REFLESS Project - Languages at Soton - stages and structures

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TEMPUS project "Reforming Foreign Language Studies in Serbia", Working visit to University of Southampton

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REFLESS Project - Languages at Soton - stages and structures

  1. 1. Languages atSouthamptonVicky WrightDirector, Centre for Language StudyDeputy Director, LLAS26 May 2011
  2. 2. Languages at Southampton● Overview ○ Internal structures ○ Development of Language Stages ○ Planning for the future - issues and questions
  3. 3. ● Internal Structures ○ Departments of Spanish, French, German + Language Centre merge to form School of Modern Languages (1983) ○ Language Centre delivers languages across the University including English language (teaching only staff) ○ Centre for Language Study (CLS) created within Modern Languages. Delivers Stages 1- 4 to all undergraduates (teaching only staff) (from 2001) ○ CLS (professional language teaching staff) delivers all Language Stages (from 2003)
  4. 4. ● Internal Structures within Modern Languages 1. UG content curriculum delivered by research active staff in 3 main areas; ■ Linguistics - History, Society and Politics – Literature 2. UG language curriculum delivered by education led staff mapped onto education/research career pathways ■ CLS staff encouraged to carry out pedagogical research (10% of time allocated) 3. Increasingly CLS staff take on management and other strategic roles within Modern Languages
  5. 5. ● Development of Language Stages ○ Issues to address at the outset: ■ varied proficiency at entry ■ how to cater for the most able linguists ■ progression for native/bi-lingual students ■ ab-initio courses – do learners catch up? ■ harmonisation across languages and across types of provision (full-time, part-time and post-graduate) ■ need for a flexible curriculum ■ catering for smaller numbers of language specialists
  6. 6. ● Development of Language Stages ○ 7 Stage framework of language competence developed by CLS in 2000/1 ■ descriptors/competencies of national/ international language qualifications and frameworks analysed, e.g. LRS benchmarking statement, CEF, NOS & IELTS ■ descriptors/learning outcomes developed for all languages taught following comparative review of end of year exam scripts and assignments; external examiners consulted
  7. 7. Language Stages: entry levels A2 A-BStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
  8. 8. Language Stages: entry levels A2 C-EStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
  9. 9. Language Stages: entry levels GCSE A-CStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
  10. 10. Language Stages: entry levelsAb initioStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
  11. 11. Language Stages: entry levelsAb initio GCSE AS A2 A2 Bi-lingual IELTS A-C A-B C-E A-B 6.5 /NSStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7
  12. 12. ● Development of Language Stages ○ Pattern of teaching ■ Stages 1-7 ■ 3 hours a week (1 oral class) ■ Accelerated courses + non-European languages ■ 4 hours a week ■ Stages 3&4 ■ integrated language skills ■ English language Stages 3-7 for European & International students ■ Stages 1-7 evening classes ■ Graduate Passport (recognising e.g. Taster courses ■ New University-wide “broadening” curriculum initiative for 2012
  13. 13. ● Development of Language Stages ○ Languages offered ■ English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish as named components of ML degrees ■ Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Latin, Russian in addition ■ 2011/12 adding Japanese ■ Plus another c 10 languages available through evening programme and taster courses
  14. 14. Language Stages: progression A2 A-BStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Year 1 Year 2 RA Year 4 Normal progression is ONE Stage per academic year
  15. 15. Language Stages: progression A2 C-EStage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Year 1 Year 2 RA Year 4
  16. 16. Language Stages: progression Ab initio GCSE A-C Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 beginners Year 1 Year 2 RA Year 4 accelerated beginners accelerated 3/4 Year 1 Year 2 RA Year 4acc. beginner + a related language
  17. 17. Equivalencies at the end of aStage…Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 CEF CEF CEF CEF CEF CEF CEF A2 B1 B2 B2 /C1 C1 C1 /C2 C2 GCSE A2 A2 QAA BS QAA BSGrade A/B Grade C Grade A/B Minimum/typical Typical standards (effective) (fluent) LL LL LL LL LL Mastery Advanced Profic Profic Mastery 17 12 13/14 14/15 16
  18. 18. Descriptors and differentiation Stage 3 Stage 4LISTENING LISTENINGUnderstand vocabulary and structures relating to most everyday Understand a wide range of vocabulary and structures relating to mostcontexts as well as some specialised vocabulary everyday contextsUnderstand the gist of most spoken language delivered at normal Understand the gist and detail of most spoken language in a range ofspeed in a familiar accent registers, delivered at normal speedREADING READINGUnderstand the main ideas and some implied meanings of texts in Understand the main ideas and most detail in authentic texts in athe most common registers and relating to familiar topics variety of genres without too much effortExtract data and ideas from media texts of general interest with the Accurately extract information, ideas, opinions and hypotheses relatingsupport of reference materials to most general topics and to specialised topics of personal interestSPEAKING: PRODUCTION SPEAKING: PRODUCTIONExpress ideas and concepts with little hesitation. Successfully present facts and ideas with the help of visual aids.Manipulate language dealing with everyday topics using a range of Manipulate language dealing with everyday topics, using a range ofgrammatical structures and vocabulary with a fair, if sometimes grammatical structures and vocabulary with a reasonable level ofinconsistent, level of accuracy. accuracy.WRITING WRITINGWrite coherent texts in a limited range of registers on everyday and Write in a variety of common genres in order to communicatesome specialised topics information, ideas, concepts and opinions relating to a variety of situations and topicsExpress facts and concepts clearly using some complexconstructions and an appropriate range of vocabulary, but with some Write accurate texts which are cohesive. Use complex grammaticalfirst language interference structures and appropriate vocabulary, still with first language interference
  19. 19. Descriptors and differentiation Stage 6 Stage 7WRITING WRITINGWrite clearly in a range of appropriate styles on Write clearly in a variety of styles and registerscomplex topics in a range of genres. Express and select the appropriate style for the purposearguments and conclusions Write fluent and accurate texts where errorsWrite coherent and accurate texts where and infelicities are unobtrusive and do noterrors and infelicities do not compromise the compromise the effectiveness of the writingcommunicative effectiveness of the writing MEDIATIONMEDIATION Translate short written and spoken texts in aTranslate short written and spoken texts in a variety of genres from TL into English,variety of genres from TL into English transferring content and style effectivelymaintaining the content and beginning to Translate short written texts and spokenapproximate the style English in a variety of genres into TL, maintaining content and accuracy and beginning to approximate to style and idiom.
  20. 20. ● Further details ○ Modules = 15 ECTS over 2 semesters ○ Stages deemed to be independent of Year of Study ○ Programme of study dictates the level of study ○ Documentation covers ■ understanding, production, mediation ■ language learning strategies ■ communication strategies ■ language knowledge & awareness ■ knowledge & understanding of TL & culture ■ key skills ■ teaching & learning methods ■ independent learning ■ assessment
  21. 21. Some 10 years later – some thoughts ● We have done a lot more talking across languages (peer observation, language skills provision etc) ● It has been possible to merge smaller classes ● The Stages framework makes it easier to launch new classes/new languages ● Not as much harmonisation as we would like (review of assessment) ● There are a number of areas we would like to work on e.g. the question of acceleration ● The question of PG work…
  22. 22. ● Specialist language teaching is appreciated by students (student evaluation; student satisfaction survey)● Students like flexibility of stages (work at their own level with students of similar level)● European and International students appreciate the availability of English language courses
  23. 23. Languages at Southampton● Planning for the future - issues and questions ○ a coherent language strategy for the University ■ variety of pathways/opportunities leading to increased take up of languages from 2012 ■ greater recognition of the value of linguistic and intercultural competence embedding in the curriculum
  24. 24. Languages at university● Planning for the future - issues and questions● Vicky WRIGHT (vmw@soton.ac.uk)

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