Academic Catalog

ENGL 209: INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE READING

Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ENGL 100 or 108.
Degree & Credit Status: Non-Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Basic Skills, 2 Levels Below Transfer
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students can summarize arguments in an expository text.
  • Students can synthesize a variety of ideas from various texts in a formal writing assignment.

Description

Techniques of critical analysis for reading-college level prose, focusing primarily on expository/argumentative essays and textbook materials. Students learn to comprehend text holistically, identifying and expressing critical elements of comprehension. Practice and testing to be done on authentic text of one or more page length and with written responses. Lecture, discussion, group work, and individualized instruction.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Demonstrate proficiency in various vocabulary strategies.
B. Identify and express critical elements of comprehension from text of increasing difficulty: writer's topic, purpose, sections, detail, main ideas, thesis.
C. Identify a writer's organizational plan(s) by following the progression of ideas in text.
D. Summarize the writer's main ideas of a multiple paragraph piece in complete sentences.
E. Infer implied elements along with the writer's tone and style.
F. Understand meaning and purpose of connotative language.
G. Critically evaluate writer's information.
H. Identify and analyze points of comparison between texts and articulate similarities and differences; express comparisons in writing projects requiring synthesis (summary and/or critique).
I. Compare and contrast voices which reflect a diversity of cultural and social milieus.

Course Content

A. Using vocabulary strategies
1. Decoding
2. Context clues
3. Dictionary use
4. Multiple meanings
5. Master new words in context of class readings
B. Finding and expressing critical elements of comprehension together in authentic text
1. All of following found holistically, i.e., identified together so that connections between elements become apparent
2. All of following expressed in written form: phrases, sentences, paragraphs, summaries, other writing projects
3. Topic and purpose for topic
a. Strategies for locating stated topic
b. When implied, generalizing subtopics
c. Expressing what writer is doing with topic; the question being addressed
4. Detail
a. Categorized as major or minor
b. Generalized to express implied main idea
c. Evaluated as to effectiveness
5. Sections and main ideas
a. Using structure clues: paragraphing, transitions
b. Using TEXT clues: title, thesis, changes in point/detail
c. When main idea implied, generalizing from detail
d. Revising or refining a tentative main idea as text is read
6. Thesis
a. Common locations (introduction/conclusion)
b. Generalized from main ideas if implied
C. Identify organizational plan
1. Using text clues to follow logical progression of ideas, e.g., paragraphing, transitional words/phrases
2. Identifying common writing plans: chronological, classification, process, comparison/contrast, cause/effect
D. Summarizing
1. Distinguishing between summary and critique and their different uses
2. Sectioning to identify the topic and the distinct points made
3. Paraphrasing/inferring main point for each section
4. Recognizing the organizational plan and reflecting this logical progression of ideas by the use of appropriate transitions
5. Organizing ideas into a paragraph length summary, either in written or oral form
E. Inferring information
1. Recognizing formatting, visual, and word clues
2. Distinguish between informational, expository, and persuasive purposes
3. Recognizing implied comprehension elements
a. Locating and generalizing subtopics
b. Locating and generalizing detail into main points
c. Generalizing/summing up main points into thesis
4. Recognizing bias and purpose
5. Recognizing intended audience
F. Understanding meaning and purpose of connotative language
1. Distinguishing between denotation and connotation
2. Distinguishing shades of meaning
3. Recognizing appropriate word denotation/connotation in context
G. Evaluating author's information
1. Recognizing author's credibility and expertise
2. Recognizing types of evidence
3. Evaluating evidence
H. Comparing then synthesizing ideas from two or more texts
1. Similarities
2. Differences
I. Comparing diverse voices
1. Cultural
2. Social
3. Gender
4. Discipline specific

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

None.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Tests and quizzes to diagnose comprehension skills
1. At least four exams that ask student to identify and express critical elements of comprehension on 1-2 page length text of increasing difficulty
2. Emphasis on short answer/essay tests and quizzes that diagnose students' abilities to state main ideas in their own words rather than select from predetermined choices
3. Summary final on text of 1-2 pages
Writing assignments based on readings
1. Summary practices/quizzes
2. One synthesis project, e.g., short paper, demonstrating summary and synthesis skills of two or more texts
3. One inference project, e.g., short paper, demonstrating ability to make and support inferences
Individually assigned projects

Method(s) of Instruction

Large group discussion
Small group, collaborative discussions
Individual and collaborative projects, both in written form and in oral presentations
Instructors will guide students in practicing strategies for informal and formal writing about reading

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Although some of these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

The following texts are those used in a typical ENGL 209 class:
Selection of a text from "A" is required for all ENGL 209 classes; if "A" does not include college-level reading materials for practices, a selection from "B" is required.
A. Textbook/workbook that explains how to read a variety of materials at graded levels up through college-level prose and that offers a variety of practice exercises in the active reading formats. Suggested texts are:
1. Alexander, R., and J. Lombardi. A Community of Readers: A Thematic Approach to Reading. 8th ed. Cengage Learning, 2020.
2. Burnell, C., et al. The Word on College Reading and Writing. E-book, Open Oregon Educational Resources, 2019.
3. Carter, C. Mindscapes: Critical Reading Skills and Strategies. 2nd ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2013.
4. George, D. Reading Culture: Contexts for Critical Reading and Writing. New York: Pearson, 2011.
5. Kristof, N. A Path Appears. NY: Knopf, 2014.
6. Mather and McCarthy. Reading and All That Jazz. 6th ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2015.
7. McWhorter, K. Reading Across the Disciplines: College Reading and Beyond. 7th ed. Pearson, 2017.
8. Spears, D. Developing Critical Reading Skills. 9th ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2013.
9. Smith, B., and L. Morris. Bridging the Gap. 13th ed. Pearson, 2019.
B. Book-length non-fiction, collection of essays (reader), magazines, newspapers, all at or near college-level:
1. Atwan, R. America Now. 13th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2019.
2. Gladwell, M. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about People We Don’t Know. NY: Little, Brown & Co., 2019.
3. Jacobus, L. A. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. 11th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2019.
4. Noah, T. Born A Crime. Reprint ed. One World, 2019.
5. Obama, M. Becoming. Crown Publishing Group, 2018.
6. Schlosser, E. Fast Food Nation. NY: Mariner Books, 2012.
7. Warner, J. S., and J. Hilliard. Visions Across the Americas. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2012.
8. Westover, T. Educated: A Memoir. Random House, 2018.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Tests and quizzes to diagnose comprehension skills
1. At least four exams that ask student to identify and express critical elements of comprehension on 1-2 page length text of increasing difficulty
2. Emphasis on short answer/essay tests and quizzes that diagnose students' abilities to state main ideas in their own words rather than select from predetermined choices
3. Summary final on text of 1-2 pages
B. Writing assignments based on readings
1. Summary practices/quizzes
2. One synthesis project, e.g., short paper, demonstrating summary and synthesis skills of two or more texts
3. One inference project, e.g., short paper, demonstrating ability to make and support inferences
C. Individually assigned projects

Discipline(s)

English or Reading