Tag Archives: english language

New Program – English as a Foreign Language

This year the Department of International Studies: Languages and Cultures has launched a new Program, English as a Foreign Language  convened by Dr Lai Ping Florence Ma.


Who is the new program for?

It is designed for students from non-English speaking backgrounds, aiming to further develop and consolidate their English language skills for academic, professional and social settings. It provides ample opportunities for students to practise reading, writing, listening and speaking skills through extensive in-class activities, online practice, and independent learning. Students will develop a deep understanding of the structural properties of English through analysing a variety of spoken and written English texts.

This program also develops students’ inter-cultural awareness and communication skills to enable them to become competent communicators in local, international and cross-cultural contexts. It equips students with useful language skills to complete their academic studies successfully and to broaden their career options.

Modes and units offered

This program is offered through both on-campus and external mode, and it currently consists of 4 units:

  • EFLA100 (English as a Foreign Language in Practice)
  • EFLA110 (English as a Foreign Language Consolidation)
  • EFLA201 (English as a Foreign Language Expansion I)
  • EFLA202 (English as a Foreign Language Expansion II)

For more information, please click on the link –  English as a Foreign Language or contact Dr Florence Ma: florence.lai.ma@mq.edu.au

Evolving English: Our new English Language Policy

Evolving English: An update on our new English Language Policy

At Macquarie University we are proud of our diverse cultural and language communities. We are also committed to producing graduates who are effective communicators with discipline-specific knowledge and skills. Achieving this requires students to be skilled in using the English Language.

For a native speaker this may seem easy, however English is constantly evolving, and varies in different contexts. For example, language in disciplines and professions can be used in a particular way (such as ‘derivative’ in finance or mathematics), or can be specific to that discipline (jargon).  No matter what their background, all students will encounter unfamiliar language at some point at University, and all students must continually develop their skills to be able to successfully communicate in academic and professional settings.

Comic about language (Creative Commons)

There are a lot of great resources available across the University for students  including self-directed resources, learning skills workshops and programs such as Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and conversation groups.

One way for students to acquire skills is when they are included within programs. There are many resources for staff in designing materials, in particular two excellent professional development guides  How to Embed Discipline-specific Discourse – Learning Through Communication  and  Developing your students’ English Language proficiency. As language is constantly changing we must ensure we change with it.

In May the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) set up a working party with representatives from across the University to draft a new English Language policy. The policy will outline expectations of both staff and students in actively developing English language skills including the use of academic and discipline-specific discourse.

To draft the policy the working party has reviewed existing policies, resources available across the University, the  Australian Qualifications Framework and the DEEWR English Language Standards for Higher Education.  Draft copies of the policy, procedure and guideline were distributed last month through Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees for consultation.

The SLTC will meet shortly to discuss comments that have been received so far. If you have any feedback, remember to offer it to your Faculty Learning and Teaching committee or email directly to Antonia Dykes.