Faculty Development Workshops

CELLTR will continue to offer faculty development workshops on teaching EAL students in the fall of 2017. The intent of these workshops is to develop a ‘community of practice’ approach and shared knowledge around teaching linguistically diverse students across disciplines. In addition to hosting these workshops at CELLTR, our faculty can develop customized workshops to your department/faculty in the area of teaching multilingual learners.

Wednesday | November 22, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

 

Past expectations, current experiences, and imagined futures: Narrative accounts of Chinese international students in Canada

Presenters:

Dr. Olivia Zhihua Zhang
Director of Education, Trinity Language Centre

The internationalization of higher education has led to the influx of Chinese international students in Canada. The literature on these students usually addresses the factors that drive them to Canada, their learning experiences, and the impact of the stereotypical constructions of “Chinese learners” on their language learning. But the literature does not connect the current learning experiences of these students to their past back in China and the futures in their imagination. This session will outline partial findings on the English learning and IELTS test preparing/writing experiences of ten Chinese international students in a Canadian university. The stories show how they observed discrepancies between the English test-tackling strategies and their university learning, misconstrued IELTS preparation as English learning, and challenged the power of IELTS in shaping their English learning experiences and themselves as English learners. Narratives about how they imagined their futures at different stages of their learning will be presented too. An analysis of the stories in this study suggests that the current learning experiences of these students should be considered holistically with their past and future taken into account. The data reflects how the gate-keeping IELTS test has affected their perceptions about learning English, emotions, and identities as test-takers. This presentation will also provide the university community a chance to understand Chinese international students from an insider-outsider perspective of a researcher and educator.

Dr. Olivia Zhihua Zhang is the Director of Education in Trinity Language Centre (TLC) that affiliated with Trinity Western University (TWU) in Richmond. She is responsible for the curriculum and program design and development of TLC in addition to providing visionary leadership to an exceptional team of faculty and staff. She also teaches an advanced academic English course to international students entering the MA/MBA programs at TWU. Olivia’s research interests include teaching and learning English as a second/additional language, language and identity, learning experiences of international students, and narrative inquiry as the methodology. She is also an adjunct researcher in The Center for Research on International Education (CRIE) in the Faculty of Education, SFU. Before coming to Canada in 2007, Olivia was an Associate Professor of English in the College of Foreign Languages of Hebei Normal University in China.

Thursday | June 8, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

 

Linguistic diversity in universities in Anglophone settings: Moving from deficit models of language support to plurilingual approaches to the teaching and learning of academic discourse

Presenters:

Dr. Siân Preece
Institute of Education, University College London

In the last few decades, internationalisation and widening access have resulted in the diversification of the university population and greater linguistic diversity as more multilingual domestic and international students and staff populate the academy. However, universities in Anglophone settings still largely operate discourses of ‘institutional monolingualism’ (Heller 1996), in which linguistic diversity is viewed as an obstacle to be overcome rather than of value for enriching institutional life and practices. The idea of ‘language-as-problem’ (Ruiz 1984) has perpetuated ‘deficit’ notions of language support. Research in the Anglophone sector to date (e.g. Preece 2009, 2010; Marshall 2010; Martin 2010; Simpson and Cooke 2010) indicates that despite the best of intentions, the prevailing idea of ‘deficit’ has focused institutional attention on fixing language ‘deficiencies’ rather than on ‘communicative repertoires’ (Rymes 2010), bi and multilingual modus operandi, and knowledge and expertise encoded in languages other than English.

I argue that deficit models are outdated in the contemporary academy. Drawing on the findings of The Multilingual University BAAL-CUP seminar (Preece and Phan 2016) and ESRC Seminar Series (Preece 2017), I examine how ‘language-as-resource’ perspectives provide a way forward by raising the visibility of linguistic diversity in the academy and treating it as an asset to be welcomed. I provide examples of plurilingual approaches to the teaching and learning of academic discourse, In concluding, I argue that plurilingual approaches, informed by resource views of language, can encourage and enable universities in the English-dominant world to take a lead on putting forward views of (linguistic) diversity as the norm and bi and multilingualism as desirable for societal and individual well-being.

Dr. Siân Preece is Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at UCL Institute of Education. Her research examines the relationship between language and identity with bi/multilingual language learners. She is particularly interested in the intersection of gender, social class and ethnicity for bi/multilingual students, particularly those from linguistic minority communities, and ways in which language acts as a marker of identity and a resource for doing identity work. She is author of Posh Talk: Language and Identity in Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan 2009), editor of The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity (Routledge 2016) and one of the co-authors of Language Society and Power, 3rd ed.(Routledge 2011). Sian is Principal Investigator for the ESRC seminar series The Multilingual University: the impact of linguistic diversity on higher education in English-dominant and English medium instructional contexts.

See video here.

Wednesday | April 12, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

Challenges and successes of students from international pathways

Presenters:

Dr. Nancy Johnston & Heather Williams
Student Services, SFU

This talk will discuss research from the field of internationalization regarding post-secondary student success; research suggests that students from international pathways may be succeeding at lesser rates than their domestic counterparts.  Further research indicates that students from international pathways also face greater challenges when transitioning from school to employment. In both cases language and cultural transitions are cited as key to these students' success.   One way SFU has addressed the unique needs of EAL students is through Job Search Success, an online module aimed at improving student writing and intercultural communication skills as it applies to the Canadian workplace.  Using Post-Pre impact assessment tools, there is evidence that this curricular design and approach is having an impact on students from international pathways, as well as hope and confidence in their ability to work in Canada.

Wednesday | April 12, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

Challenges and successes of students from international pathways

Presenters:

Dr. Nancy Johnston & Heather Williams
Student Services, SFU

This talk will discuss research from the field of internationalization regarding post-secondary student success; research suggests that students from international pathways may be succeeding at lesser rates than their domestic counterparts.  Further research indicates that students from international pathways also face greater challenges when transitioning from school to employment. In both cases language and cultural transitions are cited as key to these students' success.   One way SFU has addressed the unique needs of EAL students is through Job Search Success, an online module aimed at improving student writing and intercultural communication skills as it applies to the Canadian workplace.  Using Post-Pre impact assessment tools, there is evidence that this curricular design and approach is having an impact on students from international pathways, as well as hope and confidence in their ability to work in Canada.

Wednesday | March 29, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

 

Beyond linguistic competence:  International student well-being and engagement in English medium post-secondary education

Presenters:

Dr. Saskia Stille
Faculty of Education/CELLTR

This presentation articulates issues relating to the effect of English medium of instruction (EMI) on teaching and learning disciplinary content among international students in the Canadian post-secondary educational context, reporting on findings from a mixed method study to identify indicators and predictors of international student academic performance, and institutional needs and opportunities for the integration of language and content in disciplinary teaching and learning. 

Data for the study were drawn from student-level institutional data, as well as faculty and student perceptual data from surveys and interviews. Taken together, these data elaborate some of the language and learning needs of students for whom English language may present a challenge to disciplinary content learning and social and academic success, and instructional strategies across disciplines. Specifically, these findings point to the importance of understanding students’ resources for learning, the significant ambiguity that often exists around the identification of so-called English as an Additional Language (EAL) students at the post-secondary level, and the conceptual integration of language, student achievement and well-being in the context of disciplinary content teaching and learning.

Thursday | November 9, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
1390 West Mall Centre, Burnaby

Integrating Critical Thinking, Language, and Writing Skills in a 2nd year Business Course (BUS 217W): The history, challenges, and opportunities in supporting diverse students

Presenters:

Stephen Spector
Director of Undergraduate Programs, Beedie School of Business

Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos
CELLTR Director & Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Faculty of Education

This session will address the collaborative, interdisciplinary course design and delivery partnership between faculty in the Beedie School of Business and CELLTR (Faculty of Education), with support from Teaching and Learning Centre professional staff. The purpose of this collaboration was to design a pilot course for Beedie’s multilingual and multicultural students to develop communication and thinking skills required to succeed in the B.BA program. “Critical Thinking in Business” (BUS 217) is now a required course for B.BA students entering Beedie starting fall 2017, but it is the outcome of several years of collective effort by Beedie Undergraduate Programs administrators, faculty, and staff. The course aims to support students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the context of business and to create opportunities for them to demonstrate their skills by writing typical business documents, such as email messages and case study reports. Stephen Spector will share the faculty history, key drivers, and activities that led to the decision to develop a discipline-specific 2nd year writing course. He will be joined by Valia Spiliotopoulos who will share the content-and-language integration approach used to develop the pilot course design.  It is hoped that this session will share lessons-learned with other faculties considering similar innovations to address discipline-specific learning outcomes, support the university's increasingly multilingual and multicultural student body, as well as address expectations for accreditation from stakeholders who are both internal and external to the university.