Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

CCOG for ESOL 140 Winter 2024

View archive version »
Course Number:
ESOL 140
Course Title:
U.S. Culture and Communication 1
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores U.S. cultural themes and values, and contrasts these values with cultural values worldwide. Includes reading, discussion, journal writing, film, and speeches. Presents culture-based communication styles through class discussions, surveys, observations, and videos. Introduces 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

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify and acknowledge cultural perspectives and values different from their own, respond in a variety of ways, and formulate and articulate ideas in written and spoken English about the cultures of the United States and other countries.
  2. Prepare for and accomplish beginning to intermediate-level academic tasks using knowledge of language, culture, and context.
  3. Take notes on and respond to a variety of texts and videos to demonstrate comprehension of academic topics related to course themes.
  4. Begin to identify communication barriers and misconceptions in cultural values and employ strategies to overcome them.

Course Activities and Design

Course Activities and Design:

Class time includes a combination of lecture, video, listening/note-taking, student speeches, small group and classroom discussion and course content review. Other activities, such as skits and group projects reinforce content and language topics. Homework includes preparation for all the above as well as background reading, video review, portfolio preparation, and study for quizzes and tests.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Outcome Assessment Strategies

1. Grade a minimum of one prepared public speech with a detailed outline using a rubric incorporating delivery, content, organization, grammar, and pronunciation.

       2. Evaluate inclusion of course material in presentations, assignments, and tests.

3. Evaluate students’ ability to communicate with native English speakers and complete a written survey

4.Assess a written journal responding to cultural issues

5. Assess a portfolio of course materials

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Cultural Themes and Values

  1. Public Speaking and Discussion
  2. Listening Comprehension
  3. Critical Thinking Skills
  4. Writing
  5. Reading Strategies
  6. 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
  2. Participate by contributing and connecting ideas
  3. Develop strategies to achieve intelligibility
  4. Present information orally
    • Give an informative speech using a written outline
    • Perform role-plays and skit

C. Listening Comprehension and Pronunciation

  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
  5. Consonants, Vowels, Sentence and Syllable Stress 
  6. Recognize and practice pronouncing word endings correctly
  7. Practice correct vowel/ consonant pronunciation
  8. Practice sentence and syllable stress
  9. Review problematic English consonants and vowels

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
  6. H. Pronunciation:
  7. 1. Consonants, Vowels, Sentence and Syllable Stress 
  8. 1.Recognize and practice pronouncing word endings correctly

    2.Practice correct vowel/ consonant pronunciation

    3.Practice sentence and syllable stress

    4. Review problematic English consonants and vowels