Thanks to one of the initiatives at Masaryk University, a project concerning the conception and realisation of a brand-new medical French course could be started in September 2016. This article is an attempt at a description of the course design procedure. The pre-course context is also outlined, as it played an essential role in the subsequent work on the curriculum design. The article is divided into three main parts, following the planning, implementation and evaluation stages of the traditional curriculum-design process. It provides some theoretical background concerning the curriculum design of language courses in general, covering specific problems connected to the areas of content conceptualisation, the definition of goals and objectives, as well as the construction of an assessment framework in the course of language for specific purposes. In the planning stage, special attention is paid to the issues of needs analysis. The second part of the article treats the (re)evaluation and the adaptation of the course based on the teacher’s self-analysis and the students’ feedback obtained through the entry and end-of-course questionnaires. The question of students as course co-creators is approached. Finally, future perspectives on teaching medical French at Masaryk University are briefly outlined.
This paper is the second part of an assessed submission for the ODPL500IM Module: Developing Student Education Practice on the Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). It was not written for a public audience. The editors have therefore added a few footnotes and hyperlinks to provide occasional clarification. In this piece, our colleague Cheryl reflects on her own teaching practice and her developing philosophy of teaching and learning.
This short paper attempts to outline some of the difficulties in designing a content-based presessional course, “Language for Law.” It touches on the notion of the novice practitioner and how this is ultimately a position of some confusion and vulnerability. It examines how a practitioner may attempt to develop expertise both through engagement with the EAP literature, and through the inheritance of institutional knowledge and practices. The paper then goes on to highlight some of the issues that can arise when surveying the existing literature, and how these, combined with the tendency for institutions to revert to skills-based syllabuses, may limit the practitioners ability to make principled decisions around language content. This is considered within the context of law, and the article aims to show that in this particular context, these difficulties are to some extent magnified by a lack of knowledge, not just of EAP, but the subject of law itself. In particular, this short piece aims to show how this lack of understanding of law makes a sound interrogation of epistemological and discourse practices difficult, and in turn hopes to encourage a commitment to professional development to address the challenge facing EAP practitioners stepping into new academic disciplines.
As part of the Modern Foreign Language Teaching and Learning curricular reform in the 1980s, grammar teaching was often replaced by the communicative approach, in an attempt to ‘get pupils talking’ (Grenfell, 2000: 4). As a result of this policy, accuracy was not a priority and errors were tolerated. However, more recent debates have led to the recognition of the need to focus on grammar. Grammar is important and learners seem to focus best on grammar when it relates to their communicative needs and experiences (Savignon, 2001: 125). This article will deal with different methods and approaches to teaching grammar based on my personal experience of teaching Italian as second language across all levels of proficiency. This part will be introduced by a short review of main approaches to teach second language (L2) grammar.
This article, which brings together the fields of intercultural education and digital learning, explores my experience in 2017 and 2018 of designing an ODL module for the FutureLearn platform and the University of Leeds. An analysis of the development of a module on intercultural studies through a digital platform offers an alternative narrative to micro-managed messages and success stories increasingly made about the value of ODL within Higher Education (HE). Additionally, I locate these discussions within the growing field of Critical University Studies (CUS) which interrogates neoliberal practices within the wider HE context and questions the increasing prevalence of managerial metrics and market ideologies.
In this position paper Antonio Martínez-Arboleda presents his Ártemis 2016 project of audio-visual digitisation of poetry, providing links to some of the 30 poems and 30 mini-interviews of the videos of the Open Educational Resources (OER) collection “Las flechas de Ártemis” (“The Arrows of Ártemis”). Antonio discusses the educational rationale behind this initiative and suggests a framing for 21st Century poetry that accounts for the old and the new in the Age of Technological Eversion. Some principles are advanced for the development of strategies to support learners, as they encounter the videos of this collection.
The Linguistic Rebel: Semantic and Syntactic Peculiarity in the Use of Sound Symbolic Forms in Italian Disney Comics
Sound symbolic words, also known as ideophones, represent that part of language that attempts to imitate real-life senses through the vocal tract. Sound symbolism as a discipline has often been overlooked and considered as relegated to child-like media and playful linguistic exchanges. In recent years, more and more research has been dedicated to these forms, which are often characterised by uncommon linguistic elements and tend to drift away from canonical grammatical and phonetic rules; for this reason, their analysis can reveal new perspectives on language creation and linguistic iconicity. The current study aims to align itself with those enquiries that have defined sound symbolic forms as ‘linguistic rebels’ and does this through the preliminary analysis of a bilingual corpus of ideophones taken from Italian Disney comics and created through extensive, doctoral archival work. The results will help clarify the role of ideophones in the comic book and will focus on identifying the morphophonological stratagems that make sound symbolic words expressive and iconic.
In response to undergraduate calls for more vocational modules for students of French at the University of Leeds, I designed a level-2 ‘Introduction to Professional Translation and Interpreting’ (IPTI). Students participate in role-plays throughout the year and so learn, through experience, observation, and feedback/discussion, the interpreting skills on which they are assessed. In this article, we shall look at the rationale behind the use and form(s) of role-play in the teaching of interpreting. We shall explore the ideas that scripted role-plays ‘work’ better than semi- or unscripted scenarios, and that generating scripts is preferable to ‘borrowing’ existing scenarios. There will then follow some comments on how role-plays can be used in a 50-minute seminar. To conclude, we shall discuss more general benefits of using scripted role-plays in the teaching of foreign languages.
In this paper, I outline the principles behind the development of an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional programme, using Exploratory Practice as a framework. Through this framework, I argue, we are able to move beyond the issues of deciding what language and skills to teach, and when to do so, towards a more collaborative approach to language learning and teaching. This fits with the overall goal of EAP teaching, which is to meet student end need rather than work through arbitrarily created ‘language levels’. By providing space within the curriculum for ‘puzzlement’ we move towards a ‘praxis of not being sure’ (Meyer & Land, 2005), thus encouraging students to take greater control of their own language learning journey and allowing opportunities for teachers to engage in scholarship within and through the curriculum, the syllabus and their own classroom practices.
This paper discusses two peer learning projects, namely the Joint Presentation Project and YouTube Video Project, involving post-beginner students of Japanese and Japanese year abroad students at the University of Leeds. The discussion will focus particularly on the merits of the projects and some problems arisen. The results of a pilot study in 2015-16 suggested the need to reconsider the role of the teachers, as some students did not contribute to the projects as much as we expected them to do. Thus, the structure and assessment of the projects were revised and the teachers were given more active roles as supporters and facilitators in order to promote the students’ peer learning activities beyond the classroom. Student online feedback at the end of each semester showed that the projects not only increased student opportunities for in-depth communications using the target languages, but also enhanced their cultural and linguistic awareness, as well as their motivation and personal development through the sense of achievement and collaboration. In addition, the issue of unequal contributions to the project observed in 2015-16 seemed to have been resolved to some degree, due to changes in the structure and assessment of the project. However, it was also noted that the timing of the project should be more carefully planned so as not to conflict with other academic commitments.