The goal of the ESOL at LA is to provide courses that meet the diverse needs of international students who are progressing in their journey of English language acquisition and transitioning into the American educational system. Students take transitional classes in preparation for mainstream coursework as well as in preparation for college. The program offers courses to support the language growth and academic goals of students at every level of English language skill. Students take a placement test that helps determine which course(s) will be most appropriate in meeting their goals, and for students who progress rapidly in their level, there is potential for advancement to the next level within the school year.
Literature and Composition I
This course builds the fundamental language skills that international students need in order to navigate academic and social settings in English. Students study basic grammar topics, learn essential vocabulary, and strategically use English to obtain and provide information. Through engagement with authentic texts including short stories, articles, and films, students develop basic competency in the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course also focuses on essential academic skills such as note-taking. In the small student-centered classroom, students will gain confidence in their speaking ability and increase their fluency in writing.
Literature and Composition II
This course reviews basic grammar and usage before continuing with a study of more complex grammar topics that will improve students’ clarity in writing and speech. Students will gain a wide range of common-use and academic vocabulary, using strategies such as guessing the meaning from context and studying word parts. Students develop critical reading abilities through engagement with a variety of literary and non-fiction texts to which they respond through writing and discussion. This course introduces students to basic academic writing, especially focusing on unified essays. Students complete a short research paper that aligns with the I-Search paper assigned in mainstream English courses. Performance-based activities help students gain fluency and confidence in the written and spoken tasks expected of them in mainstream courses and social settings.
Literature and Composition III
This course is an intensive study of the language skills necessary for students’ success in rigorous mainstream academic courses. Using authentic literature and challenging articles as content, students explore higher-level grammar and vocabulary that serve to advance their writing skills. Students hone their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, moving beyond comprehension and summary to more advanced processes of analysis and evaluation. Using the steps of the writing process, students learn to plan, draft, revise and polish academic essays that build on their ability to craft strong, varied sentences and unified paragraphs. Students complete an American Author project that aligns with mainstream English courses.
World History in Context
This course serves as an introduction to World History and Geography with an emphasis on cultural geography (language, religion, history, economics, social systems, politics, arts, and current events). Students will be able to interpret the ways major turning points of human history have shaped our modern world. Taking advantage of the multicultural perspectives of students themselves, the course will raise awareness of our increasingly globalized world. Students will use historical texts and multimedia resources as a basis for performance-based written and spoken tasks. Major academic and language skills developed in this course include English listening and reading comprehension, research skills and documentation of sources, different writing forms and the ability to take effective notes in preparation for mainstream courses.
US History in Context
This course introduces students to the key historical events and themes of the United States from the colonial era to the 21st century. The course offers fundamental knowledge of sociocultural and political history while enhancing students’ language learning strategies. Particular attention is paid to key language and interpretive skills such as listening, reading comprehension, note-taking, research, discussions, and written response so that students can be better prepared for mainstream courses within the Social Studies department.