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Increase Oral Participation: Supporting the Non-Native English Speakers in Accelerated English

Basic-Skills Class

As international and immigrant students are increasing in the United States, many

community colleges are providing the accelerated basic-skills course for the students to transfer

to college level English classes in a more rapid pace. The basic-skills class is often comprised of

“nontraditional” students within the community college system (Molina & Manasse, 2015). The

term, “nontraditional”, refers to those who lack foundational skills in reading, writing, learning,

studying skills, and other skills to prepare them for college level coursework. Having said this,

the “accelerated” basic-skills class reduces the sequence length to achieve college level class,

such as English 101, and focus the learning towards challenging critical thinking skills.

According to Hern (2013), students in accelerated basic-skills class “need practice with college

level skills, content, and ways of thinking. They need to reach their way through open-ended

questions on topics that matter. They need to think” (p.5). Furthermore, accelerated basic-skills

class is not only for English speaking students but for non-native English speaking students to

build their foundational skills to be successful in credit-bearing coursework within the

community college system. Because accelerated basic-skills class is aimed to support students in

developing critical thinking skills, many instructors use class discussions or small group sharing

to allow students to improve their reasoning with the help of their instructor and peers.

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