ENG 099 Conversational American English MOOC (Dec. 2012) Lecture 1: Greetings

Recording of this lecture that aired on December 10th, 2012 at 19:00 USA CT.

0.0 Table of Contents

  • 0.0 Table of Contents
  • 1.0 Opening
  • 2.0 Topic
  • 3.0 Greetings
    • 3.1 Video
    • 3.2 International English Greeting
      • 3.2.1 Vocabulary
      • 3.2.2 Slides
    • 3.3 Friendly American English Greeting
      • 3.3.1 Vocabulary
      • 3.3.2 Slides
  • 4.0 Class Overview
  • 5.0 Language Talk
  • 6.0 Short Story
    • 6.1 Vocabulary
    • 6.2 Text
    • 6.3 Listen
  • 7.0 Next Time
  • 8.0 Assignment 1
  • 9.0 Table of Figures

1.0 Opening

Teacher and students introduce themselves to one another.

2.0 Topic

This first lecture is about American English greetings, as well as setting up the rest of the 10 week course.

3.0 Greetings

Begin by eliciting what students know about American greetings and English greetings in general.


Figure 1: Conversational American English: Greetings Video

If you can’t see the video above, please click here to view it on the Internet Archive (archive.org).

You can also download the Cinepack (254.1 MB), Ogg Video (17.6 MB), and/or MPEG4 (18.9 MB) files from the Internet archive.


3.2.1 Vocabulary

  • Hello
  • How are you?
  • I’m fine. = Fine, thank you.
  • Thank you
  • You? = And you? (as a response to an earlier How are you?)
  • Fine, too.

3.2.2 Slides

Figure 1: International English Slide 1 of 3
Figure 2: International English Slide 1 of 3

  • A: “Hello.”
  • B: “Hello.”

Figure 2: International English Slide 2 of 3
Figure 3: International English Slide 2 of 3

  • A: “How are you?”
  • B: “Fine, thank you. You?” (Same meaning as “Fine, thank you. And you?”)

Figure 3: International English Slide 3 of 3
Figure 4: International English Slide 3 of 3

  • A: “Fine, too, thank you.”



  • Yo = Hello
  • What’s up? = How are you?
  • Not much = I’m fine. = Fine, thank you.
  • You? = And you? (as a response to an earlier What’s up?)

3.3.2 SLIDES

Figure 5: Friendly American English Slide 1 of 3

  • A: “Yo.”
  • B: “Yo.”

Figure 6: Friendly American English Slide 2 of 3

  • A: “What’s up?”
  • B: “Not much. You?”

Figure 7: Friendly American English Slide 3 of 3

  • A: “Not much.”

4.0 Class Overview

Go through how the class will work and answer any questions.

  1. Choose how you want to join the course:
    1. Your own blog [read the Syllabus for instructions]: start a new one, or  (preferred)
    2. P2PU: join the official study group
    3. Wikiversity: add content to the course wiki page
    4. Facebook: Like Mr. Danoff’s Teaching Lab and post assignments
  2. Register for the course here, indicating how you’re joining and your e-mail address
  3. Join the 10 lectures (see the schedule) and/or watch the recordings
  4. Complete all 10 assignments
  5. E-mail Mr. Danoff all 10 URLs by 23:59 USA CT on December 24th the URLs to your completed, published assignments. After approval, you will receive your official ENG 099 MOOC December 2012 Badge and PDF Certificate of Completion!
Optionally, for $25 (USA) or $35 (International) you can have a print copy of your certificate mailed, plus a LinkedIn recommendation from Mr. Danoff.
After you have successfully registered, Mr. Danoff will e-mail you a username and password for this website. For each assignment, you are required to post the URL to your answers published elsewhere online.

5.0 Language Talk

We will read and discuss this conversation about the English language.

Teacher— I will pronounce these three sounds very slowly and distinctly, thus: b-u-d. Notice, it is the power, or sound, of the letter, and not its name, that I give. What did you hear?

T.— I will bold these words, so that you can see them, three letters—b-u-d. Are these letters, taken separately, signs to you of anything?

T.— What then do these letters, taken separately, picture to your eye?

Student.— They picture the sounds that came to my ear.

T.— Letters then are the signs of what?

S.— Letters are the signs of sounds.

T.— I will pronounce the same three sounds more rapidly, uniting them more closely: bud. These sounds, so united, form a spoken word. Of what do you think when you hear the word bud?

S.— I think of a little round thing that grows to be a leafy branch or a flower.

Figure 8: Language Talk Part 1

Buds Photo courtesy PDphoto.org
Figure 9: An example of buds

T.— Did you see the thing when you were thinking of it?

S.— No.

T.— Then you must have had a picture of it in your mind. We call this mental picture an idea. What called up this idea?

S.— It was called up by the word bud, which I heard.

T.— A spoken word then is the sign of what?

Figure 10: Language Talk Part 2 

6.0 Short Story

Students and teacher read this short story “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. It is a Christmas story and given this is a December course it’s especially appropriate. O. Henry is a famous American author from the early 20th century.


  • Magi
  • imputation
  • parsimony
  • shabby
  • flat

6.2 TEXT

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

Figure 11: “The Gift of the Magi” Part 1


Listen from the beginning to 1:22 to hear this lecture’s text of the short story. We will read all of it over the course of the 10 lessons.

Figure 12: “The Gift of the Magi” audio recording.

If you can’t see the audio player above, please click here to listen to it in the Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org).

You can also download the 128Kbps MP3 (15.3 MB), Ogg Vorbis (17.6 MB), and/or 64 Kbps MP3 (7.7 MB) files from the Internet archive.

7.0 Next Time

Find out if there is anything specific the students want to learn about next lecture (tomorrow).

8.0 Assignment 1

  1.  Publish your first post introducing yourself and answering the following 5 questions:
    1. What’s your name?
    2. Where do you live?
    3. Where are you born?
    4. Why do you want to improve your English? or, What is your English studying goal?
    5. What food do you hate?
  2. Below your introduction, answer these questions:
    1. Between “International English” or “Friendly American English” which greeting do you prefer? (1 to 3 sentences)
    2. In the Language Talk section, the Teacher says “A spoken word then is the sign of what?” please answer the question in your own words. (2 to 3 sentences).
    3. Do you like the short story? Why? (2 to 3 sentences) How much does your apartment cost? More or less than $8? (2 sentences)
  3. Please write 1 question you have for 1 other participant in the MOOC
  4. Answer 2 other people’s questions in their blog comments, or via P2PU, Wikiversity or Facebook
  5. Complete the Paragogical Action Review, or PAR:
    1. Review what was supposed to happen
    2. Establish what is happening/happened
    3. Determine what’s right and wrong with what we are doing/have done
    4. What did we learn or change?
    5. What else should we change going forward?

9.0 Table of Figures

Revision History: