FAQs International Track Courses and California Track Courses

The Program offers different sections of Academic English 20B and 20C when student enrollment permits.  California students who have been mostly educated in the United States often feel more comfortable in our track of courses specifically designed to meet their needs.  Often, they have never taken an ESL course and have done very well in their high school English courses.  Despite their success in high school, their scores on the AWPE and Academic English Placement Exam indicate that they require additional English instruction before enrolling in WR 39A.
Enrollment in California sections of Academic English 20 by California students is not mandatory.  California students may opt to take either track of courses.

Characteristics of the instruction provided in the two tracks of courses are outlined below.

Instruction in Academic English 20 Courses

Writing Skills

California Student Track

International Student Track


Emphasis on fixed expressions, academic vocabulary used in all fields, discipline-specific vocabulary; the avoidance of informal words and expressions in academic writing; Instruction of related word forms and word choice

Emphasis on social, everyday vocabulary and expressions as well as academic vocabulary used in all fields; Considerable instruction of connotations, related word forms, and word choice


Emphasis on word endings (-s, -ed, -en) often deleted in writing and complex sentence structure typical of academic writing

Emphasis on the noun system (noun plurals, articles, adjectives), the verb system (verb tense, verb complements), and complex sentences.


Emphasis on audience awareness—using academic language appropriately for different audiences, purposes, and settings; Incorporating citations into writing; writing cohesive, coherent text, using multiple ways of making text cohere; the revising and editing processes-e.g., helping students learn to self-edit run on sentences and sentence fragments and word ending errors

Emphasis on paragraph organization and cohesion; the formation of topic sentences and thesis statements; appropriate use of transition words and other cohesive devices; the organization of different types of academic texts valued at UCI; the writing process; audience awareness; and revising and editing techniques

Oral Language Skills

Emphasis on academic and public speaking

Emphasis on the development of social and academic oral language skills

Reading Skills

Emphasis on close reading, annotation, and reading academic texts representative of diverse fields

Emphasis on techniques for understanding relevant cultural information pertinent to readings and challenging text; emphasis on extensive reading and close reading, and techniques for reading academic text


Review of spelling and punctuation rules

Emphasis on the use of MLA, practice in keyboarding skills, and punctuation

Contact: MIchelle Hu – mahu@uci.edu