London, 31 Oct-07 Nov 2016: LLL discussions and solutions

The UNICO partnership follow-up visit to the Institute of Education, University College London, from 31 October to 07 November was aimed at discussing the project results, focusing common interests within lifelong learning paradigm, and shaping perspectives for future cooperation.
 

Participants of the UNICO project meeting

  1. Natasha Kersh, the host and the meeting coordinator
  2. Evgeniya Buharova, Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk
  3. Narynkul Chorobaeva, Naryn State University
  4. Elina Gubernatorova, Barnaul State University
  5. Valentina Kononova, Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk
  6. Elena Nadezhdina, Tomsk State University
  7. Julia Shtogrina, Tomsk State University
  8. Kanykey Zhaparova, Naryn State University

 

Discussions with Dr Natasha Kersh and Dr Lesley Coles

Discussion on project outcomes and perspective cooperation with Dr Lesley Coles, lecturer in Academic Writing and Dr Natasha Kersh, UCL research officer.

  • The project participants presented UNICO centres lifelong language programmes for evaluation. Positive feedback on the format and content received.
  • Discussion on Academic Writing courses held: questions of needs for different learners, programmes, resourses, etc. were raised.
  • Discussion on bespoke training (needs, content, duration, finance, etc.) for UNICO centres' alumni discussed; preliminary decisions made.
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Open sessions

01 Nov: Observation of sessions/classes, participation in the sessions and follow-up discussion on the importance of academic writing for different learning groups

1) Referencing and Citation.

2) Organizing your academic writing.

04 Nov: Dr Louise Green, Academic Writing Tutor and eLearning Developer shared her views on the importance and academic writing skills for different target groups, learners with different cultural and educational backgrounds.

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Assessment of language learners: Dr Jane Allemano

Discussion on the project outcomes and perspective cooperation with Dr Jane Allemano, Lecturer in Education and Professional Development, ESOL lecturer. Jane Allemano has worked in ELT for over 30 years as a teacher, materials writer and consultant for Cambridge English. In October 2014, J. Allemano contributed a lot in LLL UNICO training as an expert on language assessment (see video below).

  • The project participants presented UNICO centres certification documents for evaluation:
  1. UNICO LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION SCHEME: RATIONALE
  2. UNICO LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION SCHEME
  3. UNICO CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION (sample)
  • Positive feedback on the format and content received.
  • Discussion on bespoke training (needs, content, duration, finance, etc.) for UNICO centres' alumni discussed; preliminary decisions made.

 

UNICO LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION SCHEME: RATIONALE

UNICO LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION SCHEME is a document aimed at brief description of the learners’ documents on UNICO language courses completion.

The document was developed by the group on language certification:

  1. Altai State University (Elina Gubernatorova)
  2. Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University (Olga Shubina)
  3. Naryn State University (Narynkul Chorobaeva)
  4. Siberian Federal University (Veronika Obidina, Valentina Kononova)
  5. Tajik State Institute of Languages (Nodira Khabibova)
  6. Transbaikal State University (Marina Fomina)

The group has drafted this document to meet the needs of UNICO learners on the basis of extensive group discussions.

The group on language certification commits to:

  1. providing a learner with a qualification which signifies he/ she reached a certain level of competence and knowledge;
  2. considering certification as a motivation factor for personal development and professional opportunities;
  3. embedding the UNICO LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION SCHEME in UNICO language curricula;
  4. providing certificates to a diversified learner population on formal and informal levels;
  5. avoiding bias in certifying learners;
  6. submitting the scheme on UNICO partnership approval or further development.

 

UNICO LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION SCHEME

1. On UNICO University Centre Network and its language courses

UNICO university language centres were opened in 11 universities of the Russian Federation, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Tajikistan in 2015, under the roof of EU grant and the universities’ co-financing within the project 544283-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-ES-TEMPUS-JPHES. The following universities put into force UNICO University Centre Network for New Career Opportunities and Personal Development:

  1. Altai State University - Barnaul, Russia
  2. Kemerovo State University - Kemerovo, Russia
  3. Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University - Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic
  4. Naryn State University - Naryn, the Kyrgyz Republic
  5. Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management - Novosibirsk, Russia
  6. Russian-Tajik Slavonic University – Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan
  7. Siberian Federal University - Krasnoyarsk, Russia
  8. Tajik State Institute of Languages – Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan
  9. Tajik State University of Commerce – Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan
  10. Tomsk State University - Tomsk, Russia
  11. Transbaikal State University - Chita, Russia

Taking into account the principles of the EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES’ CHARTER ON LIFELONG LEARNING (2008) and recognizing learners’ prior learning, UNICO centres offer a number of diverse language courses for professional and vocational development, as well as academic, general, and personal purposes (http://uttp.esy.es. –[courses])

2. On admission to UNICO language courses

Admission to UNICO language courses is based on the results of placement testing, questionnaires, or/ and learner’s self-assessment, at the choice of the faculty.

Cohorts of the recruited learners as well as courses dates are approved by rector order.

3. On the documents of courses completion

On language course completion, the following documents may be granted to learners:

1) at the university level - ADVANCED TRAINING CERTIFICATE;

ADVANCED TRAINING CERTIFICATE is issued by partner-universities in the university-approved format and provided to those who successfully completed a UNICO language course and met the course requirements. ADVANCED TRAINING CERTIFICATE confirms university in-service education within continuous training. ADVANCED TRAINING CERTIFICATEs are well-known and well-recognized in the labour market.

2) at the level of UNICO University Centre Network for New Career Opportunities and Personal Development - CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION [Cвидетельство об окончании курса];

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION is a general UNICO network document which confirms the course completion and has unvaried and variable data. The document also lists the course level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), length of study, and learner’s learning outcomes (excellent, good, fair, completed) based on teachers’ assessment according to the progress the learners have achieved during their English language course at UNICO.

As a rule, modern course textbooks are designed for particular levels, defined in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). These levels are indicated in the textbooks’ introductions and/ or rationales. CEFR is not specific to any particular course, curriculum or exam. CEFR adopts an actions-oriented approach which means that the standard is fundamentally defined around learners’ ability to understand and communicate in real-world situations. Each level is defined as a description of roughly what learners ought to be able to do in terms of understanding and communicating.

CEFR divides learners into three broad divisions A, B and C, each of which has two sub-divisions:

A – Basic User

  • A1 Breakthrough or beginner
  • A2 Waystage or elementary

B – Independent User

  • B1 Threshold or intermediate
  • B2 Vantage or upper intermediate

C – Proficient User

  • C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
  • C2 Mastery or proficiency

The framework and its six level scale of progression is a widely accepted standard not only in Europe but also increasingly worldwide, and it ideally suits for UNICO purposes.

3) at the international level, a learner can apply for an INTERNATIONALLY STANDARDIZED LANGUAGE CERTIFICATE (IELTS, TOEFL, the Cambridge ESOL examination – FCE, CAE, CPE, BEC, etc.) to the nearest authorized language exam centre.

4. On the documents recognition

Both the ADVANCED TRAINING CERTIFICATE and the CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION are valid for life and are recognized throughout the whole UNICO TEMPUS partnership and wider.

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RATIONALE FOR UNICO LIFELONG LEARNING LANGUAGE PROGRAMMES

During the visit, the rationale for UNICO lifelong learning language programmes was discussed and finalised.
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RATIONALE

RATIONALE

FOR UNICO LIFELONG LEARNING LANGUAGE PROGRAMMES

 

1. On UNICO university language centres parnership

UNICO university language centres were opened in 11 universities of the Russian Federation, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Tajikistan in 2015, under the roof of EU grant and the universities’ co-financing within the project 544283-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-ES-TEMPUS-JPHES. The following universities put into force UNICO University Centre Partnership for New Career Opportunities and Personal Development:

1) Altai State University - Barnaul, Russia

2) Kemerovo State University - Kemerovo, Russia

3) Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University - Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic

4) Naryn State University - Naryn, the Kyrgyz Republic

5) Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management - Novosibirsk, Russia

6) Russian-Tajik Slavonic University – Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan

7) Siberian Federal University - Krasnoyarsk, Russia

8) Tajik State Institute of Languages – Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan

9) Tajik State University of Commerce – Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan

10) Tomsk State University - Tomsk, Russia

11) Transbaikal State University - Chita, Russia

 

2. On UNICO centres commitment

Taking into account the principles of the EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES’ CHARTER ON LIFELONG LEARNING (2008), UNICO centres commit to

1) Providing language education and learning to a diversified population

2) Providing appropriate guidance and counselling services in lifelong language education

3) Recognising prior language learning

4) Embracing lifelong learning in quality culture

5) Strengthening the relationship between research, teaching and innovation in a perspective of lifelong language learning

6) Providing a flexible and creative learning environment for all students

7) Acting as role models of lifelong language learning institutions

 

3. On LLL language courses

UNICO centres offer a number of diverse language courses for professional and vocational development, as well as academic, general, and personal purposes.

 

4. On admission to UNICO language courses

Admission of wider population to UNICO language courses is based on the results of placement testing, questionnaires, or/ and learner’s self-assessment, at the choice of the faculty.

Cohorts of the recruited learners as well as courses dates are approved by university rector orders.

 

5. On andragogy, the pedagogy of language teaching

UNICO language programmes take into account Malcolm Knowles’s pedagogy (andragogy) of adult language teaching who argues that adults are different from children in five key ways:

1) They are self-directed (independent learners)

2) They have a range of experiences that can be used as a resourse for their learning

3) They need learning to be relevant to their own situations

4) They need learning to be usable immediately

5) Their motivation to learn may be intrinsic (learning for its own sake, because it is personally enjoyable) rather that extrinsic (to pass an exam)

 

6. On educational theories for LLL practitioners

Cognitive theories of learning

1) Behaviorism: derivers from the work of Skinner (1974), suggests that learning is about conditioning: breaking down learning into small steps or chunks and staging them, and giving praise and encouragement to learners are widely acceptable for adults.

2) Humanism: with an emphasis on process rather than product; the learners’ feelings are understood to be as important as their cognitive abilities. Examples of teaching approaches based on humanism include the following:

° Communicative approach to adults, which involves using the language in authentic and meaningful ways rather than learning rules.

° Reading circles, might be used in literacy classes

3) Constructivism (and social constructivism): learners make sense of new knowledge by integrating it into what they already know.

Social theories of learning

1) Social practice theory: sees learning as situated social practice(learning by doing), learning never takes place in isolation, but always within a social, cultural, historical and political context.

2) Transformative learning: derives from the work of Freire (1972), who believed that the role of education is to promote change and transform the lives of those who partake in it.

 

Approaches to teaching and learning: language

UNICO teachers choose realistic communication in a variety of contexts and for variety of communicative purposes:

1) PPP(Presentation, Practice, Production): a language item is selected by the teacher and presented to the learner in an oral or written context; this is followed by controlled practice; in the final stage the learners use the new language in ways of their own.

2) ARC (Authentic use; Restricted use and Clarification and focus): more flexible than PPP model, the order of the elements can be varied.

3) Inductive learning: adult learners are given examples of a language structure and they then work out the underlying rules for themselves.

4) Task-based learning: instead of focusing on language structures, learners use the language to solve a problem or perform a task.

6. On factors that impact on learning

Teachers of UNICO centres needs to be aware of the following factors:

1) A learner’s purpose for learning

2) Personal and social factors (learner’s background, family circumstances, work and leisure interests, etc.)

3) Linguistic factors (the languages the learner uses and their facility in each, in terms of the four skills)

4) Cognitive factors (the impact of brain function on learning)

5) Educational factors (previous learning experiences)

6) Affective factors (negativity, alienation, etc.)

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Aspin, D.N., Chapman, J., Evans, K., Bagnall, R. (eds) (2012) Second International Book on Lifelong Learning. London, New York: Springer.
  2. European Universities’ Charter on Lifelong Learning (2008). EU: Brussels.
  3. Johnson, S.M. (2015) Adult learning in the Language Classroom. Bristol, Buffalo, Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
  4. Knowles, M., Holton, E.F., and Swanson, R.A. (2011) The Adult learner: The Definite Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. London and NewYork: Routledge.
  5. Schwab, I. with Jane Allemano, David Mallows, D., and McKeown, A. (2015) Training to Teach Adults English. England and Wales: NIACE.

 

BOOKS for UNICO centres!!!!

In Blackwells' (the UCL IOE's bookstore, do you remember their slogan "For learning, for life"?) we bought a lot of books for UNICO centres, and were happy to see familiar names on the bookcovers. Jane Allemano, one of the authors of "Training to Teach Adults English" (2015). kindly autographed her work.
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Prof. Karen Evans: publish UNICO book in Springer!

Prof. Karen Evans is undoubtedly a key person for the project. We remember her plenary talk "Current Issues and Perspectives in Lifelong Learning" in Krasnoyarsk conference in 2015 ("Lifelong Learning in the Knowledge Era: Theoretical and Practical Implications for Language Education") - http://tube.sfu-kras.ru/video/2202?playlist=2199, also see video below. She gave an open lecture for wider professional community "Can Lifelong Learning Reshape Life Chances?".

This time in London, Karen Evans, as the editor of Lifelong learning Book Series for Springer, raised a question of submitting UNICO book proposal to Lifelong Learning Book Series of Springer, the international publisher (http://www.springer.com/series/6627). The series aims to engage schorals, practitioners, policy-makers and professionals with contemporary research and practic, and to provoke fresh thinking and innovation in lifelong learning. The participants of the discussion thanked Karen for trust and agreed on the need of use of this wonderful opportunity to share the gained project results.

Karen Evans introduced ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning http://asemlllhub.org/aboutus/ , where Prof K.Evans coordinates "Workplace learning" research network. She invited UNICO patners to join the network.

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Support from Prof Alison Fuller, UCL IOE Pro Director on Research and Development

In comprehensive discussion, Prof Alison Fuller, UCL IOE Pro Director on Research and Development, expressed satisfaction on the project outcomes and underlined the importance of further cooperation. In particular, she approved the idea of the bespoke courses for UNICO alumni and proposed to put the results of the UNICO project on UCL oficial website.
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Sam Duncan, our long-time friend

Do you remember Dr Sam Duncan's sessions - 2014 about LLL, literacy, cinema & reading circles?

Recently, Dr Sam Duncan, Senior Lecturer in Adult Education And Literacies, wrote a book: Duncan, S. (2014) Reading for Pleasure and Reading Circles for Adult Emergent Readers. UK: Niace.

We cound not help missing an opportunity to return to the issues and share our experience. In the bookstore downstairs, we bought her book, and Sam kindly autographed it.

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Negotiations with top management

During our visit, we had a unique opportunity to discuss the project results and perspectives with UCL top managers:
Prof David Guile, Head of the department "Education, Practice and Society, we use his implications from "The Knowledge Economy and Lifelong Learning" in practice
https://www.dropbox.com/home/UNICO/London%20LLL%20training?preview=DavidGuile-TEMPUSPresentationOctober2014.pdfProf Alison Fuller, UCL IOE Pro Director on Research and Development (see above), we got her concern and support;
and Mr Conor Rickford, UCL Partnership Manager (Europe), Global Engagement Office, who introduced UCL's Glabal Engagement Strategy.
Some preliminary agreements on future research were gained. Financial opportunities for future collaboration were discussed in detail.
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LLL seminars in LLAKES

The participants were given a wonderful opportunity to expand LLL horisons:

1) LLAKES research seminar "Sosialism, Education and Equality"

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/news-events/events-pub/nov-16/socialism-education-and-equality

and

2) Alexi Marmot's seminar "Growth of the global higher education estate: challenges ahead" (UCL's Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment")

 

IOE LIBRARY

This time, as well as in 2014, we had an opportunity to use the resourses of IOE library, which is №1 educational treasure-house.

https://www.dropbox.com/home/UNICO/London%20LLL%20training?preview=Library-Induction-TempusOct2014.pdf

Natasha Kersh kindly provided every visitor with an IOE library entry permit.

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