Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ESOL 140
Course Title:
American Culture and Communication 1
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces and illustrates American cultural themes and values through instruction in reading, discussion, journal writing, film, and speeches. Introduction and beginning application of academic study skills. May include a service learning component. Does not replace courses in the core curriculum. Prerequisites: Placement in ESOL 150/150N and ESOL 152/152N and ESOL 154/154N or higher. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students can identify and acknowledge cultural perspectives and values different from their own, respond appropriately to written and spoken English, and formulate and articulate ideas in English about the culture of the United States.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Present a satisfactory prepared public speech
    • Receive 70% or higher score on prepared informative speeches of 2-5 minutes
    • Prepare a detailed written outline for the speech
  2. Perform at a minimum of 70% on quizzes and tests
  3. Interview native English speakers and complete written survey
  4. Produce a written journal responding to cultural issues

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Cultural Themes and Values
  2. Public Speaking and Discussion
  3. Listening Comprehension
  4. Critical Thinking Skills
  5. Writing
  6. Reading Strategies
  7. Academic Study Skills

Competencies and Skills

A. Cultural Themes and Values:

Relate course materials to the following themes and values:

  1. Personal control over the environment
  2. Time and its control
  3. Individualism and privacy
  4. Competition and free enterprise
  5. Action and work orientation
  6. Change
  7. Equality
  8. Self-help concept
  9. Future orientation
  10. Directness, openness, honesty
  11. Materialism and acquisitiveness
  12. Practicality and efficiency
  13. Competition and free enterprise

B. Public Speaking and Discussion

  1. Contribute to and show satisfactory evidence of benefiting from small group and one-on-one discussion or exchange
    • Participate by contributing and connecting ideas
    • Develop strategies to achieve intelligibility
  2. Present information orally
    • Give an informative speech using a written outline
    • Perform role-plays and skit

C. Listening Comprehension

  1. Comprehend and respond appropriately to presented audiovisual materials
  2. Understand main ideas and details of oral presentations and videos
  3. Demonstrate listening skills by taking useful notes and asking clarifying questions that show evidence of critical thinking
  4. Contribute to and show evidence of benefiting from small group and one-on-one discussion or exchanges

D. Critical Thinking Skills

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of cultural values in course materials
  2. Recognize facts, opinions and beliefs related to American culture
  3. Relate course materials to personal needs and experiences
  4. Form ideas and opinions about topics that have been introduced

E. Writing

  1. Write journal entries regularly
  2. Prepare level-appropriate speech outlines and reports

F. Reading Strategies

  1. Use available resources to find information
  2. Identify main ideas and secondary details in written material

G. Academic Study Skills

  1. Read, understand and follow directions
  2. Develop questions based on class materials
  3. Use note-taking techniques including outlining
  4. Work in groups to extract relevant cultural information
  5. Use a monolingual, adult ESL dictionary of American English and other references