ESL 09: Intermediate Reading and Writing for Students Learning English as a Second Language
The goal for students in ESL 09 is to build fluency in both reading and writing. Fluency refers to the ability to understand reading assignments and to write comprehensible essays. Because the primary focus of ESL 09 is the development of fluent expression and comprehension, students will do a significant quantity of reading and writing. These reading and writing activities ask students to focus on the construction of meaning as they build fluency.
Students in this course produce writing in a variety of genres such as freewriting, informal reading journals, personal narratives, and reading-based essays. Throughout the course, students learn to write through the careful revision of their essays based on teacher, tutor, peer, and self-response. By the end of the course, students must demonstrate an understanding of essay organization and coherence, and their essays must be developed with adequate use of logic and evidence including explanation, examples, paraphrases, direct quotations, and analysis. The course strongly emphasizes the connections between reading and writing, and at least one of the two essays in students’ final portfolios must be based on reading.
Students also read extensively and in a variety of genres including whole books (either novels or nonfiction), essays, and articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals. The course distinguishes between extensive reading (reading quickly to get the main ideas) and intensive reading (reading shorter texts, very carefully, to understand fine shades of meaning). Students often use writing to respond to their reading in the form of focused freewriting, summaries, paraphrases, and responses to questions related to general comprehension, main ideas and supporting details, inference, and so on.
By the end of ESL 09 students should:
- Demonstrate greater independence as readers and writers than when they began the course.
- Provide a main idea or thesis for their essays.
- Respond to the texts of other authors in their essays.
- Relate their own experiences and observations to those of other writers.
- Include summaries, paraphrases and quotations from their readings to support the ideas in their writing.
- Improve the ability to organize their essays.
- Begin to analyze ideas and express them with clarity.
- Demonstrate basic editing and proofreading competence following the conventions of Standard American Written English.
- Identify important points and passages from their reading, and distinguish between main ideas and supporting details.
- Engage in guesswork, prediction, and reconsideration as they approach a wide range of texts.
- Develop the ability to draft effectively and reflect on their writing process.
- Improve language competence, including grammatical knowledge and the use of strategies to figure out the meaning of words from context.