Recent email from Kerri-Lee Krause

Dear Colleagues
As you are aware, a recent analysis of support needed by academic staff to enhance their teaching was undertaken by Liz Deane and was the basis of the successful sessional FULT offering this semester. Another area of need that was identified was developing staff skills in teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds and skills in addressing students’ academic literacy skills.

Come again?? Let me try to translate this. When we prune the passive constructions and the tortured syntax. I think you mean something like:  ‘Research conducted by Liz Deane has revealed that, in order to make them better teachers, academics need to be shown how to teach academic literacy skills to people from non-English speaking backgrounds.’  Really? Is that really part of their job? Don’t academics have enough on their plates already? I would have thought that if the looneyversity is offering places to people lacking sufficient academic literacy skills then it has an obligation to hire a good number of specialists who can address that lack, not foist more responsibilities on the already-overburdened academic staff.

As one initiative directed at this issue, I am pleased to be able to advise you that UWS College is able to deliver a 2 day TESOL basics  program in December… This offering will be free of charge to Schools…

Thanks for your support in this initiative.
Best wishes

Well I’m glad you’re directing initiatives at issues, Kerri Lee. We need more initiators at the looneyversity. But maybe you’d like to direct an initiative at another issue. At present the poor harried souls at the Hub for Academic Literacy and Learning (of which the staff diectory reveals there are just five!!), run a ‘library rover’ programme where they sit in a campus library and read over essays that students bring in. But they’re not allowed to correct their spelling or grammar. They can only check whether students are on track, answering the question/performing the assigned task adequately. The problem is that many of those who avail themselves of this service can hardly write a coherent sentence and there’s little the rovers can do. It frustrates them immensely. It’s like trying to put out wildfires with buckets of water.

If the looneyversity is going to open its doors to all-comers then it had better provide proper remedial support to those who are not well-equipped for higher education. Otherwise I suspect student satisfaction levels will plummet and with it UWS’s reputation.