Beginning ESL - 1st year

This course is for students with limited English experience who, based on placement test results, instructors’ recommendations, and TOEFL scores, place below ESL intermediate level courses. The goal of instruction is to prepare students to enter intermediate level courses within one session. To achieve this goal, instruction focuses on developing students’ English competency by helping them to acquire skills in all basic skill areas, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It emphasizes listening comprehension, speaking practice, extensive reading, and intensive general vocabulary development.


By the end of the course, the student will be able to:


1. Engage in spontaneous conversations by making relevant comments, asking
questions, and/or signaling lack of comprehension.

2. Demonstrate knowledge of pair work and small group conventions (e.g., soliciting and offering opinions, agreeing and disagreeing)

3. Ask for clarification of conversation and presentation content.

4. Discuss topics related to the content of a presentation.

5. Deliver, from notes, a three to five minute oral presentation with appropriate organization, delivery, and development of topic.

6. Demonstrate pronunciation that is intelligible to native speakers accustomed to dealing with international students.


1. Follow basic instructions and directions to complete a task.

2. Listen to a presentation on a topic and take notes that include the main idea(s).

Expand active vocabulary by:

1. Guessing unfamiliar vocabulary heard,

2. Looking up words in a monolingual dictionary,

3. Recording definitions

4. Using the words in oral production,

5. Recognizing that a word can have more than one meaning, and

6. Recognizing that certain suffixes give clues as to the class of words.


1. Guess vocabulary from context by

a. Recognizing clues (punctuation, example, comparison or contrast, definition, description, series, cause and effect, setting, and synonyms, and
b. Recognizing prefixes, suffixes, and roots and discerning their meanings (mis-, pre-, im-/in-/ -ist, anthropo, poly, etc.).

Expand active vocabulary by

1. Writing definitions,

2. Using the words in a sentences,

3. Looking up words in a monolingual dictionary,

4. Learning prefixes, suffixes, and roots,

5. Learning synonyms and antonyms,

6. Making word webs,

7. Recognizing that a word can have more than one meaning, and

8. Recognizing that certain suffixes give clues as to the class of words.

Increase reading fluency

In this course, students will also:

1. Watch English language serial programming and respond to the content by engaging in various activities.

2. Watch one full-length feature English language film and engage in relevant interactive tasks.


Course topics will include the following:


1. Directions/Instructions

2. Presentation comprehension

3. Note-taking skills


1. Communication strategies

2. Small group discussion techniques

3. Oral presentation techniques


1. Vocabulary expansion

2. Fluency

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Discussion/Conversation partners

3. Modeling

4. Reading

5. Writing

6. Error Analysis

Types of Assignments:

1. Selected readings

2. Textbook exercises

3. Vocabulary study

4. Paragraph writing

5. Prepared and spontaneous oral production

6. Listening comprehension

Sample Text:

1. Connect with English published by McGraw-Hill (Video Comprehension, Conversation, and Connection Readers (16 books).

2. Conversation Strategies by David Kehe and Peggy Dustin Kehe; ISBN 0-86647-082-4, Pro Lingua Associates.