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Syllabus: Reading the Times and the Journal

Instructor: Bret Putnam

Class Location: Zoom 

Course Profile: Introduction to American print journalism, with study of two legacy newspapers: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Course Goals: Perfect reading comprehension and conversational fluency. Practice expressing complex and nuanced ideas in speech and in writing. Improve pronunciation and reduce accent. Deepen knowledge of contemporary American culture, with a focus on geography, history, politics, business and the arts.

Format: Each week students will be assigned the reading of three news articles. In class we will read and analyze one story in depth, and converse on the story topic. We will also focus on vocabulary acquisition, word usage and meaning. Students may improve their writing skills by completing a writing assignments. The instructor will also cover essential grammar.

Course Materials: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The instructor will send students the news stories by email weekly.

Course Calendar (Subject to change, depending on news events):

Week 1)  International News

Week 2) Public Health

Week 3) Art and Music

Week 4) Lifestyle

Week 5) Politics; Editorials and Op-Eds

Week 6) Obituaries; Writing Assignment: News Story, Opinion Piece or Obituary

Week 7) Agriculture

Week 8)  Economics, Finance, Trade and Technology 

Week 9) Crime and Criminal Justice

Week 10) Science, Climate and the Environment

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