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Vocabulary, Grammar, and Writing Using STEM, Advanced

Open to: Grades 3 and up

Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math or verbal score required

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Vocabulary, Grammar, and Writing Using STEM, Intermediate II or placement test

Course Format: Session BasedSee calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 12 weeks (Early Fall, Late Fall, Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Mid-Summer)

Course Code: ELD4

Course Description


CTY’s online English language development courses are challenging, above-grade-level courses designed for students in grades 3 and up who seek to enhance their English writing skills with the emphasis on building strong grammar and vocabulary. These courses advance each student’s English academic content language in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math for academic writing in those areas.

Vocabulary, Grammar, and Writing Using STEM, Advanced is designed for both native and non-native English speakers. This course is open to students who have either successfully completed  Vocabulary, Grammar, and Writing Using STEM, Intermediate II, or have approximately seven to ten years of exposure to the English Language. In this course, students will improve and augment their STEM essay writing skills and advance their general and STEM vocabulary and grammar through a focus on writing effective paragraphs.

The interactive lessons will give students the opportunity to take risks and have fun while working on improving English grammar, speaking, listening, reading, and composition skills. The virtual classroom includes live audio and video interaction with the instructor and online classmates, interactive whiteboard, multimedia learning materials including games, and other features to enhance online learning.

In this course, students will:

  • Read upper level informational texts in English and practice related vocabulary in multiple facets.
  • Continue to develop linguistic proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Further develop skills for formal academic English writing including different types of essay writing. Students will use these skills to complete writings in 4 domain-specific areas: descriptive, comparison, cause and effect, and classification.
  • Learn CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) and STEM academic content vocabulary and how to apply terms in various written applications.
  • Acquire better level-specific English abilities by practicing tasks through all language domains.
  • Be able to write effective essays in four domains of writing: descriptive, comparison, cause and effect, and classification.

By the end of this course, students will acquire more STEM concepts, knowledge, and vocabulary. This course will prepare eligible students to take CTY’s online science, engineering, and math courses, as well as  Crafting the Essay for English Language Learners. Review course prerequisites carefully prior to enrolling.

In order to determine the placement level for this course, an ELD placement test can be requested from

Materials Needed

Students must purchase a headset with a microphone. A microphone with an on/off switch is recommended.

In addition, the following textbooks are required for this course:

Optional Workbook (NOT Required):

  • Writers Express: A Handbook for Young Writers, Thinkers, and Learners
    by Dave Kemper, Ruth Nathan, and Patrick Sebranek. 1995.
    ISBN: 0-669-38632-4

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

This course will focus on improving essay writing and understanding the differences between different types of essays.

Students will:

  • Explore the distinct features of a well written essay
  • Acquire new vocabulary that can be used in writing (essay-specific vocabulary)
WeekLessonSTEM TopicGrammar Topic
11The Scientific MethodIntroductions
Course Overview and Tour 
Five Elements of Good Writing
Peer Editing
2The Scientific MethodMain Features of Paragraphs Vs. Essays, Different Types of Paragraphs and Essays, Building Better Vocabulary, Phrasal Verbs
21Water BiomesFive-Paragraph Essay Blueprint, Understanding the Writing Process: The Seven Steps, Introduction to Descriptive Essays
2Water BiomesThe Hook, Using Quotations and Citing Ideas to Avoid Plagiarism, Descriptive Essay Outline
31Animal DiversityLanguage Focus: Describing with the Five Senses, Reading a Diagram, Steps to Writing a Descriptive Essay
2Animal DiversityLanguage Focus: Prepositions of Place, Two Ways to Organize Descriptive Essays, Descriptive Essay Drafts
41The Plant KingdomConnectors and Transitions, Adverbs of Degree, Organization of a Comparison Essay
2The Plant KingdomForming the Comparative and Superlative of Adjectives and Adverbs,  Parallel Structure, Comparison Essay Outline
51Food Chains and Food WebsPrefixes, Variety of Outlines, Working with Language in a Comparison Essay
2Food Chains and Food WebsSentence Types, Features of a Concluding Sentence, Transitions with Concluding Sentences, Comparison Essay Draft
61STEM Midterm ReviewMidterm Review
2STEM Midterm ReviewMidterm Review
71Heat TransferWays of Expressing Past Actions, Clear Pronoun Reference, Organization of a Cause-Effect Essay
2Heat TransferSuffixes, Connectors and Transitions, Proofreading Strategies, Cause and Effect Outline
81Newton’s Laws of MotionPreposition Combinations with Nouns, Titles for Your Work, Working with Language in a Cause-Effect Essay
2Newton’s Laws of MotionSuffixes, Use of the Pronoun in Academic Writing, Cause and Effect Final Draft
91Cell Structure and FunctionsClassifying information, The Passive Voice, Organization of a Classification Essay
2Cell Structure and FunctionsIntegrating Information, Classification Essay Outline
101Cell Structure and FunctionsAdjective Clauses, Working with Language in a Classification Essay
2Cell Structure and FunctionsLooking for Patterns, Capitalization and Punctuation Activities, Classification Essay Draft
111Mixtures and SolutionsWorking on Final Essay of Choice
Review 1st 4 Weeks of STEM Topics
2Mixtures and SolutionsWorking on Final Essay of Choice
Review 2nd 4 Weeks of STEM Topics
121Final Review of All STEM Topics CoveredGrammar Review for Final Exam Part 1 & 2


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Time Required

Students should expect to spend about 5-7 hours per week on this course.

Technical Requirements

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.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

This course uses Respondus LockDown Browser proctoring software for designated assessments. LockDown Browser is a client application that is installed to a local computer. Visit the Respondus website for system requirements.

While Chromebook can be used to progress through the course, all exams must be completed on a PC or Mac.