Preparing Future Academics (PFA) PortfolioCLAIM 1 – Choose appropriate teaching strategies to meet particular student needs andcontext.The main learning outcome was to enable student to analyse the difference between formal andinformal language. The original task used a paper-based activity (see attached below). While theoriginal task was perfectly adequate I sensed at this late stage in the term there was a sense of groupburn-out. A main factor causing this was the upcoming assignments and exam. Based on my teachingexperience I realized that if I wanted them to obtain core knowledge from the lesson I would have tocreate a more engaging way of distinguishing between formal and informal language. I quicklydecided to use the technique of group collaboration and brainstorming to broach the concept. Byimplementing a social group discussion regarding writing difficulties this allowed students to be heardand to hear others similar experience with academic English. I went around the room asking eachstudent to reflect on their greatest difficulty in writing academic English. Each student spoke and asthey did the class began to hear commonalities amongst their classmates. The first part of the taskillustrated to the students that their writing constraints were similar to those of their classmates andtherefore, they were not alone in their difficulties. Furthermore, to co-construct (Vygotsky, 1962)language starting from a point of social interaction of the knowledge and extending to createknowledge that is employed in a practical manner (Habermas, 1971) allowed for a more relevantexercise of an abstract concept.Next, I then used the difficulties they had just vocalized as a means to underline differences inacademic language. I employed a multimodal method of understanding, not only on a target level buton a personal level, the differences in formal and informal academic language. Moreover,acknowledging Entwistle and Smith‘s (2002) viewpoint that there is a difference between ‘targetunderstanding’ and ‘personal understanding’ I chose to create a new task that would be relevant andengaging. Their theory argues that for the student there is a difference between understandingconcepts and being able to apply them in practice. This is particularly relevant to MA TESOLinternational students. For while they are somewhat proficient in English, they lack the practicalunderstanding of the UK academic culture and context. I am highlighting the UK academic cultureand context as it varies from that of the Chinese and even the North American academic culture. Thus,language is used differently in different cultural contexts. Lecturing to students in variousinternational settings afforded me an opportunity to experience the socio-cultural difference inlanguage and writing of students. It also allowed me to understand the similarities across cultures.One key similarity was the students extensive use of modern technology such as cell phones. Thus, Ihad a moment of epiphany.
Students use texting constantly therefore, it is a tool that is relevant to their environment. I choose tofirst have students ‘notice the gap’ between formal and informal language (Marton, F., Hounsell, D. &Entwistle, 1997; Schmidt, 2001). However, I felt I had to first personalize the abstractness of thelinguistic concepts. To do this I used two pedagogical approaches often employed in languageteaching; first the concept of group collaboration in writing (Rose, H., 2009) which included oral andwriting brainstorming. Second, I used a multi-modal approach to facilitate a greater learningexperience (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000). Finally, at the end of the lesson I also included the use of peerreview and collaboration.Procedure:Following the group discussion instead of introducing a worksheet on academic writing, I asked eachstudent to take out his or her mobile phone. Next, I instructed them to use casual language and text afriend in the class one or two sentences about their writing difficulties. For the few students withoutcell phones I asked them to write on paper as if they were texting. After this they sent the textsmessage to their friend in the class. The next step was to have the student who received the text totranslate the sentence from informal sentence structures into formal academic writing. The final stepwas the reading aloud to the class of the old sentence followed by the newly constructed sentence (seeattached evidence 1). This process contained the following pedagogical elements; the sentences hadrelevance to the student, using the technology engaged them, allowing to hear as well as see thedifference in words and used facilitated a greater comprehension, the shared group experience gave afeeling of a common problem to overcome, and more than one learning style was accessed.ConclusionThis task is in line with the UK Professional Standards Framework by “demonstrating anunderstanding of the student learning experience through engagement such as the ability to engage inpractices related to those areas of activity and research” (Fry & Ketteridge, 2003, p. 470). While thisis not a strategy that could be implemented on a daily basis, it is one method in overcoming commongroup difficulties. The class size is 21 therefore this is not for implementation in a lecture but rather isuseful in a seminar context. This process contained the following pedagogical elements; the sentenceshad relevance to the student, using the technology engaged them, allowing to hear as well as see thedifference in words used facilitated a greater comprehension, the shared group experience gave afeeling of a common problem to overcome, and more than one learning style was accessed (seeevidence 2). If I were to do this again I would write down particular problems on the board to providean opportunity not just for oral communication but also reading and the taking of notes aids inremembering and acquiring the content.
Centre for English Language Teaching ELS - Educational StudiesSession 6: Style in Academic WritingAims: • Group collaboration with sentence structure • Engaging learning through multimodal use and relevant personal problem solvingSession Outcomes: • Identify the differences between formal academic sentence construction and informal sentence construction • Peer review other students work for errors • Synthesize and implement conceptual vocabularyOriginal Task 1:1. Characteristics of academic styleThere is a considerable difference between informal spoken and formal written academic English.Consider the following two extracts and pick out the characteristics of the written academic stylewhich distinguish it from the informal spoken style.A Well, it used to be said that reading in a second language was so similar to reading in a first language that it was just a slower version of the same thing. Are there two parallel processes involved or are they the same processes for reading in first and second languages? For sure, there are similarities between the two but there are a lot of differences as well. And, because we can’t see what’s going on inside students’ heads when they read, we teachers have to make even more effort to work out the process and to help our students understand that process too.B
Although reading in the L1 shares numerous important basic elements with reading in a second or foreign language, the processes also differ greatly. Intriguing questions involve whether there are two parallel cognitive processes at work, or whether there are processing strategies that accommodate both first and second languages. Despite these interests, second language research on reading, is frequently dismissed as being marginal and derivative from first language reading. Reading in a second language, for example, was often viewed as merely a slower version of doing the same task in the native language. Such comparisons, however, imply that second language tasks are mapping tasks – that is replacing one mode of behaviour with another. While it is true that the L1 and L2 reading process have similarities, it is also important to recognize that many factors come into play, which in turn make second language reading a phenomenon unto itself. Despite the similarities between reading in an L1 and reading in an L2, a number of complex variables make the process of L1 different from L2. As the reading process is essentially "unobservable", teachers need to make significant efforts in the classroom to understand their students reading behaviour and be able to help students understand such behaviour as well. It is, therefore, important that teachers know as much as possible about the cultural, linguistic, and educational backgrounds of their readers since many of these factors influence reading in an L2 context.MODIFICATION TO Task 1: (evidence 1)TASK 1 – Part ATEACHER: Ask the students to brainstorm the differences between academic and non-academiclanguage. Elicit from the students answers.TEACHER: Ask students what the difference between undergraduate and graduate level inuniversity. Discuss differences as a group.TEACHER: Ask each student to reflect about his or her greatest difficulty with academic Englishthen individually have each students discuss their difficulties. As this occurs the class will began tohear commonalities amongst their classmates.TEACHER: After students’ description of their problem give quick advice to aid overcoming his orher problem.TASK 1 - Part BFollowing the discussion on English difficulties the teacher instructs each student to take out his orher mobile phone. NOTE -(If they do not have a mobile phone, they can use a piece of paper.) Makesure everyone has a partner.
Explain to the students using casual language and to text a friend in the class one or two sentencesregarding their writing difficulty.Emphasize the purpose is to write as if they were texting. Make sure the students writing on paper dothe same.Then they send the texts message to another member of the class.Task 3:Have the students who received the text to change the sentence into formal academic language as ifthey are writing an essay.Task 4:The final step is to ask each student to read out the old sentence followed by the new sentence. (Ifneed be help with adjusting either grammatical errors or vocabulary mismatches.)Most likely reading all the sentences might be too time-consuming however, randomly selectingstudents is a useful way to manage the class. This can lead into instruction of grammar, sentencestructure, academic vocabulary or transition sentences.Gather examples and send to the students by e-mail so that they can reflect on the differences.Assessment: 1) Ask each student to reflect on the process. Did they like it? What would they change? 2) Ask them to write a poorly constructed sentence for use in a mini-quiz at the end of the term. They should also write a “correct version”(answer) of the same sentence.CAT – Reflective Questionnaire: (evidence 2) 1) Think about the previous lesson where the teacher asked you to use your mobile phone to write a sentence. How did you feel doing this activity? 2) How did you feel after this activity?
3) Do you feel it helped your understanding of formal and informal language (give a score out of 10) __________? 4) How could this lesson be improved? 5) Did the teacher give enough a) feedback (score 1-10)_____ b) guidance (score of 1-10) ______ c) instruction (score 1-10) ReferencesCope, B. &. Kalantzis, M. (2000). Multiliteracies: The beginning of an idea. In B. C. Kalantzis,Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures (pp. 3-8). London: Routledge.Entwistle, N.J., & Smith, C. A., (2002). Personal understanding and target understanding:mappinginfluences on the outcomes of learning. British Journal of Educational PsychologyFry, H. & Ketteridge, S. (2003). ‘Teaching portfolios’, in H. Fry, S.W. Ketteridge and S. Marshall(eds.), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice(pp. 242-252), London: Routledge.Marton, F. Hounsell, D. & Entwistle, (1997). The Experience of Learning, Scottish Academic Press,Edniburgh.Rose, H., (2009). EAP 1: Forging collaborative learning in a student-centered curriculum. InCollege of Business BBL (Ed.) Integrating English Education and Business Studies. RikkyoUniversity, Japan. (retrieved online May, 18, 2011)http://rikkyo.academia.edu/HeathRose/Papers/431610/EAP_1_Forging_collaborative_learning_in_a_student-centered_curriculum )Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp.3-32). Cambridge University Press.Vygotsky, L. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press.
Preparing Future Academics (PFA) PortfolioCLAIM 2 – Construct session plans including learning outcomes, content and feedbackmechanisms.Structuring MA Social Policy Language Support module (Two Term module)Designing and delivering this three-term session module provided me with an opportunity to explorespecific measurable learning outcomes based on active verbs and context (Clegg, K., 2010, in alecture). The original overall session plans for the term module was based on content vocabulary,reading strategies, writing needs and some speaking skills. I created the session plan to includematerials from the course content (evidence 3). This allowed students to gain academic languageskills through accessing course content. The relevance of the materials created engagement with thelanguage task and allowed them to use prior knowledge to construct meaning (Ivanic, Clark,Rimmershaw, 2000). Furthermore, after the first term I implemented formative assessment andreflective practices within the course structure (Nicol, D.J., MacFarlane-Dick, D., 2006).Overall, based on the evidence gathered from the student evaluations the course provided engagingand meaningful tasks and opportunities to allow students to practice their academic language (see
attached evidence 4). This course was initially designed, using relevant content rather than justgeneric EAP skills activities. The students’ needs were generally similar thus allowing me to tailor thecourse to the suit the group needs. I designed the session plans to revolve around reading, writing, andspeaking skills with conceptual vocabulary being reviewed weekly. I tried to avoid general topics toacademic reading and writing and instead employ a systematic approach to enable the students tobetter comprehend the concepts, skills, strategies and structures that varied which were specific totheir department (Wisek, 1998). Moreover, I included the use of their formative practice essay in thelessons on academic writing and essay organization.However, the shortness of the length of the term (only 9 sessions) prohibited this module to becompletely effective. The conceptual vocabulary had to be removed as a learning outcome due to thelack of time. In the spring term I incorporated specific lesson aims and measurable learning outcomes.I developed more of an overview that I used to structure lessons more succinctly. Being asked tocontinue teaching the students I wanted to assess the students needs so at the beginning of the springterm I implemented a questionnaire regarding the class content and structure. The feedback washelpful and will be discussed further under the assessment section. The information gleaned from thisprocess highlighted a missing need from more specific learning outcomes based on principles ofcritical reading, writing practice and speaking practice. I revamped the learning outcomes to be morespecific and not just general aims (De Corte, 2000).The spring term session plan I created was also more focused. After attending the structuring anddesign course I was able to focus on learning outcomes that are measurable. Also giving themopportunity to get feedback from the teacher regarding their writing became an important change tothe session design. In the class I allowed for reading, writing and speaking. I also wanted to providemore practice and feedback on formative written tasks. However, I did not want to overload themwith too much extra work. Therefore, I designated 20 minutes at the end of class for reflectivewriting. These weekly reflective writings were marked for grammatical, language and structure errors.The following lesson I gave oral and written feedback regarding the reflections. Furthermore, I usedthe students’ reflections to aid in attending to needs that might have been overlooked. This newcomponent to the session plan allowed for immediate reflection on content while at the same timefacilitating regular writing practice. The reflection questions are based on the content of the lessonand ask for critical analysis of language and content issues.
In line with the Professional Standards Framework my session plans now reflected the use of coreknowledge to engage in practices related to their areas of activity. The learning outcomes and taskspushed the students to assess and critically analyse journal articles and types of evidence used inSocial Policy which will later be applied to their dissertation.(Evidence 3)
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL POLICY & SOCIAL WORKModule Title: Social Policy Academic Language and Content LecturesModule Convenor: Dr John HudsonModule Tutor: Nettie BoivinDuration of Module: One Term (autumn)Students: MA in Social Policy MRes Social Policy MA in Comparative and International Social Policy Option for MPhil/PhD Social PolicyWeekly Programme: One weekly Wednesday morning lectureAssessment: One practice essay of not more than 3,500 words to be handed in on Wednesday of Week 6 of the autumn term. This is a non-assessed essay designed to provide formative, rather than summative, feedback.Module Objectives: to facilitate the introduction of key concepts and theories employed in the ‘policy analysis’ seminar to synthesize the reading of conceptual knowledge and apply it to the writing of social policy issuesModule Outcomes:By the end of the course, students should be able to: to assess and synthesize conceptual vocabularies and theories social and international comparative policies to effectively implement and acquire conventionally accepted academic written and spoken discourse to critically analyze and assess readings, articles and other texts to construct sophisticated arguments/stances housed within the context and structure of the social policyModule Format:The module consists of a weekly 2-hour lecture. The weekly lectures cover related conceptualterminology and key theories from the ‘policy analysis and context’ modules. The lectures willconsist of four distinct components; academic vocabulary and conceptual terms, critical readinganalysis, academic writing including stance, context, structure and audience, andseminar/presentation for the academic field.The lectures will include weekly introductions to key conceptual vocabulary in preparation for theFriday ‘policy analysis’ lecture. Furthermore, there will be review of previous terms as well asacademic vocabulary.
Candidates will discover ‘how to’ read and analysis critically and efficiently in preparation for the laterliterature review. Reading genres and styles will be investigated. Moreover, accessing critical readingthrough strategic methods will be covered.Introduction to the framework of UK academic writing style which include such factors as;stance/argument, context and structure, genre/audience, and design of succinct thesis statements willbe facilitated. The more theoretically driven ‘policy analysis’ component forms the ostensible focus ofthe assessment – the practice essay questions ask candidates to engage directly with the theoriesoutlined.The lectures will include mini-presentations and seminar style discussions, along with theunderstanding effective academic presentation styles.Key ReadingHandouts and textbook passages will be used in class.Module WebsiteThis module has its own dedicated section of the Yorkshare VLE.This will be updated each week and will carry copies of each week’s lecture slides plus links to usefulresources and materials.ASSESSMENTAssessed EssayStudents are required to complete one piece of work for this module. Answer one question, in nomore than 3,500 words to be submitted to the tutor by the deadline indicated. It is not assessed and isdesigned to provide some broad feedback. Answer one of the following questions in no more than3,500 words, and your essay to your tutor by week 6 of the autumn term: 1. Does employment policy in the UK support the unemployed or police them? 2. Does the UK have a post-Fordist welfare state? 3. Another question agreed with one of the module convenorsWeek-by-Week1. Social Policy Context Lectures (10.15-approx 12.15) Wk Date Topic 2 20rd October Introduction- Learning the Language of Academic Culture! 3 27th October Conceptual vocabulary, text analysis, and understanding audience for writing 4 3rd November Academic and conceptual vocabulary review, journal structure and format, and organizing written context and structure 5 10th November Review of conceptual vocabulary and theories, how to construct written stance/viewpoint/argument and thesis statements 6 17th November Reading for position, written genre and audience, 7 24th November effective seminar techniques, paraphrasing versus plagiarism 8 1st December Effective presentation skills, written feedback
9 8th December Review of vocabulary and concepts, disagreeing in a seminar, reviewing thesis and stance in reading and writing 10 15th December Presentation and seminar practice sessions, essay assistance, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL POLICY & SOCIAL WORKModule Title: Social Policy Academic Language and Content LecturesModule Convenor: Dr John HudsonModule Tutor: Nettie BoivinDuration of Module: Term Two (Spring)Students: MA in Social Policy MRes Social Policy MA in Comparative and International Social Policy Option for MPhil/PhD Social PolicyWeekly Programme: One weekly Wednesday morning lectureAssessment: Reflective learning logs and needs assessments designed to provide formative, rather than summative, feedback.Module Objectives: Comprehension of the structures and approaches needed for dissertation writing To analyse journal articles for various theories, writing signposts, and methodological approaches to explore some of the key academic structures, contexts and genres used in the social policy departmentModule Outcomes:By the end of the course, students should be able to: to comprehend and use effectively conventionally accepted academic written and spoken discourse to be able to critically analyze and assess readings, articles and other texts to construct sophisticated arguments/stances housed within the context and structure of the social policyModule Format:The module consists of a weekly 2 hour lecture. The weekly lecture covers writing and academicpresentation, and research skills. Organizing for effective presentations, use of proper presentationvocabulary as well as differences in both listening and speaking to presentation and seminars.
Candidates will discover ‘how to’ read and analysis critically and efficiently in preparation for the laterliterature review. Reading genres and styles will be investigated. Moreover, accessing critical readingthrough strategic methods will be covered.The lectures will include mini-presentations and seminar style discussions, along with theunderstanding effective academic presentation styles.Key ReadingHandouts and textbook passages will be used in class.Module WebsiteThis module has its own dedicated section of the Yorkshare VLE.This will be updated each week and will carry copies of each week’s lecture slides plus links to usefulresources and materials.ASSESSMENTAssessed Reflective Critical Analysis PapersWeek-by-Week1. Social Policy Context Lectures (10.15-approx 12.15)Wk Date Topic 2 19th January Review – Needs Analysis for this Term 3 26th October Differences between vocabulary and seminars. Understanding audience for presentations and seminars- Understanding the question 4 2nd February Journal structure and format, and organizing written paragraphs and structure- How to outline for a presentation 5 9th February Preparing to lead a seminar. Review of how to construct written stance/viewpoint/argument and thesis statements (using the essay questions) 6 16th February Reading for viewpoint- How to present a viewpoint in presentations- giving mini-presentations 7 23rd February Effective seminar techniques, review of paraphrasing versus plagiarism 8 2nd March Giving Effective presentation skills –Outlines of essays 9 9th March Presentation and seminar practice sessions, essay assistance. 10 16th March Only if needed(Evidence 4) Needs Assessment:
1) What area do you most feel you need to work on AREA IMPORTANCE (write 1-10 in the space below) 1= not important 10= important Reading Writing Speaking Listening Seminar Discussions Presentations Other2) Would you like more small assessed homework tasks?3) If so, for what skill (reading, writing, listening, speaking)?4) What kinds of activities would you like to do?5) Are you having difficulty with course vocabulary, theories or concepts?6) Are you having trouble with seminars
ReferencesClegg, K. (2010) In Structuring and Designing Session Plans (Seminar December, 2010).De Corte (2000). Marrying theory building and the improvement of school practice. Learning andInstruction,10, 249-266.Ivanic, R.,Clark,R., and Rimmershaw, R., (2000). What am I supposed to make of this? Themessages conveyed to students by tutors’ written comments, in: M.R. Lea and B. Stierer, (Eds)Student Writing in Higher Education: New Contexts (Buckingham, SHRE/Open University Press).Nicol, D. J. & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulatedlearning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in HigherEducation, 31(2), 199-218Wiske, M.S., (1998). What is teaching for understanding? In M.S. Wiske (Ed.), Teaching forunderstanding: linking researchwith practice(pp. 61-85). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.