Pasadena City College


Fall 2009


Section # 2532

Days/Time: T Th 7:00 am - 9:30 am

Location: R 309

Instructor:  Zohaa el-Gamal


Office Hours: by appointment

I. Course Description:

English as a Second Language 33A is designed to prepare students for college classes. Students in this class train in methods of paragraph and essay development, and reading of college material. They also develop their skills in advanced sentence structure.

II. Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successfully completing this class, students should be able to do the following:

·   identify the main idea of a level-appropriate text and the development of thought within the text

·   write a multi-paragraph essay developing a single idea with logical organization and appropriate support

·   locate appropriate information using the library and the Internet

·   use correct grammar, appropriate vocabulary, and a variety of advanced sentence structures to communicate ideas effectively

·   demonstrate awareness of themselves as responsible, self-directed language learners through class participation and self- assessment

III. Textbooks:

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar, Vol. B, by Azar

·         Reasons to Write – Strategies for Success in Academic Writing, by Cohen & Miller

IV. Course Requirements and Regulations

A. Attendance, participation, and homework are important to successfully complete this course. Students are expected to attend all the classes, come to class on time and prepared, actively participate in class work and discussions, and do all the assigned homework on time. Frequent unexcused absences (or tardies) may result in negatively affecting your grade or failing the course. Excused absences are for emergencies (serious illness or death of a close family member, student’s illness, family emergency, etc.) and should be supported by official documents. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late, you may attend, but you will be considered absent for that day. If you leave class early without permission, you will also be considered absent for that day. Being tardy twice counts as one absence. It is recommended that you have the phone numbers of two students in the class. In case of absence, you are responsible for finding out about the new homework assignment from a classmate. Being absent is not an excuse for not turning in an assignment.

Student’s name: ____________________________ Phone#___________

Student’s name: ____________________________ Phone#___________

B. You are expected to bring the textbooks, pens, pencils, and paper to class each time.

C. Homework, as well as other assignments, should be done in dark blue or black ink and presented neatly on 8½ x 11 white college-ruled paper. Legibility and neatness are required for your homework to be accepted. Write on every other line and double-space your typed work. Leave 1-inch margins on all sides of typed or handwritten work. If an assignment includes more than one sheet of paper, STAPLE all sheets before turning it in. Write your name, course number, and date in the right top corner of the first page of every assignment as the following example:

John Doe

ESL 33A #2532


Late or incomplete homework will not be accepted. In case of absence, you should turn in the assignments that were due the day you were absent the next day you come to class.

D. You will write regularly in class and at home. Some of the in-class assignments are timed and graded essays exams. All the assignments done outside the classroom are homework. You will rewrite your in-class essays at home after they are returned to you. This is done to correct your errors and improve the quality of your writing. You will also have several grammar/editing quizzes. In addition, you will have a mid-semester essay exam and final essay and grammar exams. There will be no make-up exams. (That includes the in-class timed essays, grammar quizzes, and final exams.) You must make earlier arrangements with your instructor in case of exceptional circumstances. (See section “A” above concerning absences.)

E. You are required to spend at least 10 hours in the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) during the semester. The LAC is located in D300. The work you do in the LAC should have an effect on your academic performance in this class, if done properly. There will be an orientation session at the LAC early in the semester, so DON’T miss it.

F. Respect and cooperation are expected from everyone. Any behavior (unnecessary talking, interrupting a speaker, calling out answers without being called on) that results in disturbing the class and/or distracting other students is not allowed. You are also expected to turn off your cellular phones, pagers, and/or any device that might make noise during class time. Cameras and iPods are not to be used during class time.

G. Doing homework in class or the work of other classes is not allowed during class time.

H. o pass ESL 33A, a student must have a grade of C or above. A great deal of effort is expected to improve your writing and reach the desired proficiency level at the end of this course. You need to work hard to eliminate major grammar errors in your writing. Consider going to the Learning Assistance Center (D-300) and/or meeting with your instructor to discuss ways to improve your writing. The earlier you do this, the better; do not wait and expect your writing to improve. Communicating with your instructor early in the semester concerning your progress is important.

V. Grading and Evaluation

A. In-class Essays 70% (the final composition counts as two essays)

B. Grammar/Writing Homework/LAC 10%

C. Grammar and Editing Quizzes 20% (the final quiz counts as two quizzes)

VI. Exams: Your mid-semester exam is on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009.

Your final grammar exam is on Thursday, December 10th, 2009.

The final essay exam is on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009.

Your assignments, exams, and final grade will be scored as follows:

90-100 = A           80-89 = B               70-79 = C             60-69 = D             0-59 = F

Cheating: Cheating is prohibited at all times. Doing homework for someone or copying someone’s homework is considered cheating. Plagiarism (using the ideas or writings of another as your own) is cheating.  Any form of communication with other classmates during a test is prohibited. Cheating results in receiving an “F” on the assignment/test, failing the course, and/or being reported to the administration.

Enjoy Learning!


“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” (Samuel Johnson)


Available Support Services:

-          Disabled Students Program and Services (D-209, 585-7127)

-          Learning Assistance Center (D-300, 5857230)

-          Instructional Computer Center (D-107) 


“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.” Pythagoras

Tentative Schedule

1. Aug. 31st – Sep. 4th

·         Introduction + diagnostic writing

·         Reason To Write: 1. Personal Narrative

·         Grammar: review

2. Sep. 8th  - 11th

·         Reason To Write 2. Three-Paragraph Opinion Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter 16

·         Writing Assignment #1

3. Sep.14th – 18th

·         Reason To Write 3. The Process of Writing

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter 17

4. Sep. 21st - 25th

·         Reason To Write 4. Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter 13

·         Writing Assignment #2

5. Sep. 28th – Oct. 2nd

·         Reason To Write 5. Writing a Classification Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter14

6. Oct. 5th - 9th

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter15

·         Writing Assignment #3

7. Oct. 12th – 16th 

·         Reason To Write 6. Writing  a Cause-and-Effect Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter 19

8. Oct. 19th - 23th

Mid-semester Exams

·         Reason To Write 8. Writing  an Argumentative Essay

·         Writing Assignment #4

9. Oct.  26th - 30th

·         Reason To Write 8. Writing  an Argumentative Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter 18

10. Nov. 2nd – 6th

·         Reason To Write 9. Writing  a Comparison & Contrast Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapters 18 & 12

·         Writing Assignment #5

11. Nov.  9th  - 13th

·         Reason To Write 9. Writing  a Comparison & Contrast Essay

·         Understanding and Using English Grammar : Chapter 12

12. Nov. 16th - 20th

·         Chapter 20

·         Writing Assignment #6

13. Nov.  23rd – 27th

·         Chapter 20

14. Nov. 30th  - Dec. 4th

·         Review

15. Dec.7th – 11th

Review + Final Grammar Exam

16. Dec 14th – 18th     

Finals Week –

Final Essay

This is a tentative schedule. Changes might be made later in the semester.

·         Flex Day – September 29th

·         Thanksgiving – November 26th -27th