Organized at University of Alberta, Canada (September 23 - October 6, 2010)



Development Program:

"TEE: Teaching Effectively in English"

Organized at University of Alberta, Canada (September 23 - October 6, 2010)

Katta Venkataramana Abstract: Four faculty members were deputed to University of Alberta, Canada during September 23 and October 6, 2010 to undergo an intensive Faculty Development Program. The program was planned and coordinated by the Center for Globalization, Kumamoto University, and was implemented by the Department of Extension, University of Alberta. More than 25 faculty and staff of University of Alberta were involved at various stages of this program. In this article, the background and details of the program are presented.

1. Introduction

Kumamoto University has recently initiated several ambitious projects

to enhance its international reach and to promote the university as

global academic hub in higher education and innovative research. One

of them is related to the efforts towards increasing the preparedness

of the faculty members to deliver undergraduate and graduate

courses in English, in view of the expected increase in the number of

international students. In this regard, four faculty members of

Kumamoto University were deputed to the University of Alberta,

Canada during Sept.23 - Oct.6, 2010 to undergo the Faculty

Development Program. Kumamoto University has on-going agreement

for academic collaboration with the University of Alberta. The

Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta conducted this


program specifically to meet the needs of the faculty of Kumamoto University.

2. Contents of the program

The program was called "TEE {Teaching Effectively in English)

-2010". Table 1 shows the contents of the program at a glance. The

program consisted of various modules such as lectures, seminars, group discussions, class room observations, presentations, meetings with senior faculty and so on. The topics covered during the. two- week program included: English language review; overview of teaching methodologies and learning strategies; building confidence in teaching in English; pronunciation skills; leading discussions and handling questions; developing critical thinking skills in students;

using technology in the classroom for motivation; keeping students engaged; dynamic presentation skills — strategies in using visual aids; preparing short lessons in English; effective classroom management (teaching strategies for small, medium and large groups); class observations (sit in on classes in various disciplines, faculty visits); providing constructive feedback/student assessment;

skill enhancement sessions and so on.

3. Observations

3.1 About University of Alberta

University of Alberta, one of the prestigious universities of Canada, was established in the year 1908, and is a government-funded university. It is located in the province of Alberta and has five campuses, out of which the North Campus is the main and the original one, and is located in the city of Edmonton on the edge of the North Saskatchewan river valley. The Faculty of Extension is located in the downtown of Edmonton City and most of the lectures of the TEE program were held at this campus. On the other hand, the classroom observations and faculty visits were conducted at the North campus. The University of Alberta has approximately 33,000

— 14-


full-time and 4,000 part-time students studying in 18 faculties of various subjects including Arts, Agriculture, Anthropology, Business, Ecology, Education, Engineering, Medicine & Dentistry, Law, Life and Environmental Sciences, Linguistics, Native Studies, Nursing, Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physical Education and Recreation, Public Health, Rehabilitation Medicine, Renewable Resources, Rural Economy, Science, Sociology and so on. There are approximately 2790 international students from 130 countries, including 65 students from Japan. Apart from these regular students, more than 15000 students study in the Faculty of Extension on various short-term programs, exchange visits and internships. Also, University of Alberta employs more than 15000 full- and part-time employees.

3.2 On the TEE2010 program

Kumamoto University signed university-level academic agreement

with the University of Alberta in 2001 and since then there have been

active collaboration between the universities. Every summer our

students visit University of Alberta for language studies. However,

this was the first time that our faculty members were deputed

exclusively for the FD program. With effective coordination between

the Center for Globalization at Kumamoto University and the Faculty

of Extension at the University of Alberta, the program was indeed

very successful. Photo 1 shows the participants of the program

arriving at the campus of Faculty of Extension which is located at

the heart of the Edmonton City. (The participants were received at

the Edmonton airport on the previous night and were driven to the

place of accommodation. Next day, a staff came to guide the

participants to the campus). Photo 2 shows a typical lecture notice

outside the classroom. In the faculty of Extension, such notices were

being displayed outside every classroom. Photo 3 gives a view of the

orientation session during which the participants were, briefed about

the University of Alberta and about the objectives and scope of the


TEE2010 program. Photo 4 shows a SPEAK test being conducted.

This test was given to each participant separately and it helped to measure the English ability. Photos 5 and 6 are snapshots of typical classes of the FD program. As it is seen, the lectures were tailor- made for the participants of Kumamoto University and individual attention and interaction was possible. Photo 7 shows a classroom of large size which the participants observed as part of the program.

3.3 About a typical lecture of the program: Encouraging student participation in the class

As mentioned earlier, the TEE2010 program consisted of several modules on relevant themes to enhance the teaching ability of participants and almost all were well received by the participants. The highlights taught on the theme of "encouraging student participation in the classroom discussions" is presented -below as an example


General Strategies:

(1) Encourage students to learn each other's names and


(2) Get to know as many of your students as class size permits (3) Arrange seating to promote discussion

(4) Allow the class time to warm up before you launch into the


(5) Limit your own comments

Tactics to increase student participation:

(1) Make certain each student has an opportunity to talk in class during the first two or three weeks

(2) Ask students to identify characteristics of an effective


(3) Periodically divide students into small groups (4) Assign roles to students

(5) Use emails to start discussion



Tactics to keep students talking:

(1) Built rapport with students

(2) Bring students' outside comments into class (3) Use nonverbal cues to encourage participation (4) Draw all students into the discussion

(5) Give quite students special encouragement

(6) Discourage students who monopolize discussions (7) Tactfully correct wrong answers

(8) Reward but not grade students participation Asking questions to improve learning

(1) When planning questions, keep in mind your course goals (2) Avoid asking "leading questions"

(3) Follow a "yes-or-no" question with an additional question (4) Aim for direct, clear, specific questions

(5) In class discussions, do not ask more than one question at


(6) When you plan each class session, include notes of when you will pause to ask and answer questions

(7) Ask a mix of different types of questions Encouraging students to respond effectively

(1) Wait for students to think and formulate responses (2) Do not interrupt students' answers

(3) Show that you are interested in students' answers, whether right or wrong

(4) Develop responses that keep students thinking

(5) If a student gives an incorrect or weak answer, point out

what is incorrect or weak about the answer. Also ask the

student a follow-up question that will lead that student and the class to the correct or stronger answer.

4. Concluding remarks

The participants expressed their overall satisfaction on the contents

of the program, in improving their teaching and communication skills


in English. They also appreciated the efforts by the faculty of University of Alberta for their sincere efforts in delivering course contents. More than 25 faculty and staff of University had contributed this program at various stages of its implementation. The participants could learn about the use of multimedia (internet), I- clicker etc in teaching-learning process and they got exposure to teaching effectively in English to students whose second language is English. Most importantly, they could personally experience the aspects of globalization at the University of Alberta.

It is planned to organize a similar FD program in March 2011 by deputing the second batch of eight faculty members to the University of California, Fullerton.


[1] TEE2010 program lecture notes, Faculty of Extension, University of

Alberta 2010.



Table 1 Contents of the TEE-2010 Program

Date & Room Session title Instructor Theme Time


2-173 Orientation Ms Mimi SPEAK test and

All day

Hui et al

campus orientation

Sept 24


English, language

Ms Laura

Challenges and All day review (AM) and

classroom concerns


Gallant concerns with

learners of English as a second language Sept 27

2-976 Discussion and

Dr Corey Encouraging student



strategies for the post-secondary



participation in


Sept 27


Developing critical

Dr Walter

Coaching students n


thinking skills in



critical thinking Sept 28


English language

Dr Martin

Graphic organizer in All day review — teaching


Guardado the classroom

Sept 29


Using technology

Dr Marco

Using technology in


for motivation/

Engagement - Podcasting

Adria the classroom

Sept 29

2-167 Social media for Dr Gordon

Keeping students


teaching and


Gow motivated and


Sept 30


Diversity in the

Ms Ev

Diversity in the

AM classroom — The


curriculum project




Sept 30


Using technology

LEO team

Using technology in

PM in the classroom —

iClickers et al

the classroom/

presentation skills

Oct 1 various Sit in classes of Dr Gallin Classroom AM class

various disciplines/ (biology),



faculty visits Dr Loppnow (chemistry),

Dr Dave

Chan (civil engineering),

Dr Leonard


(undergraduate and

graduate programs)





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