"English for Specific"
Presentations and Presenters, NFEAP 5th Annual Seminar Eva Braidwood and Suzy McAnsh, ’From an Error Typology towards Support for Finnish University Students Writing in their Disciplines’ Abstract Our study investigates the writing in English of Finnish university students engaged in producing academic course work. First, we survey and categorise the recurrent errors found in the writing of students from two English for Specific/Academic Purposes (ESP/EAP) courses: students of architecture writing an architectural review and students of biochemistry writing a mock research article. Next we establish a typology of the most salient errors on various levels, ranging from concerns with appropriacy of content and textual organisation to selection of suitable lexis for academic discourse in the relevant discipline. Using this typology, we systematically analyse a sample of the work to determine the relative frequency of errors and their impact on the effectiveness of the text. Through this work, our intention is to pinpoint the issues in particular need of attention during the respective courses. Biography Eva Braidwood has an MA in English and Hungarian philology from KLTE University, Debrecen, and a PhD focusing on Wordsworth and the Romantic Movement from ELTE University, Budapest. Eva teaches courses in EAP/ESP for architecture students, scientific writing for biochemistry, and literature and linguistics for English philology students at the University of Oulu, Finland. Suzy McAnsh holds Master's degrees in Art History from St. Andrews University and Applied English Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. She is a lecturer at the University of Oulu, where she teaches courses on scientific writing for biochemistry, ESP for engineering and TCE for university teachers. Lynell Chvala, ‘Assessment of Speaking Skills in Higher Education: A Case Study from Teacher Education’ Abstract The formal assessment of oral skills is a challenging and demanding enterprise. The assessment of speaking skills in the Teacher Education Programme at Oslo University College happens in “real time”. In other words, the assessment of students’ spoken production and interaction are conducted during the “speaking” where the examiners are involved in the context of the communication. As a reflection of current practice in lower second school, grades are assigned shortly thereafter. 1 This presentation focuses on changes made in the assessment of speaking skills as a result of a complex, dynamic understanding of language (Larsen-Freeman, 2008) and a consideration of what constitutes effective assessment practice (Hattie, 2009). This case study examines not only the practice itself, but also the reflections and reactions of examiner(s) and students documented in follow-up interviews. Biography Lynell Chvala has an MA in Applied Linguistics for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from Iowa State University, USA. She currently works in the Faculty of Education and International Studies at Oslo University College in the Teacher Education Programme. She has worked as an English teacher in lower and upper secondary schools, in higher education and in various ESP engagements in the private sector for the past 17 years. In addition, she is currently involved in the Putuo Oral English Project, a cooperation project with Putuo Independent School District and Ningbo University in China. Her current research focuses on teacher competence in the assessment of pupils’ productive language skills. Nancy Lea Eik-Nes, ‘Assessment to facilitate students’ thriving and surviving in academic English’ Abstract Assessment and evaluation have always been challenging for those of us who teach English for Academic Purposes as we seek to prepare our students to use the medium of English to both thrive and survive in their academic careers. We have long worked with the discrepancies between students’ mastery of English and their goals – and the goals of our institutions. These discrepancies have become even more pronounced as we welcome continually more international students from a greater diversity of backgrounds in language, culture and language education. How do we teach and assess academic English writing with such complex situations? The purpose of my presentation is two-fold. The first purpose is to shed light on some of the practical challenges in teaching and assessing in academic writing courses for students who have only one thing in common: a wish to improve their writing in English. The second purpose is to consider some classroom practices that have been successful at NTNU. These practices are founded in a social-interactive approach to learning, and include ways of providing feedback and facilitating self-assessment in a variety of activities. The presentation is not “The Answer”, but will hopefully inspire a discussion of practices and possibilities. Biography Nancy Lea Eik-Nes is associate professor at the Dept. of Language and Communication Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, where she teaches academic and scientific writing, as well as applied linguistics. The focus of her research has been on writing as a means of developing disciplinary identity and on academic genres. In addition to having English as her mother tongue, she has degrees in psychology, English and applied linguistics. 2 Glenn Ole Hellekjær, ‘‘We ain't as good as we think’: English Use and Needs in Norwegian Business and Government’ Abstract In this talk I will present the findings from two needs analyses of occupational English use and needs. The first is a survey of Norwegian business, the second a mixed-methods needs analysis combining a survey of staff in Norwegian ministries with a qualitative, follow-up study of employees in Norwegian directorates. They show that inadequate English proficiency in occupational contexts is a problem in both domains, and is indicative of general quality problems in Norwegian EFL instruction. I argue that Norwegian schools as well as institutions of higher education must take their students’ need for advanced English proficiency far more seriously than they do at present. Biography Glenn Ole Hellekjær is an Associate Professor of Teaching English as a Foreign Language at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at the University of Oslo. He teaches courses at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. Prior to his joining the department in 2006 he worked at Østfold University College in Halden and at Spjelkavik Upper Secondary School in Ålesund. While at Spjelkavik Upper Secondary School Hellekjær taught Norway’s first CLIL Modern History course in 1993, and has continued with research on CLIL in secondary and tertiary education. Other research areas are academic reading in English, assessment, and analyses of English and foreign language use and needs in business and the public sector. His current research focuses on comparing the reading proficiency and strategy use of senior upper secondary level students who have had CLIL instruction with those who have had ordinary English instruction. Daniel Lees Fryer, ‘Engaging with the Literature, Engaging with the Reader: Evaluation in Academic Writing’ Abstract The way in which authors engage with other voices in academic research discourse is an integral part of the social practice of communicating research. Evaluation and evaluative language play an important role in how authors engage with the literature and the putative reader, and how they position themselves and their own research within a wider disciplinary context. In this presentation, I will examine the role of evaluation in academic research writing, and discuss its potential application to EAP, including some of my own experiences from an academic writing course for researchers. Biography Daniel Lees Fryer is a PhD fellow in linguistics, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He teaches at Oslo University College and the University of Oslo, Norway. Hua-Li Jian, ‘Experiences of Teaching Norwegian Engineering Students English from a South-East Asian Perspective’ Abstract Experiences and observations of a Taiwanese scholar teaching engineering students for one semester in Norway are presented. Many important cultural differences were found both in 3 terms of student behaviours and academic practices. This qualitative study focuses in particular on the teacher’s formal meeting with the students in the classroom, informal meetings with the students outside the classroom and examination practices. Biography Hua-Li Jian received a Ph.D. in linguistic science from the University of Reading, U.K. She has more than 10 years of university-level teaching experience from Taiwan, including many years as Associate Professor with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at National Cheng Kung University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering, Oslo University College, Norway. Her research interests include English language learning, computer-assisted pedagogy, Western and Taiwanese phonetics, and phonology. Simon Kinzley, ‘A Framework for Evaluating Feedback in Academic Writing: A Presentation and Workshop’ Abstract Logically, the key criterion for determining whether tutor feedback on academic writing is effective should be its likelihood of improving the chances of students succeeding in authentic academic study. This, however, raises further questions, two of which are: how do we determine which areas of writing it is most effective to give feedback on, and how can that feedback be given ways that maximise the chances of students actually implementing it? In this presentation I provide findings of research into this area that are derived from a wider investigation into the link between EAP academic writing programmes and future academic success on actual degree programmes. My hope is that by demonstrating the methods used in this research, I can provide colleagues with ideas as to how they might be able to undertake similar investigations in their own teaching contexts. Biography Simon Kinzley has just submitted a Ph.D. in applied linguistics at Lancaster University and is currently working as a lecturer in EAP at UCL. His thesis considers the extent to which a pre- sessional EAP writing course has impacted on the writing behaviours and academic outcomes of overseas students once they have actually started studying for their degrees. Consequently, he has considerable interest in the development of research methods for tracking studies. Simon taught, managed and designed materials for ELT and EAP programmes in Japan, China and the UK and has been directly involved preparing students for study at BANA universities since 2001. He is currently joint coordinator of the BALEAP Tracking Studies Working Party with Dr. Diana Ridley. Fiona Nimmo, ‘The challenges involved in re-aligning a Pre Masters programme - A Case Study'. Abstract This session will focus on a Pre Masters programme at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The Pre-Masters programme discussed is the Graduate Diploma in English for Postgraduate Study (GDEPS). 4 The GDEPS programme, which was implemented in academic session 2005/2006, is a full- time nine-month University accredited (Level 4) Pre Masters programme intended for students wishing to study Master and PhD courses at Strathclyde Business School. Following an External Examination Board meeting in 2009, with a newly appointed external examiner, it became evident that the GDEPS programme had drifted substantially from its original design. Furthermore, the programme had begun to attract students from all subject disciplines which rendered the original course design, aimed at business students, no longer relevant. Subsequently, the Board advised that the GDEPS programme be re-designed to take account of the new student cohort and re-aligned to reflect University regulations and procedures. It also advised that new assessment descriptors be written to reflect learning outcomes, CEFR, UCLES, IELTS and University of Strathclyde assessment descriptors. This session will focus on the challenges involved in carrying out this re-alignment. Biography Fiona has a Bachelor of Education Degree and a Master in TESOL from the University of Edinburgh. She has worked in Scotland, Greece, Italy and China and has designed and implemented a number of EFL, ESP, EAP and teacher training courses both at home and abroad. Fiona currently holds the post of Programme Co-ordinator at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Charlotte Rosen Svensson has worked in English language teaching and educational publishing. She currently works for Pearson Longman ELT in the Nordic region. Hanne Tange, ‘Parallel Languages or English Only? Reflections on the Linguistic Situation in Danish Higher Education’ Abstract The presentation looks at the questions of language policy and testing from the position of lecturers, who do not have English as their first language, but who are now encouraged, if not compelled, to teach in this medium. Motivated by the rapid growth in the number of English-medium programs in Denmark, I have performed a total of 36 interviews with university employees, asking what internationalisation means for teachers' ability to act and interact in the classroom. This has enabled me to identify three types of linguistic organisation: single course, parallel languages, and English Only. In relation to the question of language assessment and testing, parallel languages and English Only are particularly important, highlighting the differences between a policy that acknowledges the co-existence of English and Danish, and one that establishes English as the default medium of instruction. Having looked at some of the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches, I end with a reflection on the question: what happens when we introduce language testing into these systems? Biography Associate Professor Hanne Tange, Ph.D., Aarhus University School of Business and Social Science. Her research interests include intercultural communication, internationalisation, social interaction and linguistic practice. She is currently involved in a project on Danish university lecturers' experiences with a multilingual and multicultural classroom. 5 Robert Wilkinson, ‘English-medium instruction at a Dutch university: what have we learned from a quarter-century of experience?’ Abstract Maastricht University started a first-degree programme taught through the medium of English a quarter of a century ago. The programme initially was taught trilingually (French and German too), but these instructional languages did not survive. Success in the English- medium instruction (EMI) led to all faculties emulating the experience, and to other Dutch universities to follow suit. In some cases teaching through Dutch ceased. EMI can be seen from at least three perspectives: the natural response to issues of globalization and demographics; the risk of domain loss in the first language (Dutch L1); and the application of trading practices to higher education. All three perspectives have a bearing on the prospects for the international university. However, EMI has been subject to much criticism, including from its proponents, particularly regarding the quality of both the content learning and the language. Quality concerns also surround the teaching staff and their roles in the learning process, in particular where both teachers and students are using English as a second language. Using Maastricht University as an example, this presentation focuses the lessons learned so far from EMI, and suggest recommendations for the future. In particular, the talk looks at the challenges to curriculum and course design, collaboration between content staff and EAP support staff, and the impact on quality. Conclusions emphasize the EAP aspects of EMI. Biography Robert Wilkinson, MSc, helped establish the first trilingual undergraduate programme at the School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, in the mid-1980s. Since then, he was involved in setting up many of the subsequent English-medium-of-instruction programmes at the university, as well as staff training. His teaching interests concern mainly academic writing as well as writing for professional academic purposes (for masters and PhD students). Research interests concern the integration of content and language in higher education (ICLHE), and university language/multilingual policy. He has co-edited five books on ICLHE and/or multilingualism. 6