SECTION I: PLACEMENT IN ACADEMIC ENGLISH 20
Enrollment in Academic English 20 courses is based on results of the Academic English (AE) Placement Exam or the successful completion of a previous Academic English 20 writing class.
Academic English 20 courses help students whose first language is not English succeed in their studies at UCI by providing them with the tools needed to strengthen their reading and writing skills in Academic English. These courses help students prepare for the Writing 39 series in the Composition Program as well as for their other academic courses at UCI. By helping students strengthen their reading and writing skills in Academic English, the 20 series hopes to make their academic experience at the university as rewarding as possible.
1.2 DESCRIPTION OF STUDENTS
The Academic English 20 series serves a diverse population of students. A large number of students are international students who have recently arrived in the US to pursue a degree from UCI, while other students have already lived in the US for several years or were born here. Regardless of background, most incoming Academic English 20 students have already attained a high level of English competency. However, because UCI’s requirements are rigorous, many students need extra help with their academic language skills.
1.3 PLACEMENT IN ACADEMIC ENGLISH 20 LEVELS
Those who are identified as Academic English 20 students receive written notification to take the Academic English Placement Test that consists of a reading-vocabulary test and an essay exam (see http://www.testingcenter.uci.edu/). The results of these tests determine whether the students need to take courses in the Academic English 20 series and which courses are most appropriate for them. Students are required to complete these courses before they enroll in the Writing 39 series. Students who test into Academic English courses should enroll immediately and must take them consecutively until they finish. If they have not completed their Academic English course requirements by their sixth quarter, they will no longer be eligible to enroll in UCI classes.
SECTION II: ASSESSMENT AND COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Students are expected to pass grammar quizzes with scores of at least 75%; otherwise, they will need to take make-up quizzes organized by the Academic English Resource Center (AERC). Instructors will provide the information about the AERC grammar workshops and make-up quizzes the first week of classes.
2.3 ESSAY EXAM SCORING POLICY
Scores are assigned 1 to 5 and may include pluses (+) or minuses (-) to give students a better idea of their writing progress. These scores are explained below.
1-2 (20A) A paper with a score of 1 or 2 is difficult to understand because of the grammatical errors, especially those related to noun plurals and subject-verb agreement. Some complex sentences might be used but often incorrectly, although simple sentences generally have correct structures. Vocabulary is limited and sometimes inappropriate.
Older generation often stress the importance and failures for young people taking responsibilities for their own acts. That include burdens for other’s expectations toward them or possible mistakes around living circumstances. Regardless of outcomes of those possibilities of one from taking responsibility, young people are actually beginning to get in the habit of forgiving themselves for their wrong-doings or their limits due to lack of trial by pushing them hard to the edge of goals.
Things have been rabidly changing as the years went by, and as people experience new advantages of life through the technology developments. As more people are affected by the kind of surroundings, especially young people, they are forgetting hardships of older people went through, like wars and movements for freedom of expressing their opinions that were disregarded by the certain group of people, which was long and painful to suffer, yet learned the importance of values and experience the growing wisdom of facing and overcome such problems.
I see a lot of times, even myself, that parents are taking responsible for their own child. It is clear that it is not their faults or responsibilities to take care, yet they go after every single wrong-doings that their child have caused, even more some parents are eager to defend their child, thus deny the fact that wrong acts have been caused and it is proper for the young people to take care of them.
Now, it is said to be peaceful days, with technology that has been developed and keep continuing reliable society. However, in fact as carefully look around it can be even more dangerous and getting complex as more people, especially those young people with kind of attitude, live together, associate, and increase the possibilities of causing troubles. As time goes by, the issue has been more stressed and became crucially important—that young people need to have courage to face and overcome possible obstacles, and take full responsibilities for the outcomes.
END OF SAMPLE
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS:
- Articles (a, an, the) or plural: older generation, the certain group, disregards, wrong-doings
- Word form: specific believes, taking responsible
- Subject-verb agreement: older generation stress, their child have caused
- Verb tense: things have been rapidly changing as the years went by
- Sentence structure: They are forgetting hardships of older people went through. However, in fact as carefully look around it can be even more dangerous.
- Confusing sentence meaning: Regardless of outcomes of those possibilities of one from taking responsibility, young people are actually beginning to get in the habit of forgiving themselves for their wrong-doings or their limits due to lack of trial by pushing them hard to the edge of goals.
- No real thesis
SOME OF THE STENGTHS:
- Vocabulary: outcome, burdens, expectations, hardships, wisdom, defend, reliable, crucially, obstacles, eager
- Perfect forms: have been rapidly changing, have caused
- Passive voice: are affected, were disregarded, have been caused, is said
- Topic Sentences
- Transitional devices: however, as time goes by, yet, now, regardless
3 (20B) A paper with a 3 is basically understandable but confusing in parts. It is grammatically inconsistent and frequently contains verb form and verb tense errors. It has more complex sentence structure than a 20A paper, though not always correctly used, and only a small amount of sentence variety. There may be some problems with vocabulary, such as word form errors.
The top concern that young peoples goes through today is not just drugs, smoke, alcohol, or violence. Yes, these are the concerns that parents and elders who cares about their children mostly talked about. But I think the top concern that young people face this days are media, fame, and getting attention. The problems with young people this days is that they are too caught up with how they might appear to others, such as models and actors, they want to be popular, and have people’s attention toward them. Take smoke for an example; from the people I know, who happens to be my close friends started to smoke because they thought it was cool things to do. They’ve seen their older siblings and movie stars smoke, and they thought they’ll look cool just like them. Well. They succeed in getting all the attention from people; parents, teachers, church friends, and me, who oppose smoking. They enjoyed being the ones that people talked about. They giggled and laughed whenever they heard their names mentioned from people’s conversation. To be honest, they afraid of being alone. They concerned that they won’t be known, that they might be ignored and turned down, afraid to have no friends…too worried about facing loneliness. Instead of taking their life to good, they turned to bad to get attention.
If people were to be kind, and honest, will these kind of thing ever happen? I blame no one for this. I also happened to be the one who wanted fame and attention. Instead of radical things, like smoking and gang violence…I chose to be just nice person. Well. I get people’s attention alright, not as much though. But enough to be satisfied, that I know I have friends and people who would treat me the same way; nice. One advice that I can give to other young people who face the same problem is that there’s nothing to be afraid of being unpopular. Everyone is somebody and it’s better to have less attention for being good than a lot of attention for being bad. Individuality, yes, love yourself and respect yourself as who you are. Blame no one, and nothing, but take it and deal with it with a positive attitude. Face tomorrow with a smile.
END OF SAMPLE
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS:
- Articles (a, an, the) or plural: this days, one advice, just nice person
- Subject-verb agreement errors: people goes, parents and elders who cares
- Word form: drugs, smoke, alcohol, or violence
- Verb tense: they were concerned they won’t be known
- Sentence structure: The problems with young people this days is that they are too caught up with how they might appear to others, such as models and actors, they want to be popular, and have people’s attention toward them. From the people I know, who happens to be my close friends started to smoke because they thought it was cool things to do.
- Conditional: If people were to be kind, and honest, will these kind of thing ever happen?
- Lack of paragraph structure
SOME OF THE STRENGTHS
- Original content
- Clear opinion
- Non-count nouns: media, fame, attention, loneliness, violence
- Compound sentence with comparison: Everyone is somebody and it’s better to have less attention for being good than a lot of attention for being bad.
4 (20C/D) A paper with this score is easily understandable throughout. Its grammatical errors occur mostly in more sophisticated structures. On the other hand, there may still be a few scattered verb and noun errors. Sentences tend to show a variety of structures, and there is a fairly consistent ability to write complex structures of different types. Vocabulary is adequate but choices may reflect problems with fixed expressions or shades of meaning.
Parent’s top concerns for their children are violence on television and crime. I think the top concern facing young people today is their ability to fit in with their environment.
This issue of fitting in with the crowd has effect the society in many ways. There are some who turn to violence for their stability in life and some learn to cope and live with the fact that we all fit in this society some way or another.
I remembered when I was attending Grant Elementary School. In the fourth grade I had a friend named Sandy. She was popular and I was her friend.
We hung out together a lot but I had other friends who wanted to be Sandy’s friend too, and that was hard. Because when I hung out with Sandy my other friends hung out without me. In a way I just wanted to fit in and be cool like Sandy and her friends. I felt like I knew the whole fourth grade.
One day while we were walking to pay kickball for physical education, Sandy hit her head on a pole. She was walking backwards and once she turned around, “bang” right on the forehead. Everyone in our class started laughing except for me. Sandy looked like she wanted to cry but didn’t dare to. She took a glance at me and ran to the teacher. During the week my social life seem to have gotten quiet. No one really talked to me after that. Not my friends nor Sandy’s friends. Later I found out that Sandy spread a rumor about me laughing at her hysterically when she hit the pole. I was crushed for that day on I didn’t have anyone.
That’s a lesson in all of this. I didn’t turn to violence for my problems but I know most of my friends did. The sad part if, is that I watch my peers turn to gangs, drug abuse and even crimes. I’ve learned at growing up with different kinds of people. The most important part is changing who you are as a person and taking what you want in your life, not what others want. I’m a growing young adult and my advice to all the growing young adults is that, “You the only person who can change anything about yourself.” I say that because even is we watch, grow up with despair, listen to others. It’s not those things that changes us as an individual it’s ourselves.
From all my experiences growing up in America I’ve learned to be the person I want to be. I’ve become a stronger individual as well as having a great group of friends. I was always faced by violence but I didn’t let it devour me.
END OF SAMPLE
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS:
- Verb form: the issue of fitting in has effect the society; I've learned at growing up.
- Verb tense: I remembered; During the week my social life seem to have gotten quiet.
- Sentence structure: Not my friends nor Sandy’s friends; I was crushed from that day on I didn’t have anyone.
- Wrong word/preposition: I’ve learned at growing up with different kinds of people.
SOME OF THE STRENGTHS
- Vocabulary: devour, hysterically, stability, glance, despair
- Introduction of the topic in paragraph 1
- Sentence complexity and variety: There some who turn to violence for their stability in life and some learn to cope and live with the fact that we all fit in this society some way or another.
- Relevant personal example
5 (39A) A paper with this score clearly shows The paper indicates strong English proficiency. It is easily understandable and fluent. There may be some errors in basic grammar or vocabulary, but they do not interfere with communication.
Drugs and alcohol affect many adolescents today. Teenagers have either tried an illegal substance or know someone who has. It is unlikely that you find a high school student who hasn’t experienced the consequences of drugs or alcohol, whether it was with family, friends, or themselves.
Everyone is to blame for the downfall of an addicted teenager. Family, the media, society, even movies portray the gruesome images of the effects of abusing drugs and/or alcohol. Drugs can be seen on billboards. Television commercials, and they are the hot topic for magazines targeting young people. No wonder we see the percentage of young people using drugs climb higher and higher every year.
Smoking is an even bigger problem facing teenagers. A friend of mine started smoking at the early age of thirteen. His surroundings may be the cause of initiating this habit, but it has the consequence of developing a lung disease or cancer. My mother also smokes, even since she was my age (eighteen). Quitting to smoke is not an easy thing for her. It isn’t for anybody who has a strong addiction.
Every other month or so we hear a tragic story on the evening news about a drunken teenage driver or some teenager in the hospital for a drug overdose. Politicians enforce laws prohibiting underage drinking or smoking, but the numbers of these tragic incidents still prevail. Every year nationwide high school students get to listen to a session concerning drugs and/or alcohol. Their purpose? To convince students not to take drugs. Has their purpose been fulfilled? It depends on the students. They either vow to never take any drug, think “stop now while you can,” or continue to do so if they have an addiction. Who do we point the finger at? Parents, peer pressure, and society are all involved. The only thing they can do is to realize the problem and do something to help the problem fade.
About two years ago, I discovered two of my dearest friends were smoking marijuana. At first I was shocked, then angry, and I confronted them about it. With the help of my other friends, we persuaded them to quit and step-by-step, they slowly limited their smoking habits until they were smoke free. Coaxing them was a successful method, but unfortunately it doesn’t work for everyone. It may take a tragedy for someone to realize that help is needed.
There is not solid “cure” for drug or alcohol problem, but there are several treatments. You can reject peer pressure or look at the negative consequences of taking those substance. Hopefully, young people can be aware of the problem and choose to stay in a health “drug-free” environment.
END OF SAMPLE
SOME OF THE STRENGTHS:
- Complex sentences: It is unlikely that you find a high school student who hasn’t experienced the consequences of drugs or alcohol, whether it was with family, friends, or themselves.
- Vocabulary: Coaxing them was a successful method, but unfortunately it doesn’t work for everyone.
- Verb forms and tenses: It may take a tragedy for someone to realize that help is needed.
- Supporting details
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS:
The problems are few and minor: My mother also smokes ever since she was my age (verb tense); Quitting to smoke is not an easy thing (verb form).
2.5 ACADEMIC ENGLISH 20 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS/GENERAL GOALS
Ac Eng 20A
In this class, students will
Ac Eng 20B
In this class, students will
Ac Eng 20C
In this class, students will
Ac Eng 20D
In this class, students will
2.3 STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Academic English 20: Writing
Student Learning Objectives: Exit Objectives
A primary goal of the student learning objectives for Academic English 20 writing courses is to increase students’ understanding of what they need to learn to advance to WR 39. The objectives are consistent with current literature and the Council of Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition, approved July 17, 2014. They provide students with a foundation for attaining the learning objectives of Lower-Division Writing, as stated in UCI’s General Category:
Students in lower-division writing—
- demonstrate rhetorically effective, accurate writing, and communication ability across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media using appropriate stance, genre, style, and organization.
- develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading texts.
- develop abilities in critical reading across a variety of genres and media.
- demonstrate information literacy skills by locating, evaluating, and integrating information gathered from multiple sources into a research project.
Academic English writing:
Prior to beginning their Ac Eng 20 coursework, incoming undergraduate students take the Academic English Placement Exam that places them into an Ac Eng 20A-C course, and in the first week of class their writing proficiency is reassessed with another writing proficiency exam. As a result of this second in-class writing exam, they may be moved to a higher (or lower) level in the Ac Eng 20 sequence. Students may repeat levels. They review their progress in gaining writing proficiency in writing conferences with their instructors during Weeks 5-6 and Weeks 9-10, and they receive evaluations on their progress towards reaching specific objectives. Their writing is formally assessed during midterm and final conferences that are focused on student portfolio writing and writing exams.
At the end of Ac Eng 20C and D, students demonstrate their writing attainment of student learning objectives on their in-class and out of class writing assignments and exams. Those students who need an additional course in the Ac Eng 20 sequence may enroll in Ac Eng 28, a course focused on grammar for writing or Ac Eng 20D, a course that gives students additional intensive language instruction tailored to specific linguistic needs.
Ac Eng 20A-D: Academic English Learning Objectives for Writing Coursework
Grammar: Upon exiting the Ac Eng 20 series, students demonstrate good control of the following grammatical features in academic writing:
• Basic Sentence Structure (subject-verb-object, word order inversion, prevention of sentence fragments and run-on sentence errors)
• Complex Sentences (including relative clauses)
• Verb Tenses
• Verb Forms (including base forms, infinitives, gerunds, passive structures, irregular verbs)
• Nouns (both regular and irregular, count and non-count)
• Definite and Indefinite Articles
• Subject-Verb Agreement
• Pronouns (reference and agreement)
Mechanics: Students demonstrate knowledge of conventions pertaining to spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, including quotations
Vocabulary: Students who exit the Ac Eng 20 series demonstrate near mastery of the following aspects of word knowledge in specific academic expository texts:
• Word Forms (related parts of speech such as motivate and motivation)
• Collocations (idioms, fixed expressions, and other words that go together such as on the one hand, on the other hand, angry with, discriminate against)
• Transition Words
• Word Choice and Register (including the avoidance of slang in formal writing, attention to audience in word choice)
• The Grammatical Constraints Governing the Use of the Words
With reference to vocabulary:
Students learn to use approximately 50-70 new academic words and expressions each quarter they remain in the AE writing series. Although this vocabulary knowledge is informally assessed in classroom activities, students are only partly held accountable for it. Their failure to do well on classroom vocabulary activities will probably not prevent them from completing the Ac Eng 20 series and enrolling in WR 39A, but their failure to learn to use words accurately in writing may.
Essay Structure and Rhetorical Features: Students who complete the Academic English 20 series and are eligible to enroll in WR 39A are expected to demonstrate through their writing their knowledge of basic discourse features and structures. They are able to produce academic writing in which they do the following:
• Structure basic paragraphs (e.g., establishing a unitary purpose for each paragraph and using topic sentences)
• Write effective thesis statements
• Produce introductory paragraphs that announce the topic of the writing and establish the purpose
• Use multiple ways of establishing cohesion in academic writing (including synonyms, alternate word forms of key words, pronouns, transition words, fixed expressions, and demonstrative pronouns)
• Order paragraphs with effective transitional expressions and sentences that refer back to the thesis without directly repeating it
• Support thesis statements with evidence from a variety of sources
• Use quotations and reported speech to support claims, incorporating them appropriately
• Incorporate analyses of evidence to support claims
• Integrate class readings appropriately
• Conclude with suitable final paragraphs, (e.g., bringing all parts of writing together and clarifying why the topic should matter to the reader)
• Vary writing appropriately to achieve specific communicative purposes
The students learn to write both timed, in-class and un-timed, take-home analytical texts with arguable claims and effective supportive arguments as well appropriate responses to academic readings and literary texts. All Ac Eng students learn to write email messages to professors and Ac Eng 20C/D students learn to write reflective letters.
In addition to the discourse features above, students demonstrate the ability to respond to the needs of different audiences (including imaginary readers, classmates, instructors, and program administrators) and they learn the conventions for writing the following genres:
1. Summary (Ac Eng 20A-D)
2. Academic expository essay writing (argumentative writing): Analytical essay pertaining to a movie or book (Ac Eng 20A-D), diagnostic exam, midterm exam, practice final, final exam (Ac Eng 20A-D)
4. Response to a short story (Ac Eng 20A-D)
5. Response to scholarly text—article/s, chapter/s and/or book (Ac Eng 20A-D)
4. Definition (Ac Eng 20A)
5. Email message (Ac Eng 20A)
6. Reflective letter (Ac Eng 20C/D)
The objectives are assessed through out-of-class writing assignments, in-class writing activities, and sit- down writing exams.
Students also demonstrate the ability to complete papers with multiple drafts, generating, revising, editing, and proofreading. In addition, through carefully structured peer writing reviews, they demonstrate the ability to critique their own writing as well as the writing of others.
SECTION III: STUDENT OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS
3.1 COMPLETION OF WORK
In general, students are responsible for completing all their assignments on time. The program policy is that students missing 30% or more of the written work for a class do not receive credit for that class. Teachers do not accept writing assignments that are turned in more than one day late. Individual instructors may have their own additional policies regarding late and missing work. These are stated in their course syllabi. Students should be cautioned that late work is generally penalized at UCI.
The general course assignments are listed on the class schedule. In addition, instructors may assign work in class or via an online platform such as Canvas. Students are responsible for following their instructors’ directions and keeping up with all assigned work. Students are also responsible for monitoring their progress in the class and carefully reviewing Section 3.2 Grades (below).
Academic English 20 courses are Pass/No Pass. Students need 73% possible points to pass the course to the next level of writing. Academic English 20A, B, and D students need 73% to pass the course. They should aim to get high scores on their assignments as they progress through the quarter because high scores indicate the levels of the work done for assignments are close to the required standard of the next writing level. To help students evaluate their progress, each assignment is given a certain number of points. Details of the assignments are listed on the Student Grade Sheet. Students should monitor the percentage they earn for each assignment. They should calculate what percentage they still need to reach the minimum to pass the class. Students are encouraged to request conferences with their instructors to discuss their progress.
Students in Ac Eng 20C who do not have the 73% necessary to pass to WR39A but have reached 68% pass 20C and may enroll in 20D only. Students who do not have 680 points will receive a non-passing grade and must repeat 20C.
3.3 ABSENCE AND TARDINESS
Writing courses at UCI are considered workshop style classes which depend on in-class collaboration, thus making attendance mandatory. Excessive absence from class is grounds for failure. If a class meets three times a week, a student who misses more than three class sessions will not receive credit for the course. If a class meets twice a week, a student who misses more than two class sessions will not receive credit.
Instructors at UCI generally establish their own tardiness rules for their students. In Academic English, three tardies are considered equal to one absence. Leaving class early is the same as a tardy. Instructors may have additional tardy policy details in the class syllabus.
3.4 FEEDBACK ON WRITTEN WORK
Students have a right to expect feedback on all of their written work and to have that work returned to them in a reasonable amount of time so that they can make necessary revisions. However, “feedback” does not mean that the instructors will be making corrections on the student work. Feedback gives the student a direction for making his or her own corrections and revisions. UCI correction symbols are often used as part of the feedback.
A feedback policy guides instructors in marking compositions. The essay is assigned in three or four drafts, and each draft is graded. On the first draft, instructors and sometimes peer reviewers comment primarily on ideas and organization. On the subsequent drafts, instructors extend their comments to focus on language difficulties as well as ideas and organization. The grade on the final draft reflects work done on previous drafts; editing and revising are important components of this grade. All drafts must be submitted for each essay.
3.5 INSTRUCTOR OFFICE HOURS
It is important to note instructor’s office hours and office location, which are included in the class syllabus and posted online; office hours and locations of all Academic English instructors are posted outside the main Academic English/ESL Program office in the Humanities Instructional Building (HIB), room 335. Instructor offices are generally in HIB and HH (Humanities Hall) on the third floors. Students are encouraged to visit their instructors outside of class to discuss their progress and concerns and obtain extra guidance in their writing. In case of a conflict of schedule with the regular office hours, students should discuss an alternate appointment time with the instructor or email him or her to ask for an appointment.
Each Academic English 20 course includes as part of its required work at least one conference with the instructor to discuss the students’ writing progress. Instructors may request additional conferences. Instructors set up conference schedules in coordination with the students, who are expected to show up on time for their appointments. Students are also encouraged to request additional conferences to discuss their progress.
3.7 AERC WORKSHOPS FOR MAKE-UP GRAMMAR QUIZZES
Academic English 20A-D students who fail a grammar quiz with a score below 75% are required to attend a grammar workshop with the Academic English Resource Center (AERC) and to make up that quiz. Academic English 20 instructors provide further information about these workshops and make-up quizzes in Week 1. (AERC workshops are the Ac Eng 20 LAB component in the class schedule. There are several workshops each week to accommodate everyone’s schedule.)
3.8 EDUCATION ABROAD PROGRAM (EAP)
EAP students may enroll in Academic English 20 writing courses if class size permits and they are at the required proficiency level. They will need to take a placement test in the Academic English Office. They can contact the main office in HIB 335 for more information.
3.9 EVALUATIONS OF TEACHING AND COURSESAt the end of the quarter, students are asked to fill out online questionnaires evaluating their courses and instructors. The evaluations are filled out anonymously, and students are asked to take them seriously as they are used to make changes in curriculum, as well as to evaluate the performance of instructors.