Welcome to ESL 799

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Instructor: Amy Kayser

Contact information

Email Address: akayser@cuesta.edu

Phone Number: 805-592-9821

Virtual Student Hours (for extra help): MW 3:30-4:45pm and by appointment on Zoom 

Email is the best way to contact me. You can text me through Remind app. I respond within 24-48 hours.

Course Description

Welcome to ESL 799!  In this course, you will develop English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills at the advanced level.  You will also improve vocabulary and grammar skills.  Activities include reading articles and short stories, writing paragraphs and essays, and collaborating on presentations.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify main ideas and details in a variety of advanced-level listening and reading texts.
  2. Write well-developed and organized paragraphs using advanced-level grammatical structures and vocabulary.
  3. Communicate fluently in classroom conversations, discussions, and presentations.

Course Environment

This online course will meet using Zoom, a video conference tool, during scheduled class time Monday and Wednesday 6:30-8:20 pm.  We use Canvas to access learning materials, resources, and video links and complete assignments and quizzes. 

Before the semester starts, you will receive a text message with the link to the Zoom meeting for the first class.  Continuing Education staff will help you log onto Canvas https://cuesta.instructure.com/.  I will demonstrate Canvas features on Zoom throughout the semester, and we have a tutor to help you. 

Please be prepared to spend 15 hours a week on this course.  In addition to the class meetings, you should make time to watch videos, review materials, read the books, complete homework assignments, and study for quizzes and exams. 

Textbook and Materials

These texts are required:

Ventures Level 4 Student Book and Workbook by Gretchen Bitterlin et al. ISBN-13: 978-1108687256  

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park ISBN-13: 9780547577319

If you don’t already have the books, the ESL Department will provide them for free!  You will complete a Google Form that I send to you to provide your mailing address, and the books will be sent to you there.

The best way to contact me is email.  I usually respond within 48 hours.  You can also text me through Remind.  This class meets synchronously twice per week.  Other contact includes discussions, text messages, emails, virtual office hours, and regular and prompt feedback on all homework, assignments, and assessments. 

To be able to participate fully in the course, you need basic computer skills.  A laptop or Chromebook is best. You can borrow one from the Cuesta library on the San Luis Obispo Campus or the North County Center.  We use the following technology for the class:

  • Zoom for class sessions
  • Canvas for class materials, homework, and communication
  • Remind to send and receive class texts
  • Google docs and Google slides for collaborative activities

It’s important that you contact me, our class tutor, or Continuing Education staff, Alicia Paniagua 805-546-3941, if you have problems with technology, and we can connect you with resources.  You can also email support@my.cuesta.edu for technical help.

College and Course Policies 

Adding the Class

This is a noncredit class with managed enrollment.  You can add the class until the end of the second week of the semester.


Participating regularly in the Zoom class sessions is important for your success. You are responsible for all work even if you are absent. Contact me or a classmate for information about work that you missed.

Homework and assignments are expected on time. Due dates are posted in Canvas and shared during Zoom meetings. If you have an emergency, contact me for an extension.

This is a non-credit course. Each student receives a P (Pass), SP (Satisfactory Progress), or NP (No Pass). In order to pass, you must achieve a 70% or higher on the course objectives.  Your grade will be determined in the following way:

Chapter Quizzes: 20%, Homework: 35%, EL Civics: 20%, Final Exam: 25%


Please talk to me about any special needs that you have.  Extra help is available for students with disabilities.  Contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) at dspsinfo@cuesta.edu or 805-546-3148 for more information. 

Student Expectations

You are expected to follow Cuesta’s academic honesty policy and student code of conduct.  Read the brochure for more information.  



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