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What do teachers teach? English 255 Course Descriptions

Every instructor chooses specific topics for discussion in English 255; scroll down and discover what topics teachers teach.

Not all instructors teach every semester; check the "Schedule of Classes" first to identify who is teaching that semester, then read the course description here.

Baer W.- REAL Learning Community--Media Awareness and Social Networking

How does “the media” (magazines, television, internet, etc.) influence our attitudes and behaviors? How do we define ourselves and our communities in the realm of social networking? Learn how critical thinking can help us navigate these environments responsibly.

Bañales V.- ACE Learning Community--Social Justice Cohort

Welcome to English 100/255, a unique course designed for the ACE program that combines two English levels, giving English 255 students the chance to “accelerate” along with their English 100 peers!  While acceleration may not be for all students, you will nonetheless have the opportunity to take a rigorous, academic English course taught at the “100” level, all the while receiving the necessary support for you to succeed at either English level.  During the semester, your English course will explore various themes that intersect with and link up to Academy’s overarching social justice research curriculum.  Therefore, students will be introduced to a range of articles that thematize topics pertaining to power, privilege, and prejudice.  Some themes include: racial profiling, sexual violence, labor inequalities, immigration, the criminal justice system, and more.  In addition, we will read Jamaica Kincaid’s full-length book, A Small Place, and in doing so, take a literary and historical “tour” through the Caribbean as we critically analyze the impacts of colonialism, global capitalism, tourism, and travel in the developing world.   So grab a seat, put on your seatbelt, and get ready for a fast-paced albeit fun English experience!

Carter J.- ACE Learning Community -

Our English class will focus on social justice issues including the prison system, the war on drugs, homelessness, the uses and abuses of genetics, and the disappearance of privacy in the internet age. The premise of this class is that to create a better and more just world we must first be able to imagine a world different from the one we live in. What future do you see for our world? Will it be a world of justice and liberty or a world where people are exploited and do not reach their full potential? We will explore this idea of social justice and the imagination in documentaries and essays about the world we live in as well as in speculative fiction films and stories. As a composition course, students will write both in-class and out-of-class essays, learn the basics of grammar and usage, and work on the study skills necessary to be a successful college student.

Fields R. - "Basic English"

Develops writing and grammar skills that are below college level with emphasis placed on essay writing, grammar, word processing, and other skills for success in college.

Gonzalez J.- "Thoughtful Reading and Writing"

In this class, we work conscientiously to satisfy Cabrillo’s “Learning Outcomes” requirements as established for English 255. As such, we discuss the writing process while introducing various writing “tools,” or writing techniques, to craft our writing compositions. Some of the tools we learn about are practical ones, such as how to format documents on a word processor and how to use web resources. Student compositions come in many shapes, sizes, and purposes:  stories, paragraphs, summaries, memos, timed writings, poems, multi-media, and short essays. The short essays are compiled, at the end of the semester, into individual student portfolios to be evaluated according to three criteria: organization, development, and grammar. Before portfolios are due, we will have completed a careful sequence of grammar and style lessons to help polish portfolio essays one last time. Finally, our hope throughout the course is to always improve our skills and understandings and, just as importantly, to realize how our efforts carry well beyond the classroom. The spirit of this class, then, is to do more than learn about reading and writing as merely a set of required academic skills. We also hope to experience and appreciate the meaningful joys that can only come from thoughtful reading and writing. On a personal note, all students are equally welcome in my class, and I am always happy to speak with my students individually, either by office visit or by email—in English or Spanish. (Hablo espanol!)

Jones C.- "Basic English"

Welcome to English 255, Basic English!  This is a first-level language skills course that emphasizes essay writing, grammar, reading and other skills necessary for college level proficiency. We will focus on critical thinking, exploring the writing process, learning the grammar necessary to edit papers, organizing information and ideas and developing these ideas, writing and revising essays, and successfully completing a portfolio of written work.  English 255 is not recommended for, or designed to meet the needs of, ESL students (ESL students should not enroll in English 255 until they have successfully completed ESL 20), and it does not fulfill the requirement for an A.A degree; rather this Credit/No Credit class prepares students to move on to English 100, 1A and 2 and to other transfer-level writing classes.

McCallum G.- “The Hero’s Journey Through Education”

Using texts by real students at Cabrillo as well as contemporary writers, we will consider “The Hero’s Journey” through education, examining obstacles, triumphs, and transformation.   The hero or heroine faces a journey full of challenges and choices when on the path of education.  In English 255, we will look at the education system in the United States, and we will read the “true” stories of those who have been successful despite difficult journeys on their own learning paths.

McGuire J.- "Writing Across the Curriculum: Impacts"

In this class we'll explore what impacts our family, local, and global spheres.   We'll cover the impacts of gender, culture, religion, abilities, risks and restrictions, the environment, and the search for happiness. We will do this through the overhead subjects of science, the humanities, history, psychology, the social sciences, and even some math thrown in for fun. We'll write about a variety of impacts as we improve our writing skills that will be useful for other classes and life beyond the classroom.

Paul M.- “Journeys of Identity”

Each of us travels on our own journey to self-discovery. We experience challenges in our family, work, and educational lives. In this course we will read others whose journeys of identity can inspire us in our own lives. We will pay particular attention to the power of the written word, and learn how to construct meaningful sentences, paragraphs, and essays that explore journeys of identity. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other important writing tools to promote success in college and in your future career will be emphasized.

Scott-Curtis C.- ACE Learning Community

Develops writing and grammar skills that are below college level with emphasis placed on essay writing, grammar, word processing, and other skills for success in college. Students write at least 6,000 words and assemble portfolios of revised and timed writings.





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