WESL

 

 

WESL Course Information

Class Schedule

Spring and Fall Semesters (16 weeks)

Summer Semester (8 weeks)

Monday through Thursday

Class: 9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Class: 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Break: 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Class: 1:00 p.m.-1:50 p.m.

Class: 2:00 p.m.-2:50 p.m.

Friday: No classes

Monday through Thursday

Class: 9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Class: 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Break: 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Class: 12:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

Class: 2:25 p.m.-3:50 p.m.

 Friday

 Class: 9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

 Class: 10:30-11:45 a.m.

Course Descriptions

Foundation Reading

The goal of the Foundation Reading course is to help beginning students read and understand adapted reading selections and develop vocabulary. At the end of the course, students will be able to read words by sounding them out and will know more basic vocabulary. Students will be able to guess the meaning of new words from context and identify basic synonyms and antonyms. Students will be able to show they understand a reading passage by identifying main ideas and details, making simple inferences, and retelling a narrative story. Students will also be able to identify pronouns and know what they refer to. Guided practice using these strategies develops students’ ability to independently read more advanced materials.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Help students decode and understand many basic vocabulary words.
  2. Help students comprehend reading passages at the high beginning level.
  3. Guide students to use effective reading strategies.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Develop familiarity with common phonetic patterns and principles.
  2. Identify parts of speech and parts of a sentence.
  3. Practice new vocabulary using beginning vocabulary study skill strategies, such as copying words, creating simple word cards, and writing example sentences.
  4. Learn reading strategies, such as predicting and previewing, activating background knowledge, scanning and skimming, finding meaning of new words from context.
  5. Learn common synonyms, antonyms, prefixes, suffixes and roots.
  6. Practice reading a variety of materials, including level-appropriate texts, graded readers and adapted news articles.
  7. Learn test-taking strategies, such as recognizing different types of questions and locating answers in the text.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
  1. Use phonetic rules to sound out words accurately.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of high frequency vocabulary.
  3. Find the meaning of unknown words using word parts, grammar clues, and context.
  4. Identify pronouns and their antecedents.
  5. Identify synonyms and antonyms for high frequency vocabulary.
  6. Identify the main idea and details in narrative and informational passages.
  7. Identify the sequence of narrative passages.
  8. Demonstrate ability to make basic inferences.

Foundation Writing

In Foundation Writing, students develop their ability to write sentences and paragraphs to describe a person or place, tell a story or explain something. Students also practice clear handwriting and spelling. Students will write paragraph assignments, informal journal passages and email messages. Students will learn to check their writing for correct grammar, transitions, vocabulary as well as the basic rules of punctuation, capitalization, spacing and formatting.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Teach students to write legibly.
  2. Teach students to express ideas clearly in writing.
  3. Teach students to respond clearly and appropriately to a prompt.
  4. Teach students to write sentences and paragraphs using the writing process.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Develop clear handwriting and letter formation.
  2. Practice spelling of basic words and spelling strategies.
  3. Learn correct mechanics of writing, including punctuation, capitalization, spacing and formatting.
  4. Use writing process strategies, including brainstorming, organizing, drafting and revising, and editing.
  5. Practice editing for correct grammar usage, focusing on simple and progressive verbs in the past, present and future tenses.
  6. Learn the organization of a paragraph: topic sentence, supports and conclusion.
  7. Practice writing paragraphs in descriptive, narrative and expository modes.
  8. Learn proper email correspondence protocol.
  9. Develop writing fluency through regular journal writing.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Write numbers and letters using clear handwriting and letter/number formation.
  2. Use basic, high-frequency words accurately in writing tasks.
  3. Accurately use simple and progressive regular and irregular verb forms in past, present and future tenses in writing tasks.
  4. Demonstrate control of mechanics: punctuation, capitalization, spacing, and formatting.
  5. Write a variety of basic sentence structures, such as simple, compound and complex sentences and questions.
  6. Write basic well-developed and organized paragraphs (descriptive, narrative, and expository) in response to a prompt.
  7. Edit and make basic revisions for accuracy and clarity.

Foundation Listening

The goal of the Foundation Listening course is to develop strategies to help students understand adapted speech in conversations and lectures. Students will increase vocabulary and learn transition words. Students will learn to understand the pronunciation and basic patterns of spoken English. Students will be able to show they understand a lecture by taking basic notes and using the notes to answer test questions. They will be able to identify the main ideas and details of a lecture.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Improve students’ ability to understand and respond to spoken English.
  2. Improve students’ ability to understand a variety of speakers and contexts.
  3. Encourage students to use appropriate strategies to improve comprehension.
  4. Help students understand, organize and use information in listening tasks.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Develop ability to distinguish phonemes and to recognize words in English.
  2. Develop the ability to recognize how stress and intonation affect meaning.
  3. Practice identifying main ideas and details in level-appropriate lectures.
  4. Develop pre-listening and listening strategies for simple conversations, level-appropriate media excerpts, and academic talks on familiar topics. Strategies include predicting content, vocabulary and organization; recognizing purpose of the communication; recognizing target vocabulary; and recognizing and writing key words.
  5. Develop strategies for improving comprehension, such as asking for repetition and clarification, word meanings, and spelling.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Identify the phonemes used in English.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of basic contractions and reductions.
  3. Recognize and write high-frequency and targeted vocabulary, numbers, phrases, and question forms in guided tasks.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of main ideas and important information from short listening passages and conversations by answering questions appropriately.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of basic stress and intonation patterns.
  6. Demonstrate ability to fill in missing information in an outline of a basic listening passage.

Foundation Speaking

The goal of the Foundation Speaking course is to develop students’ ability to speak clearly with correct pronunciation and stress patterns and without long pauses. Students will be able to ask questions, give appropriate responses, explain, and make small talk. Students will be able to speak in short presentations and in role plays and conversations with other students. Students will be able to communicate with native speakers.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Teach students basic conversation, presentation and discussion strategies.
  2. Improve students’ grammatical accuracy.
  3. Improve students’ pronunciation.
  4. Increase students’ basic vocabulary.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Communicate with others in short conversations and guided discussions on familiar topics.
  2. Present information in short presentations using some visual aids.
  3. Practice using strategies for agreeing/disagreeing, opening and closing conversations, making small talk, etc., in role plays, conversations and guided discussions.
  4. Practice communicating with native speakers in programs, such as Conversation Mentors and Cultural Connections.
  5. Learn techniques to clarify meaning, such as asking questions, repeating, spelling, etc.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
  1. Demonstrate elementary control of English sound production, stress and intonation patterns.
  2. Recognize and reproduce standard phrases and sentences used in common, basic social and academic conversations.
  3. Reproduce targeted structures and vocabulary to tell stories and retell simple narratives as well as to describe people, places, and processes.
  4. Respond correctly in the classroom to basic teacher requests, directions, offers, and suggestions and answer questions during conversations and interviews, using simple and simple continuous verb tenses.
  5. Engage in simple, common, and basic social and academic conversations, demonstrating the ability to open and close a conversation and to ask for clarification, information or assistance, as well as agreeing/disagreeing and giving examples and reasons.
  6. Speak with some pauses, but without long or frequent breaks, hesitations, or repetition.

Intermediate Reading

The goal of the Intermediate reading course is to continue developing vocabulary and comprehension of readings. Students learn to read more independently by following a 4-step reading strategy: 1) previewing, 2) doing a quick reading for general understanding, 3) reading for specific information, and 4) returning to difficult words, phrases, and sentences to determine meanings. In addition, academic reading skills are developed, including identifying main and supporting ideas, making inferences, skimming, and scanning. Extensive readings of news articles and novels at an appropriate level will help students increase vocabulary and reading speed.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Teach students to use effective reading strategies to increase comprehension of adapted academic texts.
  2. Teach effective strategies for acquiring new vocabulary.
  3. Encourage students to read extensively to increase exposure to grammatical forms, syntax, and vocabulary.
  4. Help students develop critical thinking skills.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Learn strategies to improve reading comprehension, fluency and speed, including predicting, skimming and scanning, clustering and vocabulary acquisition.
  2. Read various modes of passages, including narrative and non-technical informative passages.
  3. Increase vocabulary with strategies for finding meaning from context and affixes.
  4. Practice extensive reading with graded readers and other level appropriate sources.
  5. Write responses to readings that show understanding and reflection.
  6. Read and interpret information in tables, charts and graphs.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
  1. Identify the meaning and significance of high frequency vocabulary, academic expressions, and key concepts in level appropriate or adapted reading passages.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of reading passages by answering content and critical thinking questions.
  3. Identify the main idea and details in passages.
  4. Identify synonyms and antonyms for high frequency and academic vocabulary.
  5. Demonstrate ability to make inferences.
  6. Find information in tables, charts, and graphs.

Intermediate Writing

The goal of the Intermediate Writing course is to develop students’ writing strategies and skills, enabling them to successfully complete a variety of academic tasks from paragraphs to essays. Students’ basic knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, and sentence and paragraph writing is reinforced and expanded. Revising and editing written work are emphasized, with a focus on producing essays. Writing activities are based on students’ background knowledge, reading topics, and other topics of interest. Additional writing activities include timed essays with related strategies and journal writing.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Continue introducing the writing process.
  2. Improve fluency in writing.
  3. Improve accuracy in language forms and vocabulary.
  4. Improve ability to use a variety of sentence types.
  5. Improve ability to use appropriate rhetorical patterns in paragraphs and essays.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Follow the writing process to produce multiple-draft compositions.
  2. Write four to six multiple-draft compositions from paragraphs to essays.
  3. Write four to six timed in-class compositions.
  4. Write a variety of sentences, including simple, compound and complex structures.
  5. Develop fluency through extensive journal writing or blogging.
  6. Produce academic compositions in correct format.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Revise drafts of paragraphs and essays for organization, cohesion, coherence, word choice, and support for main ideas and topics as a step of the writing process.
  2. Edit drafts of paragraphs and essays for fragments, run-ons, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, adjective clauses, noun clauses, number, determiners and sentence mechanics.
  3. Accurately form a variety of compound and complex sentence types.
  4. Clearly compose paragraphs (expository and narrative).
  5. Clearly compose essays (expository and comparison & contrast).

Intermediate Listening

The Intermediate Listening course is designed to develop the listening strategies and skills required for academic listening tasks. These skills include the ability to take notes on simulated academic lectures by recognizing listening cues, organizational patterns, main ideas, and supporting details. In addition, the course is designed to expand the listening strategies and skills needed to understand broadcast media and conversational speech.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Improve students’ ability to understand and respond to spoken English.
  2. Improve students’ ability to understand a variety of speakers and contexts.
  3. Encourage students to use appropriate strategies to improve comprehension.
  4. Teach students to understand, organize and use information in listening tasks.
  5. Help students develop listening and note-taking skills for academic purposes.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Develop pre-listening and listening strategies for extended conversations, media excerpts, and adapted academic lectures. Strategies include activating background knowledge, predicting content and organization, recognizing the purpose of the communication, recognizing target vocabulary, recognizing verbal cues, and recognizing main ideas and details.
  2. Develop strategies for improving comprehension, such as asking for repetition and clarification, word meanings and spelling.
  3. Increase ability to distinguish phonemes and to recognize words in English.
  4. Take progressively independent notes using standard conventions.
  5. Develop understanding of inferences.
  6. Develop understanding of how stress and intonation affect meaning.
  7. Develop listening skills through practice with adapted lectures, guest speakers, and class exchanges with American students.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
  1. Write organized and comprehensible level-appropriate lecture notes.
  2. Show comprehension of organizational cues in lectures.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of main ideas and supporting information from short listening passages and conversations by answering questions appropriately.
  4. Discern meaning from stress and intonation.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of contractions and reductions.
  6. Make inferences from level-appropriate lectures and conversations.

Intermediate Speaking

The Intermediate Speaking course increases the students’ fluency, grammatical accuracy, and clear pronunciation. In addition, the Intermediate Speaking course helps students to use sentences of greater length and complexity, to enlarge their vocabulary, and to acquire language for specific tasks. Students report, reconstruct, and summarize information they have either listened to or read, and they present their own ideas in both formal and informal presentations. They have the opportunity for conversations with native English speakers in university class exchanges and in the Conversation Mentors Program.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Teach students to communicate clearly in informal conversations and more formal discussions on academic topics.
  2. Prepare students to deliver formal presentations and reports.
  3. Improve students’ fluency and pronunciation in both formal and informal speaking.

Course Objectives: Students will . . .

  1. Practice pronunciation and develop fluency by speaking in role plays, group discussions, conversations, audio journals and presentations.
  2. Organize and deliver oral presentations using notes and visual aids.
  3. Converse with native speakers in Conversation Mentors, Cultural Connections and class exchanges.
  4. Learn to use strategies to check understanding, express agreement, open and close conversations, make small talk and participate in discussions.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Demonstrate ability to communicate clearly with adequate fluency and control of targeted vocabulary and grammatical structures.
  2. Ask and answer questions during discussions using a variety of verb tenses.
  3. Express opinions supported by reasons.
  4. Respond appropriately to what has been said in a conversation or discussion using strategies to check understanding and agree, disagree and partially agree.
  5. Deliver organized presentations and reports with simple introductions, appropriate content, transitions, and conclusions.

University Preparation Reading

The UP Reading course goal is that students develop the academic skills required for successful entry into American university classes. The course develops reading ability by teaching vocabulary and reading strategies, emphasizing pre-reading activities, recognition of structure, differentiation between main ideas and support, and critical thinking skills. The course prepares students to do authentic reading with the goal of reading authentic texts. Students read a selection of texts such as newspapers, general interest news sources, academic journals, textbooks, and online materials as well as tables, charts and graphs.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Introduce students to adapted and increasingly authentic academic texts.
  2. Teach effective strategies for acquiring new academic vocabulary.
  3. Encourage extensive reading to increase exposure to grammatical forms, syntax, and vocabulary.
  4. Provide students with opportunities to develop critical thinking skills.
Course Objectives: Students will…
  1. Practice identifying the meaning of academic vocabulary; identifying word forms; finding meaning of words from roots, affixes, and context; and using an English-English dictionary effectively.
  2. Practice recognizing of synonyms and antonyms for academic vocabulary.
  3. Use strategies for acquisition of low frequency and academic vocabulary (including specific academic content areas) on objective tests.
  4. Highlight, annotate and outline main ideas and supporting details in increasingly complex texts.
  5. Use strategies for comprehension of complex and authentic texts, including previewing, skimming scanning, outlining, inference, and by identifying patterns of organization.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of texts through analysis and synthesis by practicing paraphrase and summary.
  7. Demonstrate understanding by identifying the SVO within complex sentences; by differentiating between phrases and clauses; by identifying noun, verb and prepositional phrases on questions; and by writing complex sentences in answer to essay test questions.
  8. Practice critical thinking through group discussion and individual response (oral and written) to various reading texts.
  9. Practice finding information presented in charts, graphs, tables.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Demonstrate understanding of academic vocabulary.
  2. Identify main ideas and supporting details.
  3. Demonstrate comprehension of a variety of academic texts.
  4. Identify the organizational pattern of a passage.
  5. Find information in authentic tables, charts, and graphs.

University Preparation Writing

The UP Writing course prepares students to perform a variety of academic writing tasks. The course reviews the paragraph writing and moves to the essay, focusing on prewriting skills, topic selection, proofreading skills, revision, and editing skills. Students review grammar and sentence level errors. The course prepares students for academic writing through instruction and practice in writing paraphrases, summaries, essays and essay test answers.

Course Goals: This course will …
  1. Develop the skills to communicate effectively in writing
  2. Provide strategies to edit and revise.
  3. Develop the ability to recognize and use a variety of rhetorical patterns.
  4. Improve writing fluency.
Course Objectives: Students will…
  1. Follow the steps of the writing process including brainstorming, outlining, and writing multiple drafts.
  2. Write 4-6 multiple draft essays in various rhetorical patterns including compare/contrast, process, cause/effect, and problem/solution.
  3. Write 4-6 full essays in an in-class, timed setting.
  4. Write weekly responses to reading topics in the form of a journal or a blog to improve fluency.
  5. Review and learn grammatical structures to improve writing through better error recognition, including fragments, run-ons, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, adjective clauses, noun clauses, determiners, etc.
  6. Practice strategies for self-editing through recognizing common errors in their own writing, such as errors in punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, etc.
  7. Practice strategies for revision to improve writing fluency, cohesion, and coherence such as transition cues, word choice, thesis statement, topic sentences, framing, etc.
  8. Practice using important strategies for answering written responses to exam questions, such as short answer and “essay” answers.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Write essay assignments in the following rhetorical modes: compare-contrast, process, cause and effect and problem-solution.
  2. Show ability to write timed, in-class impromptu essays using good time management and organizational skills.
  3. Revise drafts of paragraphs and essays for organization, cohesion, coherence, word choice, and support for main ideas and topics.
  4. Edit drafts of paragraphs and essays for fragments, run-ons, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, adjective clauses, noun clauses, number, determiners and sentence mechanics.
  5. Use strategies taught (explain, describe, compare, etc.) to answer exam “essay” questions.

University Preparation Listening

The UP Listening course develops academic skills needed for successful study in American university classes, especially critical thinking skills and listening strategies. These skills include note-taking, test-taking, and comprehension of informal conversation and discussions, as well as academic lectures.

Course Goals: This course will . . .
  1. Improve students’ ability to understand authentic academic language in lectures and discussions.
  2. Improve students’ ability to understand a variety of speakers and contexts.
  3. Help students develop listening and note-taking skills for academic purposes.
Course Objectives: Students will . . .
  1. Practice listening strategies by listening to simulated and increasingly authentic lectures and discussions. These strategies include recognizing main ideas, details and verbal cues.
  2. Develop a greater understanding of English pronunciation, stress, and intonation.
  3. Practice efficient note-taking techniques.
  4. Practice listening skills by visiting a university classroom lecture, talking with university students in classroom exchanges and listening to guest speakers.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
  1. Demonstrate ability to take lecture notes on authentic and simulated lectures on a variety of academic topics.
  2. Demonstrate recognition and comprehension of verbal cues in lecture notes and on tests.
  3. Demonstrate comprehension of lectures, discussions, and media excerpts by taking accurate and comprehensible notes, answering questions about main ideas and details, and summarizing information.
  4. Show comprehension of linked sounds, reductions, and stress patterns typical of American speech in notes and when answering questions.
  5. Demonstrate ability to make inferences.

University Preparation Speaking

The UP Speaking course develops the speaking skills needed for success in American university classes. These skills include informal conversation and discussion skills as well as formal presentation skills. Students will practice using correct grammar and vocabulary in asking and answering questions, responding appropriately in discussions, and explaining ideas in formal presentations. Students will learn to speak clearly and fluently. They have the opportunity for conversations with native English speakers in university class exchanges and in the Conversation Mentors Program.

Course Goals:
  1. Develop the speaking skills necessary for success in American university classes, such as intelligibility and the ability to clarify, ask questions, and participate in presentations, conversations and class discussions.
Course Objectives:
  1. Develop relative ease in making small talk with Americans, including the pragmatics of conversation management, such as strategies of opening, turn-taking, encouraging, and leave taking
  2. Practice how to participate effectively in academic discussions
  3. Practice speaking in phrases with good intonation, stress and fluency
  4. Practice formal academic presentations, speaking from notes with good eye contact and using visual support.
  5. Develop students’ ability to assess their own speaking for content, fluency, intonation and eye contact through video recorded presentations and discussions.
  6. Learn to explain graphs and charts, conduct an interview, conduct a survey and use presentation tools
  7. Practice speaking with fluency in audio journals, class exchanges and Cultural Connections.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to…
  1. Ask and answer questions during discussions, using appropriate grammar and targeted vocabulary.
  2. Respond appropriately to what has been said in a conversation or discussion using different ways to ask for clarification and negotiate meaning.
  3. Use common discourse markers to agree/disagree (including partial agreement), check understanding, offer an example, and clarify.
  4. Contribute ideas clearly in an academic discussion.
  5. Speak intelligibly from notes with adequate fluency and control of targeted vocabulary and grammatical structures.
  6. Incorporate visual aids and make good eye contact while making academic presentations.