ESL Links


Classes in the Intensive English as a Second Language Program

During orientation, each new student to the Intensive E.S.L. Program...

  • takes an English proficiency test.
  • writes a brief composition, a personal goals statement.
  • participates in a short oral interview with a faculty member.

We review the results of these tests, student's personal goal statements, and information about the student's previous work in English. Each student works with an ESL faculty member to design an appropriate course of study.

All courses are offered at several English proficiency levels to meet the needs of our students.

Each term: Oral Grammar, University Reading, Academic Writing, Pronunciation, Academic Skills

Occasionally: Debate, Discussion, Community Investigations, Folktale Theater, Introduction to American Culture, TOEFL Preparation, Accent Modification, Hot News Topics, and Reading-Writing Workshop


Each Term — Course Descriptions:

Oral
Grammar
The students in this course have studied grammar before. They know many rules and can choose many correct answers. In this class students will review that material, learn some new structures, and then use all their hard-won grammar correctly in conversation, speeches, and discussions. You'll use note cards, posters, PowerPoint, and video media to present information, experiences, and concepts to classmates grammatically, fluently, and clearly. Special project: each student has the opportunity to create a personal website.
University
Reading
Reading strategies, reading stamina, and reading pleasure are three keys to success in U.S. college and university classes. Students will develop all three skills in this class as they work with college textbook material (in such academic fields as sociology, business, history, gender, technology, science, art, and more), popular media (magazines, newspapers, on-line sources), literature, and non-prose forms (for example, instructions, application forms, schedules, handbooks). They will summarize a piece of research, make and support hypotheses, use research tools to solve a problem or answer a question, enjoy a free hour with a book, and make new friends in the reading community.
Academic Writing
The first thing that students learn to write in any language is their own name. With this first step, they become writers. As academic writers in the U.S., they will keep a daily journal (an important discipline for real writers). They will practice the multi-step writing process which is current in the U.S. It includes brainstorming, drafting, researching, sharing work in the learning community of the classroom and the Writing Center, and revising. They will develop a repertoire of academic writing styles, including: narrative, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, argument, analysis, and process. They will also practice the academic cultural conventions of properly formatting a paper and documenting sources.
Pronunciation
The class encourages students to reach for the goal of being easily understood by Iowans and other native speakers. When new students arrive, our specialist will give them a private pronunciation evaluation and help them identify personal pronunciation goals. After that, students follow a carefully structured series of exercises to recognize and produce English sounds, practice self-monitoring techniques, build awareness of stress, rhythm and intonation, and use facial expression and gestures to aid communication.
Academic Skills
In this class students put together the language skills they've practiced during the rest of the day to learn about new subjects through English. As new students getting used to the student life and academic culture at Coe College, they learn who and how to ask for help with career planning, a bad cold, or a noisy floor mate. They practice note-taking, test-taking, speech-making, and debate. The instructor and students select the academic content areas together. Recently, students in Academic Skills class have learned about African folk tales, drug addiction, women in the math and science professions, friendship styles, art and art history, and other topics, depending on the students' interests.


Occasional Classes — Course Descriptions
: These classes are offered occasionally, depending on student need and availability of instructors.

Community Investigations
Discover circles of community in the classroom, on the Coe campus, and in the city of Cedar Rapids through interview, conversation, and local travel.
Discussion
Share your hopes and goals, teach someone else something you know but they don't, express your opinion, and practice active listening in small groups or pairs.
Debate
Clarify your thoughts, organize a logical oral argument, practice listening well, and become an expert at thinking on your feet.
Folktale Theater
Discuss folktale structure and motifs, create stories, prepare script and storyboard, perform, and film a folktale.
Introduction to American Culture
Learn about U.S. education, geography, politics, holidays, and slang.
"Hot Topics"
Students in this multi-skills class explore current news events.
TOEFL Preparation course uses sample TOEFL questions, test-taking strategies, and "time pressure" to familiarize students with the test. Accent Modification
Students use audio-video exercises, self-monitoring and self-correction techniques to produce American intonation and voice tone.


Reading-Writing Workshop:
Reading-Writing Workshop is a college credit class for advanced students only.
The class will focus on developing language ability, academic skills, and cultural awareness of issues and dimensions of diversity: race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, ability, and more.

Skill focus:
As an academic writer in the U.S., you will keep a daily journal (an important discipline for real writers). You will practice the multi-step writing process which is popular in the U.S. It includes brainstorming, drafting, researching, sharing your work in the learning community of the classroom and the Writing Center, and revising. You will develop a repertoire of academic writing styles, including: narrative, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, argument, analysis, and process. You will also practice the academic cultural conventions of properly formatting a paper and documenting sources. Large projects include preparing a writing portfolio and editing and publishing a class magazine with members of other writing classes. You will use an essay anthology designed for U.S. students.

Applications:
Some of the topics that students wrote about last year include: feminism, being a member of a minority group, an election issue, educational myths, cultural barriers to preventing/controlling HIV/AIDS, the cultural and political history of a town in the Middle East.