Stephanie Bethencourt

Stephanie Bethencourt-Joyce is the Stakeholder Engagement Officer at IDP Education. She works closely with the wide range of organisations that use IELTS for entry, registration and migration purposes. Key to this is promoting understanding of the test and providing support.Continue reading

Leveraging technology to improve test preparation

The digital revolution has brought about many exciting possibilities and challenges for the test preparation classroom.  David Wiltshire, Education Manager for the Occupational English Test, the English test for health professionals, will share ways OET have used the changing technical landscape to improve OET preparation.  He will also discuss the recent updates to the format of OET and how technology is being used to help candidates and teachers adjust to these updates.Continue reading

Digitally Powered EAP Pathways Beyond the Skill-and-Drill

English for Academic Purposes pathway programs play an important role in the higher education sector globally preparing increasing numbers of international students for English-medium university degrees.  This presentation reports on a study of how embedding explicit digital literacy tuition in an EAP pathway program can impact on students’ performance in, and perception of difficulties in subsequent undergraduate study. I show how accessing undergraduate study via a university EAP pathway with an explicit digital literacy focus results in students developing a better understanding of academic integrity practices, text ownership in digital spaces, university course rules and that EAP
pathway students have less difficulty in their undergraduate studies than peers who enter via a traditional skill-and-drill EAP pathway.  Practical strategies for embedding digital literacy practices in EAP programs will also be discussed. Come beyond the clicks, beeps and swooshes of digital tools to focus on foundational digital literacy practices needed for success in higher education.Continue reading

It’s All About the Student – The role of a fair workplace

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is concerned by the deliberate exploitation of migrants and visa holders, particularly international students, in some Australian workplaces. We all know workplace exploitation stands in the way of the success of international students, affecting their experience of studying, living and working in Australia.
As the workplace regulator, reaching international students working in Australia and improving their employment experiences is a priority area for us. Engendering trust in the international student community and building compliant workplaces is the responsibility of everyone in the community. Building and maintaining productive relationships with education providers is vital to our work. It also enables education providers to meet their obligations under the National Code 2018, which now requires providers to give information to students on services they can access about employment rights and conditions and how to resolve workplace issues, such as through the FWO.

Increasing the FWO’s reach and impact in the international student community is critical to ensuring that international students know where to go for help. The development and implementation of our International Student Engagement Strategy has seen us address workplace exploitation by partnering with international students and those providing them with services and support in the community.
Join the FWO as we discuss the barriers international students face both at work and in seeking assistance in cases of workplace exploitation. We will outline how we are contributing to the success of international students – implementing a range of activities to raise students’ awareness of us and collaborating with international student stakeholders, working to enhance existing services for international students and building a culture of compliance in workplaces employing international students.Continue reading

Beyond the Digital Revolution in ELT

Is technology the future of English language teaching, or simply a competitive strategy for an age seized by competition? After all, “disruptive innovation” has impacted teaching and learning English in ways we could not have imagined even five years ago. Disruption is in the air – or so it seems…

Poor concentration is a modern condition. According to research by Microsoft, our average attention span is now just eight seconds – one second shorter than a goldfish! And technology is heavily implicated. The neuroscience of digital distraction proposes that digital systems, rather than adding efficiency, could be causing an attention crisis in modern society. If digital is a culture and a thread that now runs through every single part of our schools and colleges, then we need to turn our addiction to distraction into “focus”, a concept some are now describing as the new I.Q. in the modern workplace. It’s time to push the boundaries on outdated workplace practices and explore new ways to inspire and engage digitally connected staff and students, and drive innovation and creativity.Continue reading

Why you need to reclaim your brain in the digital revolution

As educators and leaders, we should be concerned about the following trends emerging in the digital age:

– A looming crisis of empathy seen in the 40 percent drop in empathy in college students measured by standard tests of personality trait
– A skills deficit in the empathetic arts – eye contact, listening and attending to others
– A drop-in attention spans down from 12 seconds to 8 seconds (less than a goldfish)
– An increase in rates of digital dementia through heavy digital use and the devastating effects on attention and cognitive abilities
An obsession with multi-tasking leading to a crisis in productivity
Poor sleep hygiene
A crisis of solitude – people are uncomfortable left alone with their thoughts for a little as six minutes and yet we know a quiet brain is necessary for insight and creativity
Why do the best leaders and educators lead and educate with the brain in mind? Because they know when it comes to influencing, educating, engaging and motivating others, what’s happening in the brain makes all the difference. Neuroscience is unlocking secrets to what really matters when leading and educating others, but more importantly why it matters. In this presentation Linda will explore why the above trends are emerging and how to guard against their potentially devastating consequences.

Linda Ray is NeuroCapability’s Chief Translator of the science into the ‘so what does that mean’.   Linda has a passion for translating complex science into easy to understand and apply concepts. She has pioneered the spread of the practical application of neuroscience to leadership and organisational development and for the past 11 years has witnessed first- hand how it makes a difference in how leaders and individuals work, live and interact positively with others.

In her quest to share this knowledge she developed Australia’s only nationally accredited Diploma of Neuroscience of Leadership which has been delivered to students around the globe and the success of this program inspired her to continue this path with the development of an Advanced Diploma of Neuroscience of Leadership. Linda is an engaging facilitator and has presented on a range of topics supporting people to harness their most important asset – their brain.  She has spoken at Australian and international leadership, business and education conferences.

Linda loves pushing the boundaries on outdated workplace practices and is constantly exploring new ways to make sense of the science to continue to build Wildly Wonderful Workplaces that inspire and engage staff and drive innovation and creativity.Continue reading

Automation in written feedback:  teachers vs. facilitators – Why schools, managers, teachers and students LOVE it! 

Students usually face difficulties accessing opportunities to improve their writing skills, both inside and outside of class. Out-of-class learning and teaching can be both challenging and problematic for international students and language teachers respectively. What can be done to make our students and teachers’ experiences highly rewarding – especially when considering writing? Some of our international students will join us during the presentation to better demonstrate how we are empowering everyone in the ESL industry.
Today organizations such as Pearson are making extensive use of automated scoring in both speaking and writing in high-stakes tests such as the PTE Academic. The session will look into ways in which schools and teachers could also benefit from such technologies in providing learners feedback in writing.
We will share latest tools we have been using to better assist learners in their writing journey. We are true believers in learner autonomy and have been working towards making learners more autonomous, in the last 15 months.
We will also visualize an ESL world, where automated scoring engines provide instant feedback to students on their writing performance. Where teachers, whom we rather refer to as facilitators, will be in charge of reviewing the automated feedback and returning it to learners. This would mean that teachers and educators would spend their time on what matters most, and leave the mundane work to the machines.Continue reading

ELIOS Across Borders

The Australian Government’s Student Visa Program has been effective in enabling the significant benefits of the international education sector to the nation. The visa program is an integral part of the sector which is one of Australia’s largest export industries and generates substantial benefits.

 International student visa holders are important to Australia’s future as they make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, facilitate the development of trade and commercial links and promote goodwill and understanding of Australia. The enduring links formed between Australia and students also support bilateral ties with key partner countries. The Department of Home Affairs strives to balance the facilitation of the entry of genuine international students whilst maintaining the integrity of Australia’s visa arrangements.

The Department of Home Affairs, as part of a panel session with Austrade and the Department of Education and Training, will discuss the simplified student visa framework (SSVF), student visa requirements including eligibility for a student visa, financial capacity requirements, English language requirements and the genuine temporary entrant requirement.Continue reading

Using technology to augment and enhance personalised instruction

Students are expecting more personalised instruction and feedback than ever to improve their understanding and engagement. With ELT, in particular, many educators struggle to find meaningful ways to use technology to engage students in this way.

This session will cover how, through the use of a wide range of methodologies, teachers can use cloud technologies to engage students and provide a personalised digital curriculum and feedback model in a way that does not sacrifice the quality of instruction but instead enhances it.Continue reading

BYOD in the ELT classroom

Gone are the days of chalk and talk, and it seems increasingly likely that the days of the ubiquitous ELT textbook as the centre of the curriculum are also numbered. One fairly recent development which has the potential to replace some of the function of textbooks is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). BYOD is gaining popularity in various educational contexts around the world and is likely to be a significant component of future directions in the ELT classroom by complementing the current curriculum model with a more fluid and multimodal approach to language learning. But what will the language classroom look like in a practical sense?
In my presentation Kit Perry will:
– Define the characteristics of today’s ELICOS students
– Examine a 21st-century language learning environment
– Explore BYOD in the language classroom including challenges and considerations
– Develop strategies for implementing BYOD in the language classroom

Continue reading

Evaluating technology integration in ELT

Spread along a wide continuum of low to high integration of technology, blended language learning is now a fundamental methodology in many ELT programs. In this presentation, we discuss an argument-based approach to blended language program evaluation in ways that provide historical context, highlight key concepts and situate it within an innovative and successful online program.Continue reading

The business of teaching English online: A practical guide for Australian schools

Three inevitable trends are changing the face of language education: Personalisation, digitisation and globalisation.
Australia will enjoy the temporary benefits of a more inward facing US/UK but these three trends will shape how international students learn English. When the tide turns, schools that are prepared will flourish as others will struggle to survive.
International students can already learn with a native speaking online tutor from Australia for a fraction of the cost of flying here, and skip the visa. Online teaching will grow 27% in the next 3 years and will become both an critical market funnel for physical schools and profitable post-enrolment opportunity.
Alex Asher, founder of LearnCube, will share insights on how to succeed online from working closely with dozens of world-leading online language schools, including global leaders Lingoda and Babbel. His hope is that Australia with its favourable timezone with Asia, qualified teaching pool and strong reputation will become the new online teaching powerhouse.
In this session we’ll go through a simple business blueprint to ensure your school is not blindsided by the wave of opportunity hitting our shores and to future-proof your school.Continue reading

Raise Your Voice

Raise Your Voice – going through and beyond the digital revolution to create a unique student experience.

Although the digital revolution may often lead to face to face interaction being replaced by the virtual, it can also enhance the face to face and make otherwise impossible connection possible.  This presentation will outline what the Raise your voice Project is, why is it important and why it is only possible on this scale due to the digital revolution.  Our project exemplifies how the role of technology in English language education is complementary to that of personal interaction.  The goal of language learning, after all, is communication with real people.

What is our project ?

The Raise your Voice consortium has been established by the Queensland branch of English Australia and is funded by Trade and Investment Queensland. We have also partnered with UQ School of music, study Brisbane and community choirs.  We will hold a choral festival for ELICOS students and others in August 2018. The Festival will bring together international students for a major cultural event  and  give voice to the international student experience in QLD through music

How has the digital revolution enabled “Raise your Voice”?

Our presentation will explore all the ways that the digital revolution has made the raise project would possible. Online, we are able to liaise, coordinate and organise in a way that would otherwise not be practical  Social media allows us to publicise and create a buzz around the event using images, video, testimonials, discussion and comment.  The age of digital information allows us to make rehearsal tracks, music, lyrics and other resources available to event participants for download, merely by emailing them a link. Choristers are coming tighter because they have been connected digitally.  Technology is integral to the project, involved in all logistics; its role is facilitation and enhancement of the face-to-face event.Continue reading

Blended Learning – Models for Immediate Application

The third industrial revolution that we have experienced over the past few years has led to a fast-changing landscape with new technology constantly coming in to replace the old. To what extent should we as educators embrace “disruptive technology”? The presenter will explore the changing educational environment, both in terms of what needs to be taught, and how it is delivered, and present different models of online learning. Participants will then evaluate these models and consider which of these would be most suitable for implementation in their institution.Continue reading

A 3D Approach to the Digital (R)Evolution

In this presentation we will examine how one language centre, ICTE-UQ, is embracing the digital revolution from three dimensions: management, teaching & learning, and eLearning design.

We will look at how ICTE-UQ has evolved from an almost entirely “analogue” ELICOS provider to embracing digital disruption, and how the Institute is preparing for future developments in the field, such as AR/VR.Continue reading

The human factor in automated assessment of speech

This session draws on current research to explore what the automated scoring of spoken language for learning and testing means, along with the challenges and benefits of the use of automated scoring of speech in both the classroom and in large scale assessments.

The session will also investigate the human factor in the development of automated scoring tools for speech and in managing the risks of using those tools.

Issues such as the design and development of automated tools along with ensuring score quality require dedicated human resources in creating and monitoring tools to assess language for communicative purposes.

The perceptions of teachers and test-takers regarding automated scoring tools for speech assessment will also be considered, along with the usefulness of automated student feedback to promote learning from such scoring assessments.Continue reading

Communicating in the Digital Revolution How to use technology to communicate effectively with staff and students

Embracing the digital revolution most certainly goes beyond the classroom, and as managers, it is our role to ensure our work also includes the most effective use of the latest tech-solutions.

In this workshop, I would like to present some of the tools we have been using at International House Sydney to communicate more effectively with our teachers and our students. From WhatsApp, Facebook and Microsoft Office to mobiles and Student Management Systems, there is a plethora of ways communication can be streamlined and optimised.

Participants will be encouraged to share their own ideas and practices with each other, and by the end of the session attendees should have a tool bag of innovative tech-savvy solutions that can be implemented when communicating with team members and students.Continue reading

Backfeed in a digital learning environment: encouraging student engagement with feedback

Developing strategies to encourage students to backfeed, i.e. engage in the process of mindful reflection and analysis of the meaning of feedback seems to be a genuine need to fast track their learning. Technology has a vital role to play in this process as it makes backfeed accessible to staff and students so that a longer-term picture of learning can emerge. Using LMS, online platforms and collaborative technologies to provide feedback and backfeed makes it more dialogic and gives students a voice in the process of feedback communication, a voice that they may be deprived of when not given an opportunity to interact with feedback. After all, feedback’s utility ultimately depends on whether students engage with it and my classroom observations, backed up by research in the field, seem to suggest that feedback is often misunderstood, skim-read or simply ignored.

In this presentation, I will share examples of synchronous and asynchronous feedback to written tasks and then provide ideas to enhance backfeed. I hope that the session will open up a dialogue about current feedback practice in our institutions and the need to reconceptualise it in a digital space.Continue reading

Orientation and QR Codes

The recent renewal of the UON Language Centre’s Intermediate program provided an opportunity to further embed a blended approach to ELICOS delivery. In an effort to establish a digital culture from the first day of this 10 week program, the revamped level orientation session included collateral featuring a range of QR codes. These QR codes take students directly to the essential apps that will be utilized during the program. Featured apps include information focused on a range of issues pertinent to the student experience, including information about the campus and Newcastle, alongside apps that will provide for “…opportunities to extend their language learning outside the classroom” (NEAS Quality Principle B3). QR codes simplify the process of establishing the importance of the digital culture to the classroom, and the conditions necessary to create such a culture.

This practical session will talk through the creation of the collateral, and how the use of QR codes have simplified and fast-tracked the creation of the conditions necessary to establish a digital culture in a classroom.Continue reading

NEAS Canvas: Online Engagement and Beyond

In this session, the presenter will demonstrate a recent NEAS project that has involved NEAS assessors and support staff in the creation of an online suite of courses hosted within the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). These online courses have been developed using resources from the face to face NEAS Quality Learning Series (QLS). The courses are designed to engage existing Academic Managers and teachers aspiring to a management role.

The courses are also designed to facilitate online communities of practice between practitioners at NEAS member centres located across Australia and South East Asia. By facilitating a community of practice between NEAS centres, it is envisaged that highly experienced managers and teachers will share and impart knowledge and skill sets to less experienced members, who are facing real barriers to best practice and improvements in quality at their centres.

The courses presented will include Strategy, Risk and Governance, Assessing Against Learning Outcomes and Enhancing the Student Experience. All three courses are offered in four week synchronous blocks, with the exception of Strategy, Risk and Governance, which is also offered as an asynchronous self-paced course that can be completed in a year. In addition, the presenter will refer to an online course developed for the 2018-19 Cambodia TESOL Regional Research Grant Recipient Scheme that is being hosted on the NEAS Canvas as part of the NEAS sponsorship of this scheme. The presenter will again show how this digital resource is being used to effect an online community of practice as a point of departure for more and less competent researchers to engage, share knowledge and skills and develop ongoing face to face professional relationships.Continue reading

Emerging Leaders in ELT

“Some are born Academic Managers, some achieve Academic Manager-ness, and others have Academic Manager-dom thrust upon them”

Becoming a manager and leader is challenging. Questions and thoughts like these may suddenly be swirling round your head…

“Suddenly my friends aren’t my friends any more. How can I manage people I worked with?”

“I have to manage a budget? I can’t even manage my bus fare for the week!”

“Curriculum design? I’ve got a course book… Isn’t that enough?”

“My teachers are all more experienced than me. How can I possibly give them PD sessions?”

New Academic Managers are often ‘promoted’; thrust into the great unknown and expected to perform tasks they do not feel prepared or qualified for simply because they are good teachers and show initiative.

Areas such as Human Resource Management, Marketing, and understanding the financial aspects of a language school may be areas that many of us have never considered. This session aims to equip you with practical solutions for issues that may confront new leaders. These areas may include:

• Where to start with curriculum & syllabus writing & design
• Career opportunities & PD for new Managers
• Managing, training & leading your peers
• Dealing with and managing tricky personalities
• Task (not time!) management

If there are other pressing issues you have a burning desire to discuss please contact Rufus on [email protected] or via Facebook @rufusbneContinue reading

Out of class learning: people, places and digital technology

Recent research suggests that language use outside the classroom is vital for students who want to reach high levels of proficiency, and that a balance between classroom and out-of-class learning is important (Lai 2015). In Australia, there is often a strong expectation that students will be ‘immersed’ in English language environments outside the classroom (Kashiwa & Benson 2017). These environments involve traditional face-to-face interactions as well as digitally supported ones. However, out-of-class learning can be problematic for international students, who often experience difficulty in accessing opportunities to use English. Why do international language students find it difficult to access the opportunities for English language use and learning that study in Australia offers? What can we do to help improve students’ out-of-class language experiences?

In this presentation we will present some preliminary findings that begin to answer these questions. Our current research program is investigating whether the key to unlocking the problem of international students’ access to English may be found in their daily lives and language learning environments. Of significance for the theme of the conference is our finding that wherever students are physically, there is usually some digital technology (mobile phone, computer etc) that can transport them elsewhere in digital space. Both the physical setting and how the students use digital technology in the setting are crucial for out-of-class language learning.Continue reading

Leadership in Virtual Teams

There has been considerable research undertaken in the field of leadership in traditional work contexts, much of this has focused on the role of a leader. This study examines the influence of leadership in a virtual space. Although studies in virtual leadership have examined the effects of team based success and performance (MacDuffie, 2007), there has not been an extended study of how a leader develops from a multidisciplinary group of individuals in a virtual space. As such, this study provides additional insight into leadership in a technological facilitated environment.

This study analyses a number of individual and process related variables that contribute to leader emergence in self-managed teams, focusing on team communication strategies both verbal and text based. Grounded in adaptive structuration theory (DeSanctis & Poole, 1994), this study investigates 55 individual educators in 4 dispersed teams and suggests that the use of technology inhibits and encourages the emergence of a leader within these disparate groups.Continue reading

Regulation in the Digital Space

More and more tertiary and vocational education providers are embracing advances in online learning as a means to educate and assess learners. Leaners themselves are also looking to the web to provide the opportunity for them to restructure their study and undertake it at a time and place convenient to them.

Australia’s higher education regulators – the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – both support innovation to further enhance the tertiary and vocational education sectors. However, both regulators also recognise the challenges that online learning present.

In this joint session TEQSA Chief Executive Officer Anthony McClaranwill discuss massive open online courses (MOOCs), the outsourcing of assignments, data analytics and the need for secure digital credentials. ASQA Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Mark Paterson AO will discuss competency assessment in an online delivery environment, identity management, onshore and offshore delivery, tuition protection and the authority’s push to mandate the use of electronic student records.Continue reading

The World of Digital Disruption and Future Change

Is the world upside down, or just ever-changing? Digital disruption and applying technology to induce turmoil and grow industries has been a key force behind innovation over the last 20 years.

‘And these disruptive technologies have implications for everyone in the English language teaching sector,’ reports NEAS General Manager, Ana Bratkovic. ‘For many of our younger teachers, and for most of our students today, digital disruption has been all they’ve known.’

‘When we use the word disruption in the context of digital disruption, we’re talking about innovating to break the ranks of status quo, to redefine the norm, and change the markets and competitors around us,’ says Ana.

‘In my work with ELT centres awarded NEAS Premium Product Endorsement,’ observes NEAS Quality Assurance Assessor Ben Colthorpe, ‘I’m seeing at firsthand how rapid advances in computing power, connectivity, mobility, and data storage are being used to unlock new opportunities. Take the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), for example. In addition to traditional course materials and teaching methodology, I’m seeing how MOOCs are being used to challenge traditional English language teaching by offering an online platform for students and teachers to collaborate and experience innovative learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom.’

That is why our 2018 NEAS Management Conference explores the theme Beyond the Digital Revolution in ELT, embracing the experiences of students, teachers and professional staff and their interactions with technology inside and outside the classroom.

To help us better explore these emerging trends in our hyper connected world, Global Futurist, Chris Riddell will present the Conference opening keynote address, challenging us to consider The World of Digital Disruption and Future Change.

‘Ours is now a world in which the velocity of change we experience as a consequence of digital technology is unprecedented and, in most cases, unpredictable,’ says Chris.

Chris is Australia’s “futurist for the leaders of tomorrow”. He is a renowned strategist and global emerging trend spotter for businesses and leaders in today’s disrupted world.

Chris will invite you to ‘turn your digital journey into an incredible success story,’ as he explains to us that future changes in our digitally disrupted world aren’t simply about ‘putting your finger in the air and saying what the future might be. It’s about authentically embedding yourself into the very space from where true innovation, and disruption is taking place, analyzing future and emerging trends, then distilling them into a clear and meaningful keynote message to take affirmative and decisive action on’.

With a talent for analyzing emerging trends, patterns and behaviors, Chris Riddell’s insights are compelling, thought provoking and inspirational. ‘Digital can help change your perspective, and make things incredible,’ says Chris.

Stand by for an energizing and immersive experience when Chris Riddell presents our conference opening keynote on Thursday 10 May.

There are still places available at the 2018 NEAS Management Conference which convenes at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, Sydney from Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 May 2018.

‘So, join us,’ invites Advisory Council Convenor, Denver Craig. ‘Immerse yourself in Chris’s inspirational and context-driven keynote. Connect with other ELT industry leaders, participate in up to 3 pre-conference workshops and 20 additional plenary sessions, and help to shape the future of teaching English beyond the digital revolution.’

For full details of the Conference program, and to register, click here now: reading

Why the Best Leaders Lead with the Brain in Mind

Why do the best leaders and educators lead and educate with the brain in mind? Because they know when it comes to influencing, educating, engaging and motivating others, what’s happening in the brain makes all the difference. Neuroscience is unlocking secrets to what really matters when leading and educating others, but more importantly why it matters.Continue reading

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Teacher Training Pre-Conference Workshop

The craft of teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) has traditionally been learned by teachers “on the job”, working alongside experienced colleagues, undergoing professional development, and through collaboration with university lecturers. However, the British Association of Lecturers of EAP (BALEAP) provides a more formalized framework of competencies, including key linguistic, pedagogic and methodological knowledge. This framework provides clear goals in EAP teacher preparation and an understanding of the role of an EAP teacher.Continue reading

The Authentic Leader

This workshop explores the paradigm shift in leadership from maximising shareholder value to one of embracing values which encompass continuous improvement and sustainability.
Areas explored includes – authentic leadership, imposter syndrome, leadership ‘brand’ and diversity.Continue reading