Language Development Center

What's it all about?

The Language Development Center (LDC) delivers the 2-unit tutorial component of the 5-unit Academic English I course for freshmen at SJSU who score below 141 on the English Placement Test. AE 1 students participate in two hours of tutorial assignments and three hours of lecture each week. The tutorial curriculum includes group reading/writing seminars, internet-based calibrated peer review assignments, and one-on-one conferencing connected to writing assignments in the lecture component of the course and to the other aspects of the LDC curriculum.

Who administers the Center?

Both the Language Development Center and the Academic English courses are administered by the Department of Linguistics and Language Development. The day-to-day operations of the Language Development Center are supervised by a full-time Program Coordinator, John Leih (Office: CL 244, Phone: 924-4420, Email: An LDC Administrative Assistant and Lead Tutor are available to provide support to students when the Program Coordinator is unavailable. The Academic English Faculty Coordinator is Stefan Frazier (Office: CL 493, Phone: 924-4443,

Who are these students?

Assignment to Academic English classes is determined by students' performance on the English Placement Test (EPT). Most of the students in the LDC have been obliged to participate in our program because their performance on the EPT indicates that they are not currently performing as proficient users of academic English. The EPT cutoff scores are:

EPT Scores Vs Suggested Program
Suggested Program EPT Score
Written Com I 147/Above
LLD 002 139-146
LLD 001 138/Below

Many students in the program are speakers of some first language other than English. Some of our Academic English students are newly arrived international students. Others have graduated from American high schools while still manifesting classic ESL (English as a Second Language) usage patterns in both their spoken and written English. Some of our students are native speakers of other varieties of English. These students may be native to the United States, or they may come from countries or regions where other varieties of spoken English are standard.

How do things work in the LDC?

Students complete LDC assignments two hours per week as the tutorial portion of their 5-unit Academic English I course. One hour each week is completed independently as the student participates in Calibrated Peer Review, an internet-based academic writing program that enables students to evaluate their own and other students' writing based on checklists reflecting the requirements of the Academic English program.

The second hour of each week is completed in the LDC and follows a two-week rotation pattern through the three activities of tutoring in the LDC. Students maintain the same two-week rotation pattern for the duration of the semester, thus meeting with the same tutors on a regular basis.

What are the three activities of the LDC Tutorial?

Reading/Writing Seminar

The goal of the Reading/Writing Seminar is to reinforce the key academic reading and writing skills taught in the LLD 001 lecture classes. All students meet for a total of six one-hour Reading/Writing groups over the course of the semester. They attend group every other week, opposite the weeks they attend CPR Conferencing and One-on-one Tutoring. The six-week syllabus includes articles from a variety of disciplines (including sciences, social sciences, and humanities) that are similar to reading assignments they are likely to encounter as they take their General Education courses and select their SJSU majors. The Reading/Writing Tutor guides the group through a series of activities designed to strengthen academic reading and writing skills in preparation for the Academic English Final Exam.

One-on-One Tutoring

The goal of One-on-One Tutoring is to provide individual guidance for students in developing their writing and revision skills in response to instructor assignments. One-on-One Tutoring is a bridge between the instructor assignments and student skill development. In one-on-one conferences during the first two weeks of each module, students work with tutors to plan their summary-response essay for the new CPR assignment. The second two weeks of each module give the students time to work with their tutors to revise an existing piece of writing and plan for a second draft. Tutors work with the same students in the One-on-One area for the whole semester.

Calibrated Peer Review and CPR Conferencing

The goal of Calibrated Peer Review (CPR)  is to give students the opportunity to evaluate their own and other students' writing using checklists of specific criteria required for success in academic writing and on the final exam. During the semester, students participate in modules covering elements of academic writing such as summarizing, pre-writing, developing reasons and support, and writing the whole essay. Each module progresses through two stages: text entry and calibrations/review. Students are expected to independently spend two hours every two weeks working on the current stage of the CPR assignment. A full module, including text entry, calibrations and review, takes four hours over a four week period to complete.

How are students evaluated?

PARTICIPATION is the key element to success in the LDC. Participation Points are awarded for each activity students successfully complete. Students must accumulate at least 70% of the total participation points in order to be qualified to take the Final Exam, which determines a student's eligibility for the upcoming semester. Under the EO665 policy, students have two semesters to pass from Academic English into Written Communication I.

What is the "Tutors' Term Report" form (TTR)?

The Tutors' Term Report (TTR) form is the principal means by which instructors are informed of their students' performance in the Language Development Center . The TTR tracks a student's participation and learning in each LDC activity. Instructors receive the TTRs for students in their lecture sections at the end of each four-week LDC module. Along with the TTRs, instructors receive copies of their students' pre-writing/planning worksheets and the students' first drafts of their complete CPR essays.