ESL 004A: High-Intermediate Reading and Writing Skills

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2023
Credits: 5
Total Contact Hours: 90
Lecture Hours : 90
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 180
Total Student Learning Hours: 270
Prerequisite: ESL 003A or direct placement based on multiple measures.
Transferable to CSU: No
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Catalog Course Description

This course prepares intermediate ESL students for Level 5 reading and writing. It includes grammar, vocabulary, and the writing skills of sentence and paragraph development. This course previews essay development and writing. This course also is designed to facilitate appropriate strategies for improving reading comprehension, vocabulary, and idiom usage. Emphasis is on college-level reading skills. This is one of two courses in ESL Level 4. NOTE: THE UNITS EARNED FOR THIS COURSE MAY NOT BE APPLIED TOWARD THE 60 UNITS FOR GRADUATION. 90 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Read and analyze diverse reading materials in order to use English more effectively in academic settings.
  • Write narrative, descriptive, and expository paragraphs (8-12 sentences in length) that develop a topic in a clear coherent and unified manner.
  • Write multiple paragraphs that focus on a single idea and use appropriate transition to link ideas.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Intermediate vocabulary and word analysis.
  • Select appropriate reading strategies to comprehend a variety of texts.
  • Find the main idea of readings and respond to articles appropriately.

Major Course Content


  1. Vocabulary development
    1. Finding meaning in context
    2. Dictionary usage
    3. Word Structure 
      1. prefixes/ suffixes
      2. Greek and Latin roots
    4. Vocabulary learning strategies
      1. memorization techniques
      2. active strategies: drawing, writing, word mapping
      3. synonyms and antonyms, cognates
  2. Sentence study
    1. Focus on comprehension of complex syntactic structures
      1. cause and effect
      2. opinion statements
    2. Restatement- paraphasing skills and summarizing
    3. Inference
  3. Reading skills
    1. Prereading: preview, predict, prior knowledge
    2. Finding topics, main ideas and supporting details
    3. Restatement and inference at the paragraph level
    4. Increasing speed and fluency
    5. Distinguishing fact from opinion
    6. Evaluating arguments
  4. Idioms
    1. Types of idioms
      1. Positive
      2. Negative
      3. Neutral
      4. Phrasal verbs
      5. Metaphors
      6. Slang
      7. Hyperbole
    2. Grammar
      1. Parts of speech
      2. Separable and inseparable verbs
      3. Irregular verbs
    3. Sociolinguistic features
      1. Appropriate register
        1. Casual
        2. Academic/professional
    4. Sociocultural expectations
      1. Age
      2. Gender
      3. Social position
      4. Attitude
      5. Familiarity
      6. Setting


  1. Spelling and Vocabulary
    1. Vocabulary building
    2. Spelling techniques
    3. Use of the dictionary
  2. Sentence analysis and construction
    1. Compound, complex, compound-complex sentence writing
    2. Sentence combining
    3. Transitional phrases
  3. Mechanics and Punctuation
    1. Capitalization
    2. Abbreviation and numbers
    3. Commas
    4. Semicolons
    5. Colons
    6. Apostrophes
    7. Periods 
  4. Grammar/Usage—Standard levels of usage
    1. Verb tenses
    2. Subject /verb agreement
    3. Parallelism
    4. Spelling
    5. Word choice
    6. Pronouns
    7. Idioms
  5. Writing
    1. Paragraph process
      1. pre-writing techniques/organizing methods
        1. freewriting
        2. clustering
        3. outlining
        4. 5W’s (who, what, where, when, why, how)
        5. listing
      2. revising and rewriting drafts
        1. adequate development and support
        2. unity, coherence, sentence skills
        3. grammar
      3. editing drafts
        1. grammar
        2. punctuation
    2. Paragraph development
      1. topic sentence
      2. support / details
      3. transitions
      4. conclusion sentence
    3. Rhetorical modes
      1. description
      2. narration
      3. exposition
  6. Reading paragraphs and essays
    1. main idea
    2. topic sentence and thesis
    3. supporting details
    4. rhetorical modes
  7. Study Skills
    1. Exam writing with time constraints
    2. Plagiarism, copying, cheating--American College Standards

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Citrus Clarion LA Times and other newspapers Short stories by American Authors ESL websites

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Summarize an article from a newspaper or magazine Write a weekly reading journal Write a Narrative paragraph Write a Logical division paragraph Write a Comparison/contrast paragraph Write a Expository paragraph
Sample prompts: Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting two school systems. Write a paragraph about a memorable event or experience. Write a paragraph arguing that having a pet is positive or negative

Examples of Outside Assignments

Find examples of targeted grammar or vocabulary in authentic texts Free Reading Assignments Read and Respond to paragraphs Create a paragraph using ten vocabulary words from the textbook Create a powerpoint on endangered animals in your country using vocabulary from the chapter

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture