• Course Introduction

        • Time: 12 hours
        • Free Certificate
        To communicate effectively in Standard American English, you need to link reading and writing skills. Using reading strategies to develop stronger writing skills allows you to build a stronger vocabulary and communicate your ideas to others. ESL004 is designed to help you make these connections in preparation for ENGL000 and future academic coursework.

        In Unit 1, you will strengthen your grammar skills by learning the basics of punctuation. You'll examine how changing punctuation can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Unit 2 connects reading to building a robust vocabulary. You'll explore how mapping a reading allows you to find new words to explain things and see different concepts. Finally, in Unit 3, you'll pull everything together by drawing your own conclusions about what you've read and explaining those conclusions to your readers. This course concludes by using punctuation, vocabulary, and mapping to write a short, cohesive essay that will prepare you for future academic work. By the end of ESL004, you'll be able to use punctuation, vocabulary, and mapping to write a short, cohesive essay that will prepare you for future academic work.

      • 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: Those Little Marks: Punctuation

        Unit 1 introduces you to punctuation and explains the correct way to use periods, exclamation points, question marks, and commas. It's important to punctuate a sentence appropriately to make its meaning clear to your reader. In this unit, you'll learn when to use a punctuation mark, which mark to use, and what makes these marks different. Finally, you'll practice matching the correct punctuation mark to its sentence. 

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 2: Read, Read, and Read More!

        In this unit, you will read for the purpose of building your vocabulary for your field of study. When you begin studying a topic in college, it will be important to know the words being used and what they mean. For example, a "program" means one thing when used in computer science and another thing when used in business. In this unit, you'll learn to use strategies to find and keep track of those specialized vocabulary words. Finally, you'll practice "mapping" what you read to organize the terms and ideas you find. At the end of this unit, you'll know how to develop a larger vocabulary to help you move forward in your college studies.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

      • Unit 3: Reading to Write

        This unit connects the punctuation and writing clarity skills you gained in Unit 1 to the vocabulary and reading strategies you practiced in Unit 2. Now that you're able to read about concepts that interest you, you'll want to clearly and correctly present those ideas to others through your writing. In this unit, you'll learn how to synthesize, or bring together, the knowledge you already have on a topic with the things you learn in your program of study. You'll then write about that synthesis using grammatically correct and clear sentences. At the end of this unit, you'll be able to clearly explain what you know about a topic and what you still want to learn.

        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.