Vocabulary Improvement for ESL Students

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 091

       Course Name: Vocabulary Improvement for ESL Students

       Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Minimum placement of EGL 073 in reading or EGL 076 in writing

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Intermediate to advanced course on learning, remembering, and using English vocabulary. Students will learn how to determine meaning from context, use dictionaries appropriately, analyze roots, affixes, and parts of speech, and apply sentence structure knowledge to increase receptive and productive vocabulary.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will learn to

  1. use context clues to determine meanings of new words and phrases.
  2. apply parts of speech and sentence structure awareness to determine meanings and uses of new words and phrases.
  3. use mnemonic devices and other study strategies to remember and use new vocabulary.
  4. use a monolingual dictionary effectively to find and choose from word meanings and uses.
  5. recognize and use different word forms.
  6. use knowledge of roots and affixes to determine meanings of new words.
  7. recognize and use vocabulary from the Academic Word List.
  8. apply vocabulary strategies to increase reading comprehension.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Using context clues to determine meaning
  2. Understanding roots and affixes
  3. Developing personal vocabulary-learning strategies
  4. Using grammar and sentence structure to determine meaning
  5. Developing successful mnemonic devices
  6. Practicing vocabulary from the Academic Word List
  7. Improving reading comprehension through vocabulary strategies
  8. Using online resources to learn and practice vocabulary
  9. Applying dictionary skills

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, group exercises, and computer lab work may be used.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

  1. Completion of assignments on time.
  2. Participation in large and small-group activities.
  3. Online and computer lab activities

The Oakton Community College Catalog states: 
Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status in admission to and participation in its educational programs, College activities and services, or employment practices. The College does not tolerate sexual harassment or sexual assault by or of its students or employees.

In keeping with this policy of tolerance and non-discrimination, in this class all of us (myself included) should strive to:

  • listen and give careful consideration to all ideas expressed in class, especially those that are different from our own, without attacking or demeaning the people who hold those views, and
  • avoid using insulting terms or telling offensive jokes when talking to or about individuals or groups. 
  • Attendance Policy:
  • Late Assignments:
  • Outside Reading: The more you read in English, the faster your reading and writing will improve.  You should make sure that you spend several hours each week reading material of your choice in English. 
  • Extra Help:

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Check with coordinator for current list.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Completion of assignments
  2. Performance on quizzes and tests

EGL 091 is a Pass/Fail course.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.