Past Workshops

Thursday | October 27, 2016
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby


How can I help multilingual students to read challenging texts?

Presenter:  Dr. Saskia Stille

Challenges relating to academic literacy are common to all university students, particularly students for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL).  Students need to develop a flexible set of reading skills and cognitive processes to make meaning and comprehend, including text-based decoding skills, domain and topic knowledge and interest, and metacognitive and self-regulated strategy use.  Moreover, academic texts become increasingly complex and abstract, and students must become familiar with a range of registers and genres associated with disciplinary content areas. Despite these literacy learning needs, university courses tend not integrate literacy or reading strategy instruction into course design and teaching.

Engaging with these issues, this workshop will address the following two questions:  (1) What comprises academic literacy? (2) What instructional strategies can faculty employ to support and scaffold students’ reading comprehension and strategy use?  We will also discuss how these understandings can support every student in our classrooms, and EAL students in particular.

Thursday | November 3, 2016
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby


Understanding students' textual borrowing : writing, language learning, and plagiarism

Presenter: Dr.Joel Heng Hartse

Plagiarism can seem like a black-and-white issue – either a student is cheating, or she isn’t – but research on undergraduate and graduate students’ practice of source use in academic writing, and their beliefs about it, shows a more complicated picture. This session will explore disciplinary, cultural, and linguistic issues regarding student writers’ use of others’ words, with a particular interest in how to help multilingual and/or international students with effective source use, paraphrasing, and strategies to avoid plagiarism. We will look at research on second language writers’ use of sources and talk about ways to reframe plagiarism as a pedagogical opportunity.

Wednesday | November 9, 2016
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby


How do I encourage my international students to speak and participate in class? Engaging multilingual students in classroom conversation

Presenter: Dr. Kerstin Heilgenberg

In this session, we will review and evaluate theoretical approaches that allow faculty to foster student engagement in class and enable students to develop a sense of belonging to the academic community. Strategies that enable in-class participation for all students will be illustrated; examples and case studies will be used to highlight possibilities for engaging multilingual learners. Workshop participants will be able to discuss the issues and opportunities that exist within their own teaching contexts.

Thursday | November 17, 2016
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby


Supporting inclusion and maintaining standards of English in higher education: A fine balance

Presenter: Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos

Many trends in higher education are impacting the student environment, making it more inclusive and rich in diversity. These recent trends and changes include widening participation, globalization and internationalization, and access to new technologies.  The common denominator in these interacting forces of change shaping higher education today is the role of language—especially the English language.  This session will discuss the current factors influencing the teaching and learning of English in universities by examining issues of pre- and post-enrolment language assessment, innovations in the provision of English language development, and the challenges of navigating institutional change in support of student success. 

April 14, 2016 | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby


Students' language errors: The role of the instructor

Facilitator: Dr. Joel Heng Hartse

All student work is bound to contain errors of one kind or another, but for many instructors the language errors that sometimes occur in the work of students for whom English is an additional language present challenges: What is a serious error and what is a careless mistake? Is this a typo any student might make, or unique to the student’s language background? Should I mark everything? Should I “go easy” on some students?

Luckily, years of research on errors, error correction, and teacher feedback for second language learners and writers can point the way forward. This workshop offers a brief overview of theory and research involving error in second language students’ academic writing, an examination of when and how to offer feedback and language, and practical tips for instructors to help students understand and correct their own language errors.

March 29, 2016 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby


Postsecondary English Language Teaching in China: Trends and Implications

Presenters: Professor Yulian Zhang and Dr.Joel Heng Hartse

In recent decades, China has become one of the world’s most important sites for the teaching and learning of English as an additional language. With an estimated 300 million learners of English, and nearly 700,000 students studying abroad each year, it’s important for anyone involved in English language teaching (ELT) or higher education to learn more about the unique educational context of China.

In this seminar, the two presenters will speak on aspects of modern Chinese ELT. Yulian Linda Zhang (Beijing University of Agriculture & visiting scholar in SFU Faculty of Education) will speak about reforms in China’s university ELT landscape since the 1980s and current trends involving assessment and online teaching and learning. Joel Heng Hartse (SFU Faculty of Education) will share a section of his new co-authored book (with Jiang Dong) Perspectives on Teaching English at Colleges and Universities in China (TESOL Press) dealing with the broader implications of ELT in China for language teachers across contexts in the areas of teaching, learning, testing, and language.  

This event will be of interest to English language teaching professionals, students interested in teaching in China in the future, and any faculty and staff who are interested in learning more about an educational context which is relevant to many SFU students.

Yulian Linda Zhang is a government-sponsored visiting scholar by China Scholarship Council of Ministry of Education, working with Prof. John Nesbit at Faculty of Education in SFU. She is currently a professor at Department of Foreign Languages in Beijing University of Agriculture. Her teaching and research interests focus on Teaching English as a Second Language, British Literature, Web-based Language Learning and Teaching, Intelligent Tutoring System in Language Learning, Self-regulated Learning , and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. She has been working in universities in China for 28 years as an English instructor and also as chair, associate dean and dean for some years. She has published more than 30 articles and 10 books.

Joel Heng Hartse is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. He has taught at Zhejiang University, the University of Nottingham’s China campus, and the University of British Columbia. His work on sociolinguistics, education, and writing has appeared in the Journal of Second Language Writing, Asian Englishes, Composition Studies, and English Today.

March 10, 2016 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

Rethinking assignment design

Facilitator: Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos

The purpose of this session is to reconsider approaches towards assignment design that support multilingual students' learning across the disciplines, and promote authentic assessment opportunities. Examples and case studies will be used to examine assignment design and assessment strategies, and there will be a broader discussion on instructors' challenges and opportunities in designing assignments within their own contexts.

March 3, 2016 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

Teaching in a multilingual university

Facilitator: Dr. Saskia Stille

The purpose of this session is to introduce faculty to current theoretical perspectives in applied linguistics relating to language assessment, bilingual language practice and general and disciplinary academic language development.  These understandings will be illustrated with examples and case studies from classroom practice, and implications for teaching and learning will be discussed.