New York City College of Technology

 The City University of New York 

          English Department/ESL Program          Fall 2020  


EL 021W ‚Äď OL44 (Section) ¬† ¬† Second Language Writing

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8:00-9:40      Synchronous-On line  

INSTRUCTOR: Rachel Gertzog    Email: rgertzog@CityTech.Cuny.Edu

OFFICE HOURS:  Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00-11:00 

Required Materials ‚Äď Most of the materials¬† for this class will be on our Open Lab site. ¬†

Please try to have available: 

English-English dictionary 

1 Three-subject notebook-   You will need to divide this into Writing, Grammar and Vocabulary sections. If you would prefer to keep your entire notebook on your computer, please make sure that you have distinct sections for each of these areas. 



This course focuses on developing language,  and academic reading and writing skills.  Students will practice reading for comprehension and drafting, revising and summarizing skills.  They will polish their grammar with a focus on creating academic level complex sentence structure while avoiding sentence fragments and run-ons.  Students will work extensively on paragraph and essay organization, and on writing multiple drafts of proofread, edited and reedited essays.  Emphasis in reading will include the ability to read academic texts,  identify main ideas, the writer’s purpose, tone and genre, detect various writing patterns and focus on inference.  

Welcome to Writing II:  In this class, by the end of the semester, students should be able to:

  • Write a well-organized and coherent discussion essay in response to a college level text
  • Write a narrative essay
  • Develop effective thesis statements and topic sentences¬†
  • Identify key ideas from the reading and discuss them in essays
  • Quote from the original text to support his/her own opinion or view
  • Use general knowledge or personal examples to support that view
  • Integrate his/her own ideas with those expressed by the authors in various texts
  • Use brainstorming and outlining strategies in pre-writing practice
  • Edit essays for content and organization
  • Proofread essays for grammar and mechanics
  • Broaden general knowledge base by doing extensive reading
  • Develop successful discussion of issues from texts
  • Refer to the text using supporting evidence by paraphrasing or using direct quotations
  • Learn patterns of writing that can be used to respond to questions effectively
  • Practice transition strategies that will assist in writing logical essays
  • Acquire test-taking strategies geared to time allocation and organization

What is expected of you:

Punctuality: Class begins at 8:00.   Please be online by 7:50 so that you are ready to work on time.  Tardiness is disruptive and unfair to your classmates. It will shorten our class time together.  If you log on late, please listen carefully and catch up quickly.   If you have questions, please write them in the text box. 

Attendance:¬† Class attendance is required.¬† Each time you miss class, you diminish your ability to perform well in the course.¬† Please try to attend EVERY class. If you are not able to attend, please make sure that you have advised your ‚Äúfriend‚ÄĚ so that he/she can make sure you are made aware of what you have missed.¬† If you are having any trouble getting into the class on zoom, Google classroom,¬† Google Meets or on Open Lab, you may text me. at 718-890-3408. Please use your name when you text me.¬† If you do not, I will not have any idea who you are.

Participation:  Be prepared to discuss the material.  Your contribution to the class discussion will make the class better for everyone and make you a better writer and reader. It will also improve your grade! The new format on line is difficult for everyone. We all have to work a little harder to make it feel that we’re in a classroom, rather than simply a virtual classroom. 

Homework Assignments: You will be expected to prepare the readings and do the reading -related exercises at home, averaging 8 hours during the week and 4 hours on the weekends. Please plan your work and other schedule accordingly.  Homework assignments may take several forms. In addition, you will be asked to share with your classmates the material you have learned.   

Note taking:  Note taking is a basic and necessary skill for college students.  The quality of the notes you take will have an impact on your overall work and grades.  You are responsible for all material written on the shared screen, in the text box on Open Lab and discussed in class. There are terms and concepts for which you will be responsible. You must understand and be able to use them in essays, on exams/quizzes and in class discussions

Your textbook and other reading:  At this point, we will be using many materials that I will post on Open Lab.   Make sure to keep ALL OF YOUR ESSAYS from class in an on line folder that are easy to bring up on your computer.  We will be recycling essays and readings depending on plans for drafting etc.  Please remember to date all of your work. 

E-Mail:  The most effective way to contact me is through email    You can use email to send questions or comments, or to schedule an appointment.   You can also send texts to 718-809-3408, however, you must give me time to respond.  Remember,  just like you have a life outside of Citytech, so do I. Let’s all try to respect each other’s boundaries. 

Essay Assignments:  The best way to share essays with me is through Google Docs/Sharing. My gmail is: 

Consultation: Please take advantage of my office hours. Monday and Wednesday 10-11 AM to speak to me privately about issues of interest or challenges you are facing related to this course. If my office hours are not convenient, please email me and we can try to set up a time that is more suitable for you. We can meet on Google meets or on the phone, depending on what’s most important to you. 

Make a friend/become a friend: It is important for you to select at least one student in the class with whom you can exchange a phone number/email address in order to share information about the course. If you miss a class, that classmate will know to send you notes from class or describe the material that was discussed. I am not a classroom ‚Äúfriend.‚ÄĚ You will need to ask you friend ‚ÄúWhat was the homework?‚Ä̬†¬†

Grammatical Competence РStudents will work on grammar units as required. There will be regular grammar homework using grammar handouts and additional work in the textbook and online resources. 

Academic Vocabulary¬† –We will work on expanding your academic and general vocabulary by reading extensively in and out of class. There will be weekly vocabulary exercises and quizzes. Students will keep a Vocabulary Log based on class and other extensive out of class readings. In-class readings will come with vocabulary lists.¬† We will discuss what will be expected in your vocabulary log.

Reading Log ‚ÄďStudents will be required to submit 20 reading logs during the course of the semester. In some cases, the logs will be developed from material we read together. In others, each student will research a topic, find a reading and develop a reading log based on that material. You may be asked to share that information with your classmates.¬† A description of a reading log will be provided to you.¬†

Midterm Exam:  This test will include material covered from the beginning of the semester through the week of October 19 .  It will be comprised of short answer, vocabulary, grammar and essay questions and will include both reading and writing skills evaluation. 

Final Exam:  This final test, the week of December 20th   is cumulative.  Questions will be drawn from all material covered from the beginning of the course and will be comprised of both reading and writing. 

Tutoring : We are unsure of whether additional tutoring will be available. For now, please request extra support during office hours, as I am here to help you with any academic challenges you experience. 

Study groups outside of class:  Research shows that when students work together on their class work outside of class, in addition to what they do in class, they are much more successful at learning and using new vocabulary, understanding texts and improving general English language skills.  No one is obligated to meet outside of class, but if you do, you will have a much more enjoyable and productive experience.   I will be partnering you to work together during class time.  Please be prepared to work with your partner and groups. 

Thematic focus:  During our 15 weeks together, we will focus on the following:  

Generation Gap/Life Stages/

Human Development

Society/issues/ problems

Social groups/ communities/ equality

Environment (US and global)/sustainability

World economies/global and local financial issues

Academic Integrity Policy:  Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.  The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.

Accessibility Statement РCity Tech is committed to supporting the educational goals of enrolled students with disabilities in the areas of enrollment, academic advisement, tutoring, assistive technologies and testing accommodations. If you have or think you may have a disability, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments as provided under applicable federal, state and city laws. You may also request services for temporary conditions or medical issues under certain circumstances. If you have questions about your eligibility or would like to seek accommodation services or academic adjustments, please contact the Center for Student Accessibility 

GRADING POLICY: In accordance with College policy, a minimum average of 70% is required for an (S)atisfactory course grade (C).  New guidelines have been established for the writing classes.  In the past, passing of the CATW was the most important criteria for passing out of remedial writing.  Beginning this semester, course grades will be determined follows:

Grading Policy ESOL021W

ASSIGNMENTS Grade Value Total
Personal/Creative Narrative   Essay #1

(500-750 words)

Text-based Response Essay #2

  • (650-1000 words)
Research Project: Text-based with at least two long articles based 

Response Essay #3 (final paper)

  • (650-1000 words)

Text based responses will summarize and respond to texts using evidence and citation)

Midterm  Reading  and Writing Exam ( 3rd week in October )

Includes text based writing, reading test, vocabulary test and some applied grammar

2 large reading and vocabulary comprehension tests (total words for the semester 400)   10%
      Quiz #1:                ; Quiz #2:            ;  Quiz #3:                 ;

       Quiz #4:                ; Quiz #5:            ;  Quiz #6,    etc. 

Online Participation according to the rubric

Reading Logs ( total of 20,each worth .5)



Final writing, vocabulary, reading and grammar test   20%
                                                  TOTAL  100%
70 or above: Becomes ‚ÄúWriting Certified‚ÄĚ (can take ENG1101 if reading certified)

65-69% ENG 1101 CO ML

64-50%  Repeat EL 021W

Spring 2021                    You should register in : 

Writing Guidelines

  1.   Please make sure that your name, the date, the course name, the title of the paper and the draft number appear at the top of every paper you hand in.
  2. Please double-space throughout, even between paragraphs.
  3. Please indent paragraphs.
  4. Do not use contractions. (This means no couldn’t, shouldn’t , haven’t etc.) 
  5. Write a memorable first sentence.
  6. These assignments are relatively short. Try to be concise and synthesize.
  7. Summarize in your final paragraph (express your insights/opinions as clearly as you can).
  8. All essays are to be shared using 

Tentative schedule for Fall 2020

Important Dates to be aware of: 

Monday, September 7¬† ¬† No ‚Äďclass – Labor Day

Monday, September 28   No class- Yom Kippur 

Tuesday, September 29    Monday classes meet

Monday, October 12         No class, Indigenous People Day

Wednesday, October 14 Monday Classes Meet

Thursday, November 26 No class,  Thanksgiving

Monday, December 14 Final Exams

Tuesday, December 15 Final Exams

Thursday, December 17 Last day of class 

Date In class work Homework 
Thursday, August 27 Diagnostic exam

Class introduction 

How we find each other

Activate your Citytech email and ID 

Email the Teacher from Citytech email 

Read, summarize and respond to questions about¬† ‚ÄúWhat you Read.‚Ä̬† Send by Saturday at 8:00.¬†

Monday, August 31 Syllabus review

Course introduction

Parts of Speech 

Introduction to  prefix/suffix 

How to look at new vocabulary and make it your own.  

Introduction to Open Lab (if possible) 

Join Quizlet and practice vocabulary set#1¬† ‚Äď From ‚ÄúWhat you Read.‚Ä̬†

Join the Cuny Alert System

Complete parts of speech worksheet and be prepared to review in class. 


Tues. September 1  Continue Parts of Speech

Diagramming a piece of reading. 

Introduction to summarizing

Identifying and Expressing Main Ideas 

Viewing Descriptive Writing

Read ‚ÄúFrom Diary of a Young Girl,‚ÄĚ Answer questions about the writing and be prepared to discuss your answers from the chart regarding conclusions about the person, the lifestyle and the culture.

Practice Vocabulary sets #1 and #2 on Quizlet

Thursday, September 3  Writing vocabulary and reading logs 

Review of vocabulary for first two readings.

Developing a vocabulary chart 

Review of the  homework. 

Study  for Vocabulary quiz on sets 1 and 2  for Tuesday, September 8

Complete exercises on Open lab from Quizlet

Write your first draft essay about a prized possession.  Check the instruction sheet for specific information about what constitutes a Descriptive essay.  

Monday, Sept. 7 no class No class Please submit your descriptive essay on Google Doc by 1:00 PM

Please continue to prepare for vocabulary quiz