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1) Written and Oral Communication

2) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

3) Information Literacy

4) General Tips, Strategies, and Approaches for Teaching Basic Skills

5) Current Statewide Focus on Basic Skills Completion

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical Thinking Defined: Differentiate between facts, influences, opinions, and assumptions to reach reasoned and supportable conclusions.

Problem Solving Defined: Students will be able to recognize and identify the components of a problem or issue, look at it from multiple perspectives and investigate ways to resolve it.


Measurement: College of Marin General Education Common Rubric: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Combined




Identify Problem/Question/Issue


Written Book Report (R. Britton - ESL)

Extensive Reading Book Reports (B. Woodlief - English Skills)



Summary Writing Assignment - Engl 120 (R. Britton - ESL)

Summary Writing Packet with Reporting Words - Engl 120 (Adapted from G. Winer, Berkeley City College)

Story Mapping - ESL 56 (B. Patel - ESL)

Acrostic Poems for Retelling of the Story - ESL 56 (B. Patel)

Summary and Response -



Literature Circles for Novel Reading ESL 86 Literature Circles


Graphic Organizers for Characters in a Reading - ESL 56 (B. Patel)


Determine Own Perspective/Position on an Issue and Analyze Other Perspectives

Reading Discussion Forums on Moodle - Engl 120SL (C. Kreit - English)

Guided Questions for Making Predictions - ESL 56 (B. Patel)


ProCon.org Website to Read About Various Perspectives of Controversial Issues (C. Cox - Librarian)


Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills (Bixby & McVeigh, CATESOL 2011)

College of Marin's Database List and Introduction, College of Marin Library


Activity to Paraphrase and Summarize Others' Perspectives

Persuasive Research Essay Assignment for English 120



Hypothesize an Original Solution to an Issue


Creating Student-Led Content-Based Group Projects, (Rogers CATESOL 2011)

Activities for Developing Critical Thinking at All Levels (Deliyska & Alexander)


Problem Solution Paper




Identify/Assess Key Assumptions that Underlie the Issue


Fact vs Opinion vs Inference for Bandit's Moon - ESL 73 (C. Massion - ESL)

Vocabulary Comparison: Adapted Reading vs. Non-Adapted Reading - ESL 56 (B. Patel - ESL)

Advertising techniques for persuasion - English 98 - 150



Synthesize Information (Background, Relevance, Reliability, Logic)

Using Graphic Organizers to Synthesize Evidence


Literature Circles for Novel Reading - ESL 86 Literature Circles


Reading Discussion Leader Activity - ESL 76 (M. Sukoski)


Identifying Point of View and Bias (LAUSD CATESOL 2011)



Reach a Conclusion and Discuss the Implications

Reviewing Academic Articles to Draw Conclusions (D. King - English)

Drawing Conclusions in Research Essays (Adapted from G. Winer, Berkeley City College):





General Strategies to Develop Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills:


What Are Critical Thinking Skills and How Can Teachers Help Students Develop Them? - Honolulu Community College

Diagrams to Understand Different Types of Readings (LAUSD - CATESOL 2011)



Oxford Series on Developing Critical Thinking Skills: Video 1 Video 2 Video 3

Elements of Critical Thinking, Vislocky at University of Cinncinnati

Using Questions Effectively in the Classroom, Honolulu Community College

Activity to Practice Making Inferences

Principles for Critical Thinking - CATESOL 2011



General Strategies to Develop Reading Skills:


Identifying Parts of Speech (L. Terplan) Parts_of_Speech.jpg

Development of Effective Reading Activities, CATESOL 2011


Oxford Bookworms Club Reading Circles

Responding to a Reading - 15 Different Ideas (Kent School District)Reading_Responses.jpg

Choosing Extensive Reading Books, Bricker (Gobron, & Marceaux, TESOL '11) Choosing+Extensive+Reading+Books.doc


Problem Solving with Daily Activities (LAUSD - CATESOL 2011)


The COM ESL Reading/Vocabulary Sequence: Description of Outcomes for Levels 50-80:


The COM ESL Writing/Grammar Sequence: Description of Outcomes for Levels 50-120: