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Raising cultural awareness in the EAP curriculum

Raising cultural awareness in the EAP curriculum

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Raising cultural awareness in the EAP curriculum

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  1. Raising cultural awareness in the EAP curriculum Course Design for Japanese study year abroad students

  2. Content • Needs Analysis • Implications for Course Design • The Volunteering Project – types, benefits & testimonials • Models for Volunteering within EAP

  3. 1. Needs of Japanese learners & implications for course design • Adjustment to Early Shocks • Instructional Differences • Host community integration

  4. Shocks include: Language Habits/Conventions Loss of Social Networks (Toyokawa & Toyokawa, 2002) Early Course Design to include: Pre-departure & On-arrival Orientations to bridge expectations Social/Survival English (Jordan, 2004) 1.1. Adjustment to Early Shocks

  5. Learners faced with: A learner-centred curriculum More choices Confusion over expectations (Errey, 2004) Course designers to encourage: Teaching/Discussions on socio-cultural issues (Griffiths, 2001) Personal Tutorial & Counselling system (Errey, 2004; Toyokawa & Toyokawa, 2002; Hayes & Lin, 1994) 1.2. Instructional Differences

  6. Students wish to: Explore a new culture Make friends, new social networks, etc (Toyokawa & Toyokawa, 2002) Course Designers to organise: Extra-curricula Activities (but nature of interaction critical) Volunteering opportunities 1.3. Host Community Integration

  7. 2. Volunteering • Types • Benefits • Testimonials

  8. 2.1 Volunteering - Types • Primary School Visits – culture presentations & language teaching • Organic Garden centre – potting, assistance generally • Coffee Shop for the Blind – preparing food, serving customers, etc • TLC Housing Services – Outreach/Support Worker

  9. 2.2. Volunteering - Benefits • Language • Acculturation • Employability • Academic Skills

  10. 2.3.1. Volunteering – Student Feedback (Language) “I know Japanese word – but I don’t know specific word. I do not know word in English. If I listen this word, I can’t understand, so normally I ask again and again. I don’t know this kind of word – propagation. He (the supervisor) explained to me… it’s kind of gardening word. After that, I checked this word so now I understand. If I continue to work in this place, I can continue to understand new words which are useful for my study.” (Japanese student: English Plus Foundation 2005-06; volunteering at Organic Garden Centre, Wolverhampton; will progress to MSc Environmental Science 2006-07)

  11. 2.3.2. Volunteering – Student Feedback (Language) “We can learn our skills and can communicate with other people. So far study EPPA course and no foreign (British) people, so we want to choose this opportunity to practise our speaking.” (Taiwanese student: English Plus Foundation 2005-06; volunteering at Coffee Shop for the Blind, Wolverhampton; will progress to MSc Health Science 2006-07)

  12. 2.3.3. Volunteering – Student Feedback (Culture/Employability) “I don’t have opportunity to contact with British and local people. If I do volunteering, I want to do in the field of the environment because next semester I will proceed to Masters in Environment, so I want to make a connection about environment organisation before I take Masters course. If possibilities in the future, I want to work in the UK – but it’s very difficult so I want to have a chance to contact with them. English course is useful but I want to get opportunity to enhance my experience.” (Japanese student: English Plus Foundation 2005-06; volunteering at Organic Garden Centre, Wolverhampton; will progress to MSc Environmental Science 2006-07)

  13. 2.3.4. Volunteering – Student Feedback (Employability) “After TLC (Training & Learning Centre), now I can be a coordinator in any organisation in relation to housing. I did learn some things – how to manage communication with people, how to treat them, how to refer them to some relevant places if you can’t help them yourself, how to use your personal initiative. I know something now about housing associations, rent, tenancy agreements, problems with landlord, flat rights, repairs by landlord… all these things are in relation to housing.” (Kurdistan student: English Plus Foundation 2004-05; volunteering at TLC Housing Services, Wolverhampton 2003-05; now studying MA Voluntary & Public Sector 2005-6)

  14. 3. Models of Volunteering within EAP • Pre-Sessional • In-Sessional (module)

  15. 3.1 Pre-Sessional • Timetable consists of 8 weeks of: • Communication & Culture (10 hrs/week): Social/Functional language; Cultural content (eg British Education System) • EAP (10 hrs/week): Academic Writing; Academic Reading; Research Skills; Grammar. • Volunteering Project (Primary School Project) – weeks 7 & 8, integrating both parts of the syllabus. • Additional Tutorial Support to discuss: - Personal matters • Counselling of Future academic programme • Social & Cultural Enrichment offering: • Excursions/evening events • Visits to local schools • Guided Tours of University Schools (eg Business, Art & Design, etc), with Q&A Sessions and possible module observations.

  16. Volunteering (Primary School) Project • Involves: • Research on School prior to visit • Design of Questionnaire • Seminars to introduce topic/share ideas • Collation & Analysis of Data from visit • Planning, Drafting & Re-drafting of Report • Use of Academic Conventions (referencing, paragraphing, supporting evidence, data analysis, introductions & conclusions, etc) • Assessed through: - Written report - Formal Presentation summarising Research & Findings

  17. 3.2 In-Sessional (module) • English Plus Preparatory Award (EPPA), Advanced Level (one semester) • Total 4 modules: • 2 core modules: Academic Reading & Writing Study Skills; • 2 electives from: Academic Listening & Speaking Academic Grammar & Vocabulary Subject-specific Volunteering in the Community • English Requirement: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

  18. Volunteering in the Community (module) • Students are expected to: • Complete a pro forma detailing nature of work • Comment on personal learning aims and objectives • Submit a final report detailing work carried out, experience gained, organisational information • Include a cv detailing experience, a poster with summary of the work and copies of correspondence (as part of final report)

  19. Volunteering in the Community (module) • Teaching and Learning methods: • Initial briefing/support from tutor • Series of workshops for exchange of ideas, guidance on assignments, etc

  20. Final Thoughts “Volunteering is fantastic as it helps you to learn more about this culture. You cannot expect to earn money right away, but by volunteering you can prove to people that you can work. I am doing something close to my study – Social policy. Volunteering is very useful for international students. You need this for your reference, for your future.” (Kurdistan student: English Plus Foundation 2004-05; volunteering at TLC Housing Services, Wolverhampton 2003-05; now studying MA Voluntary & Public Sector 2005-6)