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English Topics is designed to help students meet basic college entrance requirements. This program integrates and reinforces the standard developmental English curriculum – reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary building, and grammar skills – to prepare student for credit-bearing courses at a college level.

English Topics provides a series of English competencies for students to select from based on their needs or students may take a pre-test to determine if they would best be served by taking the entire course or only the second segment of the course. Students may enroll in individual competencies or earn English elective credit by completing one or both segments of the course. English Topics is not a replacement for English 1, English 2, English 3 or English 4, which satisfy graduation requirements.

Students work with a certified VLACS English teacher throughout the course. The teacher coaches the student through the course by completing a Welcome Call at the beginning of the course, monitoring student progress, providing feedback on written work, identifying areas of struggle, meeting regularly with the student, and completing monthly calls with the student and parent.

There are many features in NROC Developmental English that support English Language Learners (ELL).

Course Requirements


Major Topics and Concepts


Segment 1:

  • Introduction to College Reading and Writing
  • Identifying Main Ideas
  • Discovering Implied Meaning
  • Interpreting Bias
  • Analysis Through Definition
  • Learning Across Disciplines
  • Exploring Comparative Elements
  • Informed Opinions Through Causal Chains
  • Applied Critical Analysis
  • Using Sources in Critical Reading and Writing




  • Reading and Writing Strategies
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of reading and writing strategies by reading critically and applying the roles of facts vs. opinions in their writing.
  • Main Idea when Writing
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the main idea of a writing by composing a clear, complete, opinion-based response, and using appropriate annotation strategies.
  • Identifying Main Idea
    Students will demonstrate an ability to Identify the implied main idea in a reading by identifying major and minor supporting details, author’s point of view, cultural context, and writing an implied thesis in response to a prompt.
  • Interpreting Bias
    Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize both sides of an argument, despite an author’s bias toward a certain stance by writing a multi-paragraph essay that takes a side in the argument.
  • Literary Analysis
    Students will demonstrate the skills and strategies needed to comprehend a variety of content-specific texts and recognize what makes a textbook different from other types of books by using the structure, pedagogical aids, and features common in many textbooks.
  • Reading Techniques Across Disciplines
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the unique ways various disciplines present information and communicate with their intended audiences by adapting their reading strategies and writing to analyze the elements demarcating these differences.
  • Comparative Techniques
    Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize and create the compare-contrast argument and use figurative language to enhance one’s message by writing an essay that incorporates the “how” and “why” of an argument.
  • Cause and Effect
    Students will demonstrate the ability to understand and develop a cause and effect essay by writing their own argument.
  • Critical Analysis
    Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze the effectiveness of an argument by exploring articles and composing a critical analysis asserting how successful one author was—or wasn’t—at expressing his opinion.
  • Using Sources in Persuasive Reading and Writing
    Students will demonstrate the ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning and relevant evidence by writing a persuasive essay that incorporates research to effectively and accurately substantiate their claim.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.