Access to Learning: Language and Academic Skills Support

Access to Learning: Language and Academic Skills Support

Access to Learning: Language and Academic Skills Support Available for International Students Gamu Matarira Siegrid Beck Xiangping Du HBS L&T Conference 2013 Introduction Our roles & responsibilities Who we are & what we do Business Communication (in-sessional English support)

Why Business Communication? What is Business Communication? How does it support our HBS students? What do staff think about it? What do students think about it? Moving forward

Who were are & What we do? Xiangping Du Academic Skills Adviser in ASU Support any HBS students academically* team teaching with HBS lecturers Daily skills workshops one-to-one advisory drop-in basis PG Support Officer in SSG

Support HBS PG academically & pastorally Dissertation SAC (adaptive, personal, administrative issues) Who were are & What we do? Gamu Matarira Lecturer in English Language Teaching (ELT, School of Humanities) Tutor and Module Leader of Business Communications (BC) [insessional English] Design and delivery of a Language and Academic Skills course Support through an Embedded Learning approach to InSessional English: an on-going development at HBS Individual/group drop-in hours Who were are & What we do?

Siegrid Beck Senior Lecturer in English Language Teaching and Linguistics Programme Tutor of Graduate Certificate in Business since 2007 Innovative CBI/CLIL approach to support learning that now has been rolled out into In-Sessional English/Business Communication UG International and Direct Entry Students Academic Adviser Close cooperation with HBS PT, Module Leaders, Gamu to further improve UG students experience and academic success Business Communication Class WHY? International students often enter University with an adequate IELTS TOEFL score, but have inadequate levels of communicative English

Few students arrive at university sufficiently able to employ the particular academic literacy skills necessary for their actual degree. These skills ought to be learned, and this learning should take place within the context of the module being taught. In this way, learning is characterised by immediacy, relevance and authenticity (Curnow and Liddicoat 2008; Warren 2002; Wingate 2006). In line with UH Graduate Attributes Business Communication Class WHAT? Aimed at international students who have inadequate levels of communicative English and study skills expected in a UK HEI

Embedding Language and Academic Literacy Skills within the Business module To develop the language proficiency, academic literacy and professional communication skills required during the year and beyond graduation Business Communication Class HOW? Involvement at planning stages: Subject tutor gives lecture material/assessment info to ELT in advance (via access to StudyNet/meetings) ELT attends lectures/lectorials (facilitator) Separate BC tutorial responsive to students needs Encompasses EAP & incorporates the teaching of

transferrable academic skills that are tailor-made to specifically meet students immediate requirements within their disciplines Business Communication Class HOW? (cont.) i.e. Essay, Report & Reflective Writing Skills, Oral Presentations, Critical Thinking Skills - developed within a core module. Transferrable skills to enhance overall performance. Students encouraged to draw comparisons between current affairs in the west & their home countries Students see BC as an integral part of their Business Module

Business Communication Class WHAT DO STAFF THINK ABOUT IT? I think that there has been a big difference in the engagement of students in the lectorials (particularly compared to the old tutorial/ lecture process in the past). Having additional support seems to have given students (noticeably Chinese students who are in the majority this semester) more confidence in having a go at answering and mostly they are on track with their ideas. English is improving too I have found - I also followed your rule and only allow English to be spoken in class at all times which has been appreciated and understood by all (MSc Management, 2013)

Business Communication Class WHAT DO STAFF THINK ABOUT IT? (Cont.) The key for me is that the students get the chance to continue on where we leave in the context of a topic - your sessions help them to ensure they absolutely understand the topic in question as well as some time to ask questions which they might feel they dont want to ask in the main lectorial. It must be very difficult to learn and reflect in another language! certainly, students seem better engaged and prepared and attendance at lectures has been consistently high as they realise that the flow of information and work between your sessions and ours is very much joined up and they might miss something if they do not attend either (MSc Management, 2013)

Business Communication Class WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK ABOUT IT? Samples 1. Non-required regular attenders 2. Required regular attenders 3. Required non-regular attenders Questionnaire & Interview Questionnaire (closed & openended questions) 121 semi-structured interviewer-administered Questions*

Their attendance Usefulness of the class Their expectations Opinion of their Tutors Suggestions on improvement Business Communication Class

WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK ABOUT IT? (Cont.) Attendance I attended this class because it is obvious like other modules I thought that this module is useful for me. - MSc AFM Student I attended the class because the module was linked with the managing strategy, and I felt the MS module was quite difficult to me. Moreover, I failed in the BC exam so that I need the improvement of academic writing. MSc Mgt Student The business communications class fell one hour before our Managing Strategy lecture and was therefore at a convenient

time. MSc Mgt Student Business Communication Class WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK ABOUT IT? (Cont.) Usefulness I found the tutorials to be useful but too short. The topics covered were relevant for the assignments and I enjoyed the group discussions. - MSc Mgt Student I consider it as an opportunity to practice my oral English. Sometimes, I asked the tutor helps me to check my assignment. MSc AFM Student It was quite useful to me to improve many skills such as

paraphrasing, writing, understand the difficult concept such as paradox. Before the coursework submission, the BC class helped me to organise coursework structure and contents . MSc Mgt Student Business Communication Class WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK ABOUT IT? Opinion (Cont.)of their tutors She is quite nice and supportive, she helped us to analyse the case,

and give us instructions for our assignment. In addition, she explains vocabularies and terminology for us, such as Paradox, RBV and MBV. She is a very enthusiastic & informed tutor who involves quieter members into the discussions as well. I like his interactive method of teaching and he explains the topics of this module brilliantly with interesting examples and he makes me laugh and learn easily in class. I feel it is most essential to have this kind of interaction between the lecturer and the taughtan interaction that can be of great benefit to both Business Communication Class WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK ABOUT IT? (Cont.) Suggestions

I think the time might be too short, it is just one hour, but we have several things to do. In addition, I think the attendance would be better if the business communication class require compulsory attendance for every student, because I think it is not only helpful for students who`s English is not good enough, local students can also learn from the process, for example, the ability to deal with cultural conflicts. Closer links with the lecture material for each week would be beneficial with a set timetable given at the beginning of the module. This way students can prepare fully before attending and can make the connection to the lectures. Any Questions?

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