Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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ESL 500

Dept/Number/Title: ESL 500 - English for Oral Communication

Credit: 0 hours/0 units

Contact hours: 4 hours

Prerequisite: A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL is assumed by the university for admission purposes. Placement into ESL 500 is by EPT score. Students may proficiency out of ESL 500 on the basis of their performance on a diagnostic written test given to all students in the first week of instruction. In this case, they are promoted to ESL 501 (formerly ESL 111).

Relation to other courses: ESL 500 is the entry level course in the graduate sequence of required courses (ESL 500-501).

Audience: International non-native speaker graduate students enrolled at UIUC.

Textbook: TBA (varies per instructor)

Abstract: This course is an "all-skills" course which focuses principally on academic speaking skills such as oral presentations in seminars and other academic contexts; in addition, students are introduced to the principles of academic writing at the paragraph level.

Course contents: Students are introduced to the conventions of group discussions and formal oral presentations. They are given extensive practice in large group discussions, small seminar presentations and formal speeches. The students also work on improving fluency by giving impromptu speeches and oral summaries. To develop their ability to interpret and comprehend spoken English, students learn various active listening strategies such as listening for key words, identifying main ideas, taking notes and formulating questions. They develop these skills by listening to academic lectures, videotapes of news broadcasts and short segments of films, and presentations by other class members. Students are introduced to the conventions of paragraph development and organization of American academic writing including the topic sentence, supporting sentences, conclusions, cohesion, coherence, and unity. Grammatical topics are discussed as they emerge as problematic in the students' writing. To make the connection of reading to speaking and writing, students learn to summarize and synthesize written source material in their oral presentations and written assignments. In addition, students are introduced to basic reading skills such as skimming and scanning and making inferences from context clues.

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 are based on performance of students on class assignments and participation in class. A passing grade for this course is a grade of B- or higher.

Representative Syllabus

Week 1-2 Introduction and Diagnostic

Week 2-5 Paragraph Writing

Assignment: write a paragraph on the assigned topic

Content: paragraph structure, unity in writing

Week 6-9 How to Avoid Plagiarism

Assignment: essay using at least one source

Content: concept of plagiarism, cultural aspects of plagiarism, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing documentation, basic essay structure

Week 10-12 Oral Presentation (American Topics)

Assignment: individual oral presentation

Content: fact finding about various aspects of American culture, creating a survey, giving an oral presentation

Week 13-15 Academic Argumentation

Assignment: participate in a team debate, write an argumentative essay

Content: argumentative essay structure, source evaluation, argument formation, debate format and strategies