English language proficiency forum held
‘Implementing a university-wide approach to English language proficiency’ was the topic for a recent Teaching and Learning Forum held at UOW.
The guest speaker was Professor Margaret Hicks who is Director of the University of South Australia’s Learning and Teaching Unit.
UOW conducted a review of English language proficiency in 2010 and 2011.
The University is now in the initial stages of implementing the recommendations of the review.
The well-attended forum [including Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Joe Chicharo] proved of interest to those who teach students who use English as a second language and staff who are involved in the recruitment and administration of international students.
The University of South Australia has recently introduced a new university-wide approach to English language proficiency. In her presentation, Professor Hicks, shared her experiences of this implementation.
She spoke about the need to have a consistent conceptualisation of English language proficiency, policy development and then how the approach was implemented. Implementation has included re-focussing the roles of the language and learning advisers, introducing a post enrolment English assessment and embedding academic literacies into the curriculum.
Professor Hicks’ unit has responsibility for academic development and online services for academic staff; and learning advice, counselling, disability services, and international student services for students.
The University of South Australia has recently revised its teaching and learning framework with a greater emphasis on student engagement and experiential learning.
The Learning and Teaching Unit has an integral role in supporting staff and students in the implementation of the new framework.
Professor Hicks’ research interests include academic development in higher education, student learning in higher education and preparing teachers for university teaching.
The forum was organised by the English Language Development Advisory Committee (ELDAC) of the University Education Committee’s Learning Engagement and Support Subcommittee.