Good Practice Report - English Language Proficiency

This guide provides a summary of research into good practices in developing students’ English Language Proficiency (ELP), and OLT/ALTC projects and fellowships associated with the issue. It also pinpoints gaps in the literature and makes recommendations for future work.

The term ‘ELP’ will be used throughout this report because it appears within higher education policy documents, such as the Higher Education Standards Framework (2011). Many have argued that this is not the best term to use, particularly when most Australian universities use ‘written and oral communication’ in their graduate attributes rather than ‘ELP’. It is not the aim of this literature review to enter into debates concerning terminology, although we acknowledge that they exist. Rather the aim of this report is to offer insights into what works best in assuring that students graduate with the necessary communication skills for further study or employment. Therefore, ‘ELP’ will be used in the broadest sense in discussing English language and literacy learning outcomes in higher education. Terms such as ‘communication skills’ and ‘academic literacy’ will also be used when referring to research that uses this terminology.

Authors: Sophie Arkoudis and Lachlan Doughney.

Published: 2014

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International students