Pre-conference Events

Friday April 7th, 2016,9:30-12:30

PCE1: The Literature Review and its Role in the Research Process

Cancelled due to low numbers

When embarking on a research project, whether for a Masters, a PhD, a professional Diploma, or personal interest, your idea is often sparked by a puzzling issue that arises with your learners or from your teaching. This soon leads on to an exploration of books, journal articles, web sites, blogs and other sources in the field to find out if there are published theories and solutions that can help you. You may discover research that has already produced findings in precisely this area or you may find that there seems to be nothing written about your specific interest. Both scenarios can bring challenges.  Some of the following questions may arise:

  • Where and how do you search for relevant material?
  • How much do you need to read?
  • How do you keep track of all you find?
  • How do you use the literature to help inform and set up your own research project?
  • How do you enter the dialogue with those publishing in the field?
  • How can your research contribute?

In this workshop, we will explore the literature review process and some of these dilemmas. We will share techniques for managing the exploration and making it an enjoyable and exciting part of the research adventure.

Dr Diana Ridley is a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. She is the Course Leader for the distance learning Masters programme in TESOL which includes an EAP pathway and the PG Certificate in TEAP, and she is a PhD supervisor.  Diana has worked extensively in EAP contexts at UK universities, and has also taught in UK primary and secondary schools, Spain and Tanzania. She is the author of The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students, published by Sage and a forthcoming publication on The Literature Search.

PCE2: Observations in the EAP Classroom

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Observations are central to both BALEAP Accreditation Schemes for courses (BAS) and individuals (TEAP) because they enable assessors to observe and teachers to demonstrate practical competence in the EAP classroom against a set of agreed criteria. The aim of this pre-conference event is to explore the observation processes for both BAS and TEAP. This PCE is aimed at:

  • managers considering applying for BALEAP Accreditation of their courses
  • teachers currently participating or planning to participate in the TEAP Scheme
  • TEAP mentors assessing Associate Fellow portfolios within their institutions and those on the Senior Fellow pathway who hope in future to be carrying out TEAP observations and assessing portfolios.

We will discuss the different types of observations which are required for evaluating teaching competence on courses and for individuals, and the criteria applied to these. We will watch short extracts from recorded observations and discuss how they relate to the criteria. We will then separate into two groups, depending on the focus of interest, to discuss either:

  • how the design of EAP courses supports and develops teachers
  • how a TEAP observation can become the focus of a range of cohesive portfolio evidence.

It is hoped that you will end the morning feeling more confident about the role of observation in the accreditation process and how to benefit from an observation, whether as observer or observee.

Please note that there will be some overlap with the BAS event held in Edinburgh in May 2016.

Olwyn Alexander is Academic Director of the English section in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. With a degree in Chemistry and a background in pharmaceutical research, she has specialised in teaching EAP and research skills to students at all levels of university study across a range of applied science, engineering and management subjects. Olwyn chaired the working party which drew up the BALEAP TEAP Competency Framework and is a Senior Fellow of BALEAP and is a Mentor and Assessor for the BALEAP TEAP Scheme. She was Chair of BALEAP from 2010-2013 and is currently Chair of the BALEAP Accreditation Scheme. She has published EAP Essentials: a teacher’s guide to principles and practice and the coursebook series Access EAP.

Jenny Kemp is a lecturer in EAP at Leicester University, UK. Her many roles include running a pre-sessional and providing in-sessional support for postgraduate Law students. Ever keen to encourage professional development in others, she mentors colleagues, chairs the departmental staff development committee and is on the observation team. Jenny is a Senior Fellow of BALEAP and of the Higher Education Academy, and is a Mentor and Assessor for the BALEAP TEAP Scheme. She has been on the BALEAP Executive Committee as TEAP Officer since 2015. Her main research interests lie in discipline-specific vocabulary and the use of corpora in teaching and learning.

PCE3: Item Writing Workshop for EAP Assessment and Language Testing

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The aim of this BALEAP pre-conference workshop is for participants to consider a definition of EAP assessment and then to focus on the creation of tests of reading and listening. Finally, there will be a session on dealing with language test results. It is envisaged that there will be breakout sessions and plenary discussions. In the interests of collaboration it is hoped that participants will engage in full discussion and exchange of ideas stimulated by the programme below. Participants are encouraged to bring short samples of their assessment practice for general discussion.

The proposed breakdown is:

Session 1: (50 minutes) defining EAP assessment through a discussion of:

  • types of EAP tests and other assessment measures including examples from participants
  • how many tests are needed
  • testing language knowledge
  • creating specifications – avoiding taboo topics

Session 2: a discussion of specific skills (40 minutes)

  • item types: what they test; advantages/disadvantages
  • testing EAP reading
  • text types for Academic reading – text searching – adapting texts
  • lexical frequencies
  • using texts for tests of writing (reading or listening for authentic purpose)

Break: 30 minutes

Session 3: (30 minutes) a discussion of listening tests

  • item types: what they test: advantages/disadvantages
  • can note-taking be tested
  • whether to listen once or more than once

Session 4: (30 minutes) a discussion of what’s involved before and after test administration

  • what validity and reliability mean for the EAP teacher
  • an approach to benchmarking
  • test security

Timings are approximate and to a certain extent will depend on the amount of interest which individual sessions will generate.

John Slaght is Associate Professor of Second Language Testing at the University of Reading. He has been involved in language testing for many years. John has run language testing workshops internally and at other HE institutions both in the UK and overseas on a number of occasions. John is the author of 2 textbooks on Academic Reading and co-author of a further two further titles on Academic Study and Research Skills. His career includes 15 years working in Zambia and the Middle East.

PCE4: From Presenting to Publishing: A workshop on strategies, options and opportunities.

Cancelled due to low numbers

The purpose of this ResTES event is to consider how to make our scholarship public through publication. Having considered the identity transitions required to become a scholarly EAP practitioner (Glasgow) and then debated the varied knowledge base(s) and fields around which to base practitioner scholarship (Leeds), this third ResTES in the series considers how we can act on and implement this developed understanding.

This workshop offers the opportunity to reflect on strategies for publishing conference presentations, research projects, materials development, reflective and narrative accounts and other practitioner orientated activities. Participants will also consider what options and opportunities are available for making their endeavours public and reaching a wider audience.

This event is practical in orientation and, as such, the purpose is to share ideas, experience and knowledge. To facilitate this, four practitioners with varying degrees of experience of publishing in different domains will lead the discussions and activities

Alex Ding:

I am Director of the Centre for Excellence in Language Teaching and Lecturer in EAP at the University of Leeds. My main research and scholarly interests centre on EAP practitioner identity and agency and how knowledge and structure shape praxis. I have a long standing interest in practitioner reflexivity and how practitioners’ concerns, commitments and values manifest themselves in teaching. More recently, my attention has also turned to ways in which practitioners make their teaching and scholarly endeavours public.

Bee Bond:

I am an associate professor in the Language Centre at the University of Leeds where I teach primarily on presessional programmes. I have been responsible for the curriculum design of a number of our programmes. I am currently on a year’s secondment to the Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (LITEI) where I am undertaking a project looking at the significant roles language plays in shaping discipline specific knowledge and understanding, and therefore in student learning. I will then work to support the development of inclusive language and content teaching practices across the University.