Last week I attended the annual conference organised by the Association of University Language Centres in the UK and Ireland (AULC). The conference programme was quite diverse again this time.
My colleague Lucile has also blogged about the conference – a very interesting read!
If you are interested in teaching Mandarin, there will be an event for you in June: Chinese teaching in the Western world.
And we all like OERs, so have a look at Cambridge University’s Language Learning Resources.
Session notes: Promoting language and intercultural competence through blogging
- blogs as ‘formal public spaces’
- desired outcomes: language competence (writing skills) and intercultural awareness
- three types of blog in this project: course blog for collaborative learning, personal blog for independent learning, project blog for specific topics or tasks
- expectations that tutor gives feedback to help with improvement of phrases and cultural awareness
- benefits: improved communication skills – more opportunities to write, closer connections within cohort
- blog needs to be integrated into classes – teacher guidance essential – time implications!
- students should be encouraged to learn from each other – outside class as well
- Byram‘s Model of Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) model
- skills of interpreting
- critical cultural awareness
- skills of discovery and interaction
Session notes: Languages for specific purposes (LSP)
The presentation can be seen on Benoît Guilbaud’s website.
- LSP is not just something that happens for English
- it’s about teaching the target language for academic and/or professional purposes: ‘specific purpose that group has in common’
- LSP teaching needs to look at the wider context, not just work. For example, an engineer needs to also be able to talk to cleaners, clients, and at social occasions.
- differentiating LSP: there is an infinite number of ways to do this, e.g. subject areas, different levels of complexity or specialisation, different audiences
- subject areas have shared skills, so teachers don’t necessarily need to know the subject area in detail – teaching role is more that of a facilitator
- socio-cultural dimensions need to be part of teaching
- students can learn from each other as they share the same subject – and the teacher can learn about the subject from them