Vocabulary Improvement for ESL Students

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 091

       Course Name: Vocabulary Improvement for ESL Students

       Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

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

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

High intermediate to advanced course on learning, remembering, and using English vocabulary. Students will learn multiple strategies to identify, memorize, and use academic vocabulary to increase reading comprehension and improve writing.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will learn to

  1. Recognize, remember, and use vocabulary from the Academic Word List.
  2. Make and use vocabulary cards.
  3. Use bilingual and monolingual dictionaries appropriately.
  4. Apply vocabulary strategies to increase reading comprehension
  5. Discover meanings of words from in-text definitions/information.
  6. Appropriately use word collocations.
  7. Use mnemonic devices and other study strategies to remember and use new vocabulary.
  8. Use technology to increase vocabulary knowledge.

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. The Academic Word List (and/or other academic word lists)
  2. Vocabulary-learning strategies, including vocabulary cards
  3. Online resources to learn and practice vocabulary
  4. Apps to learn and practice vocabulary
  5. Monolingual and bilingual dictionary skills
  6. Discovering meaning through context
  7. Collocations
  8. Pronunciation rules to help in word recognition
  9. Technical and field-specific words

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, group exercises, computer lab, and mobile phone work.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

  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.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.