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Type: Conference paper
Title: Critical perspectives on ESL in the tertiary sector: Workshopping the views of TESOL lecturers
Author: Cadman, K.
Adams, K.
Cargill, M.
Munday, K.
Warner, R.
Yong, E.
Citation: Language and learning: The learning dimensions of our work. Proceedings of the Third National Language and Academic Skills Conference / G. Crosling, T. Moore & S. Vance (eds.): pp.58-66
Publisher: CeLTS
Publisher Place: Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 2000
ISBN: 0732617081
Conference Name: National Language and Academic Skills Conference (1999 : Melbourne, Australia)
Statement of
Kate Cadman, Karen Adams, Margaret Cargill, Kristin Munday, Richard Warner and Elizabeth Yong
Abstract: Many academic ESL teachers face a common dilemma: how do we avoid stereotyping and marginalising our students if we continue to perpetuate what Alistair Pennycook has called the hegemonic 'one-way flow of prescriptivist knowledge' which is often the practice of our tertiary institutions? Our primary aim, and one which we hold dear, is to help students to change their behaviours, learning styles, even their identities in order to meet the expectations of specific academic contexts. TESOL lecturers in Adelaide University's Integrated ESL Programs (IEP) are developing ESL learning programs which address this dilemma by incorporating change and development for the institution (including ESL and faculty lecturers) as well as for students. However, we find ourselves in quite different political and professional positions with respect to two key considerations: the extent to which we aim to challenge the dominant academic mores of our own institution to accommodate the learning needs of non-traditional students; and, whether we approach our students primarily with understandings based on our knowledge of their cultures, or rather on their individualities as a learners. At the 1999 Language and Academic Skills conference, a team of IEP lecturers led a workshop to involve participants in activites through which they could consider their own work and their views in relation to these issues. Data collected from this workshop revealed that, for a variety of reasons, an overwhelming majority of these tertiary TESOL lecturers located their work in facilitating change through students, rather than to instituional practices, though they wnated to move their practice significantly in this direction. The majority also sought to validate students' situations and needs as individual learners, rather than to explore students' needs on cultural grounds. Overall the enthusiastic analyses which emerged in the workshop helped us all to clarify some of the ideological and practical issues underpinning the work of ESL teachers in 'Western' academic institutions.
Rights: © Copyright 2000. Copyright subsists with the individual contributors. Permission to publish any material should be sought through the Editors.
RMID: 0001000968
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Appears in Collections:Centre for Learning and Professional Development publications

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