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Composition for Lower Intermediate Students of English as a Second Language

Course Code: EASL 0175
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is the first level in a four-level series for students who wish to upgrade their writing in order to continue their education or improve employment opportunities. It is designed for students who have functional listening and speaking skills and some basic writing skills, but limited experience in writing for specific purposes. This course is primarily concerned with providing extensive writing practice to improve confidence and to give a base for developing writing competence. Within the context of meaningful writing tasks, students will generate and organize ideas into short compositions, improve grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary, and proofread for errors.

Course Content

Reading Skills

  1. To develop skills such as:
    • Identify main ideas and key details in reading
    • Determine meanings of unfamiliar words

Writing Skills

  1. To write informally
    • Write reflectively about personal experience and readings
    • Write messages and simple letters
    • Outline main ideas in own words
  2. To write paragraphs using the following strategies:
    • generate ideas from personal experience and readings
    • select and narrow topics
    • create paragraph frameworks
    • write topic sentences
    • develop unified, specific support
    • create coherence using logical order and transitions
    • revise with peer and instructor feedback
    • follow format instructions
    • edit and proofread
    • Demonstrate an understanding of plagiarism by using own words and referring to sources
    • Write with grammatical competence, coherence, clarity and conciseness


  1. For explicit instruction and evaluation
    • Correctly forms and uses verb tense and time markers to describe,  to explain  and  to narrate(simple present, simple past, present continuous, simple future)
    • Demonstrates and applies knowledge of basic parts of speech and basic sentence parts for editing
    • Correctly forms simple sentences, compound sentences (using “and, but, or, so”) and complex sentences (using “because, before, after, when, who which, that”)
  2. Items to work on as need arises
    • Correctly forms and uses modal verb forms for polite questions, requests, permission and ability
    • Corrects number errors on plural nouns and verb phrase errors (helping verb/main verb/forms)
    • Correctly uses frequently-used time and place prepositions
    • Consistently and correctly spells irregular past verbs and applies word-ending spelling rules for  tenses (s, ed, ing)
    • Consistently and correctly applies capitalization rules to sentences, proper nouns and titles

Classroom Skills

  1. Takes responsibility for the following:
    • attendance and punctuality
    • class work and assignments
    • participation and teamwork, collaboration in groups and decision-making
  2. Follows instructions, communicates with peers and instructors and asks for clarification
  3. Shows an awareness of cultural differences and general features of their 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, and the instructor will facilitate, observe and evaluate students’ participation in classroom activities.  Students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their communicative and language development needs, and in the selection of learning activities. Students will discuss personal rights and social responsibilities in their area of study, intended occupations and personal life; this may depend on course materials used.

Means of Assessment

  1. Complete assigned skill-development tasks
  2. 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
    • simple messages and letters that meet specific needs of daily life; e.g. resumes, cover letters, email
    • brief, informal pieces of writing that  respond to ideas in readings
    • brief, informal pieces of writing that describe and respond to events and  characters in a story
  3. Use common software to communicate and to complete simple information management tasks, ie: to word process at least one assignment, send e-mails, sign in to MyDouglas or write a resume
  4. Write paragraphs of narration, description and explanation,  personal experience  or respond to ideas and information in readings.  Paragraphs should meet instructor specified criteria for content, organization, language use, accuracy and format.  
  5. In an class environment, plan, organize and write at least one paragraph that meets  instructor specified criteria for content, organization, language use and accuracy, and format.    
  6. Complete quizzes, both skill and content-based.
  7. Maintain a journal to self-monitor progress in skills, language use and learning strategies.
  8. In student-teacher conferences, identify their own strengths and weaknesses as communicators.
  9. Complete at least one self-assessment of learning strategies, progress and classroom skills to be discussed with the instructor.

This is a Mastery Graded Course.

Learning Outcomes

Overall Objective

Extend fluency and confidence in reading and writing for a range of personal, educational, and/or employment purposes.

Specific Objectives

  1. Use strategies to learn academic material
  2. Write reflectively
  3. Plan, write, revise and edit paragraph-length pieces of writing that meet specific communication needs within a practical and relevant context.
  4. Listen and speak to prepare for, support and extend reading and writing skills
  5. Monitor and apply strategies to improve accuracy in grammar, sentence structure and word choice to a specified level of accuracy
  6. Participate effectively in a college classroom.
  7. Assess progress

course prerequisites

EASL Assessment

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.