ENG 559--ESL Methods and Materials: Reading and Writing (Spring 2002)
Instructor: Fredricka Stoller
Office: BAA 327; Office telephone: (928) 523-6272
Email: fredricka.stoller@nau.edu

Required Textbooks Course Expectations and Requirements
Required Readings Tentative Syllabus
Required Materials Synthesis Paper Assignment
Optional Resources  

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Course Description 

English 559 provides an overview of second language (L2) methods and materials, focusing specifically on the teaching and learning of L2 literacy skills: reading and writing.  Additional attention will be given to vocabulary and grammar.  Class sessions will focus on theory and practice related to these four important components of language learning. In addition, students 
will critique popular L2 textbooks currently in use around the world, evaluate already developed lesson plans, develop lesson plans of their own, engage in short demonstration lessons that showcase state-of-the-art teaching techniques, and complete a literature review on a topic of personal interest. (Prerequisites: ENG 548) 

Required Textbooks

Celce-Murcia, M. (Ed.).  (2001).  Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3rd ed.).  Boston:  Heinle & Heinle. (C-M)

Grabe, W., & Kaplan, R. B. (1996).  Theory and practice of writing: An applied linguistic perspective.  New York: Longman. (G & K)

Grabe, W., & Stoller, F. L. (2002).  Teaching and researching reading.  New York:  Longman.

Stahl, S. A. (1999).  Vocabulary development.  Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.

Ur, P.  (1988).  Grammar practice activities: A practical guide for teachers.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

ENG 558/559 Coursepack (available in the NAU Bookstore) 

Required Readings (on electronic reserve in Cline Library)

Eyraud, K., Giles, G., Koenig, S., & Stoller, F. L.  (2000).  The word wall approach: Promoting L2 vocabulary learning.  English Teaching Forum, 38, 2-11.

Stoller, F. L.  (1993).  Developing word and phrase recognition exercises.  In R. Day (Ed.), New ways in teaching reading (pp. 230-233).  Alexandria, VA: TESOL. 

Stoller, F. L. (1994).  Making the most of a newsmagazine passage for reading-skills development.  English Teaching Forum, 32(1), 2-7. 

Stoller, F. L. (1995).  Correction symbols: Developing editing skills.  In R. V. White (Ed.),  New ways in teaching writing (pp. 139-141).  Alexandria, VA: TESOL. 

Stoller, F. L. (2000).  Help your students become better readers.  Panama TESOL Newsletter, 14, 7-10.

Required Materials

The world of child 6 billion (to be distributed in class; please bring to ALL class sessions)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).  (2001). Washington, 
D.C.:  American Psychological Association.

Useful (optional) Resources

Aebersold, J. A., & Field, M. A. (1997).  From reader to reading teacher: Issues and strategies for second language classrooms. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Day, R. R. (Ed.).  (1993).  New ways in teaching reading.  Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Grabe, W. (Ed.).  (1998).  Annual review of applied linguistics: Foundations of second language teaching, 18.  New York:  Cambridge University Press.

Hyland, K. (2002).  Teaching and researching writing.  NY:  Longman. 

McDonough, J., & Shaw, C. (1993). Methods and materials in ELT: A teacher's guide. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Nation, P.  (Ed.).  (1994).  New ways in teaching vocabulary.  Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Pennington, M. C. (Ed.).  (1995).  New ways in teaching grammar.  Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Silberstein, S.  (Ed.).  (1993).  State of the art TESOL essays: Celebrating 25 years of the discipline.  Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

White, R. (Ed.).  (1995).  New ways in teaching writing.  Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Course Expectations and Requirements

1. Graduate level performance is expected from all students.  At the graduate level, it is assumed that students are, to a great extent, responsible for their own learning.  Therefore, assignments are to be completed PRIOR to the class for which they are assigned in a thorough and quality manner.  Class attendance and quality in-class participation is expected.

2. Students are expected to complete all assignments on time.  All out-of-class assignments should be typewritten, unless otherwise stated. Late work will not be accepted.

3. Students will work in pairs or small groups to demonstrate different teaching techniques for their classmates.  Everyone will conduct a vocabulary demonstration lesson; students will conduct one other demonstration lesson highlighting an L2 reading, writing, or grammar teaching technique.  Demonstration lessons require that classmates be active participants.  Accompanying the demonstration will be a handout (to be distributed to all class members) that explains the rationale(s) for showcased technique(s) and general procedure(s). 

4. Students will complete EIGHT materials development exercises, using The world of child 6 billion as a springboard.

5. Students will design TWO 60-minute lesson plans using an instructor-approved reading passage as a springboard for lesson development. Lesson plans will be designed following the general format suggested in the NAU Coursepack (see pages 2—7), and will exhibit a grasp of theory and state-of-the-art pedagogy.

6. Students will survey websites relevant to 559 course objectives to determine their usefulness and applicability to L2 teachers/students.   They’ll report “findings” to classmates in a very short presentation and via an informative handout that lists web site addresses and explains the pros and cons of the sites in a bulleted list.

7. Students will write a 12-15 page synthesis paper, following APA conventions throughout, on a topic of interest related to vocabulary, reading, writing, grammar, or any combination of those language-learning areas.  The paper should include a properly synthesized review of the literature on the targeted topic of the paper and an exploration of pedagogical implications that emerge from the literature.

8. Students will distribute a copy of synthesis paper references to everyone, slightly reformatted to include the full title of the paper on the top of the reference sheet. 

9. Students will complete a final exam that will involve revising Lesson Plans #1 and #2 and the development of two additional lesson plans (to create a cohesive 4-lesson thematic unit).  The completed lesson plans will be prefaced by a 4-5 page paper explaining how the lessons characterize state-of-the-art theory and pedagogy, with explicit reference to relevant course readings. The paper should conclude with a properly formatted reference list.

10. Student Evaluation:  Final evaluation is based on a point system of 100 points total.  Totals are the sum of these weights:
Materials development exercises (8 exercises @ 2 points each)     16
Teaching demonstrations  
         Vocabulary technique
         Reading, writing, or grammar technique 
Lesson plan #1 (reading) 
Lesson plan #2 (writing) 
Synthesis paper  
         Revised prospectus and preliminary references
        Final paper
Website report /handout
Final exam
Class participation and short assignments

Tentative syllabus
Date Topic Assignment 
T 1/15 Introduction to course  
TH 1/17 Introduction to vocabulary learning/teaching  Stahl (Intro, Ch 1, 2, 3)
T 1/22 Vocabulary continued  Stahl (Ch 4, 5, 6); Materials development ex #1 due
TH 1/24 Vocabulary continued  Eyraud et al. (2000), De Carrico (in C-M)
T 1/29 Vocabulary textbook review Materials development ex #2 due; Prospectus  for synthesis paper due at teacher-student conferences 
TH 1/31 Introduction to reading Ediger (in C-M), Weinstein (in C-M), Grabe & Stoller (in C-M)
T 2/5 Reading: Nature of reading abilities Grabe & Stoller (Ch 1) 
TH 2/7 Reading: L1 & L2 reading Grabe & Stoller (Ch 2, 3); Materials development ex #3 due (consult Stoller, 1993)
T 2/12 Reading: Implications for instruction  Grabe & Stoller (Ch 4, 5)
TH 2/14 Reading: Implications for instruction Grabe & Stoller (Ch 7, 8)
T 2/19 Reading: Implications for instruction  Grabe & Stoller (Ch 9), Stoller (1994, 2000);
Materials development ex #4 due
TH 2/21 Reading textbook review Revised prospectus & references for synthesis paper due
T 2/26 Introduction to writing  Olshtain (in C-M), Kroll (in C-M), Frodesen (in C-M)
TH 2/28 Writing: Issues Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 1); Lesson Plan #1 due
 T 3/5   Writing:  Process approaches  Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 4)
TH 3/7 Writing:  Process approaches continued Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 5)
  Spring Break  
T 3/19 Writing: From theory to practice Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 9); Materials development ex #5 due
TH 3/21 Teaching writing to beginning L2 students Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 10); Stoller                                (1995)
T 3/26 Teaching writing to intermed L2 students  Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 11) Materials development ex #6 due 
TH 3/28 Teaching writing to advanced L2 students Grabe & Kaplan (Ch 12)
T 4/2 Integrating reading and writing Synthesis papers due 
TH 4/4 Writing textbook review Materials development ex #7 due
  TESOL week (No classes)  
T 4/16 Introduction to teaching grammar  Ur (Intro and Part I—chs ), Larsen-Freeman (in C-M),
Fotos (in C-M) 
TH 4/18 Grammar teaching, continued Ur, Part II; Lesson Plan #2 due
T 4/23 Grammar teaching, continued  Ur, Part II
TH 4/25 Grammar textbook review Materials development ex #8 due
T 4/30 Integrated language skills revisited   
TH 5/2 Course wrap-up  
T 5/7  Final exam  due by 9:30 a.m.  

Synthesis Paper: Assignment and Suggested Topics

Write a 12-15 page synthesis paper, following APA conventions throughout, that includes (a) a properly synthesized review of the literature on the targeted topic of your paper and (b) an exploration of pedagogical implications that emerge from the literature.  Make reference to relevant readings from ENG 559 in addition to at least ten articles and/or books published since 1990, and at least two current ESL/EFL textbooks that offer insights/examples that strengthen your arguments.  Readings assigned for ENG 559 and ESL/EFL skill-related textbooks should not be counted as the minimum ten citations required.  The journals listed in the comprehensive exam preparation packet, the references cited in course readings, and books on reserve in Cline Library represent good starting points for relevant readings. 

The paper should include a properly formatted title page, an abstract of 100-150 words, a 12-15 page paper, and a reference page, with an alphabetized list of references cited in the paper.  (There should be an exact match between references cited in the paper and full citations listed at the end of the paper in the reference list.)  Important dates include the following:

Week of January 28: Half-page (double-spaced) informal prospectus, identifying your topic, turned in during a teacher-student conference to discuss your plans/
February 21 (or earlier): Formal revised prospectus (one-page maximum, double spaced), followed by a list of references that you are considering using. (Include at least 8 references that have not been formally assigned for ENG 559.)  References should be formatted according to APA.
April 2 (or earlier):  Synthesis paper due;  Also bring copies of references for all classmates—slightly reformatted to include the full title of paper on top of reference sheet. 
Synthesis papers should focus on topics related to some aspect of vocabulary, reading, writing, and/or grammar.  A list of pertinent topics that you might want to consider exploring for your synthesis paper is included below, though keep in mind that the list is not at all exhaustive.  Feel free to propose other topics, if your interests so dictate. 


1. The role of explicit instruction and incidental learning
2. The relationship between vocabulary learning and prior knowledge, reading comprehension, and/or general intelligence
3. Differences in word knowledge
4. The role of the dictionary in vocabulary learning
5. Wide reading and narrow reading and their impact on vocabulary learning
6. The role of glosses in vocabulary learning
7. Frequencies of exposure to vocabulary for long-term learning
8. Instructional approaches that lead to vocabulary learning
9. Different types of vocabulary and their roles in L2 instruction (e.g., content versus. function;  content obligatory versus. content compatible; high-frequency, academic, technical, and low-frequency)


1. The role of strategy training in reading skills development
2. The relationship between word recognition (and other bottom up skills) and reading proficiency
3. The influence of reading speed on reading proficiency
4. Reading for different purposes
5. The role of background knowledge in reading
6. Extensive reading versus. intensive reading
7. Instructional approaches that lead to improved reading abilities
8. The use of literature in L2 reading classes
9. Learning to read versus reading to learn


1. The role of feedback (teacher, peer, self) on student writing
2. Writing strategies and writing improvement
3. The impact of summary writing, outlining, and text models on writing improvement
4. Genre-approaches to writing
5. Varieties of writing
6. Text-responsible writing versus non-text responsible writing
7. Rhetorical organization and writing instruction
8. Cross-cultural variations in writing
9. Instructional approaches that lead to improved writing abilities


1. Grammar instruction and its place in content-based classrooms/writing classrooms
2. Contextualizing grammar instruction
3. The role of grammar in the communicative classroom 
4. Teaching grammar as meaning, social function, and discourse
5. Learner variables and their role in the learning of grammar
6. Judging the importance of grammar for different instructional settings
7. The role of feedback and correction on the development of grammatical competence
8. Instructional approaches that lead to improved grammar proficiency
9. The role of deductive/inductive or explicit/implicit grammar instruction 

Integrated Skills Instruction 

1. Rationales for integrating reading and writing instruction
2. Reading and writing in content based and/or task-based curricula
3. Reading and writing in English for Specific Purposes classrooms
4. Reading to write:  The interplay between reading and writing
5. Reading and writing in beginning literacy classes

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