This course supplements the four-level writing series 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 experience writing paragraphs but consistently make errors in grammar and sentence structure. Students develop strategies for editing and proofreading. Working with short writing samples and their own and classmates’ compositions, students practice identifying problems and errors in language use, diction and mechanics. Students review writing academic paragraphs and summaries. Students also practice academic reading skills such as predicting, scanning and skimming, and identifying key ideas. In addition, students read extensively in order to increase reading fluency. Finally, vocabulary development work includes such skills as guessing meaning by using context clues as well as prefixes and suffixes.
- To edit word-use errors
- Parts of speech
- Functions of words and word order in a sentence (e.g., SVO)
- Articles, quantifiers, and determiners with count/non-count nouns
- Irregular verbs and verb forms (e.g., bare infinitives with modals, and past/present participles as adjectives)
- To edit sentence errors
- Phrases vs. clauses
- Subject/verb agreement with count/non-count nouns
- Types of sentences – simple, compound, complex – and the punctuation required for each
- Problems with sentences – boundaries such as fragments, run-ons and comma splices
- Items to work on as need arises
- All accuracy items specified for the 100 and 200 levels
- Verb tenses specified for the 100 and 200 levels
- Accountability for tracking own errors
- Apply appropriate strategies to use computers in writing, including proper use of grammar check and spell check
- To develop strategies for reading fluently
- Read for gist
- Read in thought groups
- Avoid over-use of dictionary
- Maintain reading pace without losing comprehension of key ideas
- Tolerate ambiguity
- To follow the ideas and information in readings
- Deal with multiple-paragraph passages (use surveying, skimming and sectioning skills)
- Use pre-reading techniques to prepare for a reading task
- Use critical reading skills in opinion texts by identifying author’s opinions, reasons, and supporting details
- In expository texts, recognize purpose and/or issue, overall key idea, main ideas, and key details
- Make inferences
- To determine meanings of unfamiliar words in course materials
- Use an English-English dictionary
- Learn common 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
- Identify and use common collocations and idioms
- Focus on vocabulary development including parts of speech and vocabulary from the Academic Word List (AWL)
- Learn synonyms and antonyms
- 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
- As need arises
- Follow organization of a text and paragraphs within a text
- Scan for specific information
- To write informally
- Write reflectively about personal experience and readings
- To write summaries
- Summarize main ideas and key details in own words
- To write compositions of one or more paragraphs using the following strategies:
- Generate ideas and narrow topics from personal experience and readings
- Create paragraph framework (topic sentences with specific controlling ideas)
- Develop unity and coherence (using logical order, transitions, and pronouns)
- Develop and support one idea in a single- or 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
- To take responsibility for the following:
- Attendance and punctuality
- Class work and assignments
- Participation and teamwork
- To follow instructions, communicate with peers and instructors, and ask for clarification.
- 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. Students will strengthen self-editing skills. Also, students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their communicative and language development needs, and in the selection of learning activities.
Means of Assessment
- Complete assigned skill-development tasks
- Read short and long instructor- and self-selected texts
- Read both factual and issue-oriented texts for both reading and writing tasks
- Write compositions that meet instructor specified criteria for content, organization, language use, 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
- Keep an editing log to demonstrate improvement in editing skills
- Take regular focussed editing tests. In class, students will plan, organize, write, and edit a brief composition that meets instructor-specified criteria, with a focus on the ability to edit for specified language use items. At least three of these must be instructor graded, and others may be peer edited.
- Write formal compositions of several types:
- At least two paragraphs (may include definition, example, classification and/or persuasion (no counter-arguments)) that describe personal experience or respond to ideas and information in readings.
- At least two informal summaries (one may include a response)
- All of these out-of-class 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.
- At least one paragraph and one summary must be done in class under test conditions.
- Complete reading quizzes, both skill based and content based
- Complete at least one self-assessment of learning strategies, progress, strengths, weaknesses, and classroom skills to be discussed with the instructor
- Use common software to communicate and to complete simple information management tasks, i.e. to word process assignments, send e-mails, or sign into myDouglas.
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.
- Further develop editing skills.
- Extend paragraph and summary writing skills.
- Extend competency in reading skills.
- Identify and correct errors in language use, sentence structure, and mechanics in own writing
- Read and understand authentic reading materials to obtain and record information about ideas and issues, and expand vocabulary
- Read extensively to improve reading fluency
- Write reflectively
- Review paragraph structure
- Plan, write, revise and edit paragraph-length pieces of writing that meet specific communication needs within a practical and/or academic context
- Participate effectively in a college classroom
- Assess own progress
- Develop awareness of cultural differences within personal, social, and academic contexts
Students may be required to purchase a textbook to be determined by the instructor.