3 Introduction for Students

Welcome to ELAI 990. I am delighted that you’ve chosen to take the course. This is an advanced integrated skills course in academic English for translingual students of English. The course emphasizes reading and aural comprehension of academic input, and also explores the appropriate use of academic English in writing expository essays and short responses to readings and lectures.

These are the learning outcomes students are expected to demonstrate by the end of the course:

  1. The student will be able to apply reading skills to understand the content of college level texts.
  2. The student will be able to use target academic vocabulary appropriately.
  3. The student will be able to use critical thinking skills to paraphrase, summarize, synthesize, and respond orally and/or in writing to information from multiple readings, including charts and graphs.
  4. The student will be able to demonstrate control of a variety of sentence structures, with academic vocabulary and collocations appropriate for college-level writing.
  5. The student will be able to produce a variety of multi-paragraph compositions of at least 400 words, both inside and outside of class, with well-developed explanations, descriptions, examples, and details with unity and coherence.
  6. The student will be able to use sources to support ideas by using signal phrases, direct quotes, and paraphrased language when incorporating the words or ideas of others.
  7. The student will be able to identify, locate, and edit errors in grammar and punctuation.
  8. The student will be able to use a variety of listening skills to comprehend lectures and other video/audio sources.
  9. The student will be able to speak easily and articulately, self-correcting pronunciation and speech patterns for successful communication in academic settings.

As you can see from the above list of learning outcomes, ELAI 990 does not focus on only one academic skill. Instead, the course integrates all key academic skills–reading, writing, listening, speaking, and critical thinking. To facilitate the acquisition of these skills, this companion ebook has been designed especially for you. As an English language user who is acquiring advanced integrated skills in academic English, you will be able to use this book as a complement to the course site and the in-class instruction.

The framework below will help you understand how the ebook fits into the overall course design for ELAI 990:

Specifically, in this course, you will enhance your academic English skills by completing four interdisciplinary content modules, along with academic modules in the ebook. In addition, the modules will help you build your skills as global citizens. The interdisciplinary topics across the modules will also connect with and build your knowledge through the exploration of different overlapping themes throughout the semester: culture, technology, environment, health, and education.

The Syllabus

Before we go more deeply into the course content, here are two important tasks to complete.

In most U.S. college courses, the instructor will provide students a multi-page document called ‘syllabus’ in print and/or electronic formats. A syllabus contains important information about the course. For instance, the syllabus may list the learning outcomes of the course. In other words, the syllabus will tell you what you skills you will acquire and tasks you will be able to complete by the end of the course. The syllabus may also provide information about grading, assignments, deadlines, and so forth. Some instructors even provide a schedule that describes what course content would be covered each week.

The ELAI 990 course syllabus is available on the course site. Make sure to read the syllabus carefully and refer to it throughout the semester for general course questions. The ELAI 990 course syllabus includes (but is not limited to) the following information: learning outcomes, course design, course requirements and grading scheme, students code and conduct, college policies and procedures, and a detailed course schedule.

The Student Background Survey

At the beginning of the course, you will be asked to complete a short 10-question survey. This survey will cover information about your educational, cultural, and linguistic background, and will also ask you about your expectations from the course. Your responses will help me ensure that the course is a good fit for you and the learning materials are both interesting and meaningful. To take the survey, go to the course site and follow the steps provided in the Announcements section. It is recommended that you complete the survey within the first week of classes.

Again, welcome to the ELAI 990 class community, and I look forward to our collective learning and teaching this semester.


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Demystifying Academic English Copyright © by Rashi Jain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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