Former U.S. Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch says an English Language Learner (ELL) is "a student whose home language is not English and who has not yet acquired proficiency in English."
Students can qualify for CTY with a very high verbal score and still be English Language Learners. CTY Online Programs created this course to help ELL students use English more confidently in their future CTY courses.
This 30-week course uses the same curriculum as the 20-week version of Crafting the Essay. In addition, it emphasizes grammar, such as verb tenses, pronouns and antecedents, and subject-verb agreement, focusing on the needs of English language learners. Students work on both sentence level grammatical structures and the larger content and structural issues. By the end of this course, most students should be prepared for Writing Analysis and Persuasion, but some may need further grammatical work in From Structure to Style.
Crafting the Essay uses the personal essay to explore narration, description, and reflection. Students discover and practice techniques that make prose more lively, interesting, and powerful. Students also experiment with a variety of techniques for organizing essays and for beginning and ending work effectively. As students' writing becomes more fluent, students will start examining voice (consistent diction and psychology) and how voice interacts with audience and purpose.
This format is highly interactive. Lessons include smaller exercises. As students work through them, the instructor comments on their writing, and both student and instructor collaborate to build a final writing assignment. Students also participate in a required, Web-based writing workshop in which students critique peers' work, praising strengths and pointing out areas for improvement.
NOTE: Crafting the Essay challenges all CTY students in grades 7 thru 12, including those who already receive high marks in English literature or Language Arts classes.
Readings are provided in the classroom.
Lesson Number & Title
Final Writing Assignment (FWA)
1-- Freeing the Writer Inside
Subject and Predicate
2. Sentence Patterns and Parts
Anthropomorphic essay from the perspective of an inanimate object
Becoming Functionally unfixed
Form vs Function
3. Molly and Ned Game
4. C-A-T definitions (group)
2-- The Power of Detail
Descriptive essay of a significant place, typically a room. Emphasis on sensory description.
The Power of Detail
The Limits of Visual Description
Prewriting Through Poetry
Finding a Starting Point
3. Object Description (group)
4. Five senses poem
5. Directed Freewriting
6. Free Association
3-- The Craft of Composing
Inconsistent Verb tenses
1. Present Tenses
2. Past Tenses
3. Inconsistent Verb Tenses
4. Revising your work
Chronological narrative essay, emphasizing order and importance of events.
Fiction narrative vs Nonfiction narrative
Tools of narrative
Avoiding narrative gumption traps
5. Learning to Lie (group)
6. Three sequences
4-- Elegant Sentences
Style vs Correctness
Elegance, Power, and Style
Elements of Elegance
1. Identifying Errors
2. Identifying Elegance
3. Analyze an Elegant Sentence
4. Revise and Analyze an Inelegant Sentence
5. Revision and Analysis (group)
Revision and analysis of 6 inelegant sentences
5-- Revising for Unity
1. Present Perfect
2. Past Perfect
3. Writing with the Past Perfect
Restructuring and Revision of Lesson 3's narrative essay. Emphasis on organization, flashbacks.
Unity, Coherence, Proportion
4. Outline your first draft
5. Virtual Stroll
6-- Analyzing Events
Verb + Preposition Combinations
1. Using Phrasal Verbs
2. Pronoun/Object Placement
3. Creating a Dictionary
4. Choosing Phrasal Verbs
5. Using Verb + Preposition Combinations
6. Test your logic
7. Using Verb Phrases Creatively
Cause and Effect Essay, analyzing a significant life event.
Narrative vs analysis
8. What is Cause and Effect
7-- Polishing Your Prose
2. Adjective Clauses
3. Subject-Verb Agreement: conjugate a paragraph
4. Punctuate a Paragraph
Revision of Lesson 2's descriptive essay, with emphasis on use of metaphor and simile.
5. Figurative Language
8-- Creating a Persona
1. "Conjugating" an "Irregular Verb"
5. Creating a Scenario (conjugation added to FWA)
First-Person piece, written from the perspective of a fictional person
2. Elements of a Persona
3. Persona's Voice
4. Consistent Psychology
5. Creating a Scenario
6. Working with a Persona
9-- Revision Strategies and Tactics
Transitional Words and Phrases
2. Virtual Walk Part 1: Grammar
4. Adverb Clauses
6. Preposition Game
Revision of Lesson 6's Cause and Effect essay, with emphasis on structure and transitions.
3. Virtual Walk Part 2: Structure
10-- Writing an Evaluation
Definite and Indefinite Articles
Pronouns and Possessives
2. Pronouns and Possessives
3. Restaurant Review
Evaluation Essay, evaluating the course; emphasis on addressing a particular audience.
Finding your standard
Choosing an audience
Choosing a persona
4. Find Your Standard
5. Positive and Negative Statements
6. Test Your Persona
7. Compare Standards
3 hours weekly for 30-week session, with breaks for the holidays
This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.
This course requires that the student use a web browser with the Adobe Flash plugin. Note that many tablets and handhelds (particularly the iPad) do not support Flash and cannot view the lessons.