Starting out in the HE languages department (10 Nov 05)

Date: 10 November, 2005
Location: CILT, London
Event type: Workshop

Location map | Event report

In association with:

CILT, The national centre for languages

Event report: Starting out in the HE languages department

Very useful,
a good day


- Workshop attendee

by David Newton, Higher Education Development Officer, CILT

This day was aimed at academic staff who are new to teaching languages in Higher Education. The course covered a range of topics, both pedagogical and more general, facing new language teaching staff.

Although delegate numbers were relatively low at this event, those who did attend were generally appreciative of the presentations given by the speakers.

CILT, Subject Centre and Online Support for Language Teachers

David E Newton, CILT, the National Centre for Languages
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About CILT (710Kb)
Resources for HE teachers (203Kb)

This presentation will summarise the support, training, publications and information which available to university language teachers from CILT, the National Centre for Languages, the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. It will also provide information about useful websites, email discussion lists and other online resources.

Supporting New Academic Staff

Ruth Hale, Project Officer, Higher Education Academy
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Supporting New Academic Staff (SNAS) Enhancing support for the disciplinary focus on professional courses (1,402Kb)

The SNAS project (Supporting New Academic Staff) arose from a desire expressed amongst Course Tutors and Subject Centres to share information about subject specific resources and guidance on how to use generic resources to support new academic staff in specific disciplines. This session will introduce new staff to the three strands of the SNAS project:

  • Discipline specific resource and guidance
  • Mechanisms for staff engaged on programmes to share discipline specific pedagogy
  • Linking teaching with research and scholarship,

in the context of the Academy's work and explain what it can do for them.

Subject-specific support for Modern Languages staff and the DELPHI Project

John Klapper, Professor of Foreign Language Pedagogy, University of Birmingham
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Subject-specific support for language teachers in higher education: the DELPHI project (55Kb)

This session will include an introduction to specific pedagogical areas relating to teaching languages and is meant as an orientation session for the new teacher. The DELPHI Project (Developing Language Professionals in Higher Education Institutions) is a project run by the University of Birmingham, the aim of which is to develop web-based professional development materials for language teaching.

A Personal Account from a Teaching Postgraduate

Darren Paffey, University of Southampton
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Mission Possible! Combining HE Teaching with Academic Research (29Kb)

In this presentation, a teaching postgraduate gives a personal account of the issues, difficulties and joys experienced in the first year of teaching in HE whilst combining this with research.

Teaching Languages at University: UCL - A Case Study

Jane Hughes, Terry King and Brigitte Picot, Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, University College London Lydia Buravova, Department of Russian, University College London/School of Slavonic and East European Studies Jannie Roed, University of Sussex; previously Department of Scandinavian Studies, University College London
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Teaching Languages in Higher Education: a case study (62Kb)
Less Widely Taught Languages (92Kb)

This case study will consider the support needs of language teachers in a multi-faculty, research-intensive university. It acknowledges the wide range of different roles that language teachers may have in higher education and details ways in which their diverse support needs can be met. It highlights problematic areas, suggests strategies that teachers may find useful, and offers information on courses and resources. This presentation will be divided into three parts:

1) Introduction to University Teaching
a) Overview of language teaching
b) Overview of support typically available University language teaching can take many different forms (academic language departments, language centres, Centres of Excellence, undergraduate classes and voluntary classes) and as a result, teachers may have differing roles, different contracts, different pressures and therefore different support needs. This session will mainly be aimed at describing these differences and identifying the needs of the audience.

2) Staff Viewpoints
This session will consist of a series of mini-presentations from a number of staff representing different viewpoints. Language teachers at different stages of their careers and a staff member responsble for training and supporting these staff will discuss some of the issues that they encounter.

3) Final Session
This interactive session will consist of activities, drawing on what has been covered in the first two parts. The session will include some or all of the following: making a self-development plan; making recommendations for good practice; suggestions for what bodies such as the Higher Education Academy, CILT and the Subject Centre could do to further support staff; a mini-support session relating to course design, delivery or assessment; relating teaching to research; writing documentation for new language teachers and summarising the support available to them; a group discussion on the specialist nature of the support required by language teaching staff, including as many of the day's speakers as possible.

Library visit

At the end of the day, there was free time for any interested delegates to visit the CILT Resources Library.

Special offer

Delegates at this event had the opportunity to purchase the CILT publication Teaching languages in higher education: Issues in training and continuing professional development (edited by. John Klapper) at a 15% discount (12.75 instead of the usual 15). For details of this publication, see CILT's website.