Reading and Composition Skills for Advanced Students of English as an Additional Language

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
English Language Learning and Acquisition
Course Code
ELLA 0860
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This integrated reading and writing course is for students who wish to improve their reading and writing skills for educational and/or employment purposes. The course is designed for students who have experience writing expository paragraphs, summaries and personal/professional correspondence. Students should also have reasonable control of grammar and sentence structure. This course emphasizes reading a variety of longer academic texts at a reasonable rate, taking notes for study purposes, and writing for a variety of academic purposes. Students will work on improving composing and organizational skills for writing multi-paragraph academic essays and summaries as well as revising, editing, and proofreading skills. Students will be introduced to simple research skills, such as finding appropriate sources and documenting source materials.
Course Content

Reading Skills

Follow the ideas and information in academic readings (up to 5 pages in length) and instructional texts (that are personally relevant, but not always familiar or predicable).

  • Follow written instructions.
  • Use pre-reading techniques to prepare for a reading task.
  • Use active reading strategies with long textbook chapters (e.g., surveying, skimming, and sectioning).
  • In expository readings, recognize purpose and/or issue, organization, overall key idea, main ideas, key details and implied meanings.
  • Recognize writer’s overall point of view, tone, bias, supporting argument and evidence in opinion readings.
  • Recognize the sequences of narrative, instructional or process texts.
  • Compare information across paragraphs/sections of a text, or across 2-3 different texts.
  • Compare information in a text with own opinions and experiences.

Identify and evaluate information in formatted texts such as tables, directories, course calendars, graphs and diagrams.

Follow the ideas and information in personal/academic correspondence.

  • Recognize organization/layout of the text.
  • Recognize main ideas and specific details.
  • Recognize writer’s purpose, mood, attitude and relationship with reader from the register and style of the correspondence.
  • Recognize context/situation.

Determine meanings of unfamiliar words in course materials.

  • Use an English-English dictionary, thesaurus, index, glossary, Wikipedia.
  • Use word analysis (word families and affixes).
  • Use context clues within sentences and in surrounding sentences (vocabulary in context).

Use library and online resources to locate materials.

  • Use digital and print resources.
  • Use library database to locate relevant source materials.

Use study skills.

  • Place text material into visual form.
  • Take notes: outline a text, make margin annotations.
  • Prepare for objective tests (T/F, multiple choice) and essay tests using a variety of strategies.
  • Learn content from text/class materials concerning economic, political, cultural, and socially relevant topics.

Recognize cultural differences and show awareness of the general features of own culture and associated world views.


Writing Skills

Write essays.

A. Prewriting    

  • Understand assignment instructions, including audience, purpose, and format
  • Generate ideas from readings on economic, political, cultural, and socially relevant topics
  • Select and narrow topics
  • Create essay outlines, which include focused thesis statements, body paragraphs with main ideas and support

B. Writing

  • Write well-structured introductions.
  • Develop unified, specific support in body paragraphs, reviewing paragraph structure as necessary.
  • Use appropriate text organization and discourse markers to signal logical division of ideas, comparison, contrast, process, cause and effect. 
  • Create coherence within and between paragraphs using appropriate transition signals, pronoun references and complex sentence structures.
  • Use reference sources such as dictionaries and thesauruses to select/check appropriate word choice.
  • Incorporate source material, showing understanding of plagiarism by paraphrasing, quoting, and citing appropriately.
  • Write well-structured concluding paragraphs.
  • Prepare an APA reference list.

C. Revising.

  • Proofread, edit and redraft on own.
  • Redraft and revise with peer and limited teacher feedback.

Write formal summaries.

  • Take accurate notes from an assigned article.
  • Paraphrase accurately.
  • Write one-paragraph summaries of texts of one to two pages.
  • Write one-paragraph summaries of information from formatted texts such as charts, graphs and tables.

Write formal academic pieces of correspondence.

Write informally.

  • Write reflectively about course readings.
  • Summarize ideas and information from readings.
  • Write personal/social correspondence.
  • Complete extended online or paper-based forms such as application forms.



For explicit instruction and evaluation:

1. Grammar and Sentence Structure

  • Review all verb tenses, especially perfect and perfect continuous tenses.
  • Identify and correct infinitive/gerund/base form errors.
  • Correctly use articles and other determiners.
  • Review a variety of complex structures and sentence patterns including conditionals, adverb clauses, noun clauses and relative/adjective clauses.

2. Vocabulary

  • Use an expanded range of concrete, academic, and idiomatic vocabulary related to a wide range of topics.  
  • Identify and correct errors in word choice and word form (e.g. parallelism in thesis statements).

3. Register

  • Identify and use a wide range of different styles and registers appropriate for formal and informal academic audiences and situations.

Self-monitor for accuracy:

  • Apply knowledge of parts of speech, word choice, register, sentence elements, specified sentence types and mechanics as specified for this and previous levels to identify and correct errors.

Classroom 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 to word process assignments, send emails, or sign into myDouglas or Blackboard.

Methods Of Instruction

The instructor will observe and evaluate students’ development and participation in reading and writing activities. 

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; as well as participate in the setting of goals by identifying their communicative and language development needs, and selection of learning activities.

Means of Assessment

Student achievement will be assessed using the mastery system in accordance with College policy. Evaluation will be based on CLB and instructor specified criteria. Mastery will be granted to students who achieve an average of 70% on the following portfolio items for both reading and writing.  For final evaluation at the end of term, student portfolios will contain at least six reading tasks and six writing tasks; some tasks may be a combination of both skills.

Evaluation will include, but may not be limited to, the following tasks.


Read and understand at least three academic texts (up to 5 pages in length) such as essays, articles, reports and case studies. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify purpose, organization, main ideas, key details and implied meanings
  • Identify writer’s point of view, tone, bias, supporting arguments and evidence in opinion articles
  • Follow sequences of narrations or processes
  • Locate and integrate relevant information across paragraphs/sections of the text
  • Evaluate ideas in a text, draw conclusions, compare with own opinion
  • Determine meanings of unfamiliar words using word analysis, context clues and dictionary

Read and understand at least one formatted text such as a graph, table, diagram or course calendar. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify layout and organization of text to find the information needed
  • Find and integrate 3 or 4 pieces of information for comprehension and use
  • Present key information contained in formatted text in an alternate form (i.e. an outline, a short oral or written summary

Read and understand at least one multistep (13+ steps) instructional text (8-15 paragraphs). Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Interpret sequence of information, location signals and implied meanings
  • Infer the correct sequence
  • Follow instructions as required to complete a task

Read and understand at least one service/informational text such as a proposal or policy document. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify main ideas, key details and implied meanings.
  • Identify the writer's purpose, intent, mood and attitude in sections of text.
  • Scan text and make inferences to select relevant information.

Read at least one piece of personal/social/academic correspondence such as letters, emails, blogs and memoranda. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify specific factual details and implied meanings
  • Identify the purpose of the message
  • Identify the reader/writer relationship
  • Identify the mood and attitude of the writer
  • Identify the context and situation
  • Identify the register and style

Access, locate and integrate several pieces of information from online reference sources that could be used in a multi-paragraph essay.



Write at least two word-processed multi-paragraph essays (3-4 paragraphs; logical division of ideas, process, cause/effect or comparison/contrast) with one incorporating source material documented APA style.

In class, plan, organize and write at least one multi-paragraph essay (3-4 paragraphs; logical division of ideas, process, cause/effect or comparison/contrast).

Write at least one paragraph summarizing information in a table, graph, flow chart or diagram.

Assessment criteria for the above tasks may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

    • Appropriately address the purpose of the task.
    • Provide accurate and detailed descriptions, explanations and accounts of events in a clear sequence.
    • Present text as a coherent connected whole with good use of appropriate connective words and phrases.

Write at least one formal summary of an academic article (article is up to 3 pages in length). Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Reduce information to main points with accurate supporting details and no major omissions.
  • Convey essential information.
  • Convey a sense of audience in language format and content.

Write at least one piece of formal academic correspondence (up to 3 paragraphs) such as a letter, email or report to give or request information, document completed work, indicate a problem or request a change. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Convey clear message to reader.
  • Convey a sense of audience in language and format.

Write at least one formal or informal personal/social message (up to 3 paragraphs) such as a note, letter or email to diplomatically and tactfully clarify a conflict or give reassurance. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Convey intended explicit and implied meanings.
  • Use language, format, and content appropriate and relevant to the situation and audience.
  • Express main ideas and supporting them with details.
  • Use complex structures with only occasional difficulties.

Complete at least one paper-based or online form. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify purpose of form and its sections and complete it with required information, including 1 paragraph written responses, if required.
  • Use correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, dates and numbers.

Prepare at least one reference list in APA format (This could be in the form of an annotated bibliography). Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Use correct APA formatting.


Students may also be required to complete quizzes, both skill-based and content-based.

Classroom Skills

Complete at least one self-assessment of learning strategies, progress, and classroom skills to be discussed with the instructor.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


  1. Read and understand moderately complex academic texts (up to 5 pages in length) such as extended descriptions, articles, reports and narrations (CLB R 8-IV-i).
  2. Locate, interpret and use 3 or 4 pieces of information from formatted texts such as graphs, tables, diagrams, forms, schedules, directories, course calendars and website navigation menus  (CLB R 8 - III-i / R 8-IV-ii).
  3. Read and understand extended instructional texts (~8-15 paragraphs) and multistep (13+ steps) instructions for established procedures related to specialized tasks (CLB R 8-II).
  4. Get information from moderately complex service/informational texts containing proposals, recommendations and statements of rules, regulations or policies (CLB R 8-III-ii).
  5. Access, locate and integrate several pieces of information from relevant online reference sources (CLB R 8-IV-iii).
  6. Read and understand moderately complex social messages such as letters/emails/blogs/documents that convey general opinions, assessments of current events or situations, and responses to complaints or sympathy (CLB R 8-I).


  1. Write 3-4 connected paragraphs to relate a historical event, provide a detailed description of a phenomenon, explain a procedure, or express and analyze opinions on a familiar abstract topic (CLB W 8-IV-i).
  2. Write a paragraph to explain information in a table, graph, flow chart or diagram (CLB W 8-IV-ii).
  3. Reduce a text (up to 3 pages) to an outline or summary (CLB W 8-II-ii).
  4. Write a piece of formal academic correspondence (up to 3 paragraphs) such as an email, letter or report to give or request information, document work completed, indicate a problem or request a change (CLB W 8-III-i).
  5. Convey personal messages in formal and informal correspondence (3-4 paragraphs) such as emails, letters, memos to clarify a conflict or give reassurance using appropriate tone and register (CLB W 8-I).
  6. Complete extended paper-based or online forms such as application forms (CLB W 8-III-ii).
  7. Monitor and apply strategies to an instructor specified level of accuracy in grammar, sentence structure, and word choice.

Classroom Skills 

  1. Assess own progress.
  2. Participate effectively in a college classroom.  
Textbook Materials

Students may be required to purchase textbooks.



ELLA 0760 OR a minimum of CLB 7 in both reading and writing

A minimum of CLB 6 in both listening and speaking is also recommended for this course.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

ELLA 0960

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

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Summer 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.