Portfolio assessment (3 parts – 100%)
A portfolio assignment is aimed to provide you with an opportunity to showcase the theories you have learned and demonstrate the skills you have acquired in the course. The portfolio offers a meaningful setting for that, given that each part is linked to the others to form a cohesive whole. In this way you will be able to demonstrate what you have learned about ESP and perhaps use the portfolio in your future career as a testimony of your abilities. This assessment of portfolio addresses all learning outcomes of this module.
Although the portfolio would suggest continuous assessment and revisions, this being part of a summative assessment process, you will receive a grade for each part. Of course, you can continue to revise these to make improvements, but this will not affect the grade you get.
In the next section I will provide more details about each part of the portfolio.
Needs analysis is one of the most important concepts in ESP. Without needs analysis you will not be able to design an ESP course, or provide information for other important stakeholders (e.g., content departments, prospective employers). For this assignment you need to carry out a small scale needs analysis project for an English for Academic Purposes course. Whether you select the course to be general (EGAP) or specific to a particular field (e.g. engineering, business studies, medicine, etc.) is up to you. However, you should consider your own expertise and knowledge of the field before you choose your focus area.
Needs analysis has two parts: a) the context, and b) the prospective learners. First of all, you need to understand the field for which you are developing the course. In other words, if you are designing a course for first year students at the 。。。，then you need to learn what skills and language they are to master to successfully complete their studies. Luckily, you do not have to execute a complete needs analysis in this area as you can rely on research findings that have been carried out earlier. These can indicate the general language needs of a particular context from which you can deduct the local needs. This means that for the assignment you need to do a specific literature review for your chosen focus. Using the insights gained from the literature and your local knowledge, you will be in a position to determine what language skills and knowledge students would need.
Second, you need to discuss the prospective learners for whom the course is to be developed. Think about what information you need about their language needs (and wants), and what gap may exist between their current level of language and that of the target context. In order to find out this information you will need to design a small scale study involving human subjects. You are encouraged to design your research instruments (e.g., interviews, survey, etc.) involving potentially your peers at。。。 for this purpose, or if you have contacts in private language schools, then the students who study there. The sample size for the needs analysis
should be designed no larger than 20, ideally 10-20 students. There is no need to provide elaborate statistical analysis of your data (because you have not collected them yet); it should only serve the purpose to illustrate that a) you know how to collect data for a needs analysis project, and b) to provide carefully designed instruments for your future actions for an actual needs analysis. The decisions you have to make will include what research instrument to use (e.g. survey, interview, focus group discussion, etc.) and what questions to ask that will provide the information you need.
The results of the needs analysis – a combination of target context and target learners – need to be written up in an essay of around 500 – 600 words (excluding the instruments which should be added as appendix). The word limit indicates that you have to be very straightforward in your writing. Do not write an elaborate introduction about what you intend to do in this assignment. I know why you are writing it and adding that paragraph means wasting 50-80 words. Be concise and to the point! Don’t try to ‘dress up’ your language unnecessarily.
Following the design of your needs analysis, it is time look at some teaching / learning materials that the target learners you identified in Part 1: Needs analysis be used to improve their knowledge / skills. However, carrying out a full scale materials analysis might be a daunting task. Therefore, for this assignment we will limit the focus to one material and one language skill only. You can choose if you want to focus on writing, speaking, listening, reading skills, or grammar/vocabulary as the area of work and then select a teaching material which claims to address that.
You need to evaluate the effectiveness of the material with the student group you specified in mind (Part 1: Needs analysis) and discuss why it would or would not meet their needs, and how the design reflects the theoretical principles of ESP pedagogy, with special reference to the chosen skill focus. This indicates that you will need to use the professional literature (the readings available for you on the Learning Mall) to justify your claims.
If the material is found in need of adaptation, which is most likely the case as materials always need to be adapted for particular student populations, you should indicate what parts need to be changed. For guidance on how to adapt materials you can use your class notes and the extra reading texts uploaded to the Learning Mall. The original and adapted materials are to be placed in the appendix of the assignment (you can use photos or screen shots for hard-copy materials).
The assignment is to be presented in an essay format which contains your analysis of the chosen material – with its merits and shortcomings with reference to the target learners and the professional literature, a discussion of what needs to be changed (materials adaptation), and those will be changed. I am interested here in your ability to discuss, argue, and give rationales for your decisions concerning the adaptation process. Word count – 1,000-1,500 words. Again, avoid flowery language; be concise, exact, to the point.
Based on the results of the needs analysis, you are to design a short EAP course. You need to consider the content and the delivery of the course, i.e. what academic and language skills the learners need to focus on, their language needs and the specific genres / text types to be included.
This assignment is the capstone of the course. It brings together all the areas we discussed during the course and offers you a possibility to demonstrate your understanding of ESP and language teaching theories, course and curriculum design, and other linked areas, for example the use of technology in ESP.
There are a number of decisions you have to make when you write / plan this assignment:
Your assignment can basically follow these steps, but you are free to design it in any way you feel fit.
A rationale for the design principles need to be written in an essay format (with the designed course as an appendix). Just like with the other parts of the portfolio, you need to use the professional literature to substantiate your argument. In other words, you need to use theories and research findings to support your decisions.
The word count – excluding the appendix – should be 2,000-2,500 words.
First thing to clarify is that this is a course design, the design for a whole course, not for a single lesson. So if your final essay somehow was about a single lesson, that would not be acceptable.
Another thing is that your course design should be linked to your previous two assignments, needs analysis and material adaptation. The design of this course should be catering to the needs of your students, and the chosen textbook should be adapted to serve their needs.
The following is some questions you can consider when you write up. Please note that this is just a road map, not the format of your sections.
Here, you introduce your course, what’s the name, who it is for, how long it will be (the contact hours, including how many hours in total and how many hours for each week if the class meets up weekly), what target skills are to be improved in this course, what textbook is used for this course, etc.
Note: When you describe the target skills, be specific. Avoid simply saying “writing skills”, “listening skills”, etc. These are broad and vague. Even if you are planning to improve their overall writing skills, give some examples of sub-skills of writing. You cannot teach broad writing skills every week. Also remember to relate back to the results of your previous assignments. Be brief and to the point.
Here you are going to describe your course in detail. I don’t have a specific format to suggest. But you need to answer the following questions:
If the above questions have been satisfactorily answered, your final course design should also be satisfactory. But feel free to add more details as there must be other questions to consider for a course design, depending on the specific context.
A few more things:
The marking scheme
|Knowledge and Understanding||Intellectual Skills||Transferable Skills|
|100%||The best answer that could reasonably be expected from a student at the MA TESOL level under the conditions of Coursework.|
|Total coverage of the task set. Exceptional demonstration of knowledge and
appropriately grounded in theory and relevant literature.
|Extremely original approaches or features of critical thinking in the conceptualisation of the research.
Extremely comprehensive and detailed research design. All the decisions are extremely well-argued and justified.
structured paper and logical
presentation, only the
most insignificant errors.
|As ‘Outstanding’ but with some minor weaknesses or gaps in knowledge and understanding.||As ‘Outstanding’ but with a slightly less degree of critical thinking and with some minor gaps in research design and/or justification for the decisions made.||As ‘Outstanding’ but
with some minor
structure, logic and/or
|Full coverage of the task set. Generally very good demonstration of
understanding but with
some modest gaps. Good grounding in theory.
|Some original features and signs of critical thinking. Very good and generally detailed research design. Sound
justification for the decisions that have been made.
exposition. Satisfactory structure. Very good presentation, largely
free of grammatical and other errors.
|As ‘Very Good’ but with more, or more significant, gaps in knowledge &
understanding and some significant gaps in grounding.
|As ‘Very Good’ but research design and justification for the decisions made
contain some visible
weaknesses or ambiguities.
|As ‘Very Good’ but with some weaknesses in exposition and/or
structure and a few
more grammatical and
|Patchy coverage of the
task set. Patchy knowledge and understanding with limited grounding in literature. Just meets the threshold level at the bottom end.
|Rather limited original features or signs of critical thinking. Patchy research design
flaws or ambiguities. Rather limited justification has been made. Just meets the threshold level at the bottom end.
and structure. Competent presentation but some significant grammatical and other
errors. Just meets the
threshold level at the
|Some parts of the set task likely to have been
omitted. Major gaps in knowledge and
significant confusion. Very limited grounding. Falls just short of the threshold level.
|Little signs of originality or critical thinking. Research design and its justification fairly limited. Falls just short of the threshold level.||Somewhat confused
and limited exposition.
Confused structure. Some weaknesses in
presentation and some
serious grammatical and other errors. Falls just short of the threshold level.
|As ‘Compensable Fail’ but with major omissions
and/or major gaps in
substantially below the
|As ‘Compensable Fail’ but major parts of research design and/or its justification may have been omitted. Falls substantially below the threshold level.||As ‘Compensable Fail’
but with more serious
substantially below the
|Substantial sections of the task not covered.
Knowledge & understanding very limited and/or largely incorrect. No grounding in theory.
|No originality or critical thinking. Research design
extremely weak or mostly omitted. No justification for the research design has been made.
exposition and structure. Many serious
grammatical and other
 Note that for any human subject related research, you will need to complete a process of ethical approval. However, since we cannot carry out the actual data collection in reality due to Covid-19, this process if not required this time.
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