ESLR 310  Intermediate-High Reading

Fall 2009    Course Code  # 11625

Class Meetings:  MF 7:30-9:35 PM  Room:  M: RHS 270 F:RHS 228


Instructor:  Sandy Whetstone                                                               Office:  Rodda South 330

Phone: (916)455-2525                                                                                   Office Hours:  MW 9:40-10:30

E-mail:                                          website:



PREREQUISITE:  Completion of ESLR 50 and ESLR 91 with a grade of “C” or placement through the Sacramento City College assessment process.  By Monday, January 25, please show me a grade report or assessment test scores that prove you have met the prerequisite.  If you do not bring me this information, I will drop you from the class list.  If you are trying to add the class, you must give me this information immediately.  I will add students from the waiting list first and only students who have met the prerequisite.


COREQUISITE:  R 310 students must take ESLR 92 and complete at least 27 hours of work in the ESL Center.  ESLR 92 is a prerequisite for ESLR 320.  ESLR 92 meets in RS 328 (3rd floor).  You will start attending this class the second week of the semester. 



  1. *Choice Readings by Clark, Dobson, and Silberstein
  2. *House on Mango Street by Cisneros    

*If you buy a used textbook, make sure that you erase all handwritten notes and answers. 

  1. A stapler
  2. An English-English dictionary like Longman Dictionary of American English or Longman Advanced American Dictionary to use at home
  3. Blue ESL lab folder (can be purchased at the College Store)



COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course focuses on developing academic reading skills with an emphasis on speed, vocabulary expansion, and comprehension of ideas, and introduces students to library use.  Students will use critical thinking skills to understand, paraphrase, summarize, and respond orally or in writing to ideas expressed in fiction and nonfiction readings.



As a result of taking this course a student should be able to

  • read at a faster speed than at the beginning of the course while maintaining comprehension.
  • use context clues and word-analysis skills for building vocabulary.
  • use an ESL dictionary to choose correct definitions and to understand connotations.
  • identify main ideas, theories, and supporting details.
  • differentiate fact from opinion.
  • apply different techniques to analyze, infer, and predict ideas in short and long reading selections.
  • analyze a text closely for patterns of organization.
  • outline, paraphrase, and summarize basic concepts from readings.
  • use new words from reading selections in discussions and written responses.
  • compose written responses to connect ideas in reading selections and to relate ideas from readings to the real world.
  • use active reading strategies: take margin notes and highlight key ideas.
  • complete basic library research tasks developed to introduce students to all aspects of library use.



·         For every hour you are in class, you will have about 2-3 hours of study outside of class.  That means at least 8-12 hours a week in addition to attending lab at least two hours a week.  Plan your class and work schedule so that you have an adequate amount of time to prepare for each class.

·         You will do a considerable amount of writing for this class.  You will be expected to write at an intermediate-high level.  You should be able to write developed, organized, and thoughtful paragraphs and essays.  Your sentences should have mostly correct verb tense and form, noun endings, word choice, spelling, and punctuation.  If your writing and grammar skills are not at the intermediate-high level, please take ESLG 310, ESLW 310, and/or ESL 92 (Independent Lab) to work on these important skills.




  • Regular class attendance will help you learn faster and improve your grade!  Sacramento City College policy states that instructors may drop students who have three or more absences in a class that meets twice a week, so please contact me (via phone, e-mail, or note) if you have an emergency that will affect your attendance.  If you are absent, contact another student to get the homework assignment and ask to copy the handouts and notes from classes that you have missed. 
  • Come to class on time and attend the entire class.  Arriving late, coming in late from the break, leaving the room, or leaving the class early is very disruptive.  You will miss class announcements or valuable instruction.  Arriving late, leaving early, or being disruptive = one-third absence.
  • If you arrive late on a test day, you will not receive extra time except under very special circumstances. 



·         Turn off and put away cell phones and other personal electronics before entering the room.

·         If you arrive late or must leave early, please do so quietly.  Please let me know at the beginning of class if you must leave early.

·         Speak to your classmates in English even if they speak the same native language to you.  If you continue to speak in another language even after I ask you to stop, you will lose ten participation points each time.

·         You will frequently work in pairs or groups with different students.  Please cooperate.

·         I reserve the right to determine where students sit.  I may devise a seating chart for the semester and/or for test days.

·         Show respect for your classmates and instructor.  Pay attention when others are speaking.  Raise your hand when you want to enter the discussion.  If you are having a private conversation and do not stop after I ask you to, you must leave the classroom and you will be counted absent for that class meeting.



·         All homework assignments are due at the beginning of class. 

·         Late homework will not be accepted.  If you are late to class, your homework is late and will not be accepted. Five (5) minutes late is still LATE.

·         If you know that you will be absent on the day an assignment is due, you must turn it in before the due date or have someone turn it in for you.

·         At the end of the semester I will drop your lowest homework grade.



·         All written assignments will be graded and assigned points for content and sometimes for language.  I will subtract points if the format is incorrect, so to get maximum points on your homework, follow these format instructions!

  • Homework must be typed, unless otherwise specified.  Use a reader-friendly font like Times New Roman.  Use font size 12 and double space.  Use white paper (8 ˝” x 11”). 
  • Pages should be stapled together, so always carry a stapler with you.
  • At the top of the left-hand or right-hand corner of the page, use a heading.  It should be single-spaced. 


Example Heading:

First name Last name                                 George Smith

ESLR 310, Whetstone                                ESLR 310, Whetstone

Date                                                           January 18, 2010

Assignment                                                            Ex. 12, p. 18-19


  • Work that is incomplete or illegible will not receive points.
  • On occasions when handwritten work is required, write neatly in dark blue or black ink, not pencil!
  • Proofread your work before turning it in.  Make corrections neatly so that I cannot tell that a correction has been made.  If you cannot, make a new copy of your work.  Take pride in your work by making sure that what you turn in represents your very best effort.



Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is taking someone else’s words or ideas and copying them, pretending that they are your own.  If you plagiarize in this class, you will receive an “F” (zero points) on the assignment or test.  If you are using someone else’s words or ideas, you need to use the appropriate citation. 


Cheating/Dishonesty:  You must do your own work.  Any student who cheats on a test, quiz, or homework assignment and any student who aids in the cheating or dishonesty will receive zero (0) points on that assignment.


Cheating and other acts of dishonesty include

  • talking/whispering during a test
  • looking at another student’s test
  • copying from another student or another writer on homework assignments or tests
  • allowing someone to copy your work or copy from you during a test
  • having another student submit work in your name
  • using notes or a textbook during a test or quiz.   


GRADING:  In order to pass this class, you must average a minimum of 70% (C-) on the point total of  tests, quizzes, and the final exam. You must also average a minimum of 70% (C-) on the point total of tests, quizzes, the final exam, homework, projects, and participation.


100%-90% = A                        Tests and Quizzes                                50%

  89%-80% = B                                    Final Exam:                                         25%

  79%-70% = C                                    Homework and Participation               10%

  69%-60% = D                                    Novel project                                       10%

  59% or lower =F                    Library Project                                     5%



1.  There will be no make-up tests for any reason; however, at the end of the semester I will drop your lowest test grade.  If you miss a quiz, you will forfeit the points.


2.  If you find a mistake in your homework or test grade, tell me immediately.  After one week, I will not change the grade.


3.  Participation points will in a large part come from in-class activities.  To earn as many points as possible, you should come prepared to every class meeting.  That means doing your homework and bringing the materials and books that you need.  Participation also means sharing your ideas with classmates, listening attentively to what other are saying, asking questions, and working cooperatively with others.  In most class meetings, you will have an opportunity to earn participation points; therefore, not being prepared and having too many absences will hurt your grade.  You cannot make up participation points


4.  I will keep the tests and the final exam.  We will review the tests in class.  If you would like to see your final exam, please come to my office.  I will destroy all other information I collect from you, as well as your final exam, after one semester.  However, I will keep your grade information for four years. 


TIPS FOR SUCCESS: I want all of you to have a successful and rewarding semester, so please:

  • Come to every class prepared and on time.  Turn in all assignments on time.
  • Take notes during class discussions.  Anything we talk about in class may be on tests.
  • Ask questions!  The more you ask, the more you and your classmates will learn.
  • Tell me if you have a physical or learning disability that I should know about.  Students may get help from the Disability Resource Center in the Student Services Building (558-2087).
  • Talk to me if you are having trouble understanding or keeping up.  I want to help you. 
  • Get help from campus resources:

§         The ESL Center (Lab).  There are a variety of materials to work on and a knowledgeable instructor to ask if you have questions.  Sign up for an independent lab (ESL 92) to work on writing and grammar. 

§         For individual study or for campus information, go to the ESL Student Website: . 

§         The computer lab in Rodda South 326 is open Mon.-Thurs. 7:20-5:00 and Fri. 7:20-4:00.  You can use the language programs, do class assignments, send e-mail, and improve your typing.  Computers are also available in the Business Building and the Learning Resource Center.





Monday, Jan. 18                                              Holiday—no classes/campus closed

Friday, Jan. 22                                                 First day of class, turn in grade report for ESLR 50 or                                                                                                             assessment center placement

Friday, Feb. 12                                                            Holiday—no classes/campus closed

Monday, Feb. 15                                             Holiday—no classes/campus closed

Mon.-Fri., March 29- April 4                           Holiday—no classes/campus closed

Wednesday, April 18                                       Last Day to Drop with a grade of “W”

Wednesday, May. 19, 8:00-10:00 AM                       Final Exam

NOTE:  The day and time of the final exam cannot be changed.  Do not plan to leave Sacramento before all of your final exams are finished.







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