Can an EAP course for adults be learner-centered?
We show that an EAP course for adults can be learner centered if learner needs and characteristics are taken into account when materials developers make contextual and pedagogical decisions. Trials in real classrooms can also bring materials closer to their potential users.
Internationalization of the modern system of education poses multiple challenges for students. Not only does this process provide them with new opportunities, such as continuing education abroad at the master’s level, but it also establishes requirements to be aware of the academic conventions different from those they learn at the bachelor’s level at a Russian university. Awareness of academic conventions implies not simply theoretical knowledge of the Western higher education system but also acquisition of practical tools that will facilitate students’ ability to integrate their knowledge into a new academic environment. One of the most essential tools for students is undoubtedly academic English. However, academic English skills development frequently leads to the situation that can be metaphorically called ‘dual academic personality,’ when students have to be able to quickly switch from one academic style to another depending on the educational context. Firstly, this paper will examine differences between Russian and Western academic writing conventions (focusing on the requirements to a BA research project), Then main difficulties and typical mistakes in academic legal writing in English made by Higher School of Economics students will be analyzed.
Responding to student writing, which is a†widely researched area, is still one of the most challenging parts of the EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teacher’s job. Little attention has been given to analyzing the role of systematic feedback on students’ improvement of writing at the university. The†paper reports on the results of a†small-scale action research conducted among fi rst-year undergraduate students, which explored the effect of record sheets, used as a†tool to track student progress in writing argumentative essays. Apart from student portfolios and record sheets, the 8-week study used other methods of data collection that included recorded semi-structured interviews and a†survey. Findings show that providing consistently structured (praise and criticism) selective (global and local) feedback to students has a†positive effect both on the teacher and on student perception of feedback and, generally, their achievements in developing writing skills. The†study may motivate EAP practitioners to change their current classroom practices and seek more effective ways of responding to student writing.
With competence-based approach establishing in education, new attitudes to teaching and learning are gaining ground, and of paramount importance is becoming the need to change the practice of assessment of students’ learning outcomes, which are now to embrace the practical skills the students have to master. When teaching non-native speakers to write original texts in a foreign language, a teacher faces a major challenge which lies in ensuring that the students effectively develop the required writing skills in order to be able not only to express their ideas correctly grammar- and vocabulary-wise, bit to precisely convey the message they intend to convey. To address this challenge, action research was conducted in a tertiary educational institution, which was done in response to a new curriculum requirement that the undergraduate students of all specialisms had in their final year to present a synopsis of their graduation project in English both in writing and orally, given that on the whole the instruction in the institution takes place in the Russian language. The background prerequisite for the research was the observation on the part of the teachers of English for academic purposes, whose responsibility was to guarantee that the course participants successfully build the required skills, that no matter how meticulous their grading of the students’ work was and how detailed their comments were, there was little progress made by students whose level of mastery of the English language was lower than the desired B2 level. Looking for new tactics that could improve the situation, the flipped classroom approach was scrutinized and a study was conducted to check the hypothesis that immediate personalized feedback given to students in person in the classroom could improve the achievement of the intended learning outcomes. As the number of contact hours is limited, the theory of academic writing was predominantly provided in the form of reading matter and PowerPoint presentations available for students both on-line and sent to them via e-mail, and the contact hours as such were devoted to group discussions of the prepared written work followed by peer assessment in small groups and, finally, by the individual student-teacher sessions aimed at defining the achievements in the particular assignment and the areas that needed improvement thus making the assessment student-centered, formative and that FOR learning. The analysis of the results displayed by the course participants amounting to 60 students at the end of the academic year proved that immediate personalized feedback given to students in the classroom ensures building the desired competence in conveying the background, problem statement, suggested methods and anticipated results of their planned academic project, with failure rates dropping significantly, thus substantiating the correctness of the flipped classroom approach when grading and commenting takes place in the classroom in person. Further research will concentrate on refining the assessment criteria so that peer and self assessment of the students could become more involving thus addressing the issue of making student(s)-to-teacher feedback instrumental.
The article reports on a study of the role of assessment and feedback in making presentations. It first gives a brief overview of the programme and course outline, then looks at the teaching methods used and theory of assessment and, finally, provides results of assessment of almost 100 presentations with one sample analysed in detail. The criteria specifically developed for the course will also be given.
Alongside socio-economic development of the Russian Federation, the requirements to the quality of graduates training currently increase. The article brings forward viability of e-tutoring as a teaching aid in a higher school virtual learning environment. Interactive learning is considered as a learner-centered approach.
The collection seeks to address the folloing questions:
- How are teachers, students, researchers and administrators in the region working to further progressive writing pedagogy?
- What ideas about writing and writing instruction - both new and old, foreign and domestic - inform, assist or complicate this work?
- How does writing shape knowledge and practice within specific regional cultures, academic or otherwise? How might writing function as a bridge or barrier?
The audience of thei collection is the international writing studies community. In addressing the above questions within the Russian context, we hope to reveal points of connection between local experiences, and ultimately, help writing professionals all over the world better respond to the demands of globalisation.
This paper is concerned with some issues of English for Occupational Purposes and English for Academic Purposes. The main objective of the paper is to describe possible approaches to integrating EOP and EAP on the basis of the pilot English for Specific Academic Purposes course introduced at National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.