Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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ESL 113U/L

Dept/Number/Title: ESL 113U/L English Structure and Paragraph Development

Credit:3 hours

Contact hours:3 hours

Prerequisite: A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL is assumed by the university for admission purposes. Placement into ESL 113 is by EPT score. Students may proficiency out of ESL 113 into ESL 114 on the basis of their performance on a diagnostic written test given to all students in the first week of instruction.

Relation to other courses: Relation to other courses: ESL 113 is the entry level course in the undergraduate sequence of required courses (ESL 113,114 and 115). ESL 113 is divided into two sub-levels: 113 L(ower) and 113 U(pper). Students who enroll in ESL 113, whether U or L, are generally placed into the same course. This course provides a basis for students who are not yet ready to take ESL 114 and 115, which fulfill the university's undergraduate Rhetoric requirement.

Audience: Non-native speaker degree-seeking undergraduate students and international exchange students enrolled at UIUC.

Textbook: TBA (varies per instructor)

Abstract: This course is an all-skills course which focuses principally on introducing students to the idea of academic writing at the paragraph level.

Course contents:

Major writing assignments include:

  • 3-4 in-class paragraph writing assignments
  • 3 formal out-of-class assignments (summary, summary/response, mini-essay)
  • 1 formal presentation with outline
  • portfolio of all writing assignments with revisions

This course begins with an overview of the process of academic writing. Students are introduced to various types of pre-writing activities, such as brainstorming, clustering, outlining, and freewriting. Then, students work through the steps of the writing process including organizing, multiple drafting, proofreading, and revising. The focus of the course is on paragraph-level writing, with the beginning of the course concentrating on the elements of a basic paragraph and later progressing to expanding to multiple paragraphs. Students pay particular attention to writing clear topic sentences, using specific and adequate support, maintaining unity, coherence, and cohesion, and writing conclusions. In order to prepare students for academic assignments students work on skills such as academic listening, notetaking, essay exam skills, critical reading, and academic plagiarism. Students are also introduced to the idea of paraphrasing, quoting and source documentation.

Type of work: Students do a variety of individual, pair, small group and whole class activities, which are supplemented by homework assignments.

Grading basis: Letter grades based on performance of students on class assignments and participation in class. A passing grade for this course is a grade of C- or higher.

Representative Syllabus

Week 1 Introduction and Diagnostic

Week 2-4 Introduction to the University (UIUC)

Assignment: group mini-oral presentation

Content: Library tour, academic listening, note taking, academic speaking

Week 5&6 Textbook Introduction and Sentence Level Practice

Assignment: questions about textbook

Content: using the textbook, relative clauses, modals, articles, prepositions, etc.

Week 7-8 Academic Style, Basic Paragraph Writing (American Culture)

Assignment: 2 paragraphs

Content: thesis vs. topic sentence, outlining, interviewing an American student, brainstorming, peer editing, process of writing, drafting, academic style, audience

Week 9-11 Plagiarism

Assignment: In class exam– summary and response

Content: essay exams, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, response (reaction), MLA citation system

Week 12-15 Academic Essay and Oral Presentations

Assignment: 5 paragraph essay (1-2 pages), individual oral presentation

Content: oral presentation techniques, body language, visual aides, introduction, conclusion, thesis statements, peer editing, revision workshop