ESL 086 Academic Listening and Note-Taking

Course Syllabus

3 Credits
Spring 20??

Meeting Times:

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Grade of C or better in ESL 074, ESL 075, ESL 078, and ESL 079, or placement.


This high-intermediate course focuses on listening and note-taking skills. Students develop a system for note-taking and learn how to use their notes to answer comprehension questions as well as to complete writing assignments. All listening and note-taking activities include reading and writing exercises. Students learn grammar in the context of the materials used for listening activities and student generated writing. Students must earn a C or better in order to pass the course.


Students can…

Take accurate, concise, and organized notes for a lecture of at least 10 minutes using a variety of methods such as

  • Use abbreviations and symbols
  • Use key words and supporting details
  • Use visual representation

Comprehend authentic sources such as lectures, TV/radio broadcasts, and podcasts

Recognize organization of a lecture where applicable (compare/contrast, process, cause/effect, definition, etc.)

Identify main points and supporting details

Understand relationships between ideas (signal words, lecture cues, body language)

Use notes to answer comprehension questions with accuracy

Summarize and/or react in writing (paragraph or essay 400-500 words)

Demonstrate an increased understanding of level-appropriate academic vocabulary

Think critically (examples below as applicable; it is not necessary to list all of these on your syllabus)

  • Recognize bias
  • Distinguish fact from opinion
  • Recognize support of claims
  • Agree or disagree with ideas in the lecture and offer support
  • Draw inferences
  • Recognize idioms, slang, and humor

Identify and distinguish speech reductions/Final sounds (s, z, ez; d, t, id)

Use proper MLA format

Read and demonstrate understanding of a level-appropriate article in preparation for a note taking activity

Demonstrate proficiency of the grammar in the 086 curriculum


Lecture Ready 2, by Peg Sarosy and Kathy Sherak, Oxford University Press, 2006. Includes student DVD.


This class will include lecture, class discussion, group work and individual work. Students are expected to be prepared for class and to participate. Most reading will be done outside of class. Writing will be done both inside and outside the class. Groups will be asked to give some informal presentations or explanations to the class. Some quizzes will be given without notice. Students will usually be able to rewrite at-home compositions for a higher grade; in this case 1st and 2nd copies of the work must be submitted to the instructor. Students may be required to complete assignments in the Language Lab.


Plagiarism will be discussed in this course. Basically, it is the unauthorized use of someone else’s work. Examples of plagiarism include copying ideas or sentences from a textbook or Internet article without using quotation marks or without including the source with the essay. Plagiarized work may result in a failing grade for the assignment or for the course, or a student may be asked to leave the course. All students are asked to read the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. All students must complete the plagiarism course at this website and print a copy for me:


All students are expected to be present and on time for each class. It is your responsibility to make up work if you are absent. If you miss a class, you must come to me in class or in my office to get any missing work. Three absences will result in a 1/3 letter grade drop (A to A-, A- to B+, etc.) Each successive absence will cause a 1/3 drop in the final grade.


All out of class assignments must be typed in “times new roman” font size 12, double-spaced, and should include your name, the class, the date, and a title. Save your work on a flash drive. Save all assignments that have been graded and returned to you. Assignments are due on the assigned date. Late assignments may result in a lower grade.


All students are expected to behave in a manner considerate of the instructor and the other students. Disruptive students may be asked to leave the class. Students must turn off cell phones during class. If you need to receive a call because of some emergency, please let the instructor know at the beginning of class.


Writing assignments (weekly): 60%
Quizzes: 10%
Midterm Test: 15%
Final Test: 15%
Total: 100%


A=94-100 A-=90-93 B+=87-89 B=83-86 B-=80-82 C+=77-79 C=70-76 D=60-69 F=below 60

This syllabus may be subject to change.