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Building a Needs-based Curriculum TESOL 2013

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by Thomas Riedmiller and Lauren Rein

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Building a Needs-based Curriculum TESOL 2013

  1. 1. Building a Needs-Based Curriculum from University Syllabi Thomas Riedmiller & Lauren Rein Culture and Intensive English Program University of Northern Iowa
  2. 2. Outline• Accreditation• Pilot Study• Syllabi Review & Results• Faculty Interviews & Results• Analysis• Q&A
  3. 3. Culture and Intensive English Program• Our Mission Statement“…to provide International Students withquality intensive academic Englishlanguage instruction and a culturalorientation to the United States inpreparation for study at the Universityof Northern Iowa or other institution ofhigher learning.”
  4. 4. CEA Curriculum StandardsAccording to the CEA Curriculum Standards, pages 9-10:• ……. each curriculum must be responsive to assessed student needs and subject to regular review for possible modification.• Good practice includes …. having a curriculum appropriate for the known needs of a particular group or category of students. Therefore, programs and institutions must document how the needs of the student population(s) sought, enrolled, and graduated from the program were assessed and established and how the curriculum is designed to meet those needs.
  5. 5. Questions…• Is what we are teaching our students REALLY preparing them for life outside of the intensive English Program?• Is our curriculum appropriate for our students?• Are we really preparing them for the tasks required of them in the university?
  6. 6. Review of the LiteratureCanseco, G. and P. Byrd. (1989). Writing required in graduate courses in business administration. TESOL Quarterly, 23(2), 305-316.Cooper, A. and D. Bikowski. (2007). Writing at the graduate level: What tasks do professors actually require? Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 6, 206-211.Dunworth, K. (2008). A task-based analysis of undergraduate assessment: A tool for the EAP practitioner. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 315-323.Horowitz, D. (1986). What professors actually require: academic tasks for the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 20(3), 445-462.
  7. 7. MethodNarrowed the Scope• focused on UNI Liberal Arts Core (“LAC,” gen. ed.) and lower division courses across LAC spectrumCollected 28 LAC Syllabi• Sources: websites, professors, undergraduate student workers • Scan the collection • Let categories “emerge” (Canseco & Byrd, 1989) • Tally different types of assignments • Note: No permission needed!
  8. 8. Results: Speaking TasksType of assessment Occurrences individual speech 5/28* group presentation/speech 6/28* participation ☼ 17/28 group project 4 /28
  9. 9. OccurrencesWriting Tasks: Type of assessmentWriting Results: Tasks combination essay/objective exam 12 objective only 10 summary 9 essay 8 review 8 no written assignments 7 annotated bibliography 6 outline 3 reflection 3 formal research paper of 3 pp. + 2 analysis 1 essay only exams 1 reaction paper 1 journal 1 peer assessment 1 scenario 1 online discussion 1 field report 1
  10. 10. Results:• More in-depth study needed…
  11. 11. Syllabi Review• 30 Syllabi from LAC courses – 1. Core Competencies – 2. Civilizations and Cultures – 3. Fine Arts, Literature, Philosophy and Religion – 4. Natural Science and Technology – 5. Social Science – 6. Capstone Experience (Horowitz, 1986; Dunworth, 2008; Canseco & Byrd, 1989; Cooper & Bikowski, 2007)
  12. 12. Syllabi Review
  13. 13. Syllabi Review: Reading Textbook Assignments Other Reading AssignmentsCategory 1 10-85pp per week 10pp per weekR&W, Oral Comm. in 1-3 textbooks in 1 handbook or readerCategory 2 20-80pp per week 20-100pp per weekHumanities in 1-4 textbooks in 1-3 readers (in 1-4 weeks)Category 3 20-60pp per week XMusic, Art, Religion in 1-2 textbooksCategory 4 15-125 pp per week XPhysical Sciences in 1-3 textbooksCategory 5 20-200pp per week 10-15pp articlesSocial Sciences in 1-4 textbooks 40-160pp in 1-3 readers in 3 weeksCategory 6 30-100pp per week 50-300pp biweekly in 8 readersCapstone in 1 textbook 10-40 pp per week in 2-4 articles
  14. 14. Syllabi Review: Writing Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 (Freshman Comp.) (Humanities) (Art, Religion, Music)- Speeches (6) - Reflective/react -Current events - Short answer/essay- Peer speech ion essay report (5) exams (3-4) evaluations (6) - Research paper -Exams: short- Persuasive - Rhetorical answer/essay (3) essays (2) analysis -Comments on- Bibliography - Summary reading assignments- Descriptive -Online discussions paper -Identification paper -Research paper
  15. 15. Syllabi Review: Writing Category 4 Category 5 Category 6 Non-Core Physical Sciences Social Sciences Capstone-exams: short -Quizzes: short -Response papers (5) -Articleanswer/”problem answer/essay (6-8) -Essays (2, 700 critiques (2)-solving” (4-5) -Take-home essays (4) words) -Group-In-class writing -Internet assignments (3) -Exams: short project-Lab reports -Exams: short answer/ answer/essay (2) -Presentation(biweekly) essay (2-3) -Assignments from handout -Paper (1-2) textbook -Project paper -Fieldwork assignment -Group project (10pp) -In-class writing proposal and report reflections -Research paper -Book report (multi-draft, 2500 -Reading notes words) -Reflection paper -Synthesis paper -Research paper -Video review -Worksheets
  16. 16. Syllabi Review: SpeakingSpeaking Category 1: Category 2: Category 3: Category 4: Category 5: Category 6: Non-LAC• Speaking X Core Humanities Arts, Rel., Phil. Phys. Sci. Soc. Sci. CapAssignments1Class participation2 X X X X XClass discussion X X X X X X XGroup work/activities3 X X X XIndividual X X X Xpresentation/speechSmall group activities3 X X X XIn-class activities3 X X XIn-group reports X XDiscussion leadings X XTeam/group project XGroup presentation X X X1. As explicitly stated in syllabi or implied though assignments; not necessarily stated in ALL syllabi for this category2. Class participation, as explicitly stated or as part of grade.3. “Group work/activities,” “Small group activities,” and “In-class activities” are all very similar sounding; this is how they are stated in the syllabi.
  17. 17. Syllabi Review: Assessment• “Participation” grade• Multiple choice and True/False exams• Few exams (2-4 per semester) – Many courses relied ONLY on these exam grades for the final grade
  18. 18. So why do surveys?• Horowitz, 1986; Bridgeman & Carlson, 1984; Huang, 2010• More questions• Interdepartmental relationships
  19. 19. Faculty Interviews • Biology Department• 19 faculty members surveyed from • Department of Art 13 academic departments • Department of Communication Studies• Undergraduate & graduate level • • Department of Economics Department of History instructors • Department of Industrial Technology • Department of Mathematics• Conducted February-June 2012 • Department of Physics • Department of Philosophy and World• Sent short survey before interview Religions • Department of Psychology• Quantitative & qualitative data • Humanities • School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services (HEPLS) • School of Music Note: no board review needed for in-house research.
  20. 20. Faculty Interviews• Questionnaire: Name: Courses Taught: 1. Do you have international students in your classes? If so, which nationalities? 2. In general, what do you expect your students to be able to do before they come to your class? 3. How much weekly reading do you assign? 4. How much writing do you assign each week? 5. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most, how much weekly class time do you dedicate to speaking activities? 6. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best in the class, how would you rate the academic skills of international students? 7. What issues have you seen due to international students, either in your class or on campus?
  21. 21. Faculty Interviews: QuantitativeA. How much weekly reading B. How much writing do you C. How much weekly classdo you assign? assign each week? time do you dedicate to speaking activities?1 = 10pp. or less 1 = In-class writing only 1= Minimal time2 = 10-25 pp. 2 = 0 or 1 assignment 2 = 5-15 min3 = 25-40 pp. 3 = 2 assignments 3= 15-30 min4 = 40-55 pp. 4 = 3 assignments 4= 30-45 min5 =55 or more pp. 5 = 4 or more 5= More than 45 min assignments
  22. 22. Interviews: Quantitative Results A. Reading B. Writing C. Speaking Assigned: Assigned: Time:DepartmentArt 3 2 2Art 1 2 4Biology 2 2 5Communication 2 2 3Economics 1 2 1Economics 2 2 1HEPLS 3 2 2History 5 2 5Humanities 2 4 5Industrial Tech. 5 3 4.5Mathematics 1 3 1Music 3 2 4Physics 2 2 5Psychology 3 2 2Psychology 2 2 1Religion & Philosophy 5 4 2Religion & Philosophy 5 2 2Mean: 2.76 2.23 2.9
  23. 23. Faculty Interviews: QualitativeA. Reading B. Writing C. Speaking OtherWhat types of What types of What speech acts How do youreading texts do writing do you must the students assess students?you assign? assign? do? Do you haveCan you identify What is the What does “class issues ofareas of difficulty required length of participation” plagiarism orin the reading? the writing? mean? cheating? Do you allow Do you do What issues have multiple drafts? anything to you seen integrate your regarding students? international students?
  24. 24. Interviews: Quantitative Results A. Reading B. Writing C. Speaking Assigned: Assigned: Time:DepartmentArt 3 2 2Art 1 2 4Biology 2 2 5Communication 2 2 3Economics 1 2 1Economics 2 2 1HEPLS 3 2 2History 5 2 5Humanities 2 4 5Industrial Tech. 5 3 4.5Mathematics 1 3 1Music 3 2 4Physics 2 2 5Psychology 3 2 2Psychology 2 2 1Religion & Philosophy 5 4 2Religion & Philosophy 5 2 2Mean: 2.76 2.23 2.9
  25. 25. Faculty Interviews: Reading• 25-40 pp/week assigned per course • Multiplied by 5 classes = 125-200pp/week!
  26. 26. Faculty Interviews: Reading• 1 textbook…• Culture-specific (Western) concepts• Specialized terminology• Reading instructions
  27. 27. Interviews: Quantitative Results A. Reading B. Writing C. Speaking Assigned: Assigned: Time:DepartmentArt 3 2 2Art 1 2 4Biology 2 2 5Communication 2 2 3Economics 1 2 1Economics 2 2 1HEPLS 3 2 2History 5 2 5Humanities 2 4 5Industrial Tech. 5 3 4.5Mathematics 1 3 1Music 3 2 4Physics 2 2 5Psychology 3 2 2Psychology 2 2 1Religion & Philosophy 5 4 2Religion & Philosophy 5 2 2Mean: 2.76 2.23 2.9
  28. 28. Faculty Interviews: Writing• 0-1 assignments per week
  29. 29. Faculty Interviews: Writing• Outside writing? Not always; 1-3pp, non- process• Varied tasks, rhetoric styles• Research paper ability
  30. 30. Interviews: Quantitative Results A. Reading B. Writing C. Speaking Assigned: Assigned: Time:DepartmentArt 3 2 2Art 1 2 4Biology 2 2 5Communication 2 2 3Economics 1 2 1Economics 2 2 1HEPLS 3 2 2History 5 2 5Humanities 2 4 5Industrial Tech. 5 3 4.5Mathematics 1 3 1Music 3 2 4Physics 2 2 5Psychology 3 2 2Psychology 2 2 1Religion & Philosophy 5 4 2Religion & Philosophy 5 2 2Mean: 2.76 2.23 2.9
  31. 31. Faculty Interviews: Speaking• Undergraduate Level = 15-30 minutes/week – Biology, Physics: labs – Oral Comm., History: oral presentations, debates• Graduate Level = 30-45 minutes/week – Oral presentations – Discussion leaders
  32. 32. Faculty Interviews: Speaking• “participation”
  33. 33. Faculty Interviews: Lectures & Note-Taking• High reported amount of lecturing – Economics, Humanities, Art, Mathematics, Religion and Philosophy: traditional lecture style“too much material to cover to waste time with talking” – Economics professor
  34. 34. Faculty InterviewsIn general, what do you expect your students to be able to do before they come to your class? – “Understand English to be able to understand my lectures…be able to do research, write presentations, give presentations in front of the class and take quizzes/exams over the chapters in the textbook” – To be able to understand simple written and verbal instructions (i.e. syllabus)…they should be able to express general ideas in a clear manner – Coherent writing skills” – College-level vocabulary – Ability to read, hear, and understand directions – Read assignments carefully and think about them
  35. 35. Faculty InterviewsIn general, what do you expect your students to be able to do before they come to your class? – A knowledge of Western history, classical history, and Christianity – Ability to find their own resources – Readiness and willingness to contribute to class discussions – Confidence and knowledge to go for help from the instructor – Basic understanding of math skills through Algebra I – Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, time management, basic computer skills
  36. 36. What are students expected to do?• A LOT of reading• A variety of non-process writing tasks• Multiple-choice and short answer/essay exams• Not a lot of informal speaking as freshman and sophomores• Oral presentations• Taking good notes• Going for help when needed
  37. 37. What skills do students need?• Ability to handle a heavy reading load• Writing short answer/essays or short papers• Finding and citing resources• Giving presentations• Listening to lectures and taking notes• Taking pro-active measures for own learning• Western/US history knowledge
  38. 38. • How do we meet these needs in our curriculum?
  39. 39. Changes to Outcomes: Reading• More reading• Academic Word List (AWL)• “comprehends and follows written and oral instructions”• Problem-solving or application of concepts• Cited research
  40. 40. Changes to Outcomes: Writing• Reduce number of longer writing assignments• Include short, non-process writing assignments in higher levels (e.g. review, critique, response, reflection…)• Keep research paper but reduce length
  41. 41. Changes to Outcomes: Speaking• Presentations• Lectures• Speech acts
  42. 42. Changes to Outcomes: Note-Taking Listening assessments Online technology
  43. 43. Changes to Outcomes: Assessments• Reduce number of assessments at higher levels• Consider eliminating exams• Include written assessments on tests
  44. 44. Changes to Outcomes: Non-Language • Directly explaining cultural expectations • Self-reflection • Carrier content
  45. 45. Faculty Interview• What issues have you seen due to international students, either in your class or on campus? – Willingness to participate/integrate – “Heads up” to professors
  46. 46. • Conclusions
  47. 47. • Thank you!• Q&A
  48. 48. ReferencesBridgeman, B., & Carlson, S. B. (1984). Survey of academic writing tasks. Written Communication, 1(2), 247-280.Canseco, G. and P. Byrd. (1989). Writing required in graduate courses in business administration. TESOL Quarterly, 23(2), 305-316.Cooper, A. and D. Bikowski. (2007). Writing at the graduate level: What tasks do professors actually require? Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 6, 206-211.Dunworth, K. (2008). A task-based analysis of undergraduate assessment: A tool for the EAP practitioner. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 315-323.Horowitz, D. (1986). What professors actually require: academic tasks for the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 20(3), 445-462.Huang, L. (2010). Seeing eye to eye? he academic writing needs of graduate and undergraduate students from students and instructors perspectives Language Teaching Research. 14(4), 517-539.

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