The Teacher I Want to Be, Should Be and Fear Becoming
Southern Cross University College
EAP teachers in university direct-entry programs are both language and genre specialists; they are teachers of academic and digital skills and literacies (Murray, 2018; Roche, 2017), and they are often the first point of contact for international students experiencing isolation and other emotional challenges (Ding & Bruce, 2017; Kahu & Nelson, 2018; Wilson, 2017). The rewarding but challenging, multi-faceted role played by EAP teachers in Australian university direct-entry programs can prove transformative in the lives of their students, but there is little research into how EAP teachers see their professional roles as educators. Understanding the identity of this cohort has never been more important. Their own transformative journeys as educators since March, 2020 and their ability to ‘pivot’, ‘adapt’ and be resilient in times of great turmoil in the sector may prove key to ensuring a sustainable future for ELICOS post-COVID-19.
Sharon Leslie is the Director of English Language Program at Southern Cross University, Australia. She has worked for almost two decades in English language education and assessment in Australia. Before joining Southern Cross University in 2015, Sharon worked as an advisory visiting teacher for Education Queensland and as a teacher and manager in TAFE and ELICOS Colleges. Sharon also worked for eight years with QUT as an IELTS Examiner. She holds a Master of Education (TESOL), a Bachelor of Education (Honours) a Graduate Diploma of Education and a Bachelor of Arts (Applied Linguistics). Sharon’s research interests include language assessment, international student engagement, online learning and teacher professional development. The latter is the focus of her doctoral studies. Sharon is on the management committee of the Queensland Association of TESOL (Qatesol) and the Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA).
How to Increase Student Engagement in Online Learning Environments
NEAS’ Health Check conducted during the onset of the COVID19 pandemic revealed low levels of student motivation towards online learning. Little wonder considering the ‘rapid shift’ most schools made. But it cannot stay this way. Student engagement in online learning environments is a persistent and complicated issue whose solution involves a variety of pedagogic and technological considerations. In this session, Jarrad Merlo, Director of Teaching and Learning at E2Language – the world’s most popular B2C test preparation platform – unpacks proven strategies to increase and maintain your students’ motivation to continue to study online (and even enjoy it!). These strategies involve interrelated key factors including course structures, process flows, instructional design, presentation skills, learner data and more. This presentation will be helpful to administrators, teachers and/or learning designers who want to improve their students’ online learning experiences.
Jarrad Merlo is co-founder and director of teaching and learning at E2Language, NEAS’ first “quality assured” online English language school. E2Language is a purpose-built website for IELTS, PTE-A, TOEFL and OET preparation that includes self-study courses, 1:1 online tutorials, live group classes and various assessments. It registers around 1,500 new users every day. Jarrad is also extremely knowledgeable about new media; his YouTube videos, for example, have been viewed tens of millions of times and his channels have half a million loyal subscribers. Evidently, Jarrad has considerable expertise in how to build and market online language learning courses and how to teach English online.
A Transformative Journey: Quality Assurance in a Multi-Campus Institution
The journey towards quality assurance in a multi-campus institution is made more challenging by the nature of its context. How does the institution maintain a balance between standardisation and meeting local needs? This is a challenge familiar to CQUEnglish, the English language provider for CQUniversity Australia, given its four campuses spread across three states, in both regional and metro settings. A strong focus on quality assurance has enabled CQUEnglish to deliver sustainable programs that not only meet the need of individual campuses, but which have been resilient to the disruptions of COVID-19.
This presentation will provide an overview of two key aspects of the strategy adopted at CQUEnglish: the curriculum, which has been designed specifically to ensure standardisation while meeting local needs; and the continuous improvement framework, which incorporates student and teacher feedback, and assessment validation to identify team projects. It will then show how these two key aspects have enabled CQUEnglish to adapt to online delivery in response to the challenges brought about by COVID-19. The session will be of value to anyone in a multi-campus institution, from teachers through to directors, who will leave equipped with ideas to transform the quality of their centres.
Paul Williams (Cambridge Delta, IDLTM, CertICT) is a Senior Teacher for CQUEnglish in Melbourne. He has been teaching Business, General and Academic English courses for over ten years. His interests include all aspects of English Language Teaching and Management, particularly blended learning, cross-cultural communication, curriculum design and assessment. Paul is currently studying a Master of Business Administration at CQUniversity Australia.
Will Alderton (MAppLing TESOL, IDLTM, Cambridge Delta) is the Director of Studies at CQUEnglish, CQUniversity Australia’s English Language centre, and the Convener of English Australia’s Direct Entry Programs Special Interest Group. He has worked in English Language Teaching and International Education since 2005, both as a teacher and academic manager, and is an associate editor for the Language Education in Asia journal. His interests include Educational leadership, English for Academic Purposes, and promoting the wellbeing of international students.
Have you ever imagined going to work with your uniform adorned with epaulettes, carrying a massive bunch of keys & throwing your body weight against heavy metal doors that crash closed with a deafening clang? Working with incarcerated students can be the most rewarding, challenging & demanding job, but is truly one that makes a difference to both students & the wider community. This interactive & engaging session will take you on a wild ride through the trials, tribulations & successes of being an Education Officer in a men’s high security prison & discuss the innovative introduction of a teacher training course for Peer Tutors.
Rufus James is currently an Education Officer at a men’s high security protection prison in Brisbane. In previous lives she has been an Academic Manager, university lecturer, CELTA trainer, NEAS Quality Assurance Assessor, chalet maid & lifeguard. Professionally, she is interested in authentic & inspirational leadership, education as a rehabilitative tool & positive psychology. On a talented amateur basis, she is a lover of terrible puns, Norwich City FC & travel (muffled sob).
Recovering, Rebuilding, Reimagining: Transforming Classrooms to Protect the World From Disaster
Professor Peter O’Connor
Director of the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation, The University of Auckland
For over thirty years Professor Peter O’Connor has created theatre in classrooms, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, in earthquakes zones and on Skid Row in Los Angeles, the epicentre of homelessness in North America. Reflecting on these experiences he will explore how the arts in English language education are a tool to heal and to imagine new possibilities. Peter’s keynote presentation reaffirms the importance of the imagination as central to the preservation of democracy as it makes creative and critical citizens hopeful for transforming the world into a more socially just and kinder place.
Professor O’Connor is an internationally recognised expert in making and researching applied theatre and drama education. He has made theatre in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, earthquake zones and with the homelss. He was the founding director of Everyday Theatre, a national theatre in education programme on preventing family violence and child abuse that has worked with over 60,000 children. His work in Christchurch schools following the series of earthquakes lead to UNESCO funded research and programme development and the development of the Teaspoon of Light Theatre Company. In 2012 he was named the Griffith University School of Education and Professional Studies Alumnus of the Year.
Peter’s most recent research includes multi and interdisciplinary studies on the creative pedagogies and the arts, the nature of embodied learning and the pedagogy of surprise.
In 2019 the play he directed with the Hobson Street Theatre Company, New Zealand’s only theatre company for people who are or have been homeless, won the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Community Arts Award. He has continued his theatre makign with the homeless at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles wiht the Skid Row Housing Trust.
Peter supervises Doctoral and Masters students using arts based methodologies with a social justice focus. He is an experienced suprervisor of the PhD with creative component.
Maintaining Access to a Large-Scale Test of Academic Language Proficiency During the Pandemic: Perspectives on Remote Proctoring
Times Education Group
Dr Aleksandr Voninski
In this session, we will present our perspectives and experiences relating to administering high stakes English language testing for both Schools and University admissions. Due to the prolonged closure of many test centres around the world during the current health crises, English language testing has had to quickly evolve and find viable testing solutions. The overall improvement in internet bandwidth on and offshore has opened opportunities for secure and reliable remote proctoring options to test candidates’ English language ability from the safety of their own home. This has enabled admissions teams across Schools, TAFEs and Universities to continue to assess prospective applicants, objectively determine their language and communication skills, as well as safeguard their entry standards by viewing or listening to test taker speaking and listening test components.
In this session, we will present ETS research conducted across 2020 and released in early 2021 on remote proctoring for higher education entry, as well as iDAT perspectives on remote proctored English tests for Schools applicants. We will discuss mode comparability for test-centre and at-home versions of English language tests, security considerations for test providers, implications for test validation, addressing fairness and equity, as well addressing privacy concerns of test takers. We will raise the question of how technology can positively impact both the test taker and the admissions process. We will invite participants to consider how we can continue to innovate the English test experience whilst maintaining test quality, access, equity, and secure and reliable outcomes. We will also invite participants to consider how remote proctor technology may be applied in English language teaching and continual assessment.
Educated in Canada and Australia, Heidi has worked in international education for more than 20 years in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. She has worked as an Academic Manager, PEO and Academic Director for private ELICOS for the past 12 years. She currently sits on the Advisory Council for NEAS (Quality Assurance for English Language Schools) and was previously on their Board of Directors. Ms Reid is active in the International Education Association of Australia and is an advocate and spokesperson for English, Pathways and international education. Heidi Reid has a Masters of TESOL, Grad Dip Ed (Primary), MBA (Human Resource Management).
Alek has provided leadership, engaging strategy, sound management skills and expert consulting to the international education sector over the last 20 years. He has held senior positions within International, External Relations, Strategy and Marketing functions of a large research-intensive university for more than a decade as well as experience in the private education sector, both on and offshore.
Simple Yet Powerful Techniques to Maintain Your Wellbeing During Times of Intense Stress
Dr Georgi Toma
Founder, Heart and Brain Works
While it draws on scientific research, this session’s main objective is to give you concrete tools that you can implement in your life now. Dr Georgi Toma will present effective formulas to minimise stress and overwork and will examine:
1. What’s really causing your stress to soar 2. A simple, yet powerful technique to reduce stress instantly 3. How to prevent and reverse burnout
She will also discuss ways to cultivate balance and harmony in our daily personal and professional lives.
Georgi is the creator of the Wellbeing Protocol, a mental health protocol designed to reduce stress, burnout and anxiety. She is the founder of Heart and Brain Works, an organization dedicated to helping people worldwide transform burnout into balance easily and sustainably.
Georgi is also a wellbeing researcher. She is currently conducting research at the University of Auckland on the impact of the Wellbeing Protocol on New Zealand teachers during COVID19.
Everyday Experience and Little Changes: A Different Perspective on Big Ideas and Transformative Education
Associate Professor Kelly Freebody
The University of Sydney
In this plenary discussion, Associate Professor Freebody will critically consider how the small teaching moments available to us as teachers, students, parents, and community members can be drawn together to build transformative education. Using Hughes’ (2017) framework for reducing prejudice in and through education, along with recent research in transformative pedagogy, she will explore the role of teachers and educational institutions in an increasingly turbulent global environment. While focussing on ‘big ideas’ Freebody argues, like Dirkx (2000), that such ideas are experienced in the everyday and that as teachers, it is our interactions with students that facilitate the kinds of learning needed to make social or personal change. The centrality of intercultural experiences, critical reflection, metacognition and empathy will be discussed, exploring their position and potential for creating little changes to how students understand and act on and with the world.
Dirkx, J. (2000). After the burning bush: Transformative learning as imaginative engagement with everyday experience. Paper presented at the Challenges of practice: Transformative learning in action, New York. Hughes, C. (2017). Understanding Prejudice and Education: The challenge for future generations. London: Routledge.
Kelly’s research interests draw on methodological innovation and theory development in the area of applied drama for social justice – focusing on intersections between English Language Teaching, drama, social justice, education, and qualitative research methods.
Kelly is a qualified secondary drama and English teacher, with experience teaching in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Kelly coordinates core pedagogy units in The Combined Degrees in education, with a focus on creative and critical pedagogy, school-community relationships, and pedagogies of hope.
Learning English and More: Multilingual Experiences and Identity Transformation of English Language Students in Australia
Dr Phil Chappell
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Macquarie University
English Language Teacher, Macquarie University English Language Centre
In this session, Phil and Yulia present our ongoing research into what kind of transformative experiences international English language students have during their study in Australia. For many, the realities of living, working and socialising in multilingual environments do not reflect their pre-arrival expectations of studying in an English-speaking country. While we know a lot about what our learners experience in their classrooms and colleges, we are only beginning to understand how their out-of-class environments help shape both linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of study abroad.
Phil and Yulia present findings from case studies of four English language students’ out-of-class experiences in multilingual Sydney. They will demonstrate that the path to second language learning is intertwined with personal and identity development as students navigate through their new international environments. We invite participants to consider the implications of our study for teaching approaches and their relevance for both on-campus and online students.
Phil Chappell is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Macquarie University, Deputy Head of the Department of Linguistics and a member of the Faculty Multilingualism Research Centre. He conducts research in a variety of areas of ELT, teaches on the Graduate Certificate of TESOL and Master of Applied Linguistics and TESOL programs, and supervises TESOL research students. Phil has taught and managed overseas and in Australia in a range of English language programs.
Yulia Kharchenko is an English language teacher and a higher degree researcher. She has taught in Russia, Ireland and Australia in a variety of tertiary, adult and migrant education settings. She currently teaches on the Graduate Certificate of TESOL at Macquarie University. Her research interests include multilingual pedagogy, language policies in education and language learner identity.
Why Crisis, Confusion, Collaboration, and Creativity Matter
Professor Anne Burns
Professor of TESOL, School of Education, UNSW
Transformation is not an event but a journey, often triggered by change that is broad and deep in its impact. In the age of Covid 19, we’ve been living through a highly significant and disruptive political, social, economic and educational change that has profoundly affected the way many of us see our work both institutionally and personally. Where has this cataclysmic period of time left us and how can we use it for opportunity and change?
In this talk I will aim to bring some kind of understanding of how transformative journeys engage us in the 4Cs of crisis, confusion, collaboration, and creativity. I will argue that all these processes are, nevertheless, fundamental to authentic educational change. Along the way, I will illustrate my presentation with examples of some transformative journeys in education, and to conclude will aim to draw out some messages for educational institutions and managers.
Professor Anne Burns began her career as a teacher of English and worked in Australia in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and later in the National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research (NCELTR) and Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University for over 20 years. She has also held academic positions at UNSW, Sydney and at Aston University UK, where she is an Emeritus Professor. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney and The Education University Hong Kong, and is currently a Visiting Professor at Kanda University of International Studies, Japan.
Since 2010 she has worked with English Australia as a key reference person for the national Action Research in ELICOS Program and has published extensively on this topic.
CPD points: 1
The Global Leader in Quality Assurance for the English Language Teaching Community.