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This course is designed to improve academic and language skills, with emphasis placed on thesis-driven writing. Students will critically interact with, discuss and write about a wide range of texts (e.g. scientific, psychological, literary, etc.) thematically linked to the theme of influencers- namely, the influencers of our actions and decisions. Throughout the course, students will explore the influence of groups both at a local/individual and global level. Students will attempt to answer questions such as, how are we influenced in our decision-making/problem solving by the groups that we belong to in society? What is the influence of the phenomenon of Groupthink in our lives? How does favoritism and nepotism influence our behavior and our ethics? Should we allow altruism/feelings charity to influence our decisions and actions? In other words, is giving to charity a moral obligation or a personal choice? Answers to such questions will be explored and developed, based on class discussions of ideas/concepts generated through shared interpretations of course materials.
Jill has been teaching English for more than 15 years in a variety of settings including public high schools, large business organizations, training centers and higher education. She has traveled extensively throughout the world, most notably in Central America, Southeast Asia, and Europe and has lived in the USA, China, and now Turkey. She has a strong interest in finding ways to use technology to support language acquisition. In fact, her master's dissertation topic investigated how to use speech recognition technology to improve pronunciation in second language learners. She also has a strong background in teaching academic and business writing and loves helping people find ways to successfully communicate their ideas in writing.