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Pre-Sessional course tutors
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote :

Quote:
OOf! Oxford University employee then are you?


I actually teach one part-time course (not EAP) at Oxford and also at two top London universities.

slapntickle wrote :


Quote:
Their English levels are atrocious
What exactly do you mean by 'atrocious'? To get a Tier 4 student visa they need a minimum IELTS Band 5.5, and most pre-sessional courses expect Band 6.0 or 6.5 to start. Of course, it depends on the university and the degree course.

Quote:
...the pass mark is set very low


Who sets the pass mark? Are there no QAA checks or external examiners? Clearly not at your university.

Quote:
I wish we could fail more but we wouldn't get invited back if we did


It would appear you are a temporary summer teacher. Fail them and then next year apply to teach at a more prestigious or professional place. There are plenty of vacancies advertised on the BALEAP website and jobs.ac.uk.

Is it any wonder English HE is being criticized?
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
What exactly do you mean by 'atrocious'? To get a Tier 4 student visa they need a minimum IELTS Band 5.5, and most pre-sessional courses expect Band 6.0 or 6.5 to start. Of course, it depends on the university and the degree course.


Not all universities require a 5.5 IELTS . . . some go lower.

Quote:
Who sets the pass mark? Are there no QAA checks or external examiners? Clearly not at your university.


It's set by the DOS.

Quote:
It would appear you are a temporary summer teacher. Fail them and then next year apply to teach at a more prestigious or professional place. There are plenty of vacancies advertised on the BALEAP website and jobs.ac.uk.


Not as easy as this as I'm sure you know. And what's to guarantee getting another job?

Quote:
Is it any wonder English HE is being criticized?


Blame a lack of government funding, along with deregulation of the sector for this criticism.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:

Quote:
Not all universities require a 5.5 IELTS...some go lower



For a Tier 4 visa for an overseas student leading to the Acceptance of Study (CAS)to study on a pre-sessional course in the UK, leading to a degree, the student must have an IELTS Band 5.5.

https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/knowledge-of-english

slapntickle wrote:

Quote:
It's set by the DOS


This almost unbelievable! One person decides on a low pass mark in English into a university degree course? Clearly your university is not accredited or inspected by QAA or the British Council. And you are prepared to go along with this, and return summer after summer knowing this? Wow!

Is it any wonder that faculty members do not give much credence to EAP tutors ?
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah - that IS pretty shabby. If the DoS sets the pass mark then I can't imagine the type of students they let loose at the end of summer are up to much.

But it's understandable, with the rates of pay typically offered, that teachers return year after year.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rates of pay are generally not that bad, looking at job postings on websites. Many universities are paying 700 pounds + a week, and sometimes free or heavily subsidized accommodation on campus.

The worst pay seems to be 14 pounds an hour at Bristol University!
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote:
Yeah - that IS pretty shabby. If the DoS sets the pass mark then I can't imagine the type of students they let loose at the end of summer are up to much.

But it's understandable, with the rates of pay typically offered, that teachers return year after year.


Last year at our university we had a 100% pass rate. All teachers were encouraged to pass students. It's scary what is going on. It'd be a challenge for most of these students to flip a burger at McDonald's let alone move onto a degree course.
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gregory999



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 372
Location: 999

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Dedicated stated in his post, your university is not accredited or inspected by QAA or the British Council, it looks like a dodgy university, with dodgy staff.
Keep up the 100% pass rate! Very Happy
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gregory999 wrote:
As Dedicated stated in his post, your university is not accredited or inspected by QAA or the British Council, it looks like a dodgy university, with dodgy staff.


Oh, but it is accredited by the BC! Do you really think that is a true mark of quality today?
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote:

But it's understandable, with the rates of pay typically offered, that teachers return year after year.


Dedicated wrote:
The rates of pay are generally not that bad, looking at job postings on websites. Many universities are paying 700 pounds + a week, and sometimes free or heavily subsidized accommodation on campus.


I wasn't suggesting the pay was bad - quite the opposite.



slapntickle wrote:
gregory999 wrote:
As Dedicated stated in his post, your university is not accredited or inspected by QAA or the British Council, it looks like a dodgy university, with dodgy staff.


Oh, but it is accredited by the BC! Do you really think that is a true mark of quality today?


How do these places get accreditation, then? Inspection/audting, right? A fairly thorough process, I would have thought. BC bods setting up camp for a couple of days, checking files, observing lessons, talking to staff. I've seen it go on. So what goes wrong?
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the problem lies in the fact that accreditation by the BC goes on during term time. They observe classes and thoroughly check paperwork, teacher qualifications and lesson plans etc as well as speaking to staff. They usually come to universities only once in 4 years and stay for a week.

However, they come September to June and do not visit summer pre-sessional courses (so I was told by one inspector) but just check the curriculum and possibly speak to the pre-sessional coordinator, or whatever they call themselves. Therefore they don't see the teaching or even check the qualifications of summer temporary staff who may have no EAP experience at all.

They write a very comprehensive report which is published where you can read their comments and necessary points of action.

Actually, for universities, a BALEAP inspection and accreditation is more appropriate.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote:
How do these places get accreditation, then? Inspection/audting, right? A fairly thorough process, I would have thought. BC bods setting up camp for a couple of days, checking files, observing lessons, talking to staff. I've seen it go on. So what goes wrong?


Indeed, a good question. Books can be cooked and things tweaked here and there to give the impression that everything is ship-shape. All I know is that there are teachers on our courses that don't even meet the basic criteria for summer school(ie, no CELTA) and that students who are on our courses do not possess anywhere near the academic ability needed to pursue a degree. It's all a big scam and I feel complicit just by being a part of it. Obviously the BC is not doing the job it should be. What needs to happen is that the regulators need to be regulated.
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gregory999



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 372
Location: 999

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
It's all a big scam and I feel complicit just by being a part of it.

Why don't you blow the whistle on their unethical practice?
Why don't you send your concerns to Wikileaks or Panama Papers? Laughing
Something must be done to rectify things, be a Whistle blower and clear your conscience.

Dedicated wrote:
I think the problem lies in the fact that accreditation by the BC goes on during term time. They observe classes and thoroughly check paperwork, teacher qualifications and lesson plans etc as well as speaking to staff. They usually come to universities only once in 4 years and stay for a week.

Don't they speak to the students, to get feedback from them about the courses?
Once in 4 years! This is not an effective QA system of evaluation of courses?
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gregory999 wrote:
Why don't you blow the whistle on their unethical practice?Why don't you send your concerns to Wikileaks or Panama Papers? Laughing Something must be done to rectify things, be a Whistle blower and clear your conscience.


Would you blow the whistle? What about the references I need to move on and get a new job? There are consequences to blowing the whistle. I mean look what happened to Julian Assange. Maybe I'll get a new job first and then bring this all to light. It makes me sick.
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