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Essay Topics For Middle School Esl Syllabus

Construct your syllabus well in advance, as part of the process of planning the course (see Designing a Course and Course-Planning Timeline).

We have designed a syllabus template with selected elements of an effective syllabus,  as well as recommended language related to University policies and resources for students. Use our syllabus template to create your own.

The course syllabus has multiple functions:

1) The syllabus is a course-planning tool. It helps the instructor prepare and organize the course. Taking the time to construct a detailed syllabus will help you define the course goals; plan the course structure and assignments, exams, review sessions, and other activities; and determine how much time you should devote to particular topics.

2) The syllabus is a prospectus that answers a question on the minds of many students on the first day of class: “Why should I take this course?” The syllabus communicates to students a clear idea of the course content, your approach to teaching it, and what they can expect to do and to learn in completing the course requirements. The syllabus should also stimulate interest in the course topic by indicating why the topic is important or intriguing. Keep in mind that colleagues, administrators, and others interested in the course will read your syllabus. Thus, the syllabus provides an opportunity for you to communicate with a larger audience about the course and its significance to broad educational goals.

3) The syllabus is a reference guide. It provides students with a compendium of information that they will consult throughout the course, including logistical information such as course name and number, prerequisites, and instructor’s name and contact information, as well as due dates, exam times, and course requirements and policies.

4) The syllabus is akin to a contract, in that it sets out course requirements and policies regarding grading, academic integrity, student conduct, attendance, late work, and other issues. Students are responsible for reading and understanding the syllabus, the terms of which they implicitly agree to abide by when they take the course; encourage students to ask questions to ensure that they understand the course policies and requirements. You should include a caveat, however, indicating that you may make changes and adjustments to the document throughout the course, as needed.

Additional Considerations

  • When preparing the syllabus, pay attention to organization, layout, and typography to ensure that the document is easy to read.
  • Date the syllabus before you distribute it to students.
  • Consider putting your syllabus online as well as on paper. As part of a course Web site, the syllabus will be easy for you to modify throughout the semester and will be accessible for students who misplace their first copy. If you modify the syllabus during the semester, inform students that a change has been made, highlight the change in a visible way (for example, with a font of a different color), and add an updated date in the “footer” of the document.
  • On the first day of class, have plenty of copies available—especially if the course is likely to be popular and students are “comparison shopping”—and go over the syllabus carefully to reduce the risk of future surprises. Depending on the size of the class, consider requiring each student to submit a question about the syllabus during class or on an online discussion board. Finally, record student questions so that the next syllabus can be even clearer and more complete.

What information should appear on the syllabus?

Note that you can choose to put some information on a course Web site or on Blackboard rather than including it on the written document. It is always a good idea, however, to put the “essential information” listed below on the printed syllabus, even if it also appears online.

Essential Information

  • Course title, number, time, days, and location; URL for course Web site, if applicable
  • Name and contact information of instructor(s) and, if applicable, TA(s)

In addition, indicate how students should contact you, whether by e-mail or by phone, for example; include the appropriate contact information. If the course has TAs, be sure to include their contact information, as well. Include times, days, and locations of office hours, as well as study groups and help sessions.

Course prerequisites communicate your assumptions about your students and help the students determine whether they have completed the necessary academic preparation for the course.

The outline may be detailed or not, depending on your expectations for students’ preparation and learning. For example, if you want students to come to class ready to discuss particular chapters or articles, your outline will be detailed, listing the specific reading assignment for each day of class; in this case, the topic outline will be equivalent to the course schedule (see below). If you are using a lecture format, on the other hand, you may prefer to list the number of days you expect to spend on each topic and the portion of the required texts that are related to the lectures during those days.

  • Texts, materials, and supplies

Information about each text should include the title, author, edition, publisher, and where the text can be purchased, borrowed or accessed (if placing material on Ares, the library reserve-system, or on Blackboard). If students will need additional materials such as a calculator, safety equipment, or art supplies, provide a detailed list and indicate where the materials can be acquired. For each text or other material, specify whether it is “required” or “optional, but recommended.”

Briefly describe the nature and format of assignments; add a note indicating that detailed assignments will be distributed and posted on the course Web page, if applicable, at a later date. Include due dates for major assignments such as papers, presentations, and projects, as well as any initial drafts or other preliminary work. Indicate the nature, date, and length of any exam.

  • Additional course requirements

Include dates and descriptions of required events such as field trips, seminars, additional sessions, or study groups.

  • Grading scale and policies

Explain the grading scale, indicating the weight of each component, such as homework, papers, quizzes, exams, reports, and participation, within the course grade. Indicate whether the grade is determined on a “curve” or an absolute scale. Note whether any graded assignment can be dropped and how that dropped grade will affect the final grade. Indicate policy on re-grades, if applicable. Direct students to applicable grading rubrics, which you can provide both on paper and on the course Web site.

  • Additional course policies

Explain in detail policies concerning attendance; class participation; late work; missed exams; academic integrity; requests for extensions and for rescheduling of exams; and expectations for student conduct in the classroom, laboratory, or studio. Keep in mind that incidents of academic integrity are on the rise, and instructors need to take a proactive approach in preventing and responding to these incidents. Express your willingness to help students understand the Academic Integrity Policy and how they can avoid plagiarism and its serious consequences by learning to cite sources correctly and leaving plenty of time to complete assignments.

Recommended Information

Indicate that you reserve the right to make adjustments or changes throughout the semester. Remind students that they are responsible to learn about these changes if they miss any class time.

The course goals describe what each student should know or be able to do by the end of the course. Including these goals in the syllabus can help you articulate the rationale behind assignments, exams, and the organization of the course. (See Designing a Course.)

If the course contains subsections, list their respective start dates, and the time and place that they will be held. Explain their purposes and indicate whether any quizzes or homework will be due during these sections.

Helpful Additions

The description should be consistent with that which appears in the course listings; it may be even more detailed, providing a clear idea of the specific course topic and its significance.

Include on the course schedule the dates that you will be covering specific topics, the due dates for major assignments; and the date of the final exam. The more detailed the course schedule, the more useful it will be for the students. When preparing the schedule, consult the relevant academic calendars and keep in mind religious holidays and significant campus events (for example, Homecoming and Thurtene Carnival).

List information about relevant resources that might be helpful to students in your course, such as those found at The Writing Center, Cornerstone (academic mentoring, tutoring, and disability resources), and the University Libraries. Include information about any available lecture notes or videotapes of lectures.

Include a note about any relevant supplementary materials such as study hints, safety guidelines, information about exam preparation, and online resources; the note might, for example, direct students to find these materials on the course Web site.

Links and References for Preparing a Syllabus

“Creating a Syllabus.” Instruction at FSU: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Practices. Instructional Development Services. Florida State University. http://learningforlife.fsu.edu/ctl/explore/onlineresources/docs/Chptr3.pdf

Davis, Barbara Gross. “Creating a Syllabus.” Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.

“Designing a Syllabus.” Center for Learning and Teaching. Cornell University. http://www.cte.cornell.edu/documents/cte/CTE%20Designing%20Syllabus.pdf.

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. © 2009, Washington University.

ELL English, Reading, and Language Class Syllabus

Christina Mendoza

(314) 729-2410 xt. 1212 christinamendoza@lindberghschools.ws


Course Description: An intensive English class that bridges the ESL curriculum with the English class with a focus in reading strategies, academic vocabulary, grammar, and writing.

Texts: Edge and The Good Writers Guide by National Geographic.


Supplemental Material: Elements of Language by Zaner Bloser, Worldly Wise 3000 Academic Vocabulary  


Internet Websites: There will be a variety of websites throughout the year for the student to study, read, and create assignments


Quizlet, TweenTribune, Google Community




Reading Objectives:

Students will engage in daily, meaningful reading tasks in English class and/or at home.  The tasks will be based upon the following objectives:


Students will be able to use strategies before, during, and after reading to aid in the construction and enhancement of meaning


Students will be able to respond in discussions and in writing, using personal, literal, interpretative, and evaluative stances, to works of fiction and/or non-fiction.


Students will be able to identify and explain the function of essential short story elements in the writer’s craft (i.e. character, setting, conflict, plot, climax, resolution, theme, tone, point of view).


Students will be able to participate in discussions and draft writing which demonstrates an understanding of diverse cultural perspectives.



Students will be able to demonstrate literal and inferential comprehension of works of non-fiction (i.e. newspaper and magazine articles) through participation in discussion and writing activities.


Students will be able to compare and contrast, in writing and through discussion.


Writing Objectives:

Students will engage in daily, meaningful formal and/or informal writing tasks in English class and/or at home.  The tasks will be based upon the following objectives:


Students will be able to engage in informal writing assignments (i.e. reader response, freewriting, focused freewriting, prediction, response journals, and other pieces of writing that they do not take through the entire writing process).


Students will be able to engage in formal writing assignments that require utilization of all stages of the writing process.


Students will be able to write several rough drafts of a paper to revise clarity and depth of content or to edit style and mechanics.


Students will be able to engage in revision in the following areas:


    1. language, information, style, voice and structure appropriate to the purpose and selected audience

    2. clear, understandable, and accurate language

    3. incorporation of sentence variety (simple, compound, complex)

             4. appropriate organization and order of words, sentences and paragraphs .


Students will be able to engage in proofreading in the following areas:


    1. individual student’s major goal area(s)

    2. complete sentences (avoiding fragments, comma splices, and run-ons)

    3. subject verb agreement

    4. verb tense consistency

    5. capitalization

    6. proper MLA documentation (in-text citations and works cited)

    7. punctuation


Students will be able to engage in teacher and/or peer conferences during any or all stages of the writing process.


Students will be able to evaluate their own writing according to established criteria and rubrics.


Students will be able to maintain neatly organized writing portfolios for use in tracking their growth as maturing writers.


Speaking and Listening Objectives:

In meeting the objectives listed below, students will use language appropriate for the classroom.


Students will be able to read orally with expression indicative of comprehension and tone.


Students will be able to ask and answer questions logically and effectively.


Students will be able to engage critically and constructively in oral exchanges of ideas (i.e. class discussions, peer group assignments, group discussions).


Students will be able to confer with peers about given topics/activities.


Students will be able to offer constructive feedback.


Students will be able to participate actively and effectively in cooperative groups.


Students will be able to deliver a clear, coherent oral presentation.


Students will be able to listen attentively.


Students will be able to understand spoken instructions and give spoken instructions to others.


Students will be able to identify major concepts and ideas in speeches, discussions, audio and video presentations.


Students will be able to show respect for the diverse dialects, traditions, and opinions of their classmates.

Evaluations: Academic Vocabulary, Elements of Langauge, Grammar, Literature Story, and Writing Tests


Classroom Expectations:


Be Prompt - start and end on time

Be Polite - assume positive intent

Be Prepared - in advance

Be Present - in mind and body

Be Patient - we are all in different places in our learning

Classroom Policies:

1. Student Handbook policies will be enforced, including specific policies for plagiarism, cheating, absences, and tardies.

2. After an absence, students have the number of days absent plus one day to complete and turn in work.

3. Cell phones should be on silent and put away.  I will let you know when and if you can have your phones out.



2 Notebooks

1 Writing Journal

2 Folders

Writing Utensils

Phone, tablet, computer (if you have one)


Classroom Work and Homework:

Vocabulary lessons, quizzes, and journals will be required for daily and weekly grades.   Literature, writing, and grammar units will follow curriculum guides for each level of English.   


Grading Scale

Homework/Daily/Quizzes 80%

Final  20%

As an ELL teacher, I agree to:


1. Set high standards to improve English speaking, reading, and writing Follow Missouri state standards, WIDA standards, and Lindbergh School district policy for students ’ academics.

2. Maintain a structured schedule of assignments that meet academic goals.  

3. Help students achieve to their highest ability; provide extra help if needed before or after class

4. Treat students with respect and expect their best work in class


As an ELL student, I agree to:


1. Be present in class, with all materials, when the bell rings  

2. Maintain materials: Maintain classwork, journal entries, and vocabulary lessons every week  

3. Turn in assignments when due, understanding that late work will result in loss of points

4. Respect the teacher and other students’ turn to speak and listen until recognized


Student Signature                        Date

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