Syllabus ESL 52A/B Fall 2015

Laney College Course Syllabus

ESL 52A-42356 and ESL 52B-42469 (Advanced Reading and Writing): 6 units

Tuesday and Thursday 9:00-11:50 a.m.

Room E-255: Some classes will be scheduled in a computer lab in F170.

Instructor: Anne Agard

E-mail: or Note: E-mail is the best way to contact the instructor. She checks e-mail frequently, and will normally respond within 24 hours.

At the present time, the instructor has no functioning office phone.

Peralta Moodle Site:

Follow student login instructions

Some course resources are posted at

Office hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 12:30 to 2:30 in the instructor’s office (T408)
  • Monday through Saturday, 4:30 to 5:30: Online office hours. The instructor will be available in the Moodle chat area.
  • Other hours by appointment

Course description: 52A/B is an advanced ESL reading and writing course, taken prior to English 1A.

Required prerequisite for ESL 52A:

  • Completion of ESL 21A (old Writing 5) with a grade of “C” or better or
  • Completion of ESL 223B with a grade of “C” or better or
  • Completion of ESL 223B (High Intermediate Reading and Writing) student learning outcomes by recommendation of your ESL 223A instructor or
  • For new students: Placement by Peralta Colleges multiple measures assessment.

Required prerequisite for ESL 52B:

  • Completion of ESL 52A (Advanced Reading and Writing)

Recommended preparation for ESL 52A and 52B: ESL 217A, 217B (Advanced Grammar). Concurrent enrollment in ESL 218 (Writing Workshop) or ESL 219 (Applied Grammar and Editing) is highly recommended.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Satisfy college freshman standards for clear and effective, well-organized, well developed, well edited, and logically sound sentences, paragraphs, and essays, and appropriate citation of sources.
  • Apply active reading strategies in order to comprehend, critically analyze, and explain ideas in college level texts. Effectively follow the steps in the writing process: prewriting, writing, revising, and editing.
  • Participate in campus and classroom culture at a level required for success as a college freshman.
  • Locate and appropriately cite information from print and electronic sources— from libraries, the Internet, databases, and elsewhere—evaluate its relevance 
and reliability, and incorporate it effectively into essays.

 Required course materials and resources:

(1) Quest Reading and Writing 3, Second Edition, by Pamela Hartmann and Laurie Blass. McGraw-Hill, 2007. ISBN 0073253030.

(2) Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie. Anchor Books, 2003. ISBN 0385722206. You must have this book by the second week of class. This novel is also published in Chinese (simplified Chinese: 巴尔扎克与小裁缝; traditional Chinese: 巴爾扎克與小裁縫) and in French (Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse Chinoise). If you read Chinese or French, you may wish to read the book in that language as well as in English. The English version is required for this course, however.

These two course texts are available in the college bookstore, and may also be purchased online.

If you order the books online, be sure that you have the right ISBN number. You can Google the ISBN, or go to and enter the ISBN in the search box.

(3) Other online materials will be assigned ; you may be required to print out your own hard copy of these. Printers are available for student use in F170 computer labs and in the college library.

(4) A folder in which to keep your journal assignments. These are short writing assignments that will often be done at the beginning of the class for purposes of reflection, warm-up or brainstorming. Journal pages are not corrected or graded, but the teacher will collect them, read them, and comment on your ideas. You will lose points from your course grade if work is missing from the journal folder.

(5) An English-English dictionary, in digital or book form, for use in class. The Longman Dictionary of American English is highly recommended, and there is a link to this on the class Moodle site. You may use a bilingual dictionary in addition, if you wish.

(6)           To succeed in this course, you will need basic computer skills and access to a computer and the Internet. Computers are available in the college library and during open lab hours in the Tech Center, Room F170, and in the James Oliver Writing Center in B260-261.

(7)           In order to use the college library and the computer laboratories, you will need a Peralta student ID card. If you do not already have an ID, you can obtain one at the Welcome Center in the A Building.

(8) You will need earphones for use in the computer lab.

(9) You must provide the instructor with an e-mail address that you check regularly. This e-mail address must be in your Moodle profile for the course; the default address now there is your Peralta e-mail, and the instructor will show you how to change it if you wish to do so.

(10) Help the teacher learn your name by sending her a recent photo. You can take a “selfie” and send it to her as an email attachment, or put a picture in your Moodle profile.

Class policies:

(1)  You must attend class regularly and on time in order to receive a good grade. Your class participation and your work with other students are important components of this course, and you miss important information if you are late or absent.

By college regulations, you may be dropped from the course if you miss more than four classes; if you must miss classes due to illness or other emergency, be sure to discuss the problem with the instructor so that she does not drop you and can help you make up the work.  Except in an emergency, please do not leave the classroom while the class is in session.

On most days, the first 15 minutes of class will be devoted to a writing warm-up in your journal. These papers are collected at 9:15 so that you will get credit for completing the work. They cannot be made up if you are absent or late. Your journal grade, 15% of the final course grade, will be the percentage of journal entries completed.

If you must be absent or late for any reason, it is your responsibility to find out about the work you missed and make it up. If you do not do this, you will receive grades of “0” on the work missed, which will seriously lower your course grade.

(2)  Online and paper assignments are posted at the end of each class for the following class. The daily assignments must be completed before the next class; you will not be able to participate fully in class activities if your homework for the class has not already been completed.

Your homework will often include online quizzes. You may complete an online quiz as many times as you like, and your grade will be the average of your attempts. This means that in order to get a good grade, you must study the material before you attempt the quiz, but that you can then improve your grade by repeated attempts. Online quiz activities are closed at the beginning each day’s class, and cannot be completed for a grade after that time. The quizzes are re-opened at a later time for ungraded study purposes.

(3)  Writing assignments are usually completed in more than one draft. When working on a paper, keep all drafts and assignments related to the paper process. The instructor will often ask that a previous draft be turned in along with your most recent one. In some cases, your grade for an assignment will be based partly on evidence that all steps and drafts were completed.

Writing completed outside of class should be typed on computer, using MLA format. Instructions for formatting your papers are posted on the class Moodle site.  Depending on the assignment, the teacher may ask for a digital file, hard copy (paper), or both.

Assignments must conform to the instructor’s instructions, which normally are provided in writing. You may be asked to re-do an assignment which does not follow the instructions, is not double-spaced, or is difficult to read.

Students at the advanced ESL level are expected to write with good control of basic English sentence structure. The instructor will not attempt to read and grade papers that contain a large number of basic grammar errors. Such a paper may be returned to you for grammar work before it is graded. If this happens, the paper will be counted as late.

When preparing assignments for this class, please do not use a computer translator to translate text that you have written in your primary language. These automatic translators do not produce English text of the quality expected for college-level writing. Also, as you will learn in this class, the organization of a college paper in the U.S. may be different from the organization of academic writing in your own culture. At the level of this class, you will find that successful papers are written by working in English and stopping to refer to a dictionary as needed, rather than by translating whole passages from another language

Some assignments, like the daily journal assignments, may not be graded, but failing to do the assignment will result in points deducted from your grade.

On days when assignments are due, please do not use class time to print out your paper elsewhere on campus. The paper will be counted as “on time” if you bring it to the instructor during her office hour later in the day.

Keep all work that has been turned in for a grade until the end of the course. If the instructor makes a mistake with her grade record, or you disagree about a grade you have received, you will want to be able to show these to her.

As you work on writing assignments and your final paper, be sure that you save all your work in more than one format. Almost every semester, one or two students in this course have experienced the disaster of losing weeks of work in a computer crash or on a lost or damaged thumb drive. Don’t let it happen to you!

The safest way to save your work is “in the cloud,” using Google Drive or another online resource. The instructor will show you how to do this.

Late work will be marked down 10% for each class day past the final due date that the graded draft is received. Normally, no work will be accepted more than two weeks after the due date.

(4) Extensions of due dates for any course work may be possible under unusual and unforeseen circumstances, but in general, you must explain the problem to the instructor on or before the original due date in order to receive an extension. Remember that you can always contact her by e-mail.

(5) This course may be taken PASS/NO PASS if you wish. P (PASS) is given if you earn a grade of A, B, or C, and NP (NO PASS) is given if you earn a grade of D or F. If you wish to take the course CR/NCR, you must select that option online in PROMT by Monday, September 14. You must do this yourself; the teacher has no control over this choice, and you cannot change your mind after September 14.

(6)           Total time requirement for this course: This is a six-unit college transfer course, which means that you should expect to spend about twelve hours a week on homework in addition to the six hours of class time. If you are having trouble with the coursework, the first question the instructor will ask you is how much time you are giving to it. Insufficient time is the most common reason why students do not succeed in college courses; give careful thought to your weekly schedule and your other responsibilities before you make a final decision to take this class.

(7)           If you have a disability that affects your needs in this class, please let the teacher know about it right away.

(8)           At the advanced level of this class, only English should be spoken in the classroom.  Other languages may be spoken only outside the classroom, during breaks. There are two reasons for this rule:

  • It is impolite to use an language in front of your classmates that they do not understand, and
  • In order to master a language, you must use it as much as you can.

(9)           Plagiarism is a serious offense in a college class. Plagiarism is copying the work of another writer and presenting it as your own. Copying from a printed source, from the Internet, or from another student are all forms of plagiarism. Also, please do not use written work that you have done for another class to satisfy a writing assignment for this course.

Plagiarism in a finished assignment will result in an “F” for the assignment. Repeated incidents of plagiarism will be reported to the Dean’s office and can result in dismissal from the college.

In this class, you will learn how to cite sources so that you can use the work of another writer without plagiarizing.

(10)        In-class use of laptops, tablets or smart phones should be for your work in this class. Please do not use class time to text friends, browse the Internet or do work for other classes. Access to online resources during tests, quizzes, or in-class writing assignments will vary according to the circumstances, and the teacher will explain the rules that apply in each case.

(11)        Please respect the teacher’s work space and your fellow-students’ privacy. You should never look at the teacher’s grade book, or another student’s paper or grade. It is not polite look at papers on the teacher’s desk, or take papers from the teacher’s desk without asking.

If you wish the teacher to give your paper or other grade information to a classmate, you must contact the teacher and give her permission to do this. Otherwise, your papers, grades and attendance information are your own private business and may not be viewed by anyone else except you and the teacher.

(13)         You will be scheduled for at least one student-teacher conference during the semester. Conferences are normally held in the instructor’s office, and will be scheduled at your convenience as far as possible. These conferences are a required component of the course. Be sure to contact the teacher if you are unable to attend a scheduled conference. (E-mail is the best way to do this.)


(14)         For help with writing assignments:

a) The James Oliver Community Writing Center provides instructional support for writing, one-on-one tutoring on a drop-in basis, supplemental instruction in English and ESL, and access to computers for use in completion of writing assignments. Writing Center tutors give individualized attention to students, but do not write or edit papers for them.  Instead, tutors are trained to listen and ask questions to help students make their own choices in developing writing strategies.

The James Oliver Community Writing Center is administered by the Division of Humanities, Language Arts and Social Sciences.  It is located in the B Building, rooms B260, B261 and B262.

For information about tutoring hours and services, see the Laney College            tutoring website at

b) Enroll in ESL 218 (Writing Workshop). This is a 1.5 unit course in which you get individual help and guidance with your writing assignments for any of your other courses. ESL students often do much better in their reading and writing classes if they also take ESL 218.

c) Use the instructor’s office hours (listed above). The office hours are part of your teacher’s job, and you should not feel shy about taking advantage of them. The purpose of office hours is for you to get extra help with assignments if you need it. If the scheduled office hours are not possible for you, talk to the teacher about scheduling a meeting at some other time.

(15)         Grading policy: Your grade for this course will be computed as follows:

  • Writing assignments: 20%
  • Homework, group projects and quizzes: 15%
  • Exams (Midterm and Final): 20%
  • Final research paper: 20%
  • Daily journal assignments: 15%

The instructor uses Engrade, an online grading program, to record your grade and attendance records. Early in the semester, she will show you how you can login to Engrade to check your course record at any time.

Engrade is not the same Web site as Moodle, but you will find an external link to Engrade on the course Moodle site.

(16)         The final exam for this class is 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 15. Please do not make travel plans that require you to leave before the date of the exam.

Welcome, and let’s have a great semester!

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