Individual Module Plan Development

After each student has completed the required diagnostics, the facilitator should be able to clearly identify areas that each student will need to improve upon. These modules are not intended to have every student take each module, but rather, a customized selection of the modules. Below you will find a recommendation of what students should take which modules based on the area for improvement presented in the diagnostics. In some instances, the facilitator may deem that the student should enroll in all modules and this is fine. However, ensure that your selection of recommended modules is aligned with the results of the diagnostics.

Individual Module Planning

If a student is identified to have a weakness in _________________________, we should encourage them to enroll in the Module _____ workshop at its next offering.
Grammar / Lexicogrammatical Module 1, 5
Delivering a public speech or presentation Module 2, 4
Vocabulary / Concision / Audience Module 3, 4, 5
Sentence structure / Concision Module 4, 5
Wordiness and redundancy / Lexicogrammatical Module 5
Identifying relevant vs irrelevant information / Rhetorical / Audience Module 6, 4, 5
Composing formal, technical, and/or professional writing / Rhetorical / Argument / Audience Module 7, 4, 6
Oral communication Module 8, 4

English Proficiency Test

Purpose and Use of the English Proficiency Test

The English Proficiency Test (EPT) is a short exam that assesses a student’s ability to understand, analyze and summarize information in a report. This test is aimed at students who perform poorly in English or otherwise exhibit language difficulties.

How Does the EPT Work?

In this test, a reader reads a situation aloud to the class. Both useful and irrelevant information is presented, so students need to take notes, identify their most important findings and then summarize them into an email to a specific individual. It is very important for students to have the skills that are necessary to organize and present technical information in a professional context, so using the EPT as a diagnostic will help the instructor identify if the students can demonstrate English proficiency in listening comprehension and written expression.

The facilitator can gain information on a student’s ability to identify the most important findings (ability to understand spoken English), to structure a manuscript (organize technical information), and to ensure that they will produce an adequate technical document in English. The facilitator will have the opportunity to find out whether students have the skills to organize technical information and summarize it in an email. In addition, the facilitator can see the professionalism of a student’s writing and identify whether students need to improve their English language skills.

Other aspects of correct language use that the instructor can see through the EPT are: skills in taking notes, summary writing, and correct use of grammar, transitional words, prepositions, conditional sentences, tenses, spelling, vocabulary, etc.

Professional Language Diagnostic

Purpose and Use of Professional Language Diagnostics

There are two diagnostic instruments to accompany this set of modules. One is for written work and the second is for orally observing students in informal team/classroom interactions. These are strictly for diagnostic purposes not evaluation.

The written diagnostic looks at five categories: Content accuracy, Lexicogrammatical accuracy, Rhetorical and Argument, Audience and Concision. Student performance in these discrete areas is judged as Unacceptable, Acceptable or Strong.

An unacceptable performance means that the reader cannot extract meaning without multiple readings and even then must make assumptions about the intentions of the writer. The discrete items in each of the different categories identify contributing factors to the unacceptable performance.

An acceptable performance in one in which the reader may have to make a second pass at reading to extract meaning but there is little ambiguity in terms of the writer’s intended meaning. It is possible to have issues with any of the five categories but they do not impede meaning. The discrete items in each are checked to indicate areas that may require additional support.

A strong performance is one in which the reader can easily extract unambiguous meaning in one reading.

By using the diagnostic rubric, it is possible to identify instructional foci for different students. For example, a student may be acceptable or even strong in Content and Lexicogrammatical accuracy but unacceptable in Rhetorical and Argument. This student would benefit from instruction in paragraph and document organization, argument structure, use of evidence and justification. Another student may show up as weak in Audience indicating a lack of awareness or possibly knowledge of different vocabulary registers (the differences between formal/informal, academic/everyday, technical/non-technical language, etc) so instruction that focuses on vocabulary used in different registers and audience analysis would be useful. Some students will show up as unacceptable/acceptable in all areas. These students require an approach with more or less equal emphasis on each of the categories. The use of the diagnostic rubric helps an instructor focus the instruction for groups of students.

The Oral Diagnostic observation sheet is used somewhat differently in that it requires more interpretation and discussion with the student in order to accurately identify areas for instruction/practice. For example, the observation form may show that the student rarely initiates a point or asks a question but follows the discussion, actively listening. A discussion with this student may reveal that the student does not feel confident in speaking without making “grammar mistakes” or does not feel he or she can respond quickly enough. An intervention would be two-part in this case. Suggesting that the individual student make jot notes, use sketches, diagrams in conjunction with verbal explanations may give the student some strategies to help bolster confidence. It may also be useful to get the student to focus on how monolingual speakers often have incomplete sentences, grammar errors, and vocabulary form/choice errors in oral interactions. The second part of this is to have a discussion with the team about how the responsibility is shared between all team members for making the necessary space for everyone to contribute. Do they need to slow down? Do they need to monitor how they make sure everyone has a space or time to contribute, for example, deliberately asking individuals for comment. Could they incorporate an individual thinking time followed by team discussion time that would give everyone a chance to assemble and organize their own thoughts?

The Oral diagnostic observation sheet can provide a starting point for analyzing team dynamics in a conversation with the entire team. This helps to promote the concept that ALL team members bear responsibility for team communication. The interactions that are tracked make the communication patterns visible and as such, provides the opportunity to ask why.