Writing about Global Issues for English Language Learners

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ELLA 0330
Writing about Global Issues 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
  • instructor feedback on written work
  • revision of submitted writing
  • independent research
Course Description
This course is the third level of an academic series designed to help students upgrade their writing skills. It is most appropriate for students who have experience writing expository paragraphs, short essays and formal summaries and who have reasonable control of grammar and sentence structure. Students will work on improving their reading, drafting, and organizational skills for writing reports analyzing a global issue and for writing short timed essay exams using various rhetorical patterns, as well as on revising and editing skills. Students will also be introduced to basic research 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:

Writing Skills

A. Prewriting    

  • Understand assignment instructions, including audience, purpose, format, focus of the essay question, and the required rhetorical pattern.
  • Generate ideas from written and spoken texts on a topic related to relevant and current global issues, such as environmental issues, economic disparity, food production and distribution, or issues in health care.
  • Select and narrow a topic.
  • Create an outline.

B. Writing

  • Demonstrate mastery of writing skills and forms covered in the previous levels.
  • Develop and support one idea in a multi-paragraph composition.
  • Write well-structured introductory and concluding paragraphs.
  • Write a focused thesis statement.
  • Develop unified, specific support in body paragraphs by analyzing an issue, presenting different perspectives on it, discussing its aspects, elements, features, characteristics, qualities, stages, or periods, and by providing relevant examples.
  • Write well-structured conclusions.
  • Handwrite in-class essays under time constraints.
  • Write the required length in the time given.
  • Use appropriate text organization and discourse markers to signal narration, description, extended definition, logical division of ideas, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, or problem/solution.
  • Create coherence within and between paragraphs using appropriate transition signals, pronoun references, conjunctions, and linking words and sentences.
  • Incorporate source material, showing understanding of how to avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, and citing appropriately.
  • Demonstrate an emerging level of critical thinking and analysis of information by relating own ideas to written texts.
  • Use an expanded range of vocabulary, idiomatic language, and cultural references appropriate to the context.

C. Revising

  • Re-draft and revise with peer and instructor feedback.
  • Proofread, edit and re-draft on own.


  • Use the conventions of standard written English grammar for intra- and inter-clause accuracy.
  • Follow academic writing conventions for organization and form.
  • Increase level of formality and text cohesion by using passive voice.
  • Improve phrasal structures by extending noun phrases with adjective and noun clauses.
  • Support opinions with research findings using reporting verbs, phrases, and clauses.

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

Reading and Writing Skills

  1. Write at least 5 connected paragraphs analyzing a current global issue and proposing a solution, incorporating source material, and using a citation style, such as APA or MLA.
  2. Apply basic research skills to find relevant and credible sources of information.
  3. Read about global issues to develop a full understanding of various rhetorical patterns, as required by instructors in different disciplines: narration, description, extended definition, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, logical division of ideas, and problem/solution.
  4. Write 1-3 paragraph answers to an exam question requiring at least 250 words each, under time constraints, addressing the question accurately and employing an appropriate rhetorical pattern, such as comparison/contrast, cause/effect, definition, or problem/solution.
  5. Monitor and apply strategies to an instructor-specified level of accuracy in grammar, sentence structure, and word choice.

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 writing and research tasks demonstrating consistent attention to instructor and peer feedback. Assignments could include single and connected paragraphs, short answer and other tests demonstrating understanding of written and spoken texts, research skills practice, or group work.

-At least 1 composition-based project, such as the following:

  • an essay analyzing a global issue and offering a solution
  • a report written for a committee or organization proposing a solution for a current global issue
  • a script for a speech written for an audience of a group of stakeholders (government officials, citizens)

The final product must have at least 5 paragraphs and up to 1,000 words, include a description and an analysis of a global issue, specific examples, and recommendations. It must also incorporate source material from at least 2 credible sources, using a citation style such as APA or MLA in accordance with academic practices and College policies.

-In-class planning and writing in long hand of at least 2 1-3 paragraph answers to an exam question requiring at least 250 words each, under time constraints. The final exam should be completed in no more than 30 minutes.

-At least 1 research assignment demonstrating understanding of source credibility and reliability.

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


Sample grade breakdown:

Composition and essay exam tasks worth up to 20% (total)

Reading and research tasks worth up to 15% (total)

In-class paragraph or essay exams worth up to 25%

Composition-based project worth up to 30%

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 at the CEFR B2+ level, such as Cengage National Geographic Learning Great Writing 4 or Reading Explorer 4, Pearson LEAP High Intermediate Reading and Writing, or Oxford Upper-intermediate EAP



ELLA 0230 and ELLA 0240, or ELLA assessment





Which Prerequisite