The above link will take you to a copy of my syllabus for a grammar and academic writing course that I taught at The University of Toledo during fall of 2010. 2010 was my second year in the MA TESOL program at U. Toledo and marked a move from the ESL composition classroom to the pre-composition one. It also marked a semester where I was heavily involved in placement and assessment in the ESL writing program.
For this course, we were all working from a common syllabus. This commonality was because all of our students had been placed at below the first-year composition level of writing proficiency. Because of their placement, all students would have to pass an exit exam before they would be allowed to move out of our course and into first-year composition classes. Therefore, the primary thrust of the course was to work on grammar and basic rhetorical skills to better enable students to pass the exit exam at the end of the term.
The Grammar and Writing course consisted of three major components. The first was regular practice exit exams. These practice exit exams would use old prompts similar to what the students would encounter in the live exam at the end of the course. After each practice exam, students would meet with me for one-to-one conferences, and the class would workshop some of the practice exit exams together. The second component was the out-of-class essays, which were designed to help prepare them for the kind of expository writing they would be doing once they reached their first-year composition courses. These were similar in style and focus but were shorter than what would be required in first-year writing. The third component was a focus on receptive literacy skills and academic reading.