BIR Training Center: English as a Second Language Program (ESL) in Chicago

English Language Curriculum

English Language Introductory

ELP 008 Introduction to English 5 Credits

The purpose of this class is to introduce first-time students of English to the English alphabet and elementary conversation in classroom and social settings. Students learn to exchange personal information and communicate basic needs. In addition, a structured study of grammar is integrated into the course to assure that students develop good structural usage. Students learn to write by filling in useful forms and charts and learn to complete sentences in a range of elementary contexts.
Prerequisite/Placement: Students placed in this course are novice English speakers who score below 4 on the CASAS speaking scale.

ELP 009 Fundamentals of English 5 Credits

The purpose of this class is to prepare first-time students of English to enter Level 1 of BIR’s Introductory English Language Program. Students learn basic English vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar. By the end of the term, students are able to communicate in the simple present and present continuous tenses. Students also know the foundations of English such as the alphabet and numbers and are able to exchange basic information. At the end of the course students should be able to enter Level 1.
Prerequisite/Placement: Students placed in this course are novice English speakers who score below 190 on the CASAS scale or complete ELP 008.

ELP 010 Beginning Listening and Speaking 5 Credits

In this course students learn how to have simple conversations for everyday situations at home, school, and community. By the end of the term, students are able to exchange basic information about food, sports, places, music, movies, schedules, health, hobbies, and shopping. Students learn basic vocabulary words and learn to communicate in the simple present, present continuous, and simple past tenses. Students learn through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. In class students often work in pairs and small groups.
Prerequisite/Placement: Students placed in this course have minimal skills in written and spoken English. Students score 190 to 206 on the CASAS scale or complete ELP 009.

ELP 011 Beginning Reading 5 Credits

This course focuses on developing reading strategies such as identifying cause and effect, finding details, putting events in order, making inferences, and understanding the topic. By the end of the course, students become more confident reading and responding to short passages of 250-350 words. Students also learn basic vocabulary and become familiar with the simple present, present continuous, and simple past tenses. Students often work in pairs and small groups. In addition to reading, students participate in short listening, speaking, and writing activities.
Prerequisite/Placement: Students placed in this course have minimal skills in written and spoken English. Students score 190 to 206 on the CASAS scale or complete ELP 009.

ELP 012 Beginning Writing 5 Credits

The goal of ELP 012 is to provide students with basic instruction in both the writing process and the production of grammatically correct written sentences. Students learn to write simple sentences about themselves and their families as well as other contexts including education, recreation, and the workplace. Students who successfully complete the course are able to write brief descriptions and narratives about familiar contexts and fill out simple forms. Students work individually moving from more restricted to less restricted writing forms. Pair work and group work are employed to introduce students to the concept of peer editing.
Prerequisite/Placement: Students placed in this course have minimal skills in written and spoken English. Students score 190 to 206 on the CASAS scale or complete ELP 009.

ELP 020 Intermediate Listening and Speaking 5 Credits

The purpose of this course is to enable students to improve their conversational skills in everyday situations. Students learn conversation strategies and acquire vocabulary and grammar proficiency through listening and speaking, as well as supplemental reading and writing activities. Students often work in pairs and small group settings. By the end of the term, students are able to carry on casual conversations on topics such as classroom habits, vacation activities, information sources, spending habits, personal characteristics, travel preferences, and work.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 010, ELP 011, or ELP 012 or CASAS placement score of 209 to 219.

ELP 021 Intermediate Reading 5 Credits

The goal of this course is to provide students with intermediate ESL reading instruction. Students focus on meaning by learning to use skills such as previewing and predicting to make connection to passages before beginning to read. Students learn to: identify facts, pick out main ideas, use context clues to guess the meaning of new vocabulary, take notes, and summarize information from reading passages. Students who successfully complete the course are able to understand intermediate texts from a range of contexts drawn from everyday experience to academic subjects.
Prerequisite/Placement:Completion of ELP 010, 011, or 012; or CASAS placement score of 209 to 219

 

English Language Bridge

ELP 022 Intermediate Writing 5 Credits

The purpose of ELP 022 is to provide students with intermediate instruction in both the writing process and the production of structurally sound paragraphs. Students learn to write simple, compound, and complex sentences in order to create coherent and cohesive paragraphs. A variety of forms are taught at this level and students who successfully complete the course are able to write paragraphs for giving directions, create letters and journal entries, and take basic notes. Pair work and group work are employed to continue students’ development in the process of peer editing.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 010, ELP 011, or ELP 012 or CASAS placement score of 209 to 219.

ELP 030 Advanced Listening and Speaking 5 Credits

This course is designed to give advanced ESL students the opportunity to strengthen their conversational skills in casual as well as formal settings. Students master conversation strategies through multiple listening and speaking activities. Students also acquire new vocabulary and learn advanced grammar and complex sentence structure via theme related reading and writing exercises. By the end of the course, students are able to carry on extended conversations on a variety of topics such as sports, food preparation, fashion, entertainment, relationships, personal background, social behavior, technology, and international landmarks.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 020, ELP 021, or ELP 022 or CASAS placement score of 221 to 229.

ELP 031 Advanced Reading 5 Credits

The goal of ELP 032 is to provide students with advanced instruction in the writing process and begin the bridge from writing sound paragraphs to connecting them in order to write coherent essays. Students learn to use increasingly complex transitional structures, to create thesis statements and conclusions, as well as to edit their work for completeness, logic, and balance. Students who successfully complete the course are able to use pre-writing strategies such as brainstorming and mind mapping, to draft and revise their compositions, and to use more advanced structures such as passive voice, quotations, and reported speech to make their writing more interesting. Compositions are developed through the process of peer critiquing and editing.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 020, ELP 021, or ELP 022 or CASAS placement score of 221 to 229.

ELP 032 Advanced Writing 5 Credits

This course focuses on developing reading strategies such as identifying cause and effect, finding details, putting events in order, making inferences, and understanding the topic. By the end of the course, students become more confident reading and responding to short passages of 250-350 words. Students also learn basic vocabulary and become familiar with the simple present, present continuous, and simple past tenses. Students often work in pairs and small groups. In addition to reading, students participate in short listening, speaking, and writing activities.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 020, ELP 021, or ELP 022 or CASAS placement score of 221 to 229.

ELP 040 Academic Bridge Listening and Speaking 5 Credits

This course is designed for ESL students who have achieved advanced second language fluency and are ready to transition to academic and career programs of study. Listening material ranges from social language to broadcast English and university lectures in four areas: anthropology, economics, literature, and ecology. Students develop effective listening and note-taking skills such as abbreviating, organizing, and selecting, which will allow them to create meaningful oral and written responses. Students also master academic and professional vocabulary and acquire critical thinking and test-taking strategies which will prepare them to perform well in academic and workplace environments. Students learn to identify important information and organize effective notes through practice in listening to recordings, viewing videos, and conducting research. Students work independently and in groups using their notes to create effective oral presentations.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 030, ELP 031, or ELP 032 or CASAS placement score of 230-239.

ELP 041 Academic Bridge Reading 5 Credits

The goal of this course is to provide ESL reading instruction that will bridge students to a level that will allow them to understand educational and training texts in academic and career contexts. Students focus on making inferences, differentiating fact from opinion, understanding main and supporting ideas, and identifying rhetorical purpose. Vocabulary is further expanded through lexical study of collocation and expression. Students who successfully complete the course are able to understand postsecondary level texts in general subject contexts.
Prerequisite/Placement: Completion of ELP 030, ELP 031, or ELP 032 or CASAS placement score of 230-239.

ELP 042 Academic Bridge Writing 5 Credits

The goal of ELP 042 is to provide students with instruction in the writing process and in the production of written compositions in academic and professional contexts that will prepare them for postsecondary education in English. Students learn to narrate events, to explain cause and effect relations, to present an idea and support a position, to use chronological order to explain natural phenomena, and to give instructions. Students who successfully complete the course are able to conceive, organize, write, and edit essays of 250-500 words that are the basis for academic and professional writing. Students are introduced to three forms of essay writing. Peer critiquing and editing are used throughout the process from conception, through organization and finally to drafting and revising the essays.
Prerequisite/Placement:Completion of ELP 030, ELP 031, or ELP 032 or CASAS placement score of 230-239.