Out-of-class English language learning: a whole of college approach?

Type “reasons to study English in Australia” into any search engine, and the chances are high that you will be referred to web pages that extol the virtues of quality language education, opportunities to work while studying here, and a vast range of social and recreational activities readily available, all with the underlying premise of a life abroad immersed in the English language. Indeed, Australia is the third most popular education destination in the world, attracting students from all parts of Asia, the Americas, Europe and beyond. Research indicates the realities of a temporary sojourn in Australia for English language students are quite different to what many may imagine. Data from student surveys show high satisfaction levels with experiences in their English colleges, however, the same cannot be said for life away from the college. Our research shows that students typically have a geographically confined setting in which they spend most of their time, and the social networks within these settings often limit the students’ opportunities to use, practice and learn English. In this workshop, participants will examine case studies of international English language students and focus on identifying key themes related to out-of-class English use. The focus will then be on developing a range of strategies to support students’ English language learning out-of-class. We will conclude by discussing the question posed in the title of this workshop – should this be a whole of college approach, where everyone is responsible – teachers, student services, academic managers, accommodation coordinators and so on? If so, what responsibilities can we assign to each department? If not, whose responsibility is it? Participants can expect to gain greater understandings of the complex lives of international English language learners away from the college, and greater understandings of a range of support strategies for improving opportunities for out-of-class English language learning.Continue reading

Investigating test preparation practices: Reducing risks

Test preparation is crucial to test success. However, we still know very little about the different ways in which the diverse population of IELTS candidates prepares for this. The several, small-scale studies that do exist suggest that while some prepare on formal language courses, many do not. Although those who do not take formal preparation courses may take advantage of a variety of other ways to prepare, we also know that some candidates do little or no preparation at all. In this workshop, we will start out by inviting participants to identify factors they feel are crucial in test preparation. We will then give a brief overview of the IELTS test preparation research project we have just completed which was designed to find out about candidates’ beliefs and practices related to test preparation. We will present our findings in relation to the beliefs, attitudes and opinions associated with test preparation, and present the range of test-preparation practices that test-takers reported. Finally, we will identify the factors that impact on the practices of test-takers with a view to developing understandings of what effective test preparation may look like. Following these short presentations, we will workshop with participants the implications of our findings for English language teachers, colleges, test centres and IELTS Australia, including discussions of the types of resources that “good” test takers access, and the range of experiences that test takers have when preparing for and taking the test. Participants can expect to learn more about the experiences of IELTS test-takers in Australia, with a view to discussing how we may support them in performing as best they can.Continue reading

Quality in Welfare for Under 18s – how much more than orientation is needed?

We know we are not just responsible for teaching English language skills, but… we are enrolling young students from an increasing range of education and cultural backgrounds. Our centres may not necessarily have signed a CAAW letter for the young students in attendance in our classes, but we are obliged to monitor the well-being and welfare of our students and provide on-going support. A quick sweep of centre websites gives us much of the vocabulary. What do we do with it all?Continue reading

Setting English Language Standards: perspectives from Indonesia & Timor-Leste

With the continuing growth of English as the language of global communication, there is an ongoing need for quality English language teachers – teachers with the content knowledge (English language proficiency) and the methodology appropriate to the needs and cultural background of their students. The policies and processes in place for training teachers are thus a significant factor in maintaining educational standards. National language policy also has a major impact on educational achievement, and this is particularly true in a multilingual environment.
This presentation takes a look at the teaching of English in two very different southeast Asian countries: Indonesia (with a population of over 260 million) and Timor-Leste (with fewer than 1.5 million people). It will briefly outline national policies for the teaching of English in schools and colleges, and the required standards of English language proficiency for teachers and students. It will conclude by exploring some of the challenges faced in addressing the need for quality teacher training.Continue reading

Watch Time: Using YouTube for English Teaching and Market Penetration

We watch over a billion hours of YouTube every single day, and many of these hours are spent by people studying English. Most of the ELT content on YouTube, however, is unprincipled, unstructured and of poor production quality. After three years of research and development, E2Language has created a winning formula for the development of effective ELT YouTube content. Every day candidates from all over the world watch over 7,000 hours of our IELTS, PTE-A, OET and TOEFL video lessons and to date our channels have close to 30 million views. Not only are we freely educating hundreds of thousands of test-candidates, but we are also leveraging YouTube as a powerful marketing tool to increase traffic to our website. Continue reading

Quality Assurance in ELT: A Malaysian Approach Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward

Malaysia has been an international education destination for over 20 years – attracting tens of thousands of students from Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. These markets find Malaysia attractive partly for is its known quality in education and English as the language of instruction for most higher education programmes. The Malaysian government has set a target to enroll 200,000 international students by 2020. This puts a large importance on the English language proficiency building in the country as a means of a pathway for students into the higher education sector.

This presentation therefore aims to highlight the developing role of ELT in Malaysia and why quality assurance is a new and valid consideration going forward. It will also showcase some of the initiatives taken by local language institutions to achieve excellence in ELT. Lastly, this presentation aims to paint a picture of ELT’s way forward as perceived by key language and higher education institutions in Malaysia.Continue reading

Influences and influencers in Vietnam: Balancing the market’s needs and wants for IELTS test preparation

Vietnam’s economic growth over the last two decades has been steady and is predicted to continue. Vietnamese industry and the Ministry of Education remain committed to improving English language skills, and the flourishing middle class is increasingly sending their children overseas for secondary and tertiary education, which has resulted in a notable increase in the number of IELTS test candidates. So what does this mean for English language teaching?

IELTS preparation, testing and scores are increasingly intertwined with English language teaching, and as a test, it exerts considerable influence on learning pathways in schools and language centres. IELTS candidates in Vietnam are getting ever younger and demand is growing for IELTS preparation at lower proficiency levels. Academic leadership in Vietnam, more than ever, involves shaping this influence in a positive way.

This session will present a case study of how RMIT University has responded to market influences by conducting a rigorous review of its test preparation courses and designing programs to better integrate the wants and needs of stakeholders. Participants will leave with an overview of an ASEAN English language teaching market and an understanding of one organisation’s solution to balance potentially conflicting influences.Continue reading

From Teacher to Leader!

To support teachers in becoming leaders, we must empower them first. In the 21st Century, teachers are sometimes required to have a variety of roles, such as study planners, course designers, assessors, time managers and counsellors. This is especially true when dealing with a group of students with mixed abilities.

The ability to perform well in varied roles is part of what equips the teacher to be a leader. A good example would be a teacher that decides to negotiate the syllabus of a course for a group of high-level learners, who are potentially preparing to sit a Langauge test or chair a business meeting. The learners identify, with the assistance and help of the teacher/leader, what they need, and contribute to the design of a suitable course that is tailored to their needs.

In this talk/presentation we will address some of the challenges and issues teachers are faced with in their workplace and classrooms, especially when students have short-term language aims, such as preparing for a language test. This talk will also explore and introduce some useful resources that teachers can benefit from.”Continue reading

Achieve Profitability through Leading Edge Education Design

c2cglobal, thought leaders in the sector, are specialist management consultants for Education premises.

The 2019 presentation will focus on Achieving Profitability & Compliance through Leading Edge Education Design.

With the workplace trends moving towards a more collaborative space, what is the Education Sector doing to prepare students for the real life work scenario?

Chris Green, CEO and Founder of c2cglobal will explore the different facets of the built environment and how it can impact student engagement, compliance and profitability.

Discuss how creative design will not only maximise student capacity but how individual institutes can reflect their values through clever design and finishes to fully engage their ideal students.

c2cglobal are committed to helping education providers create first-class, fully complaint education and training facilities. This presentation examines design from a practical point of view, identifying how Australia can remain leaders in ELT.”Continue reading

Leadership for well-being and happiness: Positive psychology in an Australian university language centre in the UAE.

A fundamental aspect of academic leadership is the well-being of students and staff. Well-being and happiness is an important topic in all fields of education as a precursor to successful learning and academic development. It was the focus of a recent global forum of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education in which ways of reconceptualising student success were explored by academics from various corners of the world, including Australia; and in the UAE a general emphasis on happiness has been encouraged by the government with the renaming of customer service centres as ‘happiness’ centres, for example, and with the establishment of a Ministry of Happiness. This presentation describes an initiative implemented at the language centre of an Australian university in the UAE in which models and concepts drawn from positive psychology were used to tackle changing student needs and markets. Involving radical revisions of all aspects of the operation and curricula related to university and public English language courses, an integrated approach constructed around student (and staff) well-being and happiness was introduced. The process of design and implementation will be shared and the results to date in terms of student and staff responses and learning outcomes will be discussed.Continue reading