• Course Introduction

        • Time: 12 hours
        • Free Certificate
        Learning a new language requires you to pull together a variety of concepts and topics. By connecting your language skills, you are better able to explain yourself and write about your ideas. This course presents Standard American English grammar, vocabulary, and reading skills that work together to culminate in a complete essay. 

        In Unit 1, you will learn how sentences become clearer when tenses agree. You'll practice recognizing tense to make your writing more coherent. Unit 2 builds your vocabulary by exploring synonyms and antonyms. In Unit 3, you will develop stronger reading skills when you practice making inferences and explaining your thoughts on what you've read. Unit 4 brings all these topics together as you write a short, cohesive essay about an article. By the end of this course, you will be able to describe your opinions about the things you read. This course is designed to help you use your new skills to communicate your ideas in a clear, thoughtful manner.

        After you read the course syllabus, click the "Enroll me in this course" button to enroll in this course. Then, go to Unit 1 and read the unit introduction and the learning outcomes that follow it. You will see each unit's learning materials after the unit introduction and learning outcomes.

      • How Good Is Your English?

        When you are learning a new language, you should be able to measure your growth and improvement. In this section, you will complete activities that demonstrate your knowledge of English so you can measure your success as you complete our series of ESL courses.

      • Unit 1: Making Sentences Work: Agreement

        This unit introduces you to number and tense agreement. In English, it is important that the number of a noun, meaning if it is singular or plural, and the timing of verbs in a sentence or paragraph, referred to as the verbs' tense, stays consistent. For example, readers would be confused if a sentence mentioned one dog, but later said "dogs", or if that dog ran while also running. In this unit, you'll learn that by knowing what tense to use and how to apply that tense to all verbs in a sentence or paragraph, you can help the reader follow along easily. Finally, you'll practice recognizing tense agreement and correcting it where it disagrees.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 2: How Can I Explain This?

        This unit introduces the concept of synonyms and antonyms. Synonyms are words that mean the same thing, while antonyms are words that are opposites. When you are able to find synonyms and antonyms, you grow your vocabulary. When you can use the reading strategy of context clues to uncover synonyms and antonyms, you will understand more of what you read. In this unit you will complete an activity where you will use context clues to search for synonyms and antonyms online.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

      • Unit 3: What Comes Next? Active Reading with Inference

        This unit will show you how to "read between the lines", or make inferences about what you're reading. Making inferences means you pull together what the writer is telling you to come to a conclusion about a reading. In this unit you will learn why it is important to make inferences about what you read. Finally, you'll practice taking notes on a reading and organizing those notes to better understand what you read. 

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

      • Unit 4: Reading to Write

        This unit pulls together everything you learned in the previous units. In this unit, you will use context clues and inferences together to help you better understand a reading. Doing this will help you come to you own conclusions, or final ideas, about a reading and explain your thoughts. You'll take notes and see how to organize those notes to write about a reading. Finally, you'll write a short essay using all the skills you learned in this course to explain what inferences you made about a reading.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

      • Course Feedback Survey

        Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

        If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org or post in our discussion forum.

      • Certificate Final Exam

        Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

        To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt.

        Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.