Esl 21A: intermediate paragraph/essay composition and grammar fall 2011 section 2124 m w 9: 30 – 10: 50 a m. Room esl 125 instructor: sharon jaffe, Ph. D. Email

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FALL 2011


M W 9:30 – 10:50 a.m.




VOICEMAIL: 310-434-4567


OFFICE HOURS: M W 2:30 – 3:30

T 12:30 – 2:30
ESL 21A is a 3 unit, 3 hour per week high intermediate communicative writing course for non-native speakers. ESL 21A is the first part of the ESL 21A/B sequence.
Upon completion of this course students will be able to do the following:


1. construct and revise a variety of sentence types within paragraphs

2. plan, compose, and revise multi-paragraph essays (built upon a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, transitional sentences, and a conclusion)

3. respond to questions with paragraphs or essays under time constraints

4. paraphrase and summarize information from lectures and readings

5. demonstrate use of appropriate academic vocabulary in paragraphs and essays

6. write both short and extended definitions

7. begin to document sources


1. use table of contents, titles, headings, and indices to preview an academic text

2. use skimming and scanning to locate main ideas and specific details in academic texts

3. evaluate the use of cohesive markers; distinguish word forms and their functions in a sentence

4. identify purpose, bias, audience, tone, and register

5. access articles online


Use the following in speaking/writing

1. verb tense and aspect (active and passive voice); time shifts, subject/verb agreement

2. clauses (noun, adjective, adverb); reported speech

3. modals in passive and reported speech

4. comparatives, superlative

Listening and Speaking:

1. discuss information from readings and audio-video tapes in small groups to collect and organize ideas for writing

2. express and support opinions

3. participate in class discussions

4. give individual presentations

Student Learning Outcomes:


Given a prompt, students will be able to plan, compose and revise a multi-paragraph essay under time constraints. The essay contains a variety of sentence types, appropriate vocabulary and accurate grammar, and references information from assigned course materials.


Students will be able to identify main ideas and specific details in a text and summarize the information in their own words.


Students will exhibit strong academic behavior.

As assessed by: adherence to the College Honor Code on all assignments and tests


Smith & Palinkas, Key Concepts 2: Reading and Writing Across the Disciplines ISBN: 0-312-59334-1 (Bedford/St.Martin’s)

Hacker, A Writer’s Reference & Exercises ISBN: 0-312-5933-4-1 (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

Additional readings from periodicals (to be assigned)

An English-English Dictionary (Oxford or American Heritage recommended)


No food or drinks in the classroom. All cell phones and other electronic devices must be shut off and out of sight during class. No electronic dictionaries. No texting!


Regular attendance is crucial. Students who miss more than 6 hours of class can be dropped. If you know in advance that you will be absent, please contact me by email . In addition, please arrange for a classmate to pick up any material handed out during the session. You are responsible for all assignments regardless of whether you are present or not. Be sure that you have the email addresses and/or phone numbers of at least two other students so that you can contact them if you are not in class.


Students who arrive late for class or leave early consistently may be dropped. Two late arrivals to class equal one absence. If you are late for any justified reason, please enter the class quietly and take a seat near the door so that you will not disturb the momentum of the lesson. Never walk in front of or behind the instructor if you are late!


Students are responsible for dropping the course. Check drop deadlines. Failure to drop may result in an “F.”


Four graded writing assignments will be written in class. Revisions will be done both in class and outside of class. Final drafts of all essays, paragraphs, summaries that are written at home should be word-processed. Type your last name, first name, my name, ESL 21A, Section #2124, the date and the assignment you are submitting single spaced at the upper left hand corner of an 8 ½ by 11 paper.

Sample Heading:

Chen, Charles

Prof. Sharon Jaffe


Section #2124

Sept. 20, 2011

Essay #1 – Revision
No late papers will be accepted without a valid reason.


Dated, titled, and numbered entries will be written both in and outside of class. Journal responses may also be posted as part of a discussion on eCompanion. Check Corsair Connect for information about eCompanion. Journals will receive a check, check plus, or check minus response and will be returned at various points during the semester. However, all journals must be saved and resubmitted at the end of the semester for a final letter grade. No credit will be given to lost journals. Keep your journals in a separate thin folder.

Quizzes: Occasional quizzes will cover grammar, mechanics, terminology and editing skills. There will be no make-up quizzes.


There will be two major writing exams during the semester: the common essay exam and the final. The common essay exam will be given around October 17 and the final will be given according to the assigned final schedule (Monday, December 19, from 8-11).

Group Work:

Students are expected to participate in work/study groups in and out of class. We often learn best through our peers!

Honor Policy:

Students must adhere to the SMC Code of Academic Conduct regarding plagiarism and cheating: “Santa Monica College defines academic dishonesty as the act or assistance in deceiving, including fraud or deception in an academic exercise. Academic honesty includes, but is not limited to, certain actions not authorized by the instructor or testing officer, such as using notes or testing aids, allowing someone else to assume one’s identity, falsifying records, plagiarism, changing answers on a previously scored assignment or exam, copying, inventing information by any means during an exam.” Check the SMC catalog for additional details, including information on the consequences for academic conduct violations. Students who cheat will be reported to the Admissions and Records Office and will receive a Fail on the assignment or in the class.


You may communicate with me either through email or voice mail. I will try to reply as soon as possible. I also advise students to discuss their progress with me during office hours. Please get the phone number or email of at least two classmates if you have immediate questions about course assignments.

Grading: (Note :ESL 21A may be taken for Pass/No Pass. This decision, however, must be made at an early point in the semester. See your counselor for further credit/ transfer guidance.)

In-class essays:

Essay #1 5%

Essay #2 10%

Essay #3 15%


Essay #1 5%

Essay #2 10%

Essay #3 10%

Common Essay 10 %

Final Exam 15 %

Quizzes 10%

Journals 5 %

Group Work/

Oral Presentation 5%
SMC Grading Scale

100 – 90% A (ESL 21B or possibly higher recommended)

89 – 80% B (ESL 21B recommended)

79 – 70% C (ESL 21B recommended)

69 – 60% D (Repeat of ESL 21A recommended)

below 59% F (ESL 11A/B level recommended)
Support Courses:

ESL 14A Pronunciation and Spelling

ESL 14B Pronunciation: Rhythm and Intonation

ESL 15 Conversation and Culture in the U.S.

ESL 16A Noun System and Articles

ESL 16B Using VerbTenses

ESL 16C Sentence Structure and Punctuation

ESL 20A/B Grammar Workshops

ESL 23 Academic Reading & Study Skills

ESL 28 Academic Vocabulary Skills

Check the schedule for availability of the above classes online.


Free tutoring is available in the ESL Center. Please sign up online (check the ESL Department’s website). Bring in any ESL 21A assignments that you do not understand. Tutors will not proofread, correct errors, or rewrite sentences. However, they will work with you on your individual English language

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 Deadline to drop and be eligible for a refund (by 10 pm)

Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 Deadline to drop and avoid a “W” (by 10 pm)

Monday, Sept. 23, 2011 Deadline to apply for Pass/No Pass grading option

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011 Deadline to drop and receive a guaranteed “W” (by 10 pm)

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 Deadline to drop with required faculty approval

SMC FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions): To access the SMC database for additional questions you might have, go to
Our class final takes place on Monday, Dec. 19 (8-11) in our classroom. Please make your travel arrangements accordingly.
Please Note: Syllabus items may be changed at any time during the semester at the discretion of the instructor. Supplementary readings, videos and/or an additional short text may be assigned. Students should be familiar with and log on to ecompanion. Class messages will be posted there as well as in class.

FALL 2011- SECTION 2124

Note: All page assignments refer to Key Concepts 2. Syllabus may be changed during the semester at the discretion of the instructor. Supplementary readings and/or videos will be assigned from internet sources.
Week 1: Aug 29/Aug 31

Introduction to course; student introductions; diagnostic testing (writing, grammar, student exchange); Sentence Essentials (KC 24-28), Begin KC Chapter 2 “From the Social Sciences: Cultural Anthropology”

Week 2: Sept 5 (Labor Day – no class/Sept 7

Continue readings and discussion in “Cultural Anthropology”; academic vocabulary tips; review clauses, sentence types (KC 54-63); Feedback on diagnostic writing/Recommendations for support courses; Journal writing discussed and assigned; Begin summary writing skills

Week 3: Sept 12/ Sept 14

Review annotating; Additional readings assigned; (summary written in class Sept 14

Week 4: Sept 19/21

Continued readings and discussion in “Cultural Anthropology”; from summary to essay/essay writing skills discussed (KC 101-110; 150 – 151; essays of reaction/response 158-159)

Week 5: Sept 26/28

Essay #1 based on Cultural Anthropology unit written in class Sept 28; recommended sections from Hacker assigned
Week 6: Oct 3/Oct 5

Begin Chapter 3 “From Business: Business Ethics” – readings and discussion; citing sources and dangers of plagiarism; essay #1 discussed and requirements for revision identified (KC 116-118; 163); using sources (KC 154-156)

Week 7: Oct 10/12

Continued readings and discussion of “Business Ethics”; Listening activities (NPR – National Public Radio); assigned sections from Hacker

Week 8: Oct 17/Oct 19

“Business Ethics” vocabulary; essay #2 written in class Oct 19; preparation for Common Essay

Week 9: Oct 24/26

Common Essay Exam will be given this week; Essay #2 returned and instructions for revision given; model essays discussed

Begin readings and discussion about Chapter 6 “From History: American History”

Week 10: Oct 31/Nov 2

Continued discussion of “American History” unit; Sherman Alexie introduced; research projects/oral presentations assigned (Native American issues; the 60’s)

Week 11: Nov 7/Nov 9

Continued readings and discussion on American history; listening activities; oral presentations

Week 12: Nov 14/Nov 16

Essay #3 written in class Nov 16; Begin readings and discussion for the final unit “The Digital Era”
Week 13: Nov 21/Nov 23

“Digital Era” readings and discussion continued

Week 14: Nov 28/Nov 30

“Digital Era” continued; preparation for the final. Class final will be based on the “Digital Era” unit.

Week 15: Dec 5/Dec 7

Completion of “Digital Era” unit; preparation for the final

Week 16: Dec. 12 (Last day of formal class); Part I of the final will be given on this day
Finals Week: Tuesday, Dec 13 – Dec. 20

Class Final: Monday, Dec 19 (8-11)

Once again, please be sure to make travel arrangements so that you will not have a conflict with the scheduled final.

Everyone is expected to take the final!
Enjoy the semester!
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