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Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 St Andrews University, Scotland: ELT EAP Conference Innovation.

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Presentation on theme: "Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 St Andrews University, Scotland: ELT EAP Conference Innovation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 St Andrews University, Scotland: ELT EAP Conference Innovation in EAP: the key to the future… Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy Sophia Butt Director, Business Management English Presessional & EAP Tutor University of Birmingham 1 March 2014

2 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Overview Part 1 EAP/ESP Programmes – The claims we make Preparation for degree studies – What departments want The Student Experience – Their expectations The challenges & constraints of EAP/ESP programmes Part 2 BME Boosters – A forum for assessment cocktails Examples of student work Assessing the assessment cocktail Q&A 2

3 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 EAP/ESP Programmes: the claims we make Goldsmiths University of London This intensive programme is for international students about to start full-time study in the arts and social sciences at a UK university. It covers English Language, academic study skills, cultural background studies, and critical analysis…Weekly lectures give you excellent practice in the academic language skills of listening to lectures and taking notes. To support the lectures, you will receive classes in writing and presentation skills, vocabulary and grammar development, and listening and speaking skills. The lectures also provide the academic theory on which you must base an extended essay. [source: 3

4 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 EAP/ESP Programmes: the claims we make 4 Swansea University Our [presessional] course is designed for international students who need to improve their language skills as a condition of entry to Swansea University or have already met the University’s English language conditions, but who wish to gain experience of UK academic expectations and academic study in English in order to obtain a good start before starting an academic programme at the university. The course includes: academic English, academic writing, academic reading, academic lecture programme, speaking skills for presentations, seminars and tutorials and an individual project related to your academic course. [source:

5 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 EAP/ESP Programmes: the claims we make University of St Andrews Our [presessional] courses provide an excellent orientation to the University and enable students to develop the skills they need for success in both an academic and cultural context…The broad aim of all courses is to develop your language skills, and more importantly your academic literacy. Each course is designed, where possible, to take into account your particular needs, whether you are a taught or research student, as well as the School you intend to join for your degree programme. [source: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/elt/presessional/] 5

6 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 EAP/ESP Programmes: the claims we make University of Birmingham The Business Management English (BME) Presessional is an intensive, motivating and intellectually challenging programme which focuses on the language, key concepts and study skills necessary for academic success in degree courses in the Business School… The emphasis of this course is on English language improvement in the four skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking through the use of business and management content materials. [source: bme.aspx] 6

7 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 Preparation for degree studies: What departments want 7 Metcalfe, J., Loughlin, M., Shikoh, H. & Butt, S. (2012) e-Questionnaire for BBS Lecturers. University of Birmingham: EISU

8 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 The Student Experience: Their expectations Academic & cultural integration Regular interaction with the host community Improved writing skills Fluency Listening competence Vocabulary-building Exposure to & success in a range of assessment types Overall: readiness for departmental studies Rees, J., Butt, S. & Shikoh, H. (2012) ‘Understanding Pre-sessional Students’ ‘Provenance’ and Managing their Expectations ’ e-Questionnaire administered to 816 international students on the EAP & BME Presessional Programmes, University of Birmingham. 8

9 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 1 The challenges & constraints of EAP/ESP programmes Academic English v the continued need for General English… Subject-specific English on ESP/multidisciplinary courses Time (e.g.: how much can be covered in 4 weeks…?) Presessional ‘hand-holding’ v future self-reliance & autonomy Exposure to different academic genres v over-assessment 9

10 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Academic Genres of WritingAcademic Study Skills EssayAnalytical & critical thinking Feasibility study/reportProblem-solving & decision-making Literature reviewSeminar & presentation skills Reflective writingTime management Academic posterCreative thinking ProjectCross-cultural team-work Critical commentaryLeadership/conflict management Statistical analysisResearch, reading & referencing ProposalAutonomy DissertationListening & note-taking 10 Part 2 Key components of academic programmes …how many of the above can we cover in our programmes…in a single assessment…?

11 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 2 BME Boosters – a forum for assessment cocktails Booster Week 1.Create a product specification leaflet (new product/service) academic writing (including summarising skills) creative thinking use of the marketing mix & other business tools 2.Produce a business plan & 3-year financial forecast research skills financial/statistical analysis 3.Film & edit a promotional video (max.: 1 minute) technological aptitude 4.Deliver a 25-minute pitch/presentation (inclusive of Q&A) presentation skills spontaneous counter-argumentation/defence 5.Individual Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) reflective writing …in cross-cultural teams, autonomously, under tight time constraints Event size: approx. 200 students & 30 staff 11

12 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 2 BME Boosters – a forum for assessment cocktails Booster Weekend (coincides with the August Bank Holiday) 1.Case study analysis critical thinking problem-solving & decision-making application of business tools/theories/models 2.A1 academic poster followed by a poster presentation) academic writing referencing & citation design & creativity 3.Group roles summary reflective writing critical commentary 4.Group presentation speaking skills/fluency …in cross-cultural teams, autonomously, under tight time constraints Event size: approx. 100 students & 15 staff 12

13 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Academic Genres of WritingAcademic Study Skills EssayAnalytical & critical thinking Feasibility study/reportProblem-solving & decision-making Literature reviewSeminar & presentation skills Reflective writingTime management Academic posterCreative thinking ProjectCross-cultural team-work Critical commentaryLeadership/conflict management Statistical analysisResearch, reading & referencing ProposalAutonomy DissertationListening & note-taking 13 Part 2 So, how much do the assessment cocktails cover…? …more work is needed to offer support on the statistical analyses…

14 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 2 Samples of student work 14

15 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Part 2 Assessing the assessment cocktail Various tools/forms are used to assess the work produced; e.g.: Dragons’ questions (for Booster Week – BME Dragons’ Den) PDP assessment form/template Group presentation form Poster assessment Group role summary Students have access to all assessment forms in advance …any questions? 15

16 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Sources consulted 1.Butt, S. (2009) Lesson Observations & Interviews at the BBS. University of Birmingham: EISU 2.Geoghegan, G. (1983) Non-native speakers of English at Cambridge University: linguistic difficulties and social adjustment. Cambridge: Bell Educational Trust 3.Hamp-Lyons, L. (2011) ‘EAP: 2011 & Beyond.’ JEAP. Vol. 10 (2-4) 4.Hutchison, E.D. (2005) ‘A Life Course Perspective.’ Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Sciences. 86 (1) Jordan, R.R. (2002) ‘The Growth of EAP in Britain.’ JEAP. Vol. 1 (69-78) 6.Metcalfe, J., Loughlin, M., Shikoh, H. & Butt, S. (2012) e-Questionnaire for BBS Lecturers. University of Birmingham: EISU 7.Murphy-Lejeune, E. (2002) Student Mobility & Narrative in Europe: The New Strangers. London: Routledge. 8.Rees, J., Butt, S. & Shikoh, H. (2012) ‘Understanding Pre-sessional Students’ ‘Provenance’ and Managing their Expectations.’ e-Questionnaire administered to international students at the University of Birmingham. 16

17 Balancing an innovative EAP assessment cocktail with student autonomy © Sophia Butt, 2014 Contact Details Sophia Butt Director, Business Management English Presessional & EAP Tutor University of Birmingham


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