English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

ESL Course Descriptions

ESL courses in Connecticut

ESL 015 - Beginning English I
This course focuses on fundamental grammar, common vocabulary, introduction to reading skills in English, and conversation practice.

ESL 015 Learning Outcomes:

  • Grammar in Context - Students will be introduced to target grammatical structures including the present and past of the verb ‘be’, imperatives, simple present tense with the use of adverbs of frequency, present progressive verbs, descriptive adjectives, pronouns and possessives, and modals of ability and permission in realistic contexts.
  • Writing Practice - Students will improve their use of capital letters, past tense time markers, time word connectors, the connectors ‘and’ and ‘but’, and correct usage of punctuation (commas, periods, and question marks) in simple and compound sentences.
  • Every Day Skills - Students will learn practical life-skills information concerning the English alphabet and numbers, the calendar, body, health, and clothing to be able to function in everyday, real-life situations related to their immediate needs.
  • Vocabulary - Students will learn how to develop their vocabulary skills by using the suffix –er and learning basic synonyms and antonyms that relate to work, school and the community.
  • Reading - Students will work on developing reading fluency skills by identifying the topic and main idea of paragraphs, scanning for specific information, and summarizing authentic reading passages.
  • Speaking - Students will participate in real-life communicative activities, discussions, and role-plays which focus on demonstrating the ability to follow oral directions, respond accurately to oral cues and open-ended questions, and explaining different cultural celebrations. Students will engage in discussions pertaining to future career paths, job hunting techniques and interview skills, particularly answering questions for a job interview.

ESL 025 - Beginning English II
This course continues and reinforces content and skills from our first ESL level. Students will focus on four skills in various segments- fundamental grammar, common vocabulary, reading comprehension and conversation practice.

ESL 025 Learning Outcomes:

  • Grammar in Context - Students will be introduced to target grammatical structures including the simple past of regular and irregular verbs, gerunds and infinitives, simple present versus present progressive, the future ‘be going to’ versus ‘will’ for future tenses, quantifiers, count and non-count nouns and article usage, comparative and superlative adjectives, and modals for advice, requests, offers, and necessity.
  • Writing Practice - Students will use time sequence markers and time clauses for better writing organization. Students will practice expressing and supporting their opinions in various written paragraphs, as well as write a business letter.
  • Every Day Skills - Students will learn practical life-skills information concerning parts of the day, telling time, identifying family members, recognizing items in a classroom and people in school settings, recognizing and using U.S. currency, recognizing different methods of transportation, including traffic signs and signals, using directional terms to follow directions, identifying rooms of a house, and discussing different occupations to be able to function in everyday situations.
  • Reading - Students will work on developing reading fluency skills by identifying the topic and main idea of paragraphs, interpreting titles of readings, scanning for specific information, demonstrating understanding of explicit and implicit information in readings, and summarizing and retelling events, stories, and articles.
  • Vocabulary - Students will practice guessing word meanings from context, use guidewords to look up words in a dictionary, and build vocabulary using word families, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, and antonyms.
  • Speaking - Students will participate in real-life communicative activities, discussions, and role-plays which focus on demonstrating the ability to follow oral directions, respond accurately to oral cues and open-ended questions, and explaining different cultural celebrations. Students will engage in discussions pertaining to future career paths, job hunting techniques and interview skills, particularly answering questions for a job interview.

ESL 035 - Intermediate English I
This course is designed to develop students’ English language skills at the low intermediate level, with attention to developing accuracy and fluency in communication. Students will be introduced to paragraph writing, giving speeches and presentations, as well as improving reading comprehension and vocabulary.

ESL 035 Learning Outcomes:

  • Writing - Students will write comprehensively, demonstrating an organized presentation of ideas using simple and compound sentences with proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and structure. Emphasis will be on writing paragraphs that employ the four basic writing steps, and consist of time-order, narrative, and descriptive paragraphs with the use of brainstorming and clustering to organize pre-writing ideas.
  • Reading - Students will develop critical thinking skills to compare and contrast everyday problems, hopes, progress, and fears from readings and their own lives. They will make inferences, determine cause and effect, find clues to meaning, recognize patterns of organization, and match main ideas and supporting details of authentic reading passages.
  • Vocabulary - Students will learn to guess word meanings from context, use common prefixes and suffixes, expand vocabulary using word families, and define terms using guidewords, compound words, and superscripts in a dictionary.
  • Reading - Students will develop critical thinking skills to compare and contrast everyday problems, hopes, progress, and fears from readings and their own lives. They will make inferences, determine cause and effect, find clues to meaning, recognize patterns of organization, and match main ideas and supporting details of authentic reading passages.
  • Speaking - Students will participate in communicative activities, discussions, role-plays, and an in-class presentation on real-life situations and their respective cultural importance. Students will focus on demonstrating the ability to use selected high-frequency words and idioms to improve oral language by expressing ideas and feelings, using simple and compound sentences with proper grammar, fluency, and pronunciation.
  • Listening - Students will understand the main ideas and details on a topic of personal or familiar interest, understand situational dialogs, distinguish between fact and opinion, recognize real and unreal situations, and get main ideas and details from interviews, conversations, and radio reports. Students will also listen to and comprehend face-to-face conversations, routine telephone conversations, and non-contextualized speech (such as announcements and reports over the media), and take notes in a variety of contexts.

ESL 045 - Intermediate English II
This course builds on the foundation of the previous level. It is designed to help students refine their accuracy and fluency and build effective communication skills. Students will also continue reading more complex texts as well as building speaking and oral (including persuasive) presentation skills. Students will move beyond writing at the paragraph level into longer compositions.

ESL 045 Learning Outcomes:

  • Writing - Students will write comprehensively, demonstrating organization and development of a minimum of a three-paragraph essay (narrative and descriptive), using clear topic sentences, specific, descriptive details to support main ideas, and a strong conclusion with an emphasis on paragraph unity. Students will engage in significant practice of combining sentences with conjunctions to form compound and complex sentences, recognizing run-on sentences and sentence fragments, using listing-order transition signals, and expressing a written opinion effectively using proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure.
  • Reading - Students will read more advanced written English and develop the ability to infer, judge, or speculate the answer to specific questions. Students will continue to strengthen comprehension and critical thinking skills in order to distinguish between quoting and paraphrasing and facts versus opinions, complete a main idea statement, understand reference words, determine cause and effect, and understand the writer’s point of view and purpose of a reading.
  • Vocabulary - Students will expand vocabulary using word families, antonyms and adjectives, understand and use reference words, and exhibit the ability to correctly use phrasal verbs with multiple meanings.
  • Speaking - Students will strengthen oral skills by participating in a variety of discussions and role-plays on popular topics. Students will prepare, develop, and perform speeches and presentations on authentic topics, constructing and defending arguments. The emphasis will be on appropriate fluency and pronunciation, proper grammar, authentic language use, comprehensibility, and improved confidence when speaking in front of a group. Students will also practice and improve speaking tasks specific to the TOEFL and IELTS exams.
  • Listening - Students will understand the main ideas and details on a wide variety of topics, will distinguish between fact and opinion, and develop active listening strategies. Students will also learn to infer meaning from context, understand most questions, statements, and conversations at normal speaking speed, and take notes in a variety of contexts.

ESL 055 - Advanced English I
This course is designed to further develop the English language skills of non-native speakers for the purpose of academic study. Instruction will emphasize usage, function, and accuracy in oral and written communication. Students will write five-paragraph essays (process, persuasive and compare/contrast); will listen to lectures and take notes; and will build speaking fluency, communicability, and oral (including argumentative) presentation skills. Reading comprehension work will focus on analysis and vocabulary necessary for academic study. Throughout the course, students will improve their study skills, communication, and critical thinking.

ESL 055 Learning Outcomes:

  • Writing - Students will write comprehensively, demonstrating effective presentation of ideas in multi-paragraph essays with a clear thesis and well-developed outline. Students will be expected to compile a writing portfolio which will include process, persuasive and compare/contrast essays. Focus is on a five-paragraph essay that demonstrates competency in communicating critical thinking and analytical thought using proper grammar, advanced punctuation, and appropriate vocabulary.
  • Reading - Students will read more advanced written English and develop the ability to infer, judge, or speculate the answer to specific questions. Students will continue to strengthen comprehension and critical thinking skills in order to distinguish between quoting and paraphrasing and facts versus opinions, complete a main idea statement, understand reference words, determine cause and effect, and understand the writer’s point of view and purpose of a reading.
  • Vocabulary - Students will expand vocabulary from the Academic Word List using word families, antonyms and adjectives, understand and use reference words, and exhibit the ability to correctly use phrasal verbs with multiple meanings.
  • Speaking - The emphasis will be on appropriate fluency, authentic language use, comprehensibility, and improved confidence when speaking in front of a group. Students will participate in discussions, debates and role-plays on a variety of cultural and newsworthy topics that demonstrate unrehearsed language usage with the ability to self-correct. Students will prepare, develop, and perform speeches and presentations, referencing data and paraphrasing sources.
  • Listening - Students will learn active listening and note-taking skills to understand main ideas and key details of lectures, documentaries, podcasts and student dialogues. Students will also understand and interpret academic maps, charts, timelines, and diagrams.

ESL 065 - Advanced English II
This course is designed for the purpose of developing an academic level of English Language proficiency. Students will continue to develop essay-writing skills (process, compare/contrast, persuasive, problem/solution, and explanatory), as well as study and note-taking skills. Students will make formal presentations and debate current topics. Students will also critically analyze and discuss themes and issues, as well as express opinions and advocate for self in a variety of situations.

ESL 065 Learning Outcomes:

  • Writing - Students will concentrate on refining and enhancing their written ideas with an emphasis on fluency, conciseness, audience, and rhetorical expression with persuasive, problem/solution, and expository essays. The goal of this course is the improvement of written work through multiple revisions with awareness of syntax, word usage to convey thoughts effectively, consistency of language and accurate mechanics. Students will utilize these skills for summarizing, avoiding plagiarism, and mastering the use of direct and indirect quotations in formal written assignments.
  • Reading - Students will read more advanced written English and develop the ability to infer, judge, or speculate the answer to specific questions. Students will continue to strengthen comprehension and critical thinking skills in order to distinguish between quoting and paraphrasing and facts versus opinions, complete a main idea statement, understand reference words, determine cause and effect, and understand the writer’s point of view and purpose of a reading.
  • Vocabulary - Students will expand vocabulary from the Academic Word List using morphemes, understanding idiomatic expressions, and language in context. Students will be exposed to reference words and be expected to correctly use them in their writings.
  • Speaking - Students will improve their oral communication skills through expressing opinions and analyzing themes and issues with more advanced fluency and accuracy in unrehearsed speech. Students will prepare, develop, and perform presentations that synthesize research materials with personal arguments using fully comprehensible pronunciation and appropriate intonation.
  • Listening - Students will continue to develop active listening and note-taking skills to understand main ideas and key technical details of lectures, interviews, podcasts and student speech. Students will listen critically in order to understand and challenge an argument.