Sample Syllabus: E324 - Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Rilling


Peregoy, S. F. & Boyle, O. F. (2000). Reading, writing, & learning in ESL: A resource book for K-12 teachers, second edition. NY, NY: Longman.

Willis, J. (1996). A framework for task-based learning. NY, NY: Longman.

Course Objectives

  • to gain an understanding of learning theory as applied to the teaching of ESL
  • to develop skills and gain practical experience in teaching ESL
  • to learn strategies in evaluating and adapting materials for teaching ESL
  • to gain insights into learning strategies and styles
  • to work cooperatively with classmates on lesson planning and other tasks
  • to promote professional development in teaching ESL

Course Requirements

Service Learning

Each participant will provide a minimum of fifteen hours of ESL service to the community through an approved agency. Students may choose service projects to suit their own interests and career purposes. There are several goals of this service experience including: 1) providing practical teaching experience to complement theoretical components of the course, 2) providing service to ESL learners and literacy agencies in our community, and 3) preparing students to teach in a variety of ESL contexts.

Service Learning Case Study

The Service Learning Case Study will have the following components:

  1. A brief report on the intake experience in the service context (2 points).
  2. A report of observations of one session of teaching/tutoring by experienced volunteers or professionals in the service learning context (3 points).
  3. A journal entry for each service learning encounter. This should include notes about your lesson plan, and brief post-teaching notes about what went well and what didn't, and how the lesson might be modified for next time. Also note a few points to keep in mind for teaching the next lessons. The journals will be used in class several times, so journals must be kept up to date (5 points).
  4. A 3-5 page description of the service learning context. Information to include: 1) a description of the physical space, 2) a statement of the agency's goals, 3) an explanation of the agency's funding source, 4) the number of regular paid employees in the agency, 5) a description of the curriculum and materials used with the ESL learners, 6) a description of the teaching process(es) employed with the ESL learners (10 points).
  5. A mini case study -- a 3-5 page description of one ESL learner in the service learning context. Information about the student's learning styles and strategies should be included. Discuss what you perceive to be your own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher/tutor in working with this particular learner. Do a needs analysis of this student and make recommendations about further language instruction (10 points).


Students will exchange ideas with Intensive English Program students once per week through an electronic forum linked to the course Web site. ESL students will pose questions, and the E324 students will respond to these as well as pose questions of their own.

Mid-Term and Final Exams

These exams will cover the readings and course discussions to date. Exams will include open-ended as well as short answer and fill-in-the-blank types of items.

Annotated Bibliography

Students will choose 3 articles to read from the following journals (TESOL Journal, ELT Journal, ESP Journal -- at least two journals must be represented). The articles should be selected to focus on a coherent topic or theme (for example, task-based learning, activities for a target age group). Review each article. Include in each review: a bibliographic reference in APA or MLA format, a brief summary of the article, and your reaction to the article -- How can you apply what you've learned in the articles? Have you seen this technique/theory in action? etc.

Textbook Analyses

Students will review three ESL textbooks suitable for targeted learners, such as those in the service learning context. Review templates will be provided on the course Web site and include criteria for analyzing such textbook features as content, use of graphics/visual elements, help items such as glossaries, etc.


Required Components may earn the following points:

Service Learning Case Study 30 points

Mid-Term and Final Exams 10 points each (20 total)

Textbook Analyses 7 points each (21 total)

E-Forum 10 points

Annotated Bibliography 10 points

Class Work (pop quizzes, group work) 10 Points

Total possible points = 101 90-101 = A, 80-89 = B, and so on. + / - awarded rarely.

Course Schedule

* P&B = Peregoy & Boyle W = Willis



Text *


Jan. 16- Jan. 18

Learning Context

P&B Chpt. 1


Jan. 23- Jan. 25

Context and Learning Theory

W Chpt. 1

P&B Chpt. 2


Jan. 30- Feb. 1

Classroom Practices

P&B Chpt. 3

W Chpt. 2

2/1 Part 1, service case study

Feb. 6- Feb. 8

Oral Language Development

P&B Chpt. 4

2/6 Textbook Review 1

Feb. 13- Feb. 15


W Chpt. 3

W Chpt. 4


Feb. 20 - Feb. 22


P&B Chpt. 5

2/22 Part 2, service case study

Feb. 27- March 1



P&B Chpt. 6

3/1 Textbook Review 2

March 3- 11

Spring Break



Mar. 13- Mar. 15

Literacy (cont.)

P&B Chpt. 7


Mar. 20- Mar. 22


P&B Chpt. 8

W Chpt. 5

3/20 Mid-Term Exam

Mar. 27- Mar. 29

Task-Based Teaching

W Chpt. 6

W Chpt. 7

3/27 Part 4, service case study

April 3- April 5


W Chpt. 8

W Chpt. 9

4/3 Textbook Review 3

April 10- Ap. 12

Content-Based Teaching

P&B Chpt. 9


April 17- Ap. 19


Article TBA

4/17 Annotated Bibliography

April 24- Ap. 26


P&B Chpt. 10


May 1- May 3


P&B Chpt. 11

5/1 Part 5, service case study;

5/3 Part 3, service case study




Final Exam

Service Learning Possibilities

Public Schools (in Poudre School District, required application with mandatory background check with the VIPs office):

  • Bennett Elementary School
  • Irish Elementary, After school tutoring M-Th 3:10-4:10
  • Laurel Elementary, ESL classes
  • Fort Collins High School
  • Poudre High School
  • Thompson Valley School District, Loveland, Tutors from elementary to HS

Other Agencies for Kids

  • Even Start Family Centered Learning
  • The Tutor Center, Loveland, ESL Kids

Adult Education:

  • Education and Life Training Center
  • Front Range Community College, Literacy Tutoring or Classroom Assistant
  • IEP Conversation Partners (CP), Classroom Experience organized by an ESL teacher. Sign up in class.
  • IEP/International Programs Conversation Groups (CG). Lead small group discussions.