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Intermediate ESL Writing, Spring 2016

Community Language Program Spring 2016
Teachers College, Columbia University

Instructor: Amine Sall

E-mail: ams2446@tc.columbia.edu
Level: Intermediate Writing
Class day: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Class time: 9.30-11.00 am
Room: GDH 271
Important Dates:
Week 1

Tuesday, February 9

First day of classes

Week 2

Friday, February 12
Wednesday, February 17

Last day for transfers

Last day for refunds

Monday-Friday, March 14-18

Spring break: No classes

Monday or Wednesday, April 18 or 20

Final exam

Friday, April 22

Last day of classes

Week 10

Course Description
The Intermediate Writing course is designed to help students write connected texts on a range
of familiar subjects within their fields of interest. Students will practice writing simple,
effective, and well-organized texts. They will also learn how to review and edit their own
texts as well as their classmates work.
Course Objectives: This course will help students
Write simple, effective, and well-organized texts on familiar topics.
Gain more control over academic writing norms.
Practice the different steps of the writing process, i.e., prewriting, drafting, revising,
and editing.
Identify topic sentence and supporting details in various pieces of writing
Engage in critical thinking and collaborative learning via peer-review and peer-editing
Course Materials
There are no required textbooks for this course. We will be using a variety of material from
different sources. I will provide you with photocopies that you will use in class and for
homework purposes.


Intermediate ESL Writing, Spring 2016

We will supplement the course with grammatical activities from a book entitled Essential
Grammar in Use (Third edition) by Raymond Murphy. You will receive photocopies
whenever we are working on grammar. However, I strongly recommend that you buy one.
You can buy it cheaper online at Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.

Course Requirements
Midterm Portofolio: 30%
Final Exam Portofolio: 30%
Attendance and Participation: 20%
Homework: 20%
Over the course of the Spring term, students will complete six assignments that will be
graded and that work towards the completion of the course portfolio. The assignments are
designed to be drafts that will receive feedback from their peers as well as from the teacher.
NB: Please, print out each assignment and bring two copies in class.
If you cannot attend class on the assignment due date, please email me your assignment
before the deadline so that you get feedback on it.
In addition to the graded assignments, students will be given homework on a regular basis.
Although homework tasks do not count towards the completion of the portfolio, students are
required to do their homework before coming to class. Failure to comply with this
requirement will negatively affect your grade.
Plagiarism Policy
Columbia University promotes intellectual probity. Copying from printed material or from
the Internet is forbidden. Students who are proven guilty of plagiarism will be reported to the
CLP office and will be penalized.
Attendance Policy
If a student misses 3 or more classes, s/he cannot pass the course.
If the student is late for 5 or more classes, s/he cannot pass the course.

A+ 97 100%
A 94 96%
A- 90 93%
B+ 87 89%
B 84 86%
B- 80 83%
C+ 77 79%
C 73 76%
C- 70 72%
Poor (no pass)
69% or Below
D 63 66%
D- 60 62%
Withdrawal (With permission from the teacher and the Director, the
student withdrew from the course due to extenuating circumstances)


Intermediate ESL Writing, Spring 2016

Approximate Schedule
Week 1
Feb 9 - 11

Language focus
Simple, compound, &
complex sentences

Writing strategies
Identifying learners
needs (N. Analysis)
Exploring potential topics
for writing
Prewriting techniques:
Clustering, spidergram,

Week 2
Feb 16 -18

Paragraph structure
Topic sentence +
supporting sentences
Cohesive devices

Week 3
Feb 23 - 25

--Email writing

Week 4
Mar 1 - 3

From paragraph to
essay writing.

Mar 8 - 10

Rewriting: saying it in
Editing: Punctuation
& Capitalization

Overview of the writing

process: prewriting,
drafting, revising, &
Focus: Drafting &
Layout of formal &
informal email.
- Opening
- Body
- Ending
The five-paragraph essay
How to introduce &
conclude an essay
Editing checklists


Assignment 1

Assignment 2

Assignment 3

portfolio due on

SPRING BREAK: March 14 -18

Week 6
Mar 22 -24

English rhetoric
--From reading to
writing: The
argumentative essay

Identifying the structure

of an argumentative text
Composing an
argumentative essay
using the TOEFL model

Assignment 4

Week 7
Mar 29 - 31

English rhetoric
--From Reading to
Writing: The issue

Identifying the structure

of opinion essays
Composing an opinion

Assignment 5


Intermediate ESL Writing, Spring 2016

Week 8
Apr 5 - 7

Writing resumes and

cover letters

Completing a resume
Cover letter format &

Week 9
Apr 12 - 14

Academic writing

Citing an author
Writing references
Academic vocabulary

Assignment 6

Week 10
Apr 19 - 21

Revising & editing

Portfolios, Portfolio
Presentations, Course
evaluation, Wrap up

Peer-review and peerediting groups

Individual presentations

In class

About the CLP

The Community Language Program (CLP) is a unique and integral part of the TESOL and
Applied Linguistics Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. It provides English
as a second language and foreign language instruction to adult learners of diverse
nationalities and backgrounds. In addition, the CLP serves as an on- site language education
lab in which TESOL and Applied Linguistics faculty and students enrolled in the programs
teach the courses and use the CLP as a setting for empirical inquiry. Here at Teachers College
we believe that observation and classroom research are the best way to learn about how we
teach and gain insights into how teaching might take place. Thus, we encourage observation
and classroom research and want people to use it as a tool for learning. Ongoing assessment
and program evaluation allow us to make the CLP a better program.
Program Policies:
The College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented
disabilities. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Access and Services for
Individuals with Disabilities (OASID) for information about registering with the office. You
can reach OASID by email at oasid@tc.columbia.edu, stop by 163 Thorndike Hall or call
212-678-3689. Services are available only to students who are registered and submit
appropriate documentation. As your instructor, I am happy to discuss specific needs with you
as well.
It is the policy of Teachers College to respect its members observance of their major
religious holidays. Students should notify instructors at the beginning of the semester about
their wishes to observe holidays on days when class sessions are scheduled. Where academic
scheduling conflicts prove unavoidable, no student will be penalized for absence due to
religious reasons, and alternative means will be sought for satisfying the academic
requirements involved. If a suitable arrangement cannot be worked out between the student


Intermediate ESL Writing, Spring 2016

and the instructor, students and instructors should consult the Program Director. If an
additional appeal is needed, it may be taken to the Provost
Sexual Harassment and Violence Reporting: Teachers College is committed to
maintaining a safe environment for students. Because of this commitment and because of
federal and state regulations, we must advise you that if you tell any of your instructors about
sexual harassment or gender-based misconduct involving a member of the campus
community, your instructor is required to report this information to the Title IX Coordinator,
Janice Robinson. She will treat this information as private, but will need to follow up with
you and possibly look into the matter. The Ombuds officer for Gender-Based Misconduct is a
confidential resource available for students, staff, and faculty. Gender-based misconduct
includes sexual assault, stalking, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence,
sexual exploitation, and gender-based harassment. For more information, see

Have a great semester!