Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test score or completion of two Level 4 courses, credit and/or noncredit: ESLL 236 or NCEL 436 AND ESLL 237 or NCEL 437.
Advisory: Concurrent enrollment in ESLL 125; if not taken concurrently, ESLL 249 should be taken prior to ESLL 125; designed for students whose native language is not English.
Degree & Credit Status: Non-Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Basic Skills, 1 Level Below Transfer
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Summarize the main ideas in an expository or persuasive text.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the rhetorical strategies employed in a multi-page text.


An advanced-level ESLL reading course in techniques of critical analysis for reading college-level prose, focusing primarily on authentic expository/argumentative essays and textbook materials written for a native speaker audience. Practice in holistic and close reading of texts to identify and comprehend textual detail and application of critical rhetorical elements. Explicit instruction in the process of writing and revising summaries on assigned texts. Lecture, discussion, and group work.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Identify and demonstrate understanding of textual elements, including: topic, purpose, audience, detail, main ideas, thesis.
B. Identify organizational strategies for developing ideas in the text.
C. Infer elements of the text, such as audience, purpose, bias, and underlying assumptions.
D. Utilize various reading strategies appropriate to specific reading tasks and genres.
E. Critically evaluate text.
F. Write formal summaries of texts.
G. Demonstrate proficiency in responding to text in writing.
H. Deconstruct the elements of grammatically complex sentences to determine meaning.
I. Demonstrate growth in academic vocabulary through various vocabulary strategies.

Course Content

A. Identify and demonstrate understanding of textual elements, including: writer's topic, purpose, thesis, main ideas, sections, detail, rhetorical strategies
1. Topic
a. main topic
b. subtopics (implied or explicit)
2. Purpose
a. to inform
b. to persuade
c. to entertain
d. to raise an issue or provoke thought
3. Thesis
a. common placement within text
b. implied thesis (through induction)
4. Main ideas and sections
a. structure clues: paragraphs, sections, transitional material
b. text clues: title, thesis, changes in point/detail
c. generalization of implied ideas from detail
d. revision of tentative main ideas as text is read
5. Types of claims
a. fact
b. value
c. policy
6. Supporting detail/proof as rhetorical choices
a. personal experience
b. statistics
c. anecdotes
d. logos, pathos, ethos
B. Identify a writer's organizational strategies as rhetorical choices for developing ideas
1. Compare/contrast
2. Cause/effect
3. Chronology
4. Examples
5. Listing
6. Classification
C. Infer elements of the text, such as audience, purpose, and bias
1. Formatting, visual, and word clues
2. Audience
3. Informational, expository, and persuasive purposes
4. Bias (e.g., exclusion of information, loaded language)
5. Fact vs. opinion
6. Message vs. explicit expression of main ideas
D. Utilize various reading strategies
1. Schema building/activation of prior knowledge
2. Previewing
3. Annotating
4. Note-taking
5. Elaborative interrogation/self-questioning
6. Outlines
E. Critically evaluate text
1. Author's credibility
2. Evidence (appropriateness, effectiveness, relevance)
3. Completeness of arguments
a. explicit/implicit claims
b. appropriate support
c. counter-arguments and rebuttals
d. concession
4. Logic of arguments
5. Types of opinion (personal, considered, expert)
6. Implications/consequences of ideas
F. Write formal summaries of texts that demonstrate application of associated skills
1. Sectioning for main ideas
2. Introductory sentence that includes verb appropriate in expressing author's purpose
3. Distinguishing between summary and critique
4. Paraphrasing/inferring main point for each section
5. Employing language that signals the organizational plan of the reading
6. Using coherence strategies to show relationships between and among ideas
G. Demonstrate proficiency in responding to text in writing
1. Reading responses
2. Paraphrases of main ideas and supporting details
3. Outlines
4. Analysis of rhetorical features
H. Deconstruct the elements of grammatically complex sentences to determine meaning
1. Sentence core (subject/verb)
2. Verb complementation
3. Clauses, phrases
4. Essential vs. non-essential components
5. Use of punctuation to offset elements
I. Demonstrate growth in academic vocabulary through various vocabulary strategies
1. Roots, prefixes, suffixes
2. Context clues
3. Dictionary use
4. Morphemic and phonetic analysis
5. Multiple meanings
6. Connotation/denotation
7. Usage
8. Formal vs. informal
9. Idioms
10. Collocations

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment


Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Tests and quizzes to diagnose comprehension skills:
1. Short answer tests and quizzes (not multiple choice) that cover:
a. Students' abilities to identify discrete text elements, such as thesis, controlling ideas, supporting details, types of introductions and conclusions
b. Students' comprehension of explicit content, implicit meaning, and rhetorical features
2. At least two exams:
a. A midterm exam based on a new text of 1-2 pages that assesses all major skills taught up to that point and that requires students to produce a short summary (approx. 200 words) of the text
b. A comprehensive final exam based on a new text of 2-3 pages that assesses all major skills and requires students to produce a short summary (approx. 250 words) of the text
B. Writing assignments (approx. 2000-2500 words total) based on readings:
1. At least five formal, revised summaries of selected readings:
a. At least three short summaries (one paragraph)
b. At least one extended summary (multiple paragraphs)
c. One optional summary that analyzes the rhetorical features of an assigned article, e.g., organizational pattern, types of proof, tone, omission of information, formal/informal language
2. Reading journals
3. Vocabulary card/lists and production of original sentences using targeted vocabulary

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Group work
D. Presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Instructors must choose a textbook from the list below. If, however, a faculty member would prefer to use a textbook not on the list, they must contact a full-time faculty member who regularly teaches the course to explain how the adoption would serve to achieve the learning outcomes specified in the course outline of record.
Selection of a text from List A is required for all ESLL 249 classes; if List A selection does not include multi-page college-level reading materials for practice, a selection from List B is required.
List 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:
Flemming, Laraine. Reading for Thinking. 8th ed. Cengage, 2014.
Henry, D.J. The Master Reader. 4th ed. New York: Pearson, 2014.
Kanar, Carol. The Reader's Corner: Expanding Perspectives through Reading. 5th ed. Wadsworth Cengage, 2014.
Mather, Peter, and Rita McCarthy. Reading and All That Jazz. 6th ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2015.
McWhorter, Kathleen. Guide to College Reading. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2014.
Olsen, Amy. Reading Now. 1st ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2011.
Smith, Brenda and Lee Ann Morris. Bridging the Gap. 12th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2016.
List B: Book-length non-fiction, collection of essays (reader), magazines, newspapers, all at or near college-level. Sample texts are:
Fjeldstad, Mary. The Thoughtful Reader. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage, 2009.
Longman Topics Reader Series, e.g.:
Borrowman, Shane. The Cost of Business. 2011.
Gresham, Morgan, and Crystal McCage. Education Matters. 2008.
Miller, James. The Eater Reader. 2011.
Although many of these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

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

A. Reading assignments
1. Multi-page expository texts at college level
2. Argumentative essays
3. Other textbook and assigned readings
B. Writing assignments based on readings
1. Formal summaries of selected readings
2. Reading journals
3. Vocabulary card/lists
C. Individually assigned projects


English as a Second Language (ESL)