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English Department – Reading, Literature and Foundational Studies

Maria “Lani” Montreal

Department Chair

Students taking English courses are prepared to successfully complete college-level English courses for transfer or to receive a degree in General Studies.


The English Department is comprised of multiple-discipline courses: English 098, 100, 101, and 102 composition sequences, Literature, Reading 099 / Reading125, and Foundational Studies Reading and Writing, which are pre-credit courses. They promote increased literacy and fluency in the various forms of English language communication and reading comprehension and development.  They advance the development and expression of critical, rational thought by the analysis of texts derived from diverse origins; by the creation of original compositions; and, by examining language’s manifold styles, structures, and conventions.


Students Learning Outcomes include:

  • Read, evaluate, and select source materials for the creation of well-developed, coherent writing;
  • Employ sophisticated logic and reasoning;
  • Utilize college-level Standard American English grammar, vocabulary, and conventions;
  • Identify main points, supporting evidence, and organizational patterns while engaging critically with written texts; and
  • Construct well-organized written documents appropriate to college-level caliber.

Reading defined

Reading is more than phonics, decoding written words into sound, word identification, and vocabulary development. Reading is a complex transactional process that requires thought and individual construction of meaning from the text.  Weaver (2002) stated, “Learning to read means learning to bring meaning to a text in order to get meaning from, or understand, a text” (p.14).

The Reading Department at Malcolm X College is committed to providing comprehensive reading instruction aimed at advancing student reading skills necessary for academic, professional and personal success.  Students are provided a variety of reading experiences, including cross disciplinary, multi-genre and multi-modal textual experience.  Through the course of reading study, students enhance:

  • semantic awareness
  • comprehension
  • fluency, accuracy
  • access to disciplinary discourse
  • rhetorical thought and expression
  • written expression
  • new literacy skills (technology)

New initiatives

The Reading Department is focused on providing in-class and out-of-class literacy experiences.  We are currently working on two literacy initiatives: The Literacy Circle (an inviting book discussion forum) and Reading Clinic committed to raising individualized literacy skills.. 

The English Department also oversees Foundational Studies in Writing and Reading.  Students in these levels are expected to develop basic writing and reading skills to prepare for the composition and reading sequences up to credit-level courses.

Administrative Assistant: Tonya Gilmer




Faculty & Staff





English & Literature

Lani Montreal - Dept. Chair

(312) 850- 7317


Carleta Alston

(312) 850-7313


Valerie Pell

(312) 850-7317


Lisa Owens

(312) 850-7325


Micheal Callon

(312) 850-7296


English & Reading

 David Rice

 (312) 850-7325



Sakeena Khan

(312) 850-2516


Morgan Halstead

(312) 850-7127


Vincent Francone

(312) 850-7296


Tonya Gilmer - CCAII (312) 850-7306 2519

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Contact Information

(312) 850-7315
312) 850-7338
1900 W. Van Buren St.
Room 2519
Chicago, IL 60612
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Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Closed Saturday and Sunday

Office hours are subject to change during registration week.


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