Discussing Academic Issues for English Language Learners

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
English Language Learning and Acquisition
Course Code
ELLA 0210
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Field Experience
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is the second 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 non-routine situations. Students will also prepare and participate in a presentation on a topic related to education and academic life. 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 outline main ideas and supporting arguments from spoken and written texts (such as interviews, videos, presentations, lectures, newspaper articles, and basic graphs) about one or more issues in education and academic life such as practices in Canadian post-secondary institutions, student success, the nature of learning, digital literacy, access to education, and alternative education. Notes should show an emerging level of paraphrasing skills.
  • Prepare a point-form well-organized 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 graphs or tables, using appropriate citations.

2. Delivering a Presentation

  • Use note cards effectively while presenting, as needed.
  • Demonstrate elements 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 interviews and group discussions by listening carefully, responding appropriately, actively contributing ideas, asking questions, holding the floor and changing the topic appropriately.
  • Confirm understanding by repeating or paraphrasing.
  • Summarize or report on main points of contributions by others.
  • Initiate and respond to small talk.


Language functions and related grammar

  • Express and qualify opinions, feelings, and suggestions.
  • Express possibility/certainty, using the appropriate modal verbs.
  • Express apologies and excuses.
  • Express warnings, predictions, and advice, using conditional phrases and sentences.


  • Correctly pronounce new vocabulary with appropriate syllable stress.
  • Recognize and use appropriate final intonation in statements, questions, choices, and lists.
  • Identify which words should be stressed in a phrase, and produce sentences with correct phrasal stress.
  • Produce sentences with the correct rhythm (long and short syllables).

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 Activities

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


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 portfolio 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 speaking tasks demonstrating effective discussion and conversation skills, such as changing the topic appropriately, actively contributing ideas, and summarizing contributions by others.

-At least 1 project of 4-5 minutes in length per student. Students will demonstrate understanding by summarizing one or more issues in education and academic life and by communicating meaning effectively and intelligibly. Possible projects might be:

  • A Douglas College program Sway presentation
  • A newscast on student life
  • A video of tips for new students

-At least 2 speaking in-class assessments to demonstrate mastery of skills, language functions, and pronunciation elements (such as an in-class paired recording of a short conversation of students giving each other advice or a phone message to extend an invitation or express an excuse).

-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 joining and participating in college-organized conversation activities or interviewing a Douglas College student who is taking academic courses.

-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 assessment worth up to 20% (total)

Experiential tasks worth 10% (total)

Participation worth up to 15%

Self-assessment worth up to 10%

 Total: 100%

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 up to 4-5 minutes per student, to describe a topic related to education and academic life.

2. Use spoken texts of up to 12 minutes in length and written texts of up to 3 pages in length as sources for project preparation.

3. Participate effectively in one-to-one and group discussions and less routine social conversations about various issues in education and academic life, using language functions such as expressing and responding to opinions, feelings, and suggestions and expressing warnings, predictions, and advice.

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.


Textbook Materials

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

  • coursepacks
  • lab software
  • a dictionary such as Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
  • textbooks at the CEFR B2 level such as Pearson Speech Communication Made Simple level 1, or Cengage National Geographic Learning Pathways 4: Listening, Speaking, and Critical Thinking




ELLA 0110 or ELLA Assessment





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 ELLA 0210
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Fall 2023

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New Westminster - North Bldg.
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