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Building and enhancing a language strategy in your institution A case study Vicky Wright –

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Presentation on theme: "Building and enhancing a language strategy in your institution A case study Vicky Wright –"— Presentation transcript:

1 Building and enhancing a language strategy in your institution A case study Vicky Wright –

2 A process case study - Southampton Overview Starting points Developing a strategy –identification of needs –compilation of a report –recommendations for action –adoption of strategy Implementation and next steps 2

3 Starting points Context of Southampton Remit to develop a university language strategy Briefing document developed and conversations and consultation across the University: –Faculties (Deans / Associate Deans Education) –HR –Student Services –University management (PVCs Education/International) –Student Union 3

4 Developing a strategy Identification of needs A broad approach in the early stages: ‘a coherent university language policy should address issues at all levels of the organisation and should be co- owned by the whole community including governing bodies, teaching, research, administrative staff and students. It should also be kept under review since it is ‘the result of the context in which it is developed, and this context is subject to change’. CERCLES position statement (2011) on language policy in Higher Education web.de/app/download/ /CercleS+Language+Policy+Position+Statement+revised+Nov pdf).http://www.aks- web.de/app/download/ /CercleS+Language+Policy+Position+Statement+revised+Nov pdf 4

5 Developing a strategy Compilation of a report Audience? Goal of a language strategy? A university-wide language strategy for Southampton will support the internationalisation agenda and the University’s commitment to creating a truly international learning and research community. It will include priorities and plans for valuing and promoting language learning and language diversity in all aspects of university life. This discussion document sets out the background to the strategy and then makes a number of proposals for action.’ Extract from the introduction to the Southampton report 5

6 Developing a strategy Compilation of a report Sections –Foreword and background (quick reading) –Current Position: Languages in the national/international context; Language learning and Teaching at Southampton; Points arising from discussions 6

7 Developing a strategy Recommendations for Action 19 recommendations in 5 key areas –Education –Research –Professional services –General visibility and communication –Engagement with the community Specific actions and timescales 7

8 Developing a strategy Recommendations for Action AEducation – Assurance of quality –Visibility of languages and related skills and competencies –Take up of language/ intercultural communication skills –Provision of language learning resources –Support for non-native speakers of English 8

9 Developing a strategy Recommendations for Action BResearch – Responding to the language needs of research staff and students CProfessional Services –Provision of a service which has the appropriate foreign language and intercultural skills 9

10 Developing a strategy Recommendations for Action DGeneral Visibility and Communication – Achieving an international, multilingual environment which visitors from around the globe can access EEngagement with the Community – Promoting and using language related skills and knowledge more widely 10

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12 12 RecommendationActionTime frame EDUCATION 1, 2The Centre for Language Study takes the academic lead for language learning/teaching within the University.Immediate 3, 4Languages Portal established with links to information about UG language modules, Curriculum Innovation, English language courses, CLS, Confucius Institute, Lifelong Learning, student societies, language and cultural events. Launched September, Promote language learning opportunities widely around the University and at Open Days and school visit days.Ongoing 5, 6Consult and set realistic target for take-up of languages and intercultural communication modules - e.g. by 2015, 80% of all UGs should have a language learning experience during their time at university and of these, half should progress through at least 1 language stage. 2013/14 4, 5, 6, 11,12Work with Faculties and other Services to embed languages and related skills as a distinct offer within the student experience. This can happen at both Programme level and at the level of Faculty strategic planning. Ongoing 5Offer a Languages Minor that can be added to the degree title of any student taking 5/6 language modules and gaining at least Stage /14 5Explore the idea of language testing service so that students and staff can certify their language competence in individual language skill areas (e.g. reading, writing, speaking and listening). 2013/14 5Set up a central University group of “language champions” who will identify and feed in needs and who will promote languages. Representatives from faculties, services and the student body. 2013/14 7Establish state of the art language learning resource centre/s. on-going 7Explore possibilities for online access to a suite of learning resources. 2013/14 8Carry out an audit to get an up to date picture of the language needs of non-native speakers of English and identify key areas for action. 2013/14 9Establish needs and provide CPD for academic staff working with EU/International students. 2013/14 10Investigate the feasibility for a proofreading service and trial such a service. 2013/14 RESEARCH 11Carry out a language audit amongst research staff to establish range of existing and needed language skills. 2013/14 12Trial language group/s or clubs which respond to the specific needs of the group e.g. giving papers or reading academic journals.Repeated 2013/14 PROFESS. SERVICES 13Identify circumstances in which interpreting and translation into and from a language other than English is appropriate. Ongoing 13Establish the need for a list of volunteer interpreters and translators and how a service could be effectively maintained. Set up the service. 2013/14 14Offer intercultural awareness training in conjunction with the staff development unit. 2013/4 15Carry out a foreign language audit amongst administrative staff. 2013/14 15Work with HR to establish how language skills could be rewarded. 2013/14 VISIBILITY 16Establish the need for some foreign language translation of University web pages and implement as appropriate. 2013/14 16Identify the documents which should be available in translation for either prospective students or visitors to the University campus. Ongoing 17Identify the ways in which university campuses could look more welcoming to an international, international audience; this could include signage to key facilities. Ongoing 18Work with Student Services and Communications to eliminate any English language communication issues in documentsOngoing COMMUNITY 19 Explore options for social entrepreneurship/engagement with the community in the area of languages 2013/14 [1

13 Developing a strategy Adoption of strategy Discussions and planning: –Internally at departmental level –At Faculty level –At senior management level Carrying out recommendations in 5 areas 13

14 Implementation and next steps Evidence of impact and success? –Macro or micro level (University centre or more locally at departmental and faculty level)? Some progress in terms of actions: –Languages included in the International strategy; a Languages web portal; refurbished Language Resources Centre ; welcome signs in various languages in Humanities; workshops for staff teaching International students; foreign language information sheets at Graduation; module in Intercultural Communication developed; Languages Minor offered to students in 2 faculties in 2013/14; ‘free’ courses? 14

15 Implementation and next steps More work to do –Difficult to get university wide actions/policies adopted –Quick wins? –Steer is to work with individual Faculties to embed language strategy within their planning process –Need for organised approach to developing language ‘friends’ or ‘champions’ –Need to carry on making the case for languages – statistics seem to make a difference 15


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