Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
Course Title:
Level 4 Writing
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

The fourth level of ESOL and the first of five-course sequence that focuses on writing. Includes introduction to the writing process; descriptive and narrative paragraphs and formal letters; review of basic grammar; introduction to present perfect and past continuous; writing and grammar taught in the context of communicating in adult life roles. Prerequisite:ESOL placement test OR successful completion of ESOL 30; AND concurrent placement in ESOL 40/40N and ESOL 44/44N or higher.

Intended Outcomes for the course


Upon completing Level 4 Writing students will be able to use the English
language to communicate as related to roles as family member, community
member, worker, lifelong learner and citizen. They will be able to do the

Write a clear, well-developed paragraph with a topic sentence and
supporting statements.

Demonstrate the ability to fill out an authentic form.

Write a formal letter.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Performance tasks at this level include:
Complete a minimum of the following:
  • three well-structured out-of-class paragraphs (two of which are rewritten), including a minimum of one descriptive, one narrative, and one reason paragraph
  • three well-structured in-class paragraphs (two of which are rewritten), including a minimum of one descriptive, one narrative, and one reason paragraph
  • One formal e-mail
  • Log onto MyPCC to print a required class document
  • Produce original sentences that show control of grammar points
  • Recommend one typed paragrpah
  •  (See addendum:  Explanation of Satisfactory Composition) 


Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

 A.     Grammar Review and Instruction 

 Phrase and Clauses 

 Verbs and Related Structures 

 Other Parts of Speech 


 B.     Writing Process 

 C.     Rhetorical Styles 

 D.     Critical Thinking Skills 


Competencies and Skills

 A.     Grammar 

1. Sentences, Clauses, and Phrases

                          a. recognize and begin to use basic sentence patterns including adjective placement competently 

 b. use simple and compound sentences; recognize and begin to use  

 complex sentences   c.  produce original sentences demonstrating grammar points 


          2.  Verbs and Related Structures 

 a. use simple present and present continuous                    b. use there is / there are c. use simple past and irregular past tense verbsd. use yes/no, "wh-" questions  e. use future with "be going to" and "will" f.  begin to use past continuousg. begin to use modals (possibility, necessity, advice) in the future and present h. introduce to use present perfect        


          3.  Other Parts of Speech 

 a.begin to identify the parts of speech and their functions in sentences (subjects, verbs, objects, complements)  b. use possessive adjectives and subject and object pronouns; adverbs of place, time, frequency and intensivity; coordinating conjunctions; count and non-count nouns; adjectives of quantity; and introduce comparative and superlative adjectives and articles with common nouns  c.  recognize possessive and indefinite pronouns as they appear in readings               

          4.  Mechanics 

                          a. identify and use capitalization, margins, and paragraph indentations 

                          b. apply spelling rules and common spelling patterns especially as related to verb tenses 

 c. use basic punctuation in simple and compound sentences (periods, commas, question marks, quotation marks) 


 B. The Writing Process 

 1.  use prewriting skills, including brainstorming, group discussion of topics, narrowing a topic, and outlining  

 2.  revise and edit a draft, understanding error correction symbols and using self- and peer-editing strategies 


 3.  organize and format a paragraph correctly, using a topic sentence, relevant supporting details and examples, signal words and transitional phrases, and a concluding sentence  

 4.  write email using conventions, format, and language appropriate in formal situations  

 C.  Rhetorical Styles 

 begin to use the following rhetorical styles in paragraphs: description, narration, and reason  


 D.    Critical Thinking Skills 

 1. use supplemental readings, including authentic materials, to obtain ideas and vocabulary for writing assignments  


2. avoid plagiarism

3. distinguish between narration, description, and reason

4. distinguish between formal and informal language for audience and purpose

5. distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information

6. distinguish general from specific



 Explanation of Satisfactory Compositions 

A satisfactory paragraph includes the following:

1..selection of a topic worthy of adult communication

2. originality with awareness of audience

3. adequate paragraph development

4. appropriate topic sentence

5. 70% grammatical accuracy in these areas: verb tense, verb form agreement, word form, word choice, and word order; grammatical errors in other areas should not interfere with intelligibility

6. level- and audience-appropriate vocabulary

7. level-appropriate transitions

8. sentence variety

A satisfactory in-class composition:

 1.      is one page, handwritten double-spaced 

 2.      includes development that is at least 70% as thorough as satisfactory out-of-class paragraph 

A satisfactory out-of-class composition is the equivalent of half a typed double-spaced page.