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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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

Course Code: ELLA 0960
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: English Language Learning and Acquisition
Credits: 6.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This integrated reading and writing course is for students who wish to upgrade their reading and composition skills in order to continue their education. The course is designed for advanced level students who need to read academic materials efficiently and critically. Students enrolling in this course should have extensive experience writing paragraphs and short essays, good control of grammar and sentence structure and advanced listening and speaking skills. This course emphasizes reading for study purposes and writing from sources at a first-year university level. Students will read material from textbooks, academic/professional books and journals and literature. Reading exercises will emphasize understanding how information and ideas are developed and organized, summarizing important ideas and details, and identifying and evaluating arguments. In addition to improving overall expository writing and editing skills, students will develop persuasive essays and research papers. Class activities will help students to use source materials to generate topics, develop thesis statements and provide evidence. Exercises will also help students improve their skills at integrating material from several sources, documenting, summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting sources.

Course Content

Reading Skills

Follow the ideas and information in academic readings, argumentative essays/articles, research reports/studies, instructional texts and literature.

  • Follow written instructions.
  • Use pre-reading skills to prepare for a reading task.
  • Identify overall purpose and/or issue, key idea, main ideas, and key details.
  • Follow the organization of a reading.
  • Identify, summarize and evaluate an author’s position, supporting argument, and evidence; compare/contrast two positions on the same topic in opinion readings.
  • Identify components (background, method, results, discussion, conclusions) and evaluate how well reports/studies meet specified criteria  in experiment/research reports/studies.
  • Analyze characters, setting,  theme and  use of literary devices (symbolism, imagery) in literature.

Understand and evaluate statistical data and information in formatted texts such as graphs, charts, diagrams.

Follow ideas and information in written communication conveying general opinions and/or points of view such as editorials, letters to the editor and personal essays.

Determine meanings of unfamiliar words, especially academic and/or professional topic-related language and/or jargon using English-English dictionaries, indexes, glossaries, and context clues.

Use library and online resources to locate materials.

  • Use a variety of library resource materials to research a topic.
  • Use World Wide Web: create search strategies, use subject directories & search engines, evaluate web sites.
  • Use on-line databases to access source materials for research projects.

Use study skills.

  • Prepare for objective tests and essay tests.
  • Prepare study notes and predict exam questions.
  • Learn content from text/class materials.       

Writing Skills

Write research essays.

A. Prewriting

  • Generate ideas from readings.
  • Select and narrow topics.
  • Write focused thesis statements and parallel blueprint points.
  • Create essay frameworks/outlines with interrelated body paragraph topic sentences.

B. Writing

  • Follow format instructions.
  • Write well-structured introductions.
  • Develop unified, specific, well-developed support in body paragraphs, reviewing paragraph structure as necessary.
  • Use appropriate text organization and discourse markers to signal argumentation, counter-argumentation and evidence from outside sources.
  • Create coherence within and between paragraphs using appropriate transition signals, pronoun reference 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, summarizing and citing (APA style) appropriately.
  • Write well-structured concluding paragraphs.
  • Prepare an APA reference list.

C. Revising

  • Proofread, edit and re-draft on own.
  • Revise based on peer and limited teacher feedback.

Write formal multi-paragraph  summaries, summary-analyses and comparative analyses.

  • Take accurate summary notes from assigned articles/cases.
  • Prepare paragraph frameworks for summaries.
  • Compose well-structured, paraphrased, accurate summaries using notes and paragraph frameworks/outlines.
  • Write analyses of summarized articles following guidelines.
  • Revise based on peer and teacher feedback.
  • Follow format instructions.
  • Edit and proofread.

Write formal academic/professional pieces of correspondence.

Write informally.

  • Write reflectively about course readings.
  • Take research notes, including summary, paraphrase, and quotations from source readings.

Accuracy

Self-monitor for accuracy:

1. Grammar and Sentence Structure

  • Review and expand use of grammatical elements, especially:
    • tense rules in reported speech (especially for paraphrase).
    • verb tense shifts in mixed tense environments.
    • passive voice.
    • word order in questions (for questionnaires and interview questions).
    • articles and other determiners, especially for abstract nouns which have both countable and uncountable uses.
  • Review and expand knowledge of sentence elements, especially:
    • to correctly imbed appositives and introductory phrases, including reduction of adverb and adjective clauses to participial phrases.
    • to correctly insert evidence (direct/indirect quotes, and author intro phrases).

2. Vocabulary

  • Use an expanded range of academic and idiomatic vocabulary related to a wide range of specialized academic topics.
  • Identify and correct errors in word choice and word form.

3. Register

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

Classroom Skills

Take responsibility for the following:

  • attendance and punctuality
  • class work and assignments
  • participation and teamwork

Use common software to communicate and to complete simple 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.  Students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their communicative and language development needs, and will participate in the 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.

Reading

Read and understand at least 2 academic texts (each 5+ pages in length) such as textbook excerpts, essays, articles or research reports to identify the organization, structure, development of ideas. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify the main idea and describe how it is developed and supported.
  • Identify specific details, facts, concepts and ideas.
  • Reorganize the text components into a chart or other visual display that clearly shows how they are developed through the supporting details.
  • Identify organization of text, topic sentences, logical relationship connections between paragraphs and thematic patterns.
  • Evaluate ideas in text, draw conclusions, and express own opinion.

Read and understand at least one complex written communication that conveys a general opinion or point or view such as an editorial, letter to the editor, personal essay or critique.  to identify purpose, main ideas, author’s intent, mood, attitude and point of view from stated and implied information. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Identify the author's point of view.
  • Identify the mood and attitude.
  • Identify the purpose, intent and bias of the text and/or its parts.
  • Draw inferences about the author's implied meanings in different sections of the text.
  • Identify context and situation.
  • Identify register, style and language variety.

Read and understand at least one complex instructional/policy text (no limit on length) such as college application/registration/ transfer procedures, plagiarism policy or grade appeal policy documents. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Locate and integrate several pieces of information in texts to explain and follow instructions accurately.
  • Paraphrase instructions accurately

Read and understand at least one informational text such as a public report, a college/university program description or a college/university health care benefits brochure to make an informed decision. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Locate and integrate several pieces of stated and implied information.
  • Read analytically to find and interpret detailed information, including fine print.
  • Compare information to make an informed decision.

Readand understand at least one complex formatted text such as a graph, chart or diagram. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Present, in an alternative form, information contained in the text.
  • Use text features (e.g. embedded tables) to locate information.

Select appropriate information from at least three online sources to use as evidence in a multi-paragraph research essay. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Access information involving a complex electronic or traditional library search.
  • Use effective and reliable search strategies.
  • Analyze and evaluate usefulness, appropriateness, relevance, and validity of sources.

Writing

Write at least two multi-paragraph essays (one incorporating evidence from sources) (up to about 1500 words) to relate events from the past, describe and compare complex ideas, phenomena, or processes, or express and analyze opinions. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Address the purpose of the task with an appropriate sense of audience.
  • Convey main ideas and support them with sufficient detail; convey detailed descriptions.
  • Present text as a coherent whole, with all the parts required by the genre.
  • Use discourse patterns and structures, such as definition, classification, exemplification, cause and effect, argumentation, etc.
  • Use an effective range of connective words and phrases.

Write at least one summary/analysis of an academic text such as an opinion essay or academic journal article. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Address the purpose of the task with an appropriate sense of audience.
  • Convey main ideas and support them with sufficient detail; convey detailed descriptions.
  • Present text as a coherent whole, with all the parts required by the genre.
  • Use discourse patterns and structures, such as definition, classification, exemplification, cause and effect, argumentation, etc.
  • Use an effective range of connective words and phrases.

Write at least one summary of either notes taken from a lecture or textbook excerpt, or a compilation of multiple sources on one topic or point of view. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Convey all essential information
  • Reduce information to main points with accurate supporting details, with no major factual omissions or errors.
  • Present information with only minor errors in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and document layout or format.

Write at least one short report/proposal/piece of formal correspondence (4+ paragraphs) to make or respond to a request for information, to make a suggestion, recommendation, request or to give an update. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Convey main ideas clearly and provide sufficient detail.
  • Convey the message with adequate sense of audience, formality and genre.
  • Convey intended tone.
  • Use language, format and content appropriate to occasion and relationship to audience.
  • Include a good range of concrete, abstract and idiomatic language suited to context and purpose, which may include some genre-specific expressions or jargon and cultural references.

Write at least one semi-formal or formal piece of personal correspondence (4+ paragraphs) such as writing a letter/email to an instructor requesting an extension for an assignment, a personal reference for a job application, or a rescheduling of a meeting. Assessment criteria may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • Convey the message with an appropriate sense of audience, formality and genre.
  • Write with consideration for the needs and feelings of the audience.
  • Convey intended tone.
  • Use language, format and content appropriate to occasion, intent and social context.

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, the students will be able to:

Reading

  1. Understand the organization, underlying structure and development of ideas in complex texts (5+ pages in length) such as college level textbooks and academic journals (CLB 9-IV).
  2. Interpret information contained in complex formatted texts such as charts, graphs and diagrams (CLB 9-IV).
  3. Understand formal instructions for familiar procedures in complex texts such as college exams or grade appeal policy documents containing advisories, recommendations, policies and regulations (CLB 9-II).
  4. Obtain and accurately interpret information from complex informational texts such as public reports, college/university program descriptions or news articles to inform significant decisions (CLB 9-III).
  5. Understand complex written communication (such as editorials, letter to the editors, personal essays) conveying general opinions and points of view (CLB 9-I).
  6. Conduct a complex search of online reference sources to research a defined topic that is limited in scope (CLB 9-IV).

Writing

  1. Write coherent texts (~1500 words) such as essays, reports or narratives to relate events from the past, to describe and compare complex ideas, phenomena or processes, or to express and analyze opinions (CLB 9-IV).
  2. Write short reports and/or proposals (up to 1200 words) to convey suggestions, recommendations, requests and updates (CLB 9-III).
  3. Reduce complex information and ideas from multiple sources (up to 5 pages in length) as notes, outlines or summaries for personal use or for defined audiences (CLB 9-II).
  4. Write a range of semi-formal or formal pieces of correspondence (4+ paragraphs in length) using language appropriate to audience, occasion, intent and context (CLB 9-I).
  5. 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.

course prerequisites

ELLA 0860 and ELLA 0850 OR a minimum of CLB 8 in reading, writing, listening and speaking

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.

assessments

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