Dr Pamela Humphreys, Macquarie English Language Centre
What is this thing called academic English language proficiency? From theory to principled practice

More than one third of ELICOS students nationally move on to higher education studies after completing their ELICOS program. As a result, most providers offer courses which focus on English for Academic Purposes (EAP).

Models of communicative competence and theories of general English language proficiency are well established in ELT. But how well do we understand the construct of academic English language proficiency, which is central to EAP and Direct Entry programs? It is argued that there is a need to better understand this construct to ensure our programs take a principled approach to their design and delivery.

This presentation will provide an overview of the key conceptual frameworks related to academic English language and will focus on the implications for ELICOS providers who are interested in critical teaching as well as critical learning.

Dr Pamela Humphreys' PhD, on the topic of English language proficiency in higher education, won the IEAA award for best postgraduate thesis in international education in 2016, and she has won numerous other awards for her work related to English language support. Pamela has worked in ELICOS and higher education for over 25 years in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. She was an IELTS examiner for 22 years and IELTS Assistant Principal Examiner and item writer for many years. Pamela is passionate about supporting students with English as an Additional Language - whether pre-entry in ELICOS, in pathway contexts or post-entry in higher education. She also believes strongly in ensuring that English language programs are based on theory to ensure principled practice.