Presentation on theme: "English Language Enhancement and the Good Practice Principles"— Presentation transcript:
1 English Language Enhancement and the Good Practice Principles The Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy Presenter: Nicole Brigg Griffith English Language Institute AIEC October 2010We’d like to share with you today information on a course at GU called ELEC, which is in its very first semester of delivery. This course is credit-bearing, embedded and discipline-specific.
2 Overview of the session Overview of the Griffith English Language Enhancement StrategyContext, rationale & related researchThe English Language Enhancement Coursedevelopmentimplementationchallenges & successesmapping to the Good Practice PrinciplesresearchThe ELEC is in fact just one component of a much broader strategy called the GELES and first we’ll provide an overview of the whole strategy. Then we aim to briefly summarise the context which provided the rationale for the development of the GELES, mentioning some recent research related to discipline-specific courses.Ian Johnson will then go on to focus on the ELEC describing its development, implementation, some of the challenges & successes we’ve experienced in this first semester of delivery and finally I’ll provide an overview of the research currently underway to evaluate it.
3 1. Overview of the Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy Before your degreeDuring your degreeFinishing your degreeGriffith UniPrepAn intensive 3-week program delivered prior to each semester for students with unconditional offer.Provides the language skills essential for successful tertiary studies in English.EnglishHELPFree discipline-specific English language support for all degree program students.Group workshops & individual consultations with GELI tutors.English Language Enhancement Course (ELEC)Credit-bearing, embedded, and discipline-specific.Student LinxSocial immersion experiences.Promotes social and intellectual interaction, encouraging the establishment and building of useful ties across languages, cultures and countries.IELTS4gradsSubsidised IELTS ‘exit test’ at end of degree.Students completing a full degree at Griffith can sit an IELTS test at 50% of normal test fee.Adapted fromThe GELES comprises a five-pronged strategy aimed at supporting ISs throughout the student life cycle in order to maximise their chances of succeeding in their academic study.The pivotal feature of the whole strategy is the English Language Enhancement Course (ELEC), an embedded, credit-bearing discipline-specific course which runs across all programs at undergraduate level, whish we’ll come back to shortly.UniPrep – (read screen). Soft landing into the uni properEnglishHELP (higher education language program) – existed for 3 years now and was initially developed by GELI in conjunction with an external consultant but now comes under the GELES banner. EnglishHELP offers group workshops and concurrent individual support within the discipline free of charge.Studentlinx – offers social activities to deal with ISs psychosocial needs and research has shown how important social experiences are in reducing acculturative stress.IELTS4grads – is the name given to the subsidised IELTS test offered as an exit test at the point of graduation
4 2. Context and rationale Birrell report (2006) AEI National Symposium (2007)DEEWR Good Practice Principles (2008)Having looked at what the GELES is, we wanted to briefly provide a context and rationale for the creation of the GELES.This audience would be well aware of the scrutiny that the English language levels of international students in Australian universities has come under in the last few years. The catalyst for much of the debate was arguably the so-called Birrell report published in 2006 which raised concerns over the alleged language standards of international students both at entry to and exit from Australian tertiary institutions. Youa re probably also aware of the National Symposium organised by Australian Education International to focus on the English language competence of international students in In a set of good practice principles were commissioned by DEEWR to guide universities in supporting international students.
5 Context and Rationale2007 Audit of all English language support mechanisms across the whole university undertaken in the lead up to AUQA audit in 2008Established an English Language Working Party (2008) to develop English language support initiatives for international studentsMembership: DVC (Academic), PVC (international), Secretariat, International Office, academics, School of Languages & Linguistics, Griffith English Language InstituteDeveloped and implemented the Griffith English Language Enhancement StrategyPrior to the AUQA visit at GU in 2008, an audit of all EL support mechanisms was conducted. There were a number across the uni though they tended to be faculty-specific rather than centrally and systematically.The decision was taken to establish an ELWP to identify gaps and to develop appropriate support initiatives in a more systematic manner.From the membership of the ELWP it can be seen that this strategy is driven from the highest level within university and involves all key stakeholders. It has taken great leadership from the DVC to implement this wide-ranging and pioneering initiative. What is also interesting is that GELI is front and centre in this strategy, having responsibility for all strands of the GELES in some capacity, which underlines the key role that GELI now plays in the university proper and, in our view, is testament to the changing perception of ELT specialists in the tertiary sector where content has been dominant and EL has traditionally been afforded much less weight.Over the last 18 months, the ELWP has developed and implemented the GELES.
6 Good Practice Principles for English Language Proficiency for International Students in Australian UniversitiesUniversities are responsible for ensuring that their students are sufficiently competent in the English language to participate effectively in their university studies.Resourcing for English language development is adequate to meet students’ needs throughout their studies.Students have responsibilities for further developing their English language proficiency during their study at university and are advised of these responsibilities prior to enrolment.Universities ensure that the English language entry pathways they approve for the admission of students enable these students to participate effectively in their studies.English language proficiency and communication skills are important graduate attributes for all students.Development of English language proficiency is integrated with curriculum design, assessment practices and course delivery through a variety of methods.Students’ English language development needs are diagnosed early in their studies and addressed, with ongoing opportunities for self-assessment.International students are supported from the outset to adapt to their academic, sociocultural and linguistic environments.International students are encouraged and supported to enhance their English language development through effective social interaction on and off campus.Universities use evidence from a variety of sources to monitor and improve their English language development activities.DEEWR December 2008Representatives from the Griffith ELWP attended the final workshop to fine-tuning the GPPs, in Melbourne in November But in fact Griffith was already well on the way to being able to demonstrate compliance with each of these principles and simply needed to map GELES against the GPPs to ensure coverage.
7 Recent research in discipline-specific support The impact of English language proficiency and workplace readiness on the employment outcomes of tertiary international students (Arkoudis, Hawthorne, Baik, O’Loughlin, Leach, Bexley, 2009)Improving academic outcomes of undergraduate ESL students: the case for discipline-specific academic skills programs (Baik & Greig, 2009)For those interested in the research related to these issues, the full reference list appears at the end of the presentation but there are two recent articles I’d like to draw your attention to.The first one, commissioned by DEEWR and published in 2009 by Arkoudis et al, made 6 recommendations some of which directly support the embedding of discipline-specific courses in order to enhance workplace readiness of ISs. The first recommendation was that universities and VET providers develop a range of targeted programs and resources to support and enhance the development of international students’ ELP during their course of study. Recommendation 2 advised education providers to develop closer links with industry and employer groups regarding employability skills that can be embedded within for-credit curriculum teaching and assessment. The third recommendation focused on developing language support programs relevant to the workplace. The study highlights the fact that ELP is one key predictor of successful employment.The Baik and Greig paper examines the impact of an adjunct DS course for first year UG architecture students at the Uni of Melbourne. This paper is quite pertinent for anyone considering developing DS embedded courses. They found that students value a highly DS approach to language and academic skills support rather than the generic academic skills support that has traditionally been provided. They found that students were better able to make use of academic skills embedded within the discipline compared to a generic EAP course. They also found that students are motivated to attend programs that are related to their discipline and that regular participation in a content-based ESL program can lead to positive longer-term benefits on ss’ academic outcomes. Other literature in this area also confirms this notion of a ‘transfer climate’ where the course facilitates the transfer of a particular skill and the Baik/Greig paper suggests that this works best within DS content.
8 English Language Enhancement Course (ELEC) Mandatory for all UG international students with IELTS<7Optional domestic CALD* studentsDelivered in student’s first semester of UG studyOffered on all campuses in semester 1 and 2Common delivery standards, learning outcomes, content & assessmentCo-delivered by LAL & GELI (2 hours lectures: 2 hours tutorials)*culturally and linguistically diverseIn the light of the research, let’s take a look now at the Griffith ELEC.The course is mandatory for all international students whose entry score is less than IELTS 7 (or accepted equivalent) or who meet certain exemption criteria according to Griffith’s admission policies - predominantly LOI. The course is currently optional for CALD.Offered across all five of Griffith’s campuses, it is delivered in the ss’ 1st semester.Common standards for comparability across the four programs – Ian will talk more about this later in the presentationThe delivery is unique in that it is shared by two elements – LAL and the uni ELI - showing the innovative hybrid nature of the course as a mix of a traditional university subject and an English-language course. As far as we are aware, it is the first such program to be introduced across all UG programs in an Australian university.
9 The ELEC commenced this semester and was featured in The Australian on 17 Feb the week before the roll-out, indicating the degree of national interest.Department name (edit in View > Header and Footer...)
10 3. English Language Enhancement Course Credit-bearing:- 10 credit points- not an additional requirement- no extra time to completeEmbedded:- first semester of all UG degrees- complicated program rule changesDiscipline-specific:- sub-committee devised the recommended criteria and intended learning outcomes- working parties within each broad discipline were consulted- four course outlines devised and approvedThe research recommended that course be credit-bearing, DS and embedded. Let’s tease these out in relation to the ELEC.It is credit-bearing and provides 10CPs as does any other subject at the university. It is not an additional requirement; it does not extend the period to compete a degree. It is fully embedded in the course; taken in 1st semester. This involved complicated program rule changes to ensure that every UG degree made space for this extra subject at this stage of the program and made it a condition of graduation for those identified to complete the course.Ian will talk more about the DS nature of the course but the process involved the establishment of a sub committee to devise the recommended criteria and framework under which the intended learning outcomes could be created. Following that, working parties within the four main groups of the university were consulted on the content, resulting in the creation and approval of four DS course outlines.Ian will talk more on the development and implementation phases
11 Development: Intended Learning Outcomes To develop the communicative competence (grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse, strategic) in English of students in an academic and specific disciplinary context, including producing, interpreting, analysing and participating in text. Text refers to authentic spoken or written discourse in a particular genre.To raise student awareness of features and expectations of the Australian tertiary system that underpin English language practices in Australian universities as it fits within the broader Australian cultural context.3. To ensure students are aware of their responsibility to continue to develop their English language skills throughout the course of their degree program.ILO 1 is main linguistic outcome with an emphasis on discipline-specific content and text types.ILO 2 This entails drawing the attention of students different modes of learning (both cooperative/group-work and independent learning) and different assessment practices.ILO 3 this entails drawing attention to other strands of the GELES as well as other support services available to students within the uni.Not de-contextualised grammar or only academic skills but intensive language practice and immersion within the discipline.
12 ImplementationEstablishing of partnership between the Griffith English Language Institute (GELI) and the School of Languages and Linguistics (LAL)Project managers from each appointed to:Consult with working parties from each of the 4 Groups and create course outlines for Business; Health; SEET; Arts & Social SciencesDiscipline-specific nature of content (Development teams)Embedding of some ExcelL intercultural communication skills role-playsRecruiting and training of tutorsText bookELEC needed to be delivered by an academic unit but GELI was seen to have the expertise in the language teaching area, as well as a reservoir of professional and experienced teachersFurthermore, GELI had experience and expertise in the creation and delivery of its very successful DEPThe working parties were made up of academic representatives from each school or faculty within the groups, e.g. Health (Nursing, Pharmacy, Human Services, Psychology, etc)Once the course outlines were established, members of the working parties were asked to locate and forward discipline specific models of text and assessment itemsThe working parties were particularly concerned about international students’ abilities to communicate effectively and appropriately in the university environment and on work placements, hence ExcelLMajority of tutors had discipline-specific quals and experience as well as being NEAS qualified – 25 tutors were required for semester 1 this year (3 lecturers)GELI delivered a Cert IV TESOL for any existing academics/tutors who wished to participate but did not have the TESOL qual required.An all-day, paid induction day held a week prior to commencement.A compilation text book was developed by the project managers through Pearson, so there was a good reference for tutors and students, relating to the main, generic academic and learning skill areas within which the discipline-specific models could be deconstructed and reconstructed.
13 Challenges & successes Lecture vs tutorial hours and minimum numbers for each (1200 sts)Working across elements (LAL/GELI)Communication channels between the newly appointed LAL coordinator, the other two newly appointed lecturers, the GELI coodinator & 25 tutorsMulticampus challengesCommunication between the convenors of the 4 courses and the tutorial development teamTime to develop materialDiscipline-specific yet common outcomes so as to be comparable across all four streamsVariables in the student cohort: differing proficiency levels; differing academic skills backgrounds
14 Challenges & successes All enrolment systems, student identification systems and exemption application systems worked very wellMaterial development teams (Convenor, RA, GELI tutor)LAL/GELI relationship producing further useful cooperative venturesSignificant interest from other Australian institutionsAn encouraging degree of buy-in from academic units across the universitySignificant growth in international students accessing other GELES strategies and support servicesEuphoria associated with the successful launch of a new and innovative Higher Education program
15 Griffith’s Response to the Good Practice Principles 1Universities are responsible for ensuring that their students are sufficiently competent in the English language to participate effectively in their university studies.Minimum English language entry requirements are set.UniPrepEnglishHELPELEC2Resourcing for English language development is adequate to meet students’ needs throughout their studies.GELES funded through the DVC(A)ELEC is funded through FPOSGriffith has committed financially over 6 years for the other strategies3Students have responsibilities for further developing their English language proficiency during their study at university and are advised of these responsibilities prior to enrolment.Embedded in ELECEncouraged via EnglishHELP tutorsEmphasised at orientationPromoted on information sites on the web4Universities ensure that the English language entry pathways they approve for the admission of students enable these students to participate effectively in their studies.A full review undertaken during 2009 and recommendations implemented in 2010Monitoring of pathway providersPathway providers requiring their students to undertake UniPrepResults of Capstone research correlated against entry pathways
16 5English language proficiency and communication skills are important graduate attributes for all students.ELECWorkshops by Career and Employment ServicesIELTS4grads subsidyStudent Linx6Development of English language proficiency is integrated with curriculum design, assessment practices and course delivery through a variety of methods.GELI staff involved in GIHE IoC working party7Students’ English language development needs are diagnosed early in their studies and addressed, with ongoing opportunities for self-assessment.ELEC delivered in students’ first semesterDiagnostic testing of ELEC studentsAmber Alert Assessment8International students are supported from the outset to adapt to their academic, sociocultural and linguistic environments.ExcelL embedded in ELECEnglishHELP “Find Your Voice Across Cultures” workshops9International students are encouraged and supported to enhance their English language development through effective social interaction on and off campus.Community Engagement officer appointed by GBSCommunity Engagement officer appointed by Griffith International10Universities use evidence from a variety of sources to monitor and improve their English language development activities.Research group for ELECIELTS4Grads data collectedStudent and tutor surveys
17 ELEC research aimsTo measure change in English language proficiency of international students who undertake ELECTo measure change in educational outcomes by international students who undertake ELECTo demonstrate that an ELEC improves the above when implemented as an early intervention strategyTo investigate the correlation between language proficiency, language achievement and overall academic outcomes.To investigate the cohorts’ experiences in engaging in learning English in terms of their motivation, investment and outcomes (qualitative).Little research currently exists DS ELEC due to the innovative nature of this hybrid between a traditional EAP course and academic subject. In many ways we have outpaced pedagogic understanding on the impact of DS coursesQualitative and quantitative research is being conducted into the impact of the ELEC using IELTS for the quantitative component and focus groups for qualitative. As you can see from the aims on the screen we are investigating proficiency gains as well as correlating any such gains against GPAs.
18 ELEC research methodology Cohort 1 S2 2009: Non-ELEC studentsCohort 2 S2 2010: ELEC studentsIELTS pre first semesterIELTS post first semesterQualitative interviewsIELTS at degree exitCorrelation against GPAsCohort 1 who had not taken the ELEC provided the baseline data and took place last year.Cohort 2 are currently being recruited for testing to occur at the same time in This mixed methods approach includes:(Read screen)Thank you – we’d be happy to take questions on ELEC or any other aspect of the GELES later.
19 ReferencesArkoudis, S., Hawthorne, L., Baik, C., Hawthorne, G., O'Loughlin, K., Leach D., Bexley, E . (2009). The impact of English language proficiency and workplace readiness on the employment outcomes of tertiary international students. Retrieved on May , fromBaik, C., Greig, J. (2009). Improving the academic outcomes of undergraduate ESL students: the case for discipline-based academic skills programs. Higher Education Research and Development, 28 (4),Berry, B., & Lewkowicz, J. (2000). Exit-tests: Is there an alternative? Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics, 5(1),Birrell, B. (2006). Implications of low English standards among overseas students at Australian universities. People and Place, 4 (4),Birrell, B., Hawthorne, L., & Richardson, S. (2006). Evaluation of the General Skilled Migration Categories. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Birrell, B., Healy E. & Kinnaird B. (2007). Cooks Galore and Hairdressers Aplenty. People and Place, 15(1),Borbasi, S., Johnson, G., Wyatt-Smith, C., Haugh, M., Humphreys, P. (2009) Evaluating the effect of a for-credit English language enhancement course on international students at a large Australian university. Unpublished internal grant application, Griffith University.Bretag, T. (2007). The emperor's new clothes: yes, there is a link between English language competence and academic standards. People & Place, 15(1),Commonwealth Department of Education Employment & Work Relations. (2008). Good Practice Principles for English Language Proficiency for International Students in Australian Universities – Final Report. Retrieved May , fromElder, C. & O'Loughlin, K. (2003). Score gains on IELTS after weeks of intensive English study. IELTS Research Reports, 4,English Tested. (2009, January 28). The Australian. Retrieved February , fromGriffith University. (2009a). University initiatives. Retrieved May , fromGriffith University. (2009b). English Language requirements for entry to Griffith University, Retrieved March , from
20 Harvey, L. (2000). New realities: the relationship between higher education and employment. Tertiary Education & Management, 6, 3-17.Hawthorne, L. (2007). Outcomes, language, employment and further study: A discussion paper for a National Symposium: English Language Competence of International Students. Paper presented at the 2007 National Symposium on English Language Competence of International Students, Sydney, Australia.Hawthorne, L. (In press 2009). Demography, migration and demand for international students. In C. Findlay & W. Tierney (Eds) (In press). The Asia Pacific Education Market. World Scientific Press: Singapore.Healy, G. & Trounson, A. (2010, February 10). Universities told to boost English programs. The Australian. Retrieved February fromInternational English Language testing System (2007). IELTS Handbook. University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education AustraliaJohnson, I. (2010). Utilising cultural diversity in the English language classroom, EA Journal (In Press)Mak, A., Westwood, M., Ishiyama, I., Barker, M. (1999). Optimising conditions for learning sociocultural competencies for success. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 23(1), 77-90Murray, D., & O’loughlin, K. (2007) Pathways – Preparation and Selection: A discussion paper for a National Symposium: English Language Competence of International Students. Paper presented at the 2007 National Symposium on English Language Competence of International Students, Sydney, Australia.O’Loughlin, K., & Arkoudis, S. (2009). Investigating IELTS exit score gains in higher education. IELTS Research Reports, 10. IELTS Australia Pty Ltd, CanberraQian, D. (2007). Assessing university students: Searching for an English language exit test. RELC Journal, 38(1), Retrieved January , fromTrounson, A. (2010, February 17). Griffith makes English refresher mandatory. The Australian. Retrieved February , fromZhengdong, G. (2009). IELTS Preparation Course and Student IELTS Performance: A Case Study in Hong Kong. RELC Journal, 40(1), Retrieved January , from