept 4 - 7

Introduction to Course






Sept 10 - 14


  • Student interaction routines (EIC 2.2 – 2.5, 2.11)
  • Inappropriate topics, avoiding offense, being diplomatic (EIC 2.7 – 2.10)
  • Complaining, commiserating, and building solidarity (EIC 2.5 – 2.6)

Listening to lectures



Sept 17 - 21


  • Locations & directions
  • Telephone routines


The purpose of lectures



Sept 24 – 28





  • Writing emails to professors (EIC 4.2 – 4.7)
  • Special situations: requesting, apologizing, reminding, etc. (EIC 4.9 – 4.11)
  • Implications & inferences (USOCT pp. 96-101)


Tips for listening to lectures


Structure of lectures

Quiz 1


Oct 1 – 5


Oct 8 - 12



Oct 15 – 19

Social Factors & Context

  • Actively participating in class (US p.2 – 15; EIC 5.2 – 5.4)
  • Engaging in discussions (EIC p.5.5, 5.7, 5.9, 5.12, 5.14, 5.17)

Taking Notes (EIC 6.2 – 6.5, 6.7 – 6.12)


Listening to lectures



Quiz 2


Oct 22 - 26


Oct 29 – Nov 2


Nov 5 – 9

Midterm test review and studying strategies


Midterm Exam


Nov 12 – 16




  • Addressing and interacting with professors (EIC 3.2 – 3.6, 3.8, 3.11 – 3.12)
  • Visiting professors or TAs during office hours (EIC 3.9 – 3.10)

Listening to lectures


Understanding your notes



Nov 19 - 23


Nov 26-30




  • Abbreviated language forms (EIC Ch. 13)
  • Colloquial language (USOCT p.135)
  • Pros and cons of automatic translation (EIC Ch. 12)


Listening skills


Exam prep

Quiz 3




Documented program reflection


Dec 3 - 5


Dec 7 – Dec 20


Other Course Information:

This course uses Avenue to Learn.