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English as a Second Language
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  • Course descriptions

    Beginning Level

    Speaking

    This course provides opportunities for students to practice speaking English in structured and semi-structured situations. Special attention is given to vocabulary and to a limited set of functions (such as requesting, apologizing, and complaining). Class activities include small group work, student presentations and community speakers. As a part of this course students also meet regularly with university students from the U.S. to practice conversation skills.

    Listening

    This course prepares students to understand natural conversations in a variety of situations, which include using the telephone, working together, socializing, getting information, and decision-making. A variety of American accents are introduced in audio tapes and videos. Guest speakers and directed activities with U.S. students provide additional listening practice. Students also work on developing observation skills in order to improve their ability to read cultural cues in conversations and academic settings. Social skills and the specific language necessary for daily interactions are emphasized as learners study increasingly complex situations.

    Intermediate Level

    U.S. Culture Today

    This course investigates U.S. culture (1960-present) from practical and sociological perspectives. Topics covered include general information about U.S. regions and the government, daily concerns about living in the U.S., and an overview of social problems, values and beliefs in the U.S. This course emphasizes listening and speaking skills. Classroom activities include lectures by the instructor and guest speakers, small group discussions, and the analysis of videos about life in the U.S. Assignments include interviews with Americans; short essays about how U.S. culture is reflected in films, television and/or magazine articles; and speeches comparing and contrasting U.S. customs with customs in students' native countries.

    Writing/Grammar

    This course focuses on academic writing and the elements of the writing process, including prewriting, revision and editing. Students develop or reinforce computer word processing skills. They also do timed writings in class to prepare for essay exams and standardized tests. 

    Advanced Level

    Speaking/Listening

    This course focuses on the skills needed to succeed in CST 110, a general education course required for all UW-La Crosse undergraduate students. Students develop oral presentation and organization techniques which are applied in informative and persuasive speeches.  In addition, students develop an understanding of the formal and informal discourse patterns used in academic settings in the U.S.

    Research Paper

    This course is designed to prepare students for college-level reading and writing challenges.  It introduces students to the kind of writing that they are likely to encounter throughout their college career:  summarizing, paraphrasing, critiquing, and synthesizing.  The course reviews the process of research:  gathering materials selecting sources, and arranging information.  Students will learn how to use and cite sources.  Drafting, revising, and proofreading skills will be developed.

  • ESL 100 Cr.4

    ESL Speaking

    This course provides opportunities for students to practice speaking English in structured and semi-structured situations. Special attention is given to a limited set of functions (such as requesting, apologizing and complaining). Pronunciation work focuses on basic regularities of English pronunciation. Prerequisite: nonnative speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 101 Cr.4

    ESL Reading

    Focus is on comprehension of reading passages with time limits and with understanding of main and supporting ideas. Students increase their passive vocabularies through the study of word formation and by learning to use an English-English dictionary. Reading skills such as skimming, scanning, prediction, use of context clues and recognizing thought groups are also stressed. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 102 Cr.4

    ESL Writing/Grammar

    Focus is on the basics of writing: spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and simple organizational patterns. Writing includes controlled exercises and some free writing. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 103 Cr.4

    ESL Listening

    This course gives students practice in under-standing samples of spoken English of limited length and complexity and prepares students to understand segments of natural conversation on a variety of topics. Special attention is given to the various phonetic shapes that words can have. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 110 Cr.4

    ESL Speaking

    This course provides opportunities for students to prepare and give speeches/oral presentations. Students also gain a greater ability to use informal, conversational English. Special attention is given to language function, pronunciation, and intonation. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 100. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 111 Cr.4

    ESL Reading

    This course provides opportunities for students to develop their reading skills in meaningful ways, enabling them to use academic texts outside of class successfully. Focus will be on reading skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, skimming, scanning, making inferences, and distinguishing between different purposes for reading. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 101. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 112 Cr.4

    ESL Writing/Grammar

    Focus is on improving students’ ability to write convincing English paragraphs and essays with greater fluency. The basics of writing are reviewed. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 102. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 113 Cr.4

    ESL Listening

    This course introduces students to English used in an educational context. Emphasis is on note taking by listening to short lectures. Conversational English listening skills are also studied including topics such as guessing meaning from context, stressed words, and understanding fast English. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 103. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Repeatable for credit - maximum 8. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 150 Cr.4

    ESL Speaking/Listening

    Special attention is given to communication strategies - developing ways to communicate when pronunciation or vocabulary limitations make communication difficult. Prepares students for academic lectures by introducing standard forms of organization and common transition signals used in American Pronunciation work emphasizes stress and intonation and problems of individual students. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 110. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 151 Cr.4

    ESL Reading

    Focus is on drawing inferences from a reading, recognizing paraphrase, identifying the author’s point of view, and using knowledge of the structure of readings to aid comprehension. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 111. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 152 Cr.4

    ESL Writing/Grammar

    Focus is on a variety of organizational patterns, with review of the basics of writing. Students are introduced to elements of the writing process, including prewriting, revision and editing. Reviews and adds to students’ skills of basic structures, emphasizing increasingly complex structures, with attention to form, meaning and use. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 112. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 153 Cr.4

    U.S. Culture Today

    This course gives students an understanding of the United States from practical and sociological perspectives. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities focus on information about daily life, values, beliefs, and social problems. Prerequisite: Non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 113. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 155 Cr.1-16

    Special Topics in ESL

    These courses are designed for special or contract groups in need of intensive English for non-academic purposes. Listening, reading, speaking, writing and cultural activities will be stressed, according to group needs. Each program-design could be for 1-16 institute credits - according to contractual agreements and amount of intensive English required. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 200 Cr.4

    ESL Speaking/Listening

    Emphasis is on the use of English in academic settings as well as in conversation. Course concentrates on lecture comprehension, with special attention to note taking, recognizing main ideas and support and determining the attitude of the speaker toward the subject. Students also work on comprehension of complex information presented in non-lecture format, as in the dynamics of small-group discussion. Pronunciation focuses on individual needs of students. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 150. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 201 Cr.4

    ESL Reading

    Emphasis is on reading f or academic purposes. Students work on comprehension of academic reading selections, as well as challenging non-academic material. Students work on tone and distinguishing fact from opinion. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 151. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 202 Cr.4

    ESL Writing/Grammar

    Emphasis is on writing as a process of thinking, planning, writing and rewriting. Increased emphasis is placed on writing for academic purposes. Reviews and adds to students’ repertoire of structures with increased emphasis on the verb phrase and on control of grammar in writing.  Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 152. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 203 Cr.4

    ESL Lecture/Note Taking

    This course is designed to prepare students for college-level listening challenges. Students are introduced to a variety of academic lectures via different media. Students learn strategies for effective note-taking. Prerequisites: Non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on ESL placement test, and/or successful completion of ESL 153. (Transcript credit only. Does not count toward graduation. Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass.) Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    +ESL 250 Cr.4

    ESL Speaking

    Focus is on strategies and techniques for success in academic classes, including formal and informal oral discourse patterns needed for American classes. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 200. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    +ESL 251 Cr.4

    U.S. Culture and Film

    Focus is on development of listening, speaking, reading and cultural understanding through the medium of American movies, television and related articles. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. Offered Spring.

    +ESL 252 Cr.4

    ESL Writing/Grammar

    Focus is on skills needed at every stage of the writing process: finding a topic, determining an approach to the topic, assessing the audience, planning and drafting a coherent composition, revising and editing. Students learn to adapt their writing to the American audience and topic and to look at their own writing critically. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 202. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    +ESL 253 Cr.4

    ESL Research paper

    This course is designed to prepare students for college-level reading and writing challenges. It introduces students to the kind of writing that they are likely to encounter throughout their college career-summarizing, paraphrasing, critiquing, and synthesizing. The course reviews the process of research-gathering materials, selecting sources, and arranging information. Students will learn how to use and cite sources. Drafting, revising, and proofreading skills will be developed. Prerequisites: Non-native speakers of English and appropriate score on the ESL placement test and/or successful completion of ESL 202. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

    ESL 255 Cr.1-16

    Special Topics in ESL

    Focus for these content-based courses in ESL is on strategies and techniques for success in academic classes, including vocabulary development, lecture comprehension, textbook reading, note and test-taking. Topics may vary by semester and may be offered as adjunct courses to those in the regular university curriculum. Repeatable for credit - maximum 16. Prerequisite: non-native speakers of English and/or appropriate score on ESL placement test. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.