Dinos Demetriades Curriculum Coordinator Qatar University
Outline The English Program Mission at Qatar University Structure of the English Program The Integrated Skills Project (ISP) & Oral Presentation Problems with the ISP ISP Solutions in General Proposed Solution - Level 1 Proposed Solution - Level 2 Proposed Solution - Level 3 Proposed Solution - Level 4 Summary & Recommendations Questions & Queries
The English Program Mission at QU The Foundation Prog ra m English Department is committed to developing students’ English language proficiency to a level that will allow them to gain entry to and succeed in the academic programs offered by the colleges at Qatar University. The program also aims to help students achieve academic readiness by equipping them with skills such as independent learning, critical thinking and the appropriate use of information and communication technology as a learning tool.
Structure of the English Program A 2-year, 4 Semester Program. Outcomes –based curriculum. 4 Levels - Basic/Low-intermediate, Intermediate, High Intermediate, Advanced. Each level studies: Reading, Writing (3 writing portfolios – length dependent on level), and an Integrated Skills Project -12 hours p/w. Listening, Speaking and an Oral Presentation - 6 hours p/w. Grammar (integration on target for Sept. 2010) 2 hours p/w.
The ISP & Oral Presentation Integrated Skills Project (ISP) – Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, use of ICT (6.5% of total grade). The ISP supposed to be based on research from the internet resulting in a written product. Originally scheduled to be a 6-8 week project at around 3 hours per week after the writing portfolios have been completed. Topics - set by teachers at lower levels, guided by teachers at higher levels. Assessment based on process & product. Oral Presentation is based on the written product of the ISP (8% of final grade).
Problems with the ISP Low student motivation – students need IELTS/TOEFL to gain entrance to the colleges. Using the internet for research fundamentally flawed students even at Level 4 cannot deal with websites written for native speakers – students simply plagiarize. Lack of student choice in terms of topic. Lack of relevance or interest to students. Limited definition of ICT. Limited exploitation of genre, purpose & audience – students simply write another essay. No variation between levels / No sense of progression. The ISP developed into just another essay completed in 2-3 weeks.
ISP Solutions in General Tasks must: be achievable be level appropriate give student choice be relevant to students be personal motivate students must vary so students see differences between levels use ICT allow for standardized assessment
Proposed Solution – Level 1 Students create a holiday brochure over a course of 6-8 weeks. A brochure produced by teachers gives them a clear model Student complete in-house worksheets on the following topics: Country/City Location Climate & Geography Hotel Accommodation Shopping Getting Around Customs & Culture Historical Sites Use MS Word (brochure template) or MS Publisher.
Proposed Solution – Level 2 Students create a two minute advertisement & rationale. Students are given a model advert & rationale explaining choices made in colors, images, and music. Students complete in-house worksheets on advertising, including worksheets on the meaning of colors, music, and images. Advertisements made in MS Movie Maker. Give students and teachers training on Movie Maker.
Proposed Solution – Level 3 Students watch an approved movie or documentary from a list 25 titles. Students write a movie review based on that movie: Plot & Themes Stars & Director Personal Evaluation Students given in-house worksheets on basic film vocabulary, basic lessons in directing movies, the role of music in movies, etc.in-house worksheets Students given in-house movie review model. Students given worksheets on interviews with film critics and stars to act as a model for a role play. Students act out their favorite scenes from their movies
Proposed Solution – Level 4 Students conduct a survey using SurveyMonkey on an issue or topic or their choice. Students use: Likert scale Closed questions Open questions Give students models and in-house produced materials. Given a schematic structure of: Introduction Literature Review Methodology Findings and Analysis Conclusion and Recommendations for further study Give teachers and students training on SurveyMonkey.
Summary & Recommendations Using the internet for research generally doesn’t work for EFL foundation programs. Give students a choice. Allow for student creativity and personal expression. Provide in-house materials & models. Give teachers and students training in ICT. Find one program per project and stick to it. Be prepared to take risks and expect glitches.