Curriculum Guideline

Discussing Culture and Community for English Language Learners

Effective Date:
Course Code
ELLA 0110
Discussing Culture and Community for English Language Learners
English Language Learning and Acquisition
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Seminar 4 hours/week; Field Experience 2 hours/week

Method Of Instruction
Field Experience
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  • whole-class instruction
  • large- and small-group discussion
  • pair work on tasks
  • computer-assisted learning
  • instructor feedback
  • revision of submitted work
  • independent research


Course Description
This course is the first level of an academic series designed to help students upgrade their speaking, listening, and presentation skills. It is most appropriate for students intending to take college or university courses. Activities will help students understand and communicate effectively in a variety of settings. The emphasis will be on participating in conversations and discussions, and communicating in routine situations. Students will also prepare and participate in a presentation on a topic related to culture and community. Through these activities, students will continue to develop their overall language skills.
Course Content

Throughout the process of preparing for a range of college assignments, students will receive instruction in skills and strategies in the following areas:

Speaking and Listening Skills

1. Planning a Presentation

  • Take basic notes and list main ideas and supporting arguments from modified spoken and written texts (such as news reports, videos, lectures, newspaper articles, and basic tables and forms) that describe cultural values and beliefs, First Nations, British Columbian, Canadian, and global cultures, history, and current events.
  • Prepare a basic presentation outline, summarizing the ideas and information gathered in the spoken and written texts.
  • Prepare clear, well-organized note cards from the outline as needed.
  • Prepare presentation visuals such as maps, forms, or graphs.

2. Delivering a Presentation

  • Use note cards effectively while presenting, as needed.
  • Demonstrate an emerging level of critical thinking and analysis of information based on spoken and written texts.
  • Produce speech with the level of accuracy (both in grammar and pronunciation) that will ensure meaningful communication.
  • Use appropriate tone and register, depending on the level of formality of the situation.
  • Use appropriate eye contact, body language, volume and rate of speech.

3. Participating in Discussions

  • Participate in paired and small group discussions by engaging in appropriate turn-taking and indicating non-comprehension.
  • Encourage conversation with supportive comments.
  • Use clarification requests to indicate partial comprehension.
  • Use and respond to small talk.


Language functions and related grammar

  • Express and qualify feelings and opinions.
  • Make, accept, or decline offers and invitations.
  • Express necessity, obligation, and advice using the appropriate modal verbs.
  • Correctly use there is/there are impersonal structures.


  • Correctly pronounce new vocabulary with appropriate syllable stress.
  • Distinguish between voiced and unvoiced consonants, and produce aspirated consonants as needed.
  • Recognize and produce reduced sounds.
  • Recognize and produce consonant-to-consonant, consonant-to-vowel, and vowel-to-vowel linking, including across word boundaries.

Study Skills

Take responsibility for:

  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Class work and assignments
  • Participation and teamwork

Use common software to communicate and to complete information management tasks such as word processing assignments, sending emails, or signing in to an online learning management system.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, successful students will

Listening and Speaking Skills

1. Prepare for and participate in a group presentation for 2-3 minutes per student, to describe people, places or events related to culture and community.

2. Use spoken texts of up to 8 minutes in length and written texts of up to 2 pages in length as sources for project preparation.

3. Participate effectively in one-to-one and group discussions and routine social conversations about various topics related to culture and community, using language functions such as expressing feelings and opinions, engaging in small talk related to personal interests or preferences, and making, accepting, or declining offers and invitations.

4. Complete assigned experiential tasks to a required level of mastery.

5. Monitor and apply strategies of accuracy in grammar, sentence structure, language functions, and pronunciation.

Study Skills

1. Assess own progress.

2. Participate effectively in a college classroom.


Means of Assessment

Student achievement will be measured using formative assessment tools and the mastery system in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Students will receive ongoing feedback from the instructor throughout the course. Evaluation will be based on learning outcomes and course content. Mastery will be granted to students who achieve an average of at least 70% on the items listed below. Evaluation will include, but need not be limited to, the following tasks:

-A collection of tasks demonstrating effective presentation skills (such as body language, rapport with the audience, and pronunciation) and showing attention to instructor and peer feedback.

-A collection of tasks demonstrating effective discussion and conversation skills (such as use of clarification requests, use and response to small talk, or demonstration of turn-taking skills).

-At least 1 project of 2-3 minutes in length per student. Students will demonstrate understanding by describing and/or showing the differences and similarities among people, places or events related to culture and community (such as customs, holidays, family roles, lifestyles, past and present) and by communicating meaning effectively and intelligibly. Possible projects might be:

  • A travel recommendation presentation
  • A skit or role play
  • A talk show interview

-At least 2 in-class speaking assessments to demonstrate mastery of skills, language functions, and pronunciation elements (such as a short in-class videotaped role play of students using small talk).

-A complete record of weekly experiential tasks such as completion of assignments before, during, and after the activities (setting goals, taking notes, or writing a reflective paragraph) and proof of attendance at all activities. Experiential activities may include observing and participating in college activities or community events.

-At least 1 self-assessment of learning strategies, progress, and study skills (to be discussed with the instructor).


Sample grade breakdown:

Presentation skills worth up to 10% (total)

Discussion and conversation skills worth up to 10% (total)

Project worth up to 25%

In-class speaking assessments worth up to 20% (total)

Experiential tasks worth 10% (total)

Participation worth up to 15%

Self-assessment worth up to 10%

Total: 100%


Textbook Materials

Students may be required to purchase one or more of the following materials:

  • coursepacks
  • lab software
  • a dictionary such as Cambridge Learner's Dictionary
  • textbooks at the CEFR B1 level such as Oxford Have Your Say 2, Cengage National Geographic Learning Life 4, or Pathways 3: Listening, Speaking, and Critical Thinking



ELLA 0010 and ELLA 0011 and ELLA 0012 and ELLA 0013 and ELLA Academic College English entry test, or ELLA Assessment





Which Prerequisite