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Understanding Global Issues for English Language Learners

Course Code: ELLA 0320
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: English Language Learning and Acquisition
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lab, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is the third level of a series designed to help students upgrade their reading and listening skills. It is most appropriate for students who are intending to take college or university courses. Students will read a variety of longer texts at a reasonable rate, listen to materials from a variety of sources, and practice note-taking in both instances. Students will read and listen in order to lead a seminar discussion or multi-media presentation.

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:

Reading and Listening Skills

  • Take notes, write an outline, and paraphrase the main ideas and supporting arguments of written texts (such as articles, sections of texts, short stories, and reports) and spoken texts (such as academic lectures, presentations, discussions, speeches, or films) on relevant and current global issues such as environmental issues, economic disparity, food production and distribution, and issues in health care.
  • Preview written texts (scan any headings, sections, pictures, graphs) to predict content.
  • Listen for gist (overall theme and main ideas) in spoken texts.
  • Identify and interpret main ideas (implicit and/or explicit) and detailed information in written and spoken texts.
  • Summarize information and ideas from the written and spoken texts to clarify and confirm understanding.
  • Locate and compare relevant information across written and/or spoken texts.
  • Identify the topic and find and integrate 3-4 pieces of information in formatted texts such as graphs and tables (which may be visually complex and contain pieces of information organized in sections with subsections) in both written and spoken texts that include visual support.
  • Respond to short-answer questions based on the information in written and spoken texts.
  • Identify rhetorical patterns in written texts.
  • Identify phrases and sentences that mark topic introduction, development, and conclusion for both written and spoken texts.
  • Identify relevant and credible written and spoken source materials, including websites and library databases.
  • Recognize the audience, purpose, and tone of each written and spoken text.
  • Identify mood, attitude, and emotional states from tone and intonation in spoken texts.
  • Determine the meanings of a range of concrete, abstract, and specialized vocabulary, idiomatic language, and collocations related to global issues, using context clues and standard reference materials such as dictionaries and thesauri.
  • Identify cultural references in texts, and develop awareness of differences in the general features of culture and associated world views.


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.

Methods of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  • whole-class instruction
  • large and small group discussion
  • pair work on tasks
  • computer-assisted learning
  • instructor feedback
  • revision of submitted work
  • independent research
  • lab-assistant led reading and listening tasks

Means of Assessment

Student achievement will be measured using formative assessment tools and the mastery system in accordance with College policy. Students will receive ongoing feedback from the instructor throughout the course. Evaluation will be based on learning outcomes and course content. Mastery will be granted to students who achieve an average of at least 70% on the items listed below. Evaluation will include, but need not be limited to, the following tasks:

-A collection of outlines, annotations, and paraphrased main ideas and key details for at least 2-3 written texts of up to 4 pages in length and for at least 2-3 spoken texts of up to 20 minutes in length that discuss problems, solutions to, and different perspectives on several global issues. At least 1 of the outlines must be based on a formatted text (map, graph, table, timeline, etc.).

-At least 1 project that demonstrates understanding of the problems and possible solutions to one of the topics from the collection of annotated assignments. The compilation task should show different perspectives of the issue. Possible projects might be:

  • A poster presentation project
  • A note-taking and outlining project
  • An infographic on a global issue

-At least 1 in-class reading assessment and 1 in-class listening assessment to demonstrate mastery of skills (such as annotating, distinguishing between main ideas and details, recognizing the audience, purpose, and tone, identifying appropriate sources, using a dictionary, inferring implied meanings, or interpreting graphs and tables).

-A final in-class exam to demonstrate mastery of reading and listening skills. This may be comprehensive or based on selected course elements.

-Attendance and participation in labs.

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

Sample grade breakdown:

Outlines worth up to 15% (total)

Project worth up to 25%

In-class assessment worth up to 20% (total)

A final exam worth up to 10%

Participation worth up to 10%

Lab attendance and participation worth 10%

Self-assessment worth up to 10%

Total: 100%

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, successful students will

Reading and Listening Skills

  1. Understand and annotate moderately complex written texts (excerpts from textbooks, news articles, and short stories or poetry) that are up to 4 pages in length and related to problems and solutions associated with global issues.
  2. Understand and take notes on informal or semi-formal oral reports, videos, presentations, and lectures that are up to 20 minutes in length and related to global issues.
  3. Understand and take notes on group interactions such as discussions and interviews that are up to 20 minutes in length and related to global issues.
  4. Interpret information about global issues contained in moderately complex formatted texts such as tables, graphs, diagrams and website navigation menus.
  5. Complete assigned reading and listening tasks to a required level of mastery.


Study Skills

  • Assess own progress.
  • Participate effectively in a college classroom.

course prerequisites

ELLA 0220 or ELLA 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.