Made to measure: bespoke subject specialisation at foundation programme level

Maclean, Donna and Hudson, Ben (2017) Made to measure: bespoke subject specialisation at foundation programme level. In: British Association in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP) Annual Conference, 7-9 April 2017, University of Bristol, UK.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper draws on the themes of enhancing student learning through the collaboration of different stakeholders in EAP. It addresses the problematic question of how, and the extent to which, EAP departments should collaborate with academic departments in the creation of specialist IFP units. It reflects in particular on innovation and specialisation in curriculum development seen from several different perspectives; the student perspective, the co-ordinator experience of inter-departmental collaboration in the creation of a specialist unit, the discipline specific tutor’s experience of teaching IFP students within CELFS, and the EAP specialist’s reflection on collaboration with the co-ordinator and the lecturer in the teaching of specialist unit link classes.

The IFP growth programme at CELFS has led to curriculum invigoration, exciting and creative new inter-departmental collaboration and the development of bespoke specialist units. Taking the IFP law unit British Constitutional History as a case study, the paper aims to synthesise from student, co-ordinator, lecturer and EAP specialist reflections in order to identify the successes of their collaborations and the ways in which the BCH unit and link class materials specifically might be further developed to enhance learning and teaching.
The paper looks at the approach to learning and teaching thus far, and aims to synthesise from these reflections to examine how the BCH unit, and link class specifically, might be further enhanced. The findings are contextualised by drawing on data and interviews with current and former students, and staff both from CELFS and the wider university.

The paper also aims to address the gap in the extant literature in the area of subject specialism at IFP level, and its relationship to EAP, ESP, CLIL, learning and teaching in link classes and the role of the link class tutor. It will suggest that despite the problems associated with specialisation at IFP level, more inter-departmental collaborations in programme and unit design will clearly benefit IFP students both in their linguistic and conceptual learning, as well as in their progression and success as undergraduates.

Specific points addressed are:
• the aims, challenges and successes at co-ordinator and department level of establishing the BCH link class
• the subject lecturer’s perspectives and reflections on the first year of BCH and being embedded within CELFS
• the EAP tutor’s perspectives, reflections, and practical teaching ideas for the delivery of the BCH link class which might be extended to other link classes
• feedback/interviews from former IFP law students now studying in the law department
• feedback/interviews from former IFP Arts and Humanities now in the law department who studied a more generalist English for Humanities unit
• contextualisation of BCH and link classes within the wider EAP landscape and thoughts for the future development of specialist IFP units within HE

Keywords:Education, International students, Law, Subject specialisation, Higher education, Foundation Level, International Foundation Programme
Subjects:M Law > M200 Law by Topic
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
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ID Code:30174
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 14:03

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