Improving Academic Accuracy for English Language Learners

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ELLA 0240
Improving Academic Accuracy 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

Class: 4 hours/week 

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  • whole-class instruction
  • large- and small- group discussion
  • pair work on tasks
  • peer review
  • computer-assisted learning
  • in-class writing practice
  • instructor feedback on written work
  • revision of submitted writing


Course Description
This course is the second level of an academic series designed to help students upgrade the accuracy of their written language expression through focused work on grammar and academic vocabulary as related to the course content. It is most appropriate for students who are intending to take college or university courses. Students will receive instruction and practice in reading, proofreading and editing skills, as well as moderately complex grammar and syntax structures to be able to write on concrete and some abstract topics.
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:


  • Demonstrate mastery of grammar and syntax structures covered in the previous levels.
  • Proofread and edit their own written texts, revising drafts effectively, reading thoughtfully and responding effectively to peer and instructor feedback.
  • Demonstrate oral fluency in using grammatical, syntactical, and lexical structures typically occurring in moderately demanding academic contexts.
  • Write cohesive single and connected paragraphs using appropriate connective words and phrases.
  • Demonstrate mastery of word forms, word choice, register, clause, sentence and longer text elements, and mechanics specified for this and lower levels of mastery.
  • Receive explicit instruction on and practice the following grammar and syntax structures: present modals of possibility and certainty; hedging structures; prepositional phrases to extend noun groups; paired conjunctions; passive voice (simple aspect); complex sentences: adverb clauses, conditional sentences, adjective clauses.


Use appropriately and effectively the following items:

  • Vocabulary for causes and effects
  • Expanded range of vocabulary that includes words and expressions related to general content areas

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

Grammar and Vocabulary Skills

  1. Demonstrate clear, logical, and coherent expressions in writing, avoiding errors.
  2. Use concrete and some abstract language to compose formal and informal messages and to write single and connected paragraphs about causes and effects on mostly familiar and partly predictable topics related to education and learning.
  3. Apply proofreading and editing skills in decisions about word form choice, register, clause, sentence and longer text elements, cohesive devices, and mechanics.
  4. Use grammatical structures and vocabulary from the course content to a required level of mastery.

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 on-going feedback from the instructor throughout the course. Evaluation will be based on learning outcomes as well as instructor-specified criteria. Mastery will be granted to students who achieve an average of at least 70% on the items listed below. Evaluation will include, but may not be limited to, completing the following tasks:

-A collection of tasks demonstrating effective proofreading and editing skills based on instructor and peer feedback, as well as on the student's own attention to errors in writing. Assignments will include sentence, paragraph, and longer text writing.

-A collection of tasks showing effective use of newly introduced grammar, syntax structures, and vocabulary from course content. Assignments will include sentence, paragraph, and longer text writing.

-At least 3 in-class writing assessments, single or connected paragraphs of at least 250 words on a topic related to education and academic life. Students will demonstrate mastery of newly introduced grammar and syntax structures.

-At least 2 in-class editing assessments, targeting specific errors in writing. Students will demonstrate mastery of grammar and syntax structure for this and lower levels of ability.

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


Sample grade breakdown:

Proofreading and editing skills tasks worth up to 20% (total)

Tasks on newly introduced grammar and vocabulary worth up to 15% (total)

In-class writing worth up to 30%

In-class editing worth up to 25%

Participation worth up to 10%

Total: 100%

Textbook Materials

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

  • coursepacks
  • lab software
  • a dictionary, such as Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
  • textbooks, such as Pearson Grammar for Writing 2, Cengage Nelson Grammar for Great Writing B, or Pearson Goals (Grammar Book): Handbook for English Writing 

ELLA 0130 and ELLA 0140, or ELLA assessment





Which Prerequisite