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CCOG for ESOL 254 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
ESOL 254
Course Title:
Level 7 Academic Communication
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Presents oral communication as a process that involves determination of purpose, selection and adjustment of strategies, comprehension checks, and integration of prior with new knowledge to address the purpose. Covers listening comprehension, note-taking, and discussion of academic topics at the advanced level. Includes public speaking, such as prepared speeches on academic topics with written outlines and use of outside sources. Reviews English consonants and vowels, word endings, intonation, phrasing, linking, reductions and stress patterns. Prerequisites: ESOL placement test OR successful completion of ESOL 164 or ESOL 164N, AND concurrent placement in (ESOL 160 or ESOL 160N and ESOL 162 or ESOL 162N) or higher. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

1.  Understand the development of oral communication skills as a process that involves determination of purpose, selection and adjustment of strategies, comprehension checks, and integration of prior with new knowledge.

2. Use knowledge about language, culture, and context to prepare for and accomplish advanced-level academic communication tasks.

3. Identify and correct pronunciation problems to produce understandable English in an academic setting.

4. Identify communication barriers in vocabulary and syntax and use strategies to overcome them.

5. Take notes on and respond to a variety of longer oral texts to demonstrate comprehension of academic topics.

6.  Deliver an intelligible, well-organized academic presentation to communicate information or opinions about a relevant topic or issue and include information from outside sources.

Course Activities and Design

Class time includes a combination of lecture, listening/note-taking, pronunciation activities, student speeches, discussion and vocabulary/grammar 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 and study for quizzes and tests.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The following assessment strategies may be used to determine a student’s competency in communication:


  1. Grade a minimum of  two satisfactory extemporaneous (prepared) informative public speeches of  three to five minutes OR one five-minute public speech and a similar prepared academic activity, such as panel presentation, news team, debate, etc., on a level-appropriate academic topic using a rubric incorporating delivery, content, organization, grammar and pronunciation.
  2. Evaluate inclusion of source material in presentations.
  3. Assess students’ ability to ask and answer questions about speeches.
  4. Assess impromptu speaking assignments.
  5. Evaluate pronunciation, grammar, organization, vocabulary, etc. using online voice recording applications, such as Blackboard Wimba.
  6. Assess student communication in group work, such as discussions, debates and group presentations.
  7. Conduct one-on-one oral interviews of each student.
  8. Assess assignments requiring communication with fluent speakers of English, such as surveys, interviews or conversation groups.
  9. Evaluate student skits or role plays.
  10. Assess students’ in-class participation.


  1. Evaluate students’ comprehension of academic lectures
  2. Assess comprehension of other authentic material, such as TED lectures and Public Broadcasting
  3. Evaluate lecture notes and outlines.
  4. Evaluate students’ assessment of their own speeches as well as other students’ speeches.
  5. Assess complete sentence and fill-in-the-blank dictations
  6. Test students’ ability to distinguish English phonemes (sounds) using the International Phonetic Alphabet.


  1. Grade student speech outlines.
  2. Evaluate comprehension of readings related to lectures/class discussion
  3. Test vocabulary assigned for review
  4. Factor in attendance/tardiness as part of the grade

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

A.  Consonants, Vowels, Stress and Intonation

B.  Grammar and Vocabulary

C.  Critical Thinking Skills

D.  Public Speaking

E.  Listening Comprehension

F. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

Competencies and Skills

A.  Consonants, Vowels, Stress and Intonation

1.  pronounce word endings and link correctly

2.  recognize common sound substitutions: e.g. i/I, ʌ/æ, θ/s and l/r sounds

3.  understand and use stress patterns, reductions, and phrasing in relation to the meaning

4.  understand and use rhythm and intonation patterns

5.  use the IPA to improve speaking skills

6.  identify and orally produce all of the sounds in the IPA (consonants, vowels, diphthongs)

B.  Grammar and Vocabulary

1.  recognize advanced-level idioms including phrasal verbs

2.  choose appropriate words and word forms for academic vocabulary

3.  consistently use correct word order

4.  consistently speak appropriately and accurately using past, present, and future time frames

5.  use question and negative forms correctly

6.  use articles, helping verbs, and prepositions

C.  Critical Thinking Skills

1.  effectively analyze information from three or more sources to form a well-supported thesis and supporting information

2.  use linear reasoning in all academic contexts.

3.  avoid plagiarism

4.  consistently demonstrate an awareness of audience and purpose

5.  avoid bias, stereotyping, and inappropriate or emotional language in speaking

6.  distinguish between facts, opinions, and beliefs

7.  distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information

8.  read and follow directions

D.  Public Speaking

1.   give two satisfactory* informative and/or persuasive extemporaneous (prepared) speeches of three to five minutes on level-appropriate academic topics OR one five-minute public speech and a similar prepared academic activity, such as panel presentation, news team, debate, etc.

This includes:

1.  three-minute and five-minute time limits

2.  selection and narrowing of an academic topic

3.  a presentation outline with introduction (includes attention-getting material and thesis statement), body, and conclusion

4. use of outside sources, including the PCC Library

5.  appropriate delivery (delivery includes nonverbal skills: voice projection, direct eye contact, facial expressions, posture and stance appropriate to public speaking) with focus on the speaker, not the visual aids

E.  Listening Comprehension and Note-taking

1.  understand and take notes on main ideas and important details of longer lectures and student speeches

2.  use notes for quizzes on lecture material

3.  listen and use information from other authentic sources, such as TED lectures and news reports

4.  demonstrate critical listening by analyzing and responding appropriately (agree, disagree, etc.) during class discussions

5.  use prior knowledge of culture, language and context to understand and interpret message

6.  distinguish between different registers (e.g. formal, casual)

7.  use strategies to set purpose and check comprehension (e.g. clarification, 


8.  apply knowledge of complex grammar structures, vocabulary, idiom and syntax to aid comprehension

9.  distinguish between the sounds of American English

10.  recognize intonation, stress, and phrasing patterns

F.   Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

1.   initiate questions without being prompted

2.   participate by contributing and connecting ideas

3.   develop strategies to achieve intelligibility

4.   depart when necessary from the prepared text and follow up on points raised by the audience

5.   backtrack and restructure smoothly

6.   understand the culturally appropriate use of the five channels of nonverbal communication (time, touch, facial expressions and gestures, eye contact, and physical proximity)

7.   recognize and practice tone and pitch drop


* Explanation of satisfactory speeches and academic presentations

A.   Presentation is understood without extra effort by the instructor

B.   Presentation contains clear detailed descriptions of complex subjects

C.   Presentation demonstrates a level of fluency that reflects correct use of structure and vocabulary appropriate to the audience and topic