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A series of sharing and discussion sessions were held at different Language Centres in October and November 2018 on “Good practices in teaching first-year EAP courses: Issues and Strategies.  Here is a summary of the key points on the challenges discussed and the good practices identified.

 

Challenges Good practices
Course coordination

Large student cohort with diverse language needs

Large teaching team

Handling a large number of special cases

Streaming students according to language proficiencies (HKUST)

Additional online learning materials on Moodle for self-study (HKU)

For courses that place students into various streams, teachers only teach on one stream to develop expertise (HKUST)

Smaller class size for some sub-classes (max. 14 students in I-stream) (HKUST)

Weekly email communication with teaching team (PolyU, HKUST)

Mentoring of new course teachers (HKU)

FAQs for teachers and students (PolyU)

A list of common cases for teachers to study (PolyU)

Set emails to be used when responding to students (PolyU)

Course design Covering a large body of materials in the semester Range of materials and activities (core + additional) to choose from. This allows flexibility and teacher ownership (PolyU)
Classroom teaching Students are not motivated to learn

Practical hands-on activities, mini-games in class 

Using online collaborative tools in teaching  (EdUHK)

Giving prompt / in-class feedback using online tools (EdUHK)

Introducing Clicker tools (e.g. uReply, Kahoot and YoTeach) (PolyU)

Assessment and feedback

Ensuring standardized quality across different sub-classes

Teacher feedback being illegible, vague and detached

Maintain standardization of marking through online, face-to-face meetings and double marking (HKU, PolyU)

Briefing teachers of the same course objectives, scale and expectations across all streams (HKUST)

Using technology to provide feedback (Audio-visual; Padlet; GoToMeeting) (EdUHK)

10-minute individual consultation (5 mins for students to raise questions, 5 minutes for feedback) (EdUHK)

 

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