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Mr. David N. Chung » LA4 ERWC


Course: Language Arts 4 -- Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC)
Level: 12th Grade
Instructor: Mr. David N. Chung


2  714-996-4970 ext 10401

3  Room 401


  • period 1,  7:55AM--8:45AM, by appointment (email/ Remind Text/ call ahead)
  • period 4, 11:09AM--12:40 PM, by appointment

The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) is a year long, rhetoric-based course designed to help students meet the standards of the English Placement Test, the expectations of university faculty, and the requirements of the Common Core State Standards.  Through a sequence of fourteen rigorous instructional modules, students will develop advanced proficiencies in expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing.  Students successfully completing this course develop skills, knowledge, processes, and dispositions in the following areas of academic literacy:  reading rhetorically, writing rhetorically, listening and speaking rhetorically, and habits of mind


Course Goals and Major Student Outcomes

To be adequately prepared for the literacy demands of college, throughout the senior year students will:

·      receive instructional support to analyze, interpret, and apply the rhetorical strategies of a variety of expository and literary texts

·      strengthen their ability to create and support written arguments based on readings, research, and personal experience

·      continue to increase students’ repertoire of cognitive and metacognitive strategies for approaching various academic reading and writing tasks

·      develop independent academic literacy practices in college-bound students, including the ability to use reading and writing processes recursively and reflectively

·      be provided a conceptual and disciplinary focus for a wide variety of issues and problems that converge in written discourse

By taking this course, students are not necessarily exempt from the CSU placement test (EPT).  To be “college ready” in English, a student must receive a “Ready-Conditional” on the EAP exam and complete both semesters of LA4 ERWC (earn a grade of “C” or better each semester)..


Course Outline

Expository Reading & Writing:  ERWC modules include contemporary essays, newspaper and magazine articles, editorials, reports, biographies, memos, assorted public documents, and other non-fiction texts.  In addition, two full-length works (one novel and one work of non-fiction) will be explored.  The course assignments emphasize the in-depth study of expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing.  

Designed so that every unit follows the same sequential method of rhetorical reading and writing, each module will take approximately 2-4 weeks and will follow this sequence:

  • Reading Rhetorically (strategies & activities for Pre-reading, Reading, and Post-reading)
  • Connecting Reading to Writing (strategies & activities for Referencing Text, Negotiating Voices)
  • Writing Rhetorically (strategies & activities for Pre-writing, Writing, Revising, Editing, Evaluating)


Course Overview

I.         1st Semester

1. What's Next? Thinking About Life After High School?
2. The Rhetoric of the Op-Ed Page: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
3. Racial Profiling 
4. The Value of Life 
5.Kite Runner (Book module)
6.  Into the Wild
(Book module)

2nd Semester

1.    Bring a Text to Class

2.    Juvenile Justice 

3.    Language, Gender, and Culture 

4.   Good Food / Bad Food

5.  Brave New World (Book module) 

6.   Bullying: A Research Project


II.   Literature:  The major works studied by seniors include, but are not limited to:

 --Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

 --Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Macbeth

 --Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle

 --Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild

 --Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner


III. Grammar & VocabularyModules also integrate conventions, grammar, mechanics, punctuation, usage, and vocabulary, studied at least once a week and reviewed in the context of literature and writing. 

Student Expectations

§  Respect one another.


§  We will

o   demonstrate the ability to think critically (employing the elements of depth and complexity and content imperatives) in preparation for college and the world of work through writing, discussions, cooperative learning, research, and presentations.  For more information on differentiation strategies, go to .

o   consistently utilize the Habits of Mind to establish a literate identity and academic agency.  For more information on Habits of Mind, go to .

o   increase our sophistication in reading, comprehending, analyzing, and responding to nonfiction and literary texts (for more details, go to ).

o   develop an awareness of rhetorical strategies employed by authors and aptly apply those strategies to our own writing (for more details, go to ).


Attendance Policy

§  Your attendance is vital to establishing and maintaining a thriving classroom environment.  In other words, you matter!  Accordingly, our VHS attendance policy will be strictly enforced. 

o   If you are absent, it is your responsibility to check the class calendar or SMS (text message) and to set up an appointment before school, during lunch, or after school to make up work or assessments. 

§  Being prompt and “ready to go” when the bell rings is extremely important in protecting our limited time.  Therefore, the third tardy or truancy will result in detention.  

o   If you are tardy, be courteous about entering the classroom and interrupting everyone.


Classwork and Homework Policy

§  All assignments are due at the very beginning of class.

§  Students will spend on average 20-30 minutes of work at home approximately 2-4 nights per week.  For major assignments, students will be given notice at least one week advance.

§  Other than word-processed final drafts, all other assignments must be in black or blue ink and neat, legible, and clean (unless otherwise stated).  Assignments must also include the proper MLA heading in the upper left hand corner:

 (Student’s name)

 (Teacher’s name)

 (Class and Period)

 (Date—day month year)

§  Besides paper and pens, students are encouraged to have the following supplies:

·      A binder or notebook to keep papers organized

·      Post-Its© or other “sticky” notes

·      Highlighter(s)

§  Make-up work is only for excused absences.  Students with unexcused absences or who fail to make up their work within ONE WEEK of their return to school will receive a zero.  Assessments must also be scheduled and taken within one week of the student’s return, unless otherwise arranged.  Students who will be missing school due to school business / field trips MUST turn in assignments the day they are due. 

§  Late work will be accepted with the following penalty: 25% deduction if it is ONE day late unless otherwise specified.

§ Most major writing assignments will be turned into the Google Classroom.  Also, teachers will not print out assignments that are emailed.  There will be times when students will have to print out writing assignments for certain activities.  Students should plan in advance if they will be printing on campus .

§  VHS plagiarism policy will be strictly enforced (see Student Handbook)


Electronic DevicesDistrict policy “…permits students to bring their own technology devices (laptops, smart phones, eReaders, iPads, etc.) to use at specified times during the school day. The purpose of these devices is to enhance learning in the classroom and will be allowed when deemed appropriate by the individual teacher. In addition to bringing their own devices, students will have access to their own Google Apps account, including Gmail, within the PYLUSD domain. With teacher approval, students may use their devices in the classroom to access and save information from the internet, communicate and collaborate with other learners and utilize the productivity tools available to them through their student Google Apps accounts. Misuse of these devices during class will result in disciplinary action...” (PYLUSD Bring Your Own Device Student & Parent Info)



Grading Policy

Holistic scoring guides will be utilized for written assessments and projects/portfolio. 

Grades are on a weighted scale and are cumulative; the semester grade is based on the percentage of the total points earned in each category.  All assignments will be given a point value. 

At the end of the quarter and semester, students will be assigned grades based on the percentage of the total points that they earn in each category. A variety of assignments, including tests, essays, projects, and homework provide the student with ample opportunities for success.  

For each semester, student grades for Language Arts 4 ERWC will be weighted according to the following categories:

Classwork and Homework

·      notes

·      annotations

·      participation

·      presentations


Writing and Assessment

·      process essays

o   expository,

o   argumentative,

o   analytical,

o   narrative)

·      outlines

·      letters

·      projects

·      research paper

·      in-class essays (timed)