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  1. 1. Models of language support for instruction given in English: Examples from Forestry, Natural and Social Sciences Roy Siddall & Anu Virkkunen-Fullenwider University of Helsinki Language Centre
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Internationalization in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing student mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Rising number of international students at Helsinki University </li></ul><ul><li>Concurrent increase in teaching through English </li></ul><ul><li>Communication difficulties can interfere with teaching and learning of the subject </li></ul>
  3. 3. Analysis of language needs <ul><li>1998-9: Detailed analysis of potential need for language support to facilitate teaching through English (TTE) </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths and weaknesses of Finnish and foreign students </li></ul><ul><li>Support needed by students </li></ul><ul><li>Support needed by instructors </li></ul><ul><li>Development of support systems </li></ul>
  4. 4. Aims of this presentation <ul><li>Describe 3 examples of TTE support in separate faculties </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the advantages and disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>Present the outcomes from the language teacher perspective </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1. Forest Products Marketing (FPM) <ul><li>Department of Forest Economics </li></ul><ul><li>One-year programme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oldest programme in taught in English (>10 yrs) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4 business English courses taught in English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All compulsory if English elected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional to degree language requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each course separately assessed </li></ul><ul><li>Final grade for business English is weighted course average </li></ul>
  6. 6. FPM Language support <ul><li>Students mostly Finnish </li></ul><ul><li>Arrangement with Language Centre teachers ~5 yrs ago </li></ul><ul><li>Individual support given in all courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>special emphasis on productive skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seminar papers written in English : checked by LC teacher </li></ul><ul><li>No systematic support given to subject teachers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Advantages of FPM Language support <ul><li>Advanced business English in both receptive and productive skills </li></ul><ul><li>Easier for course teachers to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand their students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be able to read their papers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increases student confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Better cross-comparability with similar programmes taught elsewhere </li></ul>
  8. 8. Disadvantages of FPM language support <ul><li>Grading papers highly problematic </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of in-depth integration of subject and language teaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Regular meetings with course instructors) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 2. Boreal Biota and Ecology Programme (BBE) <ul><li>Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>One-term study programme, established 1993 </li></ul><ul><li>All courses taught in English (~36 ECTS total) </li></ul><ul><li>Caters for Finnish and foreign exchange students </li></ul>
  10. 10. BBE language support <ul><li>In-depth analysis of the programme and language support needs in 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher observation, analysis of handouts and other material </li></ul><ul><li>Individual and group conferencing with the instructors in the programme </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of all courses: Reports given to the instructors </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiated language support based on the analysis </li></ul>
  11. 11. BBE language support <ul><li>Cultural awareness training </li></ul><ul><li>Academic writing instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Pronunciation (ecological terms) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual support focused on a single course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reading comprehension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>writing assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>oral presentation </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Advantages of BBE language support <ul><li>Integration of subject and language teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Good working relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Compulsory English language requirements fulfilled </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely positive feedback </li></ul>
  13. 13. Disadvantages of BBE language support <ul><li>No language credits for exchange students </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary participation in language support activities </li></ul><ul><li>Limited resources: focused individual support </li></ul>
  14. 14. 3. Argonaut Study Programme (ASP) <ul><li>Dept of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>International programme established 1996: 50-60 ECTS </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation with Language Centre ~2 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly foreign students; few Finns </li></ul>
  15. 15. ASP language support <ul><li>Support focused on seminar-based course; many separate speakers (NNS) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural awareness training for staff and students </li></ul><ul><li>Support for group presentations (video-recording and analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual support with writing assignments </li></ul>
  16. 16. Advantages of ASP support <ul><li>Close cooperation between language and subject teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural awareness training helps group dynamics to develop </li></ul><ul><li>Language teachers “spot teach” during the course </li></ul><ul><li>Individual writing support </li></ul><ul><li>Compulsory English language requirements fulfilled </li></ul>
  17. 17. Disadvantages of APS language support <ul><li>Lack of individual support for presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Very heterogeneous group </li></ul><ul><li>No support for course teachers </li></ul>
  18. 18. Overall outcomes <ul><li>Positive attitude of teachers and students towards working with language teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Language teacher (LT) has a better opportunity to concentrate on the particular needs of the students </li></ul><ul><li>Development of working relationship between LTs and departments </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong learning for LTs </li></ul>
  19. 19. Recommendations <ul><li>Integrate language support with subject teaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Language credits) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Greatest needs for developing productive skills in English </li></ul><ul><li>If resources limited, focus rather than spread the support </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing need to support staff teaching through English </li></ul>
  20. 20. Thank you! <ul><li>For further information see our project web site: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>