Reading and Composition for Upper Intermediate students of English as a Second Language

Important Notice

This course is not active. Please contact Department Chair for more information.

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
English as a Second Language
Course Code
EASL 0260
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course is for students who wish to upgrade their reading and writing for personal, educational and/or employment purposes. The course is designed for students who have some composition experience and intermediate listening and speaking skills. The course emphasizes specific reading skills such as predicting, scanning, skimming, surveying, guessing meaning from context and notetaking. Students will use ideas from readings to write different types of expository paragraphs and short compositions. Students will also practice organizing ideas, revising and editing. Exercises will help students clarify and elaborate supporting points, proofread for errors, and use grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary accurately.
Course Content

Reading Skills 

  1. To follow the ideas and information in readings
    • Follow written instructions
    • Use pre-reading techniques to prepare for a reading task
    • In expository texts, recognize purpose and/or issue, overall key idea, main ideas, and key details
    • Follow organization of a text and paragraphs within a text
    • Scan for specific information
    • In opinion texts, identify author’s opinions, reasons, and supporting details
    • Make inferences
    • Describe plot, major and minor characters, and setting in a short story or simplified novel
  2. To determine meanings of unfamiliar words in course materials
    • Use an English-English dictionary
    • Use prefixes to determine meanings and suffixes to identify grammatical uses
    • Use several types of context clues, such as parts of speech, related words, and other sentence clues
  3. To find materials in the library
    • Use both digital and print resources
  4. To use study skills
    • Take notes: outline text; make margin annotations
    • Interpret visuals in text material
    • Prepare for tests: T/F, completion, matching, multiple choice and short answer
    • Learn content from text/class materials

Writing Skills

  1. To write informally
    • Write reflectively about personal experience and readings
    • Summarize main ideas and key details in own words
    • Summarize opinions, and supporting details
  2. To write compositions of one or more paragraphs using the following strategies:
    • generate ideas from personal experience and readings
    • select and narrow topics
    • create paragraph frameworks
    • write topic sentences with specific controlling ideas
    • develop unified, specific support and refer to source if used
    • create coherence using logical order, transitions, and pronouns
    • develop and support one idea in a multi-paragraph composition
    • revise with peer and teacher feedback
    • follow format instructions
    • edit and proofread
    • demonstrate an understanding of plagiarism by using own words and referring to sources


  1. For explicit instruction and evaluation
    • Correctly form and use past continuous, present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses;  use these tenses in appropriate ways (event before now with unspecified time, frequency and length of experience) using appropriate time markers
    • Expand the range of cause/effect, conditional, and comparison/contrast connectors to join ideas with correct meaning and punctuation (conjunctions, adverb clauses, subordinators, transitions: correctly forms and uses reduced adverb clauses (participial phrases)
    • Expand  the use of relative clauses (use of “whom, whose” + revision of “who, whom, that”): correctly forms and uses reduced adjective clauses (participial phrases)
    • Identify and correct plural/singular errors with frequently used count and noncount nouns
  2. Items to work on as need arises
    • All accuracy items specified for the 100 level
    • Correctly form and use the following modals  (including past tense): necessity, advice, obligation and possibility
    • Edit simple, compound and complex sentences for completeness and punctuation
    • Edit for pronoun and verb tense shift errors
    • Edit for article/determiner errors by applying simple article and determiner rules (e.g. second mention)
    • Correctly spell specified connectors, frequently used content words, and irregular past participles
    • Apply appropriate strategies to use computers in writing

Classroom Skills

  1. To take responsibility for the following:
    • attendance and punctuality
    • class work and assignments
    • participation and teamwork
  2. To follow instructions, communicate with peers and instructors, and ask for clarification.
  3. To show an awareness of cultural differences and general features of own culture and the world.
Methods Of Instruction

Whole and small group instruction will be combined with individual assistance and student-directed learning.  Students will receive assistance with reading difficulties that arise from lack of familiarity with the structure, lexicon and cultural content of the reading passages, and the instructor will facilitate, observe and evaluate students’ participation in classroom activities.  Students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their communicative and language development needs, and in the selection of learning activities. Students will discuss personal rights and social responsibilities as they affect their intended fields of study, occupations, and personal life.

Means of Assessment
  1. Complete assigned skill-development tasks
  2. Read instructor and self-selected articles, both factual and issue-oriented, and write informal reports
  3. Write compositions that meet instructor specified criteria for content, organization, language use and accuracy, and format. These assignments could include the following:
    • journals that describe personal experience and respond to ideas and information in readings
    • informal pieces of writing that summarize overall key idea, main ideas and key details in reading materials
    • informal pieces of writing that identify an author’s opinion and supporting details
    • informal compositions that describe plot, characters, and/or setting in a short story
  4. Write formal compositions of several types, including at least one cause/effect and one comparison/contrast that describe personal experience or respond to ideas and information in readings. At least two of these formal compositions must be word-processed compositions and at least one composition must be multi-paragraph. Compositions should meet instructor-specified criteria for content, organization, language use, accuracy and format
  5. In class, plan, organize, and write at least two compositions that meet instructor specified criteria for content, organization, language use and accuracy, and format
  6. Complete quizzes, both skill based and content based
  7. Complete at least one self-assessment of learning strategies, progress, strengths, weaknesses, and classroom skills to be discussed with the instructor
  8. Use common software to communicate and to complete simple information management tasks, i.e. to word process assignments, send e-mails, sign into MyDouglas, or write a resume

A mastery model of on-going evaluation will be used. A student will receive mastery by demonstrating through satisfactory completion of exercises, assignments, and other forms of assessment that the course objectives have been achieved.

Where formal tests of specific skills are used, mastery is defined as a score of 70% or more. Progress will be monitored on a regular basis by the instructor in consultation with each student.

Learning Outcomes

Overall Objectives

Extend fluency and confidence in reading and writing for a range of personal, academic and employment purposes.

Specific Objectives

  1. Read and understand short, authentic reading materials on relevant and practical topics and  stories to obtain and record information, learn about ideas and issues, and expand vocabulary
  2. Use strategies to learn academic material
  3. Write reflectively
  4. Plan, write, revise, and edit paragraph-length pieces of writing that meet specific communication needs within a practical and relevant context
  5. Listen and speak to prepare for, support, and extend reading and writing skills
  6. Monitor and apply strategies to improve accuracy in grammar, sentence structure, and word choice to a specified level of accuracy
  7. Participate effectively in a college classroom
  8. Assess progress
  9. Develop awareness of differences within personal, social and cultural activities
Textbook Materials

Students may be required to purchase a textbook to be determined by the instructor.



EASL 0160 or EASL assessment


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for EASL 0260
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Fall 2022