English Language Feeds

Patricia Juza, Past-President, UCIEP, US

The PIE News - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:05
Patti Juza is the director of the International English Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, and until May was president of UCIEP, which represents intensive English programs at university and college campuses. She sat down with The PIE to discuss some of the key trends in the sector and increasing popularity of short-term programs.


The PIE: I’m sure there are plenty of challenges when working in the intensive English sector. Can you tell me about some?

Patti Juza: They’re numerous! There are a lot of institutions trying to add pathway programs right now. But in terms of mobility, one of the challenges I think for our field is the longer adjudication time for SEVP to adjudicate and approve pathway programs.

“Having solid Saudi numbers has been key to maintaining the diverse portfolio of students”

The PIE: You have to list a new pathway program before you can issue I-20s [certificate of eligibility] is that right?

PJ: That’s what SEVP would like us to do and that’s what we should be doing. But when you have programs that are waiting over a year for approval that can make it challenging, as you know the market continues to change. And there are other enrolment issues with everything going on with the world economy: the strong dollar, political climate, sponsoring agencies, changing policies, new language policies and different countries. So that’s one challenge our field is facing.

The PIE: How are you trying to resolve that? A year is a lot in terms of a wait time.

PJ: I am not sure how different that wait time has been from the past. It just seems very pressing right now. So adjudication times for adding new programs typically taking a long time and of course in order for it to be an efficient adjudication you want to make sure – as an institution – you have all of your documentation from the relevant accrediting bodies in advance, because if you get a request for evidence that can lengthen the process. But there are institutions that have done all of that and are still waiting.

The PIE: It sounds like pathways are the big new ongoing trend?

There are different models of pathways but whether you are working with the third party, or you are doing your own pathway… I think we can see that there is evidence of enormous growth of pathway programs in the US.

The PIE: Is the drop in Saudi students hurting the sector? 

PJ: I think it depends on the institution. Very well ranked [institutions] are not seeing a drop off of Saudi students. Many sponsoring agencies and governments use ranking data when deciding where to send scholarship students. So I’ll give you an example; University of Colorado Boulder’s intensive English program has not seen depletion.

Having solid Saudi numbers has been key to maintaining the diverse portfolio of students. But I think what we are seeing is that institutions that are well ranked globally are not necessarily seeing all of the decreases in [student] numbers.

Also if you look at Kuwaiti student population in our program is also quite significant. They alternate between our second, third, or fourth largest student population in any given term.

“The US has a hard time in getting US students to go abroad for educational experiences”

The Kuwait Cultural Office often puts caps on programs that you can’t have more than a certain number of Kuwaiti students. It is not based on proportion, it is on the number of students so one year it might be 51 students, another year it might be 75 students. So we are not seeing a decrease in the number of Kuwaiti students either.

The PIE: What other trends are you seeing?

PJ: We are seeing a significant increase in short-term programs. And for some of the short-term programs that have a large cultural component, students can now enrol with a B-1/B-2 or on a visa waiver.

We are counting students with IIE’s Open Doors survey. and we reached out to them to ask ‘what do you want us to include in this?’ because we are very specific about no refugees or US citizens to count in that survey.

But with this proliferation of short-term programs, where students are integrated into intensive short English courses, do we count these students who are studying on a tourist visa or business visa? We received notice that we could and should include those students.

The PIE: It could be a whole new way of looking at Open Doors then?

PJ: It could be for intensive English programs in particular. And there is a significant number of students studying on these [programs] so we want to make sure as a field that we capture those numbers otherwise if we leave [intensive English students] out of the Open Doors survey information it’s not telling the whole story. And that’s really key.

You look at something like the Education USA Academy, which is a high school based program sponsored by the US Department of State. US Department of State changed its stance last year; it had been that students on a short-term program could do it if they were on an F or J visa – depending on whether they received any type of government funding.

This past summer they decided that no, students should be doing this on a B-1 [business] or visa waiver. It’s a US Department of State program and they see this Education USA Academy as a summer academic camp-like experience.

The other thing we look at is the universities across the world who are continuing to internationalise their campuses. Of course, the ideal model is student exchanges [but] that is difficult to do it in the US.

The PIE: How is the exchange market doing?

PJ: The US has a hard time in getting US students to go abroad for educational experiences. So in many cases, international universities send students on short-term programs to the States not as a part of an exchange but as another kind of an arrangement.

Sometimes the students don’t have the necessary English proficiency to sit in on degree level classes, so they may work with universities to send students on short-term English language study to fulfil a study abroad experience, which is a requirement of these universities.

“We are seeing a significant increase in short-term programs”

So we are seeing growth in those areas too, and depending on how the program is set up what amount of culture is included versus language study those students may be studying on a B or visa waiver.

There needs to be recognition that a lot of short-term programs are more labour intensive. You need more staffing and it involves not just the instruction itself and the typical cultural excursions, experiential learning that we do. But housing, airport pick up, food and more creative concierge services that we provide. I think that’s key.

The PIE: Is there any trend in terms of short-term programs?

PJ: There is definitely interest from Japanese universities in more of short-term programs because of their own institutions’ priorities or requirements related to study abroad. My campus is working a lot with the government of Mexico. [Mexico] is looking to Canada a lot because of the political climate and the price the Canadian dollar is not as strong as the US dollar.

I think there has been a positive impact from some of the short-term type programs where you see students returning to degree study or virtual conversation groups.

The market is changing. For example, we started an au pair program, not just as a little revenue source, but as an area where we can recruit prospective graduate students, because what happens is a lot of au pairs fall in love with the area and the institution and then they want to come back and do graduate study.

It may not be huge revenue generating program, but if it more than breaks even (which it does) then you have this wonderful source of au pairs who are then interested in coming back.

I think we are fortunate on our campus to see these positive trends – it is something we try to share with other colleagues in the field.

The post Patricia Juza, Past-President, UCIEP, US appeared first on The PIE News.

Duolingo launches accessible English test

The PIE News - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:44

Language learning firm Duolingo, which rose to prominence with its eponymous smart phone app, has launched an ‘Access Program‘ to widen participation in its Duolingo English Test.

The program will give fee waivers to “high-achieving, low-income students,” to allow them to gain a recognised English language qualification, without the price tag associated with traditional tests.

“We began in Kenya because they were enthusiastic about what DET can mean for students”

The global program was launched in Nairobi, Kenya, a location chosen because of its links to one of Duolingo’s international partners, the HALI Access Network. The Network operates across the African continent, and “strive[s] to level the playing field in international education to increase inclusion, access and scholarship support”.

Jen Dewar, the head of strategy for the DET, said the global aspirations of the Access Program would become clearer with time, but the enthusiasm of partners such as HALI made Kenya the obvious launch pad.

“While we don’t intend to be exclusively offering programs in Africa, we began there because they were enthusiastic about what the DET can mean for their students in terms of breaking down barriers,” she told The PIE News.

Dewar also confirmed that Duolingo have held conversations with interested stakeholders in Singapore, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, and Costa Rica.

The fee waivers are applied in the form of coupons, which counsellors and agents can request for students they believe fit into the bracket of ‘high achieving, low income’. These applications are then assessed, often by Dewar herself.

“We ask them some questions about their organisations, if they’re involved in other professional organisations, so we can vet them in someway to know they truly are working with low income high achieving student populations,” Dewar told The PIE.

The DET is currently accepted by the admissions offices of several US HEIs, including: Duke, Washington University (St Louis), Columbia, Tulane, and University of Southern California.

The post Duolingo launches accessible English test appeared first on The PIE News.

École Polytechnique joins EuroTech

The PIE News - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:17

Parisian university École Polytechnique has joined EuroTech universities alliance, which aims to find technical solutions which address the major challenges of modern society.

The alliance, founded seven years ago, is made up of five universities and it says the introduction of École Polytechnique as its latest member will strengthen the Alliance’s position as pioneer for inter-university collaboration.

“Our unique French offer will facilitate the connection of Europe’s strongest innovation hubs even further”

It will also provide new collaboration to reach the group’s targets.

“We are delighted to have France’s most distinctive university of science and engineering on board. With Macron’s call for the creation of European networks of universities, École Polytechnique’s accession is also politically very timely”, said Jan Mengelers, current President of the EuroTech Universities Alliance.

“With the EuroTech Universities Alliance widely quoted as a model network, we are well positioned for the take-up of EU funding in the future, not least through the future Horizon Europe programme proposed by the European Commission today”, Mengelers continued.

The other four members of the alliance are: Technical University of Denmark, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Eindhoven University of Technology and Technical University of Munich.

“École Polytechnique offers innovative, international and multidisciplinary scientific programs in strategic fields, bringing together research staff and students to develop the latest technologies, with focus on artificial intelligence, energy transition, smart cities, healthcare or cybersecurity”, said Jacques Biot, president of École Polytechnique.

“Our unique French offer will boost the EuroTech Universities’ academic, scientific, entrepreneurial and corporate networks and will facilitate the connection of Europe’s strongest innovation hubs even further,” he added.

École Polytechnique’s Drahi X-Novation Center offers an ecosystem of prototyping space, early start-up acceleration, incubation, finance and open innovation with large multinationals.

The post École Polytechnique joins EuroTech appeared first on The PIE News.

Government approves student exchanges with North Korea

University World News Global Edition - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 05:34
South Korea's Ministry of Unification in Seoul has given the go ahead for students at the country's top university to discuss academic exchanges with North Korea's Kim Il Sung University, with the ...

Facebook Plans to Team Up With 15 Community Colleges. What Will That Entail?

The company has been pitching itself to colleges as a recruiting tool, but it says this effort is separate from that. Here are the details, from our revamped Re:Learning newsletter.

Technology transfer boost for least developed countries

University World News Global Edition - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 02:30
Africa's 'least developed countries' (LDCs) are to benefit from the launch of a United Nations' Technology Bank in Turkey, which aims to drive science, technology and innovation and promote sustai ...

Calif. finalizes performance funding formula for its community colleges

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:00

With powerful faculty organizations and a commitment to unfettered student access to public colleges, California is perhaps the least likely state to tie funding for higher education to degree completion and other metrics of student success.

Yet California’s top lawmakers on Friday reached agreement on a performance-funding formula for the state’s 114 community colleges, which enroll 2.1 million students.

If the plan is enacted as part of the state's budget, as is expected, California would join about 35 other states with some form of performance funding on the books. It gives a substantial boost to supporters of using government funding levels to prod colleges to do better on student outcomes -- a group that included the Obama administration.

“This is a very substantial change,” said Larry Galizio, president and CEO of the Community College League of California. “We’re talking about literally billions of dollars at stake.”

The proposal’s likely passage also is a defeat for the many critics of performance funding around the country who worry about unintended consequences such as grade inflation or gaming by colleges to increase their selectivity, and who often argue that performance formulas can be used by state legislatures as an excuse to cut funding for already cash-strapped public colleges.

Under the current approach, all of the state’s roughly $6.7 billion in general funding for community colleges is based on enrollment numbers. But in an attempt to make good on the system’s goals for increasing degree and certificate production, boosting transfers to the state’s public universities, and curbing achievement gaps among underrepresented students, the funding formula in three years would tie 40 percent -- or almost $2.5 billion -- of state support to measures of student success and enrollment numbers of low-income students. It also would increase overall funding to $7.4 billion.

The debate over the formula, which was included in the state's budget bill, was heated. In addition to the strong opposition of faculty groups and unions, some community college leaders and lawmakers also criticized the proposal.

Yet performance funding is poised to be a reality in California, in part because it has support from a wide range of organizations that focus on the well-being of the state’s large low-income and minority group populations, including the more than 15 million Latinos who comprise roughly 40 percent of its 39 million residents.

For example, the Campaign for College Opportunity is one of 31 organizations, ranging from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, that signed a May letter to state lawmakers in support of the funding formula.

“We’ve been concerned for many, many years about the completion rates in our community colleges,” said Michelle Siqueiros, the Campaign for College Opportunity’s president, who also pointed to problematic gaps between completion rates of white and wealthier students and their lower-income and minority group peers.

“The right time to have done this would have been 10 years ago,” she said. “It’s unfair to ask students to wait any longer.”

Dueling Research

Opponents of the proposal include the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. In a February letter to the state’s Legislature, the group said the funding formula could hurt students who most need community colleges.

“Performance-based funding as a mechanism for distribution of base funding incentivizes behavior counter to our core beliefs of access and opportunity for all students and our obligation to maintain appropriate rigor to ensure future success,” the letter said. “By basing any portion of base funding on student performance, colleges may apply pressure to faculty, particularly part-time faculty who do not have the protection of tenure, to inflate grades to try to secure funding.”

To some extent, the state Assembly’s budget subcommittee shared those worries.

“There remains little evidence that performance funding has been effective in improving outcomes in other states,” the subcommittee said last month. “It is unclear how punishing colleges with poor performance by reducing funding will lead to better performance.”

Several studies of state performance-funding formulas have found that they led to unintended consequences and failed to move the needle on student success. Other research has found promise in formulas, particularly as they have been tweaked to better incorporate measures of racial and income equity.

“The two groups are often opposed. Some have made up their minds,” Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University, said about dueling research on performance funding.

Several experts said it’s too early to tell if the form of "accountability" funding can work as intended. Part of the problem is the complexity and evolving nature of the formulas themselves. But most agree that the trend to tie funding to performance will continue to spread, with California being the biggest entrant.

“Performance funding isn’t going away any time soon,” Kelchen said.

Avoiding Unintended Consequences

Jerry Brown, the state’s powerful Democratic governor, has made performance funding and his proposal for an online, statewide community college priorities for his last year in office. And controversy over the online college at times appeared to overshadow discussions over the funding formula.

Yet the apparently final version that emerged last week would create what some experts said is a nuanced and sophisticated form of performance funding, one that includes measures of equity to attempt to help underserved student populations.

Amy Li is an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Northern Colorado who has studied state performance funding. She met with staff members from the office of the California system’s chancellor, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, to discuss the research.

“Just the fact that they’re proposing a performance-funding formula is a really huge thing,” she said.

Along with Brown, Oakley, who became chancellor in December 2016, has been a driving force behind the funding formula. His office suggested several changes adopted, including the use of outcomes based on the enrollment and success of low-income students.

Li said she was impressed with how Oakley and his staff drew from the latest research to create their recommendations, particularly on equity issues.

“They’ve gotten a lot of feedback,” said Li. That’s a good thing, she said, given the stakes. “The concern about unintended consequences is really warranted.”

The proposal uses several measures to calculate the 20 percent of funding that would be based on how colleges stack up on student success. Those metrics include points for the number of degrees and certificates granted, for those that are completed within three years, and for graduates who earn a “regional living wage” within a year of completion. Colleges also will get funding for students who earn an associate degree for transfer, for completions of transfer-level math and English courses in the first year, and for completions of nine credits of career and technical education courses.

Weight also would be given to the number of completions of economically disadvantaged students.

The formula would divvy up another 20 percent of state funding based on the portion of low-income students each college enrolls. Those numbers would be determined by how many students in the previous year received federal Pell Grants or students over the age of 25 who received the state’s College Promise Grant fee waiver, and an additional measure of undocumented students who qualified for resident tuition rates.

Oakley’s office also proposed a measure based on colleges' enrollment of first-generation college-going students. But that suggestion does not appear likely to make it into the final legislation.

Brown’s revision to the plan last month decreased the amount of total state funding that would be tied to performance and low-income student enrollments from half to 40 percent.

The proposal also includes a “hold harmless” provision that ensures no community college will receive less in the next three years than in the current one, by allocating money to colleges that would see annual funding increases of less than a 2.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment. In addition, the final version includes $50 million to hire full-time faculty members and another $50 million for part-time instructors to increase their office hours.

“They’ve considered the stability of funding,” said Li. “Colleges are not going to see drastic cuts.”

Growing Schism

Opposition to the performance-funding proposal in California in part revolves around criticism of the process, which some have said was too hasty and did not adequately involve input from faculty members and other stakeholders. But many opponents also dislike the concept of performance funding itself.

The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, for example, is strongly opposed to the funding formula.

“The body of research does not show that performance funding does what it purports to do,” said Jonathan Lightman, the association's executive director, who said the proposed formula would punish institutions and students.

Lightman said many faculty members are frustrated with Oakley for how his office has handled the debate. For example, the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers recently voted no confidence in the chancellor, in part over the performance formula, saying that “participatory governance has ceased to function at the state level.”

Other California community college faculty union chapters and academic senates are moving toward possible votes of no confidence. And Lightman said the relationship between faculty groups and Oakley’s office may not recover from the schism.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never seen it this bad,” he said.

The chancellor’s office, however, has argued that it worked with a wide range of groups to help devise recommendations for the funding formula. Discussions began about a year ago, but system leaders and supporters of the formula said the state has been mulling new ways of targeting funding for much longer.

In a message to the system’s governing board in late May, Oakley defended his office’s approach to the funding formula, online college and other budget-related issues.

Some of the faculty union critics are “purposely misinforming local faculty of the consultative process that we have engaged in and are trying to influence the budget negotiations in the Capitol,” Oakley said. “Our agenda and our actions are directly related to improving access to and completion of a quality credential for all Californians and as expected are causing some in our system to question why we need to adopt these changes.”

Lande Ajose, executive director of California Competes, a higher education-focused nonprofit, said the proposal has tremendous support from people and organizations around the state, in part because of concerns about low graduation rates for Latino and black students.

The shift toward performance funding isn’t “moving anywhere near as fast as the shifts in our economy,” Ajose said. “Our students deserve for us to do things differently because so many are languishing.”

Those opposed to the proposal include leaders of several colleges that have projected state funding reductions under the proposed formula.

For example, College of the Canyons projects that it would lose money. Diane Van Hook, the college’s chancellor, wrote in a May opinion piece that the college would be unfairly penalized because 64 percent of its students attend part-time, and part-time students in nursing or STEM programs often take longer than three years to graduate.

“Whiles these consequences are unintentional, they are very real,” she said. “The final formula should benefit all 114 community colleges in California, and the 2.1 million students they serve.”

Leaders of other colleges that have opposed the formula publicly included chief executives at El Camino College and Cabrillo College.

Matthew Wetstein, Cabrillo’s president, wrote last month in the Santa Cruz Sentinel that his college and others in and around Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area would be penalized for the high cost of living and pay inequality in those areas. He has said students in expensive, coastal parts of the state must work -- often full-time -- while attending college. Some also would not qualify as being low income. As a result, Wetstein said, urban community colleges with diverse student populations could be hurt under the funding formula while small rural districts get big funding gains. Cabrillo estimates that it could see a 7 percent cut by 2020 under the proposed formula.

The system, however, is projecting short-term funding increases for many of the community colleges, some of them substantial. For example, the Los Angeles Community College District would get an estimated $678 million in state support next year under the formula, the system said, up 12 percent from its $606 million in state funding this year. The district, which includes nine colleges, would receive a base allocation of $388 million, $134 million from the student success funding stream and a $155 million equity supplement.

If the formula works as intended, it could shift money toward districts that enroll large portions of low-income students, many of whom are Latino or black. Some supporters said colleges that would be most likely to receive stagnant funding under the formula also are more likely to have relatively strong budgets, due in part to local tax bases, and enroll larger numbers of retirees and other students who are not seeking to earn credentials.

For example, Keith Curry, president of Compton College, and Kathy Hart, president of San Joaquin Delta Community College District, wrote recently in The Sacramento Bee that the performance formula would fix an “outdated funding system” that has not always served students well.

“While the system, which serves 2.1 million students, has made significant strides, most students take too long to earn a certificate or a degree or transfer to a four-year college, or never do so. Achievement gaps for black and Latino students persist at unacceptable rates,” they wrote. “Changes to the way colleges are funded will help more students succeed.”

Community CollegesEditorial Tags: Graduation ratesState policyCaliforniaImage Source: Getty ImagesImage Caption: Calif. governor Jerry Brown during a 2017 news conferenceIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: 

Study: Editors of major political science journals demonstrate no systematic bias against female authors

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:00

A major political science study from last year explored publication patterns across 10 prominent journals, finding a significant gap in publication rates for men and women. The gap couldn’t be explained away by a low overall share of women in the field, the article said, prompting soul-searching among editors about whether they were biased against female authors.

A new PS: Political Science & Politics report involving self-audits at five major journals suggests that editorial practices are not, in fact, biased against women. While positive, the findings are also disconcerting, since it remains unclear as to why women are underrepresented as authors in esteemed journals in the discipline.

“Even though the journals differ in terms of substantive focus, management/ownership, as well editorial structure and process, none found evidence of systematic gender bias in editorial decisions,” symposium co-chairs Nadia Brown, associate professor of political science and African-American studies at Purdue University, and David Samuels, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, wrote in their introduction to the PS report.

“These findings raise additional questions about where gender bias may occur and why,” they said. “We urge a continued conversation and examination of why women remain underrepresented as authors in political science journals, particularly top-ranked journals.”

If not gender bias, Brown and Samuels wrote, other factors may be at play. For example, they said, the American Political Science Association in 2017 surveyed members as to where and why they prefer to submit manuscripts. The suspicion is that women may be self-selecting out of submitting to the kinds of journals that grease tenure and promotion wheels and otherwise benefit their careers.

“It is very, very difficult to earn tenure at, let’s say, the top 50 departments without publishing in one of the top journals” studied in the 2017 report on gender and publication rates, said Maya Sen, an associate professor of political science at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government who has studied gender in the discipline. “It really screams at you, we need to understand why and where this is happening.”

Possible alternative explanations, she said, include “pipeline” issues regarding potential future political scientists who are women, possible underconfidence among women and overconfidence among men seeking to publish, and the subtopics most studied by women.

A Place to Start

The PS symposium was inspired by an article published last year in the journal, called "Gender in the Journals: Publication Patterns in Political Science." For their study, Dawn Langan Teele, Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and president of the political science association, counted all authors, by gender, who published in 10 of the field’s best known journals over 15 years. While women made up 31 percent of members of the APSA, they wrote, women made up just 18 percent of authors in the American Journal of Political Science over the period studied and 23 percent in the American Political Science Review, which is widely considered the field's premier research journal. Publication rates for other journals were similarly slanted toward men, save two. Political Theory and Perspectives on Politics saw women writing about one-third of articles.

Beyond a general gender gap, Teele and Thelen also found that women remain underrepresented in terms of co-authorship. While single male authors still represented the biggest share of all bylines (about 41 percent), the second most common byline type was all-male teams (24 percent). Mixed-gender teams were about 15 percent of the sample. All-female teams and single female authors were 2 percent and 17 percent of the sample, respectively.

A possible explanation is political science’s qualitative-quantitative divide, they said, in that female authors wrote more of the published qualitative articles in the study. Flagship journals, meanwhile, tend to publish more quantitative studies.

“Here’s the general pattern we observed: The journals that publish a larger share of qualitative work also publish a larger share of female authors,” Teele and Thelen wrote in a related op-ed for The Washington Post. “Conversely, the more a journal focuses on statistical work, the lower its share of female authors.”

Examining Journals' Biases

Teele and Thelen’s study didn’t accuse journals of outright gender bias in selecting articles for publication. But it did give some editors pause as to whether they were contributing to the publication gap. While most journals use some level of blind review, social science research is often shared at conferences, in working papers and on social media before it’s submitted for publication -- meaning sometimes editors and reviewers know who wrote an article that is stripped of identifying information. Sen, of Harvard, also said that work on gender and politics is very likely to be by a female author.

Samuels, at Minnesota, editor of Comparative Political Studies, was among those concerned editors. He ran an internal audit to see whether there were any unknown biases within the editorial process and showed a copy to Thelen. She invited him to join a task force to expand the work. Samuels said recently that he invited a group other editors to participate in the symposium, some of whom he knew were already engaged in similar projects. Together with Comparative Political Studies, they represent five journals: American Political Science Review, Political Behavior, World Politics and International Studies Quarterly.

Samuels wrote in his self-study that Comparative Political Studies does “fairly ‘well’ in terms of gender balance, at least compared to other journals in political science,” based on Teele and Thelen’s research. The journal employs a “quasi-triple blind review process,” he said, in which submissions are blind reviewed internally and editors decide to send the paper out for blind peer review or not. Editors learn the author’s name, rank and institutional affiliation after the initial read.

Based on 2,134 papers submitted between 2013 and 2016, gender did not systematically predict a manuscript’s success at any stage of the editorial process. More important factors, meanwhile, included rank, co-authorship and methodological approach. At the internal review stage, for example, solo-authored papers were less likely to be sent out for peer review than co-authored papers, regardless of the authors’ genders. Qualitative papers were less likely to be sent out than quantitative and mixed-method papers. About two-thirds of all submissions were quantitative, compared to one-fourth that were purely qualitative. Qualitative papers faired worst at the internal review stage, Samuels wrote, with just 25 percent of these sent out for review. Just about 20 percent of those (26 out of 128) were eventually accepted.

As for gender, Samuels wrote, “women simply submit relatively fewer papers, whether on their own or in collaboration with other scholars, male or female.”

American Political Science Review’s editors, Thomas König and Guido Ropers, both political scientists at the University of Mannheim in Germany, wrote in their self-study that the general-interest journal rejects 95 percent of all submissions via a double-blind review process. They noted that the journal introduced a bilateral decision-making process between lead editor and responsible association editors in 2016, in part to reduce potential editor bias in particular subfields. Looking at 10 years’ worth of publication data, or more than 8,000 submissions and 18,000 reviews, König and Ropers found no evidence of gender bias in the editorial process -- solo male authors dominated submissions and actually had the highest desk rejection rate.

Addressing the qualitative-quantitative divide, the editors noted that the share of female authors among quantitative submissions was 26 percent in 2016-17, compared to 24 percent among nonquantitative submissions over the same period. So there is "no indication that the higher desk rejection rate for nonquantitative submissions penalizes female authors, as hypothesized by Teele and Thelen."

Over all, König and Ropers wrote, “our analysis points much more to the problem of a systematically low submission rate of female authors as explanation for the underrepresentation of women” in published articles.

The results for the remaining journals were the same: no evidence of gender bias in the review process could be found.

David A. M. Peterson, a professor of political science at Iowa State University and editor of Political Behavior, wrote in his report that “the skew of publications” seems to be due to the male-dominated submission pool. “This is still disappointing,” he wrote. “When I became editor, one of my goals was to solicit more manuscripts from women. It appears I have not been successful at these efforts.”

Peterson said last week that the journal, which historically focuses on U.S. presidential elections, was in “great shape” when he took over as editor several years ago. Yet he wanted to “diversify who was submitting. The review process takes care of itself at some point, so I wanted to make the journal more welcoming for a diverse set of research questions” and researchers.

And Political Behavior has improved on that front, he said. Yet across all the journals studied, it appears there’s more work to do. (He noted that while the journals included in the symposium represent a range of processes, he wished it had included one with single-blind review, to round out the sample.)

Some Answers, More Questions

Brown, symposium co-author, said she’s tried to do the same as co-editor of Politics, Groups and Identities (which was not involved in the study). That means defying journals’ traditional gatekeeper status, including by working with potential authors to help them frame their arguments in ways that give them the best chance at publication.

The lack of systematic gender bias in the editorial process doesn’t mean academic publishing is free of gender bias, Brown cautioned. She’s involved in the APSA’s current study examining possible bias in the submission process, for example.

“There’s a big gender gap within these publications and the data we have raise more questions than answers,” Brown said.

Teele, the co-author of the 2017 study that inspired the symposium, said she’s currently working on a manuscript with Samuels that suggests underrepresentation of women authors in university press books, not just journal articles.

She said one “call to arms” on the data available thus far is that women need to be welcomed onto collaborative teams early in their careers.

“Bring women into labs and put them on papers,” she said.

Teele said the data also point to bigger, largely ignored questions about academic work, such as what meaningful productivity and scholarly output looks like.

“Our discipline needs to have conversations about productivity and how much anybody can write or read about these things,” she said.

Interestingly, APSR's editors address the question of quality over quantity, saying, "If we assume that editors are able to objectively judge the quality of manuscripts at the desk rejection stage of the editorial process without discriminating against gender, it speaks in favor of a lower average quality of solo male submissions. It would hint to concerns that male and female authors have different quality standards when submitting their work in the first place."

Editorial Tags: Political scienceImage Source: 'American Political Science Review'Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: 

Guild Education creates business as broker for employer-financed college degrees

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:00

When Walmart announced recently that it would offer debt-free college education to its 1.4 million U.S. employees, the retail giant created an opportunity to address two of its perennial problems -- bad PR and high employee turnover.

For a corporation routinely criticized for its low pay and anti-unionization efforts, announcing the new employee perk had the added benefit of making Walmart appear civic-minded by helping to educate a historically undereducated and low-skilled work force.

Starting this fall, part-time and full-time employees who have worked at Walmart for at least 90 days will be eligible to study online and earn associate or bachelor’s degrees in business administration or supply chain management, with almost all learning costs covered by the company. The workers will be required to make a $365 annual contribution toward tuition, the equivalent of $1 per day.

Walmart will pay for its employees to study at three nonprofit universities: Bellevue University, Brandman University and the University of Florida Online.

But Walmart didn’t pick these universities on its own. Rather than forge relationships with the institutions directly, as it has done in the past with the American Public University System, a private, for-profit online learning institution, Walmart is working with a third party called Guild Education. This for-profit company, which often refers to itself as just Guild, has an online employee benefits program through which employees at select companies can work toward credentials that are approved and subsidized by their employer.

Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for Walmart, said that the company believes that working with Guild is "the right fit for our associates’ personal and professional growth." He added, "We want our associates to start a program that fits their goals, feel successful as they grow, and complete a degree program."

Guild Education has raised more than $30 million in funding since 2015 and acts as a bridge between big employers looking to upskill and retain their work force, working adults who want to earn credentials, and colleges looking to grow their enrollment online.

It is not the first company to help large employers manage education benefit programs. Companies such as EdAssist and GP Strategies also offer similar services. But Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild, said what sets her company apart is that it has created a "win-win-win" ecosystem for employees, employers and universities.

Through the Guild platform, students have access to advisers who direct them toward appropriate credentials from a “carefully curated” group of university and education partners, said Carlson. These advisers also act as success coaches, helping students to balance their studies and work duties.

Carlson said internal research found employees "often look to their employer for guidance" on where and what they should be studying to advance their career, but employers often aren't equipped to guide them to the right program. That's where Guild can step in and guide students to "strong, nonprofit universities," said Carlson.

Rather than charge a transaction fee per student to the employer, Guild takes a cut of the tuition revenue from the universities it works with. This revenue-share model is an "elegant" solution for institutions that want to grow their enrollment online but don't want to spend more on marketing, said Carlson. It's also an attractive proposition for employers, who don't have to pay any additional charges on top of the contribution they make to their employees' tuition. The tuition fees are not discounted for the employers and will be charged at in-state or out-of-state rates depending on the location of the student. Neither Guild nor the three universities involved in the Walmart offer would disclose what percentage of tuition revenue Guild will take.

Guild said it currently works with over 80 education providers, including high schools and companies such as for-profit StraighterLine and nonprofit edX. These providers include six regionally accredited nonprofit universities, chosen because of their experience with adult learners and their low student debt default rates, said Carlson. In addition to Bellevue University, Brandman University and the University of Florida Online, Guild also works with the University of Denver, the University of Wilmington and Western Governors University. Through the Guild platform, employees at participating companies can go from earning a GED to a master’s degree, but not all courses are offered by third parties. Guild has also developed its own general education and college prep courses, for which it keeps all of the tuition revenue.

Guild is working with employers such as the Denver Public School System, Chipotle, Lyft, Taco Bell and others, some of which have not been publicly disclosed. Added together, these employers account for 2.7 million American workers, said Carlson. Of course, not every employee will take advantage of their education benefits, but even if just 5 percent do, it's a potential pool of 135,000 students.

The first batch of college graduates to complete their degrees via Guild graduated this spring, the company said, but it did not disclose how many. While some Guild partners, such as Chipotle, have chosen to release some results from their partnership publicly, most have not.

Chipotle reported that 3,500 employees had accessed its education benefits since the company introduced them in 2015. The company reported that students enrolled in education programs through Guild were “twice as likely to be promoted at Chipotle, as compared to their peers.” Employees who accessed their benefits, which provide up to $5,250 annually in tuition assistance toward any degree at any institution in the Guild network, also stayed at the company almost twice as long as their peers. Chipotle said that 89 percent of employees who enrolled in the program stayed at least nine months after signing up.

On its website, Guild calculated that each of the employers it partners with had seen a return on investment of $208 for every dollar spent, based on methodology for calculating ROI developed by the Lumina Foundation that places a monetary value on factors such as employee productivity, engagement and loyalty. Guild said that 98 percent of employees who enroll in an education program are still employed at the 90-day mark, versus a baseline of 71 percent.

The opportunities available to students through Guild vary significantly by employer, according to Guild. Lowe’s Track to the Trades program, for example, is limited to specific pre-apprenticeship programs, but Chipotle employees can study whatever subject they wish with Guild’s partners.

In 2010 Walmart started a partnership with American Public University System, offering employees 15 percent off any degree or certificate offered there. Lundberg, the Walmart spokesman, said that this partnership will be phased out over the next year as the company transfers to the new system with Guild. The new benefits, though offered through three universities instead of one, and with more of the tuition cost covered, offer more limited options to employees, as they can only study business administration or supply chain management. Previously, employees and close family members could get tuition assistance to study any subject.

Beth Doyle, vice president of higher education services at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, said that employers like Walmart that limit what can be studied as part of their tuition assistance programs are often trying to solve a management pipeline issue. Though there is less choice for employees, Doyle said that aligning employee education benefits to company need can be a good thing.

"Of course, it would be great if companies would offer open tuition assistance to everyone no matter what they study, but aligning it to business goals generally protects the program from cuts," she said.

For companies such as Starbucks -- which partnered with Arizona State University in 2014, launching a wave of similar partnerships -- that assist their employees to study any subject, the focus is more on retaining employees while they study and building brand loyalty so that they return as customers once they leave, said Doyle. While Walmart employees can only study toward business-related degrees, employees at Starbucks can choose from more than 60 undergraduate degrees and move on to other careers.

Carlson noted that high turnover was a huge problem for many employers in the wake of the recession.

While Walmart's announcement was met with a largely positive public response, groups that are campaigning for better working conditions for Walmart employees said that they would not have prioritized these benefits over higher pay.

Cynthia Murray, a longtime Walmart employee who works as a fitting room associate, is a member of a nonprofit campaign group called the Organization for United Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart. Murray said even though tuition reimbursement is a "nice gesture," it is not one that many employees would be able to take advantage of due to Walmart's "refusal to offer a predictable schedule."

Randy Parraz, director of Making Change at Walmart, a campaign group led by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said that he "remains skeptical as to which, if any, workers will benefit from this announcement."

"Instead of providing all associates a living wage and schedules that work so they have the freedom to pursue education on their own terms, Walmart is controlling its work force and creating further dependence on a company that does little to promote self-sufficiency and financial freedom," said Parraz.

Nicole Smith, a research professor and chief economist at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, said the Walmart announcement sounds like a good thing on its face but has some "major shortcomings." Online learning offers students flexibility, but it doesn't have the same results as face-to-face or hybrid programs, said Smith.

"Completion rates there still leave a lot to be desired," she said. Additionally, she said, the program may only benefit employees from a higher socioeconomic bracket -- those who have access to a computer and the internet, and the time to study online.

Smith said the Guild model isn't likely to completely replace individual company partnerships with institutions for tuition reimbursement programs, but could be "quite competitive." A 2015 report from researchers at Georgetown found that American employers spend $177 billion on formal education for their employees annually, an increase of 26 percent since 1994.

Louis Soares, vice president of strategy, research and advancement at the American Council on Education, said that the Guild model “addresses a number of pain points” that companies experience when establishing partnerships with educational institutions -- such as identifying universities or colleges that are a good fit and managing these relationships. By working with regionally accredited nonprofit institutions, Guild guides students toward institutions that are a good value and have good academic standing. By coaching students, Guild helps to ensure they actually complete what they start. And by encouraging students to convert their work-based training to college credit (a service ACE offers), Guild is helping students complete their studies faster and at less expense to employers.

Though Soares and Doyle think the Guild model has potential to scale, and particularly praised its focus on prior learning, they both said that determining whether Guild’s approach works will require careful assessment. Soares said he was pleased to see that the Lumina Foundation has already pledged to research the outcomes of the Walmart-Guild partnership.

Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources, said employers like working with vendors that can take over outside relationships and promise cost reductions.

"It's very common that relationships with education providers will end up being handled by vendor management departments that focus mainly on driving down costs," he said. "It's easy to get bad outcomes as a result."

The universities that partner with Guild will also be monitoring progress closely. Evangeline Cummings, assistant provost and director of the University of Florida Online, said she was particularly curious to see how Guild’s coaching -- which will be supplementary to the institutions’ own academic advising -- would affect student success.

Asked for details of their financial arrangement with Guild, Brandman University, Bellevue University and UF Online all said they were not able to disclose the terms of their revenue share.

Both Cummings and Gary Brahm, chancellor and CEO of Brandman University, said they didn’t know how many students would likely study with them as a result of the Walmart-Guild partnership, but they were preparing to offer their programs at scale. Cummings said while her institution looks forward to welcoming “lots of new Gators,” it will continue to run a selective admissions process and is not expecting to admit tens of thousands of students.

As for Guild, Carlson said several new partnerships with frontline employers are already in the pipeline. There are some 64 million working adults in the U.S. without a college education, said Carlson, but employers are finally starting to grasp the importance of upskilling their work force. By targeting Fortune 1000 companies, Carlson hopes Guild can scale up to help 31 million employees gain access to education opportunities.

Ryan Craig, managing director of University Ventures, an investment firm, said that Guild is well placed to develop new, low-cost pathways to education for working adults. He added there is a “real need” for intermediaries in this space.

“No single college or university is capable of managing the requisite number of relationships with employers. And no employer is interested in doing so,” he said. “This many-to-many problem begs for intermediaries to bridge that gap.”

Although Guild currently has a unique value proposition, Craig predicts that other companies with similar models may emerge. Although Guild has found success connecting existing employees to “select low-cost degrees,” and “wrapping those degree programs with additional support,” Craig said the real test for Guild will be ensuring students complete their degrees -- “otherwise it’s mostly a waste for employees and employers.”

Online and Blended LearningEditorial Tags: Adult educationBusiness issuesOnline learningIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: 

Justice Department opposes University of Michigan bullying policy

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:00

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday filed a brief backing a lawsuit that challenges an anti-bullying policy at the University of Michigan. The department said the policy limited the free speech rights of students and others. But the same day, Michigan announced that it had clarified its policy, explicitly pledging support for First Amendment rights and adopting definitions of bullying and harassment based on state law.

Whether the university's clarifications will resolve the Justice Department's concerns is unclear.

The Justice Department announcement said that it found the university's code of student conduct to be "unconstitutional because it offers no clear, objective definitions of the violations" for bullying or harassing. "Instead, the statement refers students to a wide array of 'examples of various interpretations that exist for the terms,' many of which depend on a listener’s subjective reaction to speech."

Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio issued this statement: “Freedom of speech and expression on the American campus are under attack. This Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is committed to promoting and defending Americans’ first freedom at public universities."

The Justice Department also challenged the constitutionality of the university's Bias Response Team, which the department said "consists of university administrators and law enforcement officers" and, the department says, "has the authority to subject students to discipline and sanction."

With regard to the team, the university is saying that the Justice Department is overstating the power of the team. A spokesman for the university told The Detroit News, "Contrary to the department’s statement, the university’s Bias Response Team does not 'ha[ve] the authority to subject students to discipline and sanction.' Rather, it provides support to students on a voluntary basis."

While the university did not say that its previous policies on bullying and harassment were problematic, the revised policies released Monday appear to speak to some of the Trump administration's concerns. The university said that it eliminated general definitions of bullying and harassment and left only definitions from Michigan law. Further, the revisions state that First Amendment protections apply to activities at the university.

The new definitions of bullying and harassment follow.

Bullying: Any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, directed toward a person that is intended to cause or that a reasonable person would know is likely to cause, and that actually causes, physical harm or substantial emotional distress and thereby adversely affects the ability of another person to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs or activities. Bullying does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose.

Harassing: Conduct directed toward a person that includes repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer substantial emotional distress and that actually causes the person to suffer substantial emotional distress. Harassing does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose.

DiversityEditorial Tags: Academic freedomImage Source: iStockIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 3Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Email Teaser: Bullying and Free SpeechMagazine treatment: Trending: 

Chronicle of Higher Education: In Messy Aftermath of Offensive Videos, Free-Speech Group Decries Syracuse’s ‘Kitchen Sink’ Discipline

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says the videos were satirical and were “intended to be seen and heard only by people in the fraternity.”

Does Ford's victory pose a threat to universities?

University World News Global Edition - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 15:42
On 8 June in Ontario, Canada's most populous province, a new government was voted in. For the first time in 15 years, the Progressive Conservatives won a majority of ridings, taking 76 seats out o ...

Chronicle of Higher Education: Women of Color in Academe Make 67 Cents for Every Dollar Paid to White Men

A recent research brief repeats long-known findings. Systemic change, scholars say, is the only way to make progress.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Jeff Sessions’ Justice Dept. Is Intervening in Another Campus Speech Case — Its Fourth

The department on Monday issued a “statement of interest” in a free-speech lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor by a group called Speech First.

Website maps English test comparisons

The PIE News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:10

A language school founder and director recently launched a English language exam comparison website to help test takers navigate the options on the market.

The website lists exam centres in the UK, explains what education, professional and immigration doors each exam can open, and most importantly provides a helpful tool to those who don’t know their IELTS from their TOEFL: a score converter wheel.

Its creator Tim Shoben, who is also the founder and director of London-based Islington English Centre for English, told The PIE that the idea for the website came about two years ago, after observing that sometimes the correspondence between the various exams was less than transparent for students and teachers alike.

“Over the years we have had the occasional person who’s come in saying ‘I have got a TOEIC score, a TOEFL, or a Pearson exam’ and we sort of scratched our head and thought ‘how does it compare?’’,” he explained.

“You don’t get much geekier than comparing 18 different sets of exams!”

“We understand IELTS, we understand the Cambridge Exams, but we didn’t understand a lot of the American ones.”

Shoben and his team researched the comparison tables between exam scores and Common European Framework for Languages levels on each exam board official website.

Then, using the CEFR as an “anchor,” they mapped the equivalence between each exam score.

“We thought it was going to be a quick project, but it turned into a long labour of love for what is a very geeky project,” Shoben said.

“You don’t get much geekier than writing about English language exams and comparing 18 different sets of exams!”

A new section with reviews of English language exam preparation textbooks written by teachers at the Islington Centre for English will be online soon to provide further guidance for students.

But the website, Shoben explained, is not just for students – schools, universities and businesses will find it useful to navigate the English certifications in use in different parts of the world as part of their international recruitment.


The post Website maps English test comparisons appeared first on The PIE News.

New 1-year limit for some Chinese students in US as Senate debates IP risk

The PIE News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:46

From June 11, certain Chinese students in the US may have their student visa limited to one year in duration if they are studying in “sensitive” fields such as robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing.

This was confirmed in a Senate Judiciary hearing on June 6 by Edward J Ramotoski, deputy assistant secretary for visa services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, US Department of State when responding to a question on press reports suggesting such a measure.

“We have issued some additional screening instructions to US embassies and consulates to deal with certain individuals from China studying in certain sensitive fields,” Ramotoski established.

“When it comes to our investigative efforts, we do not focus on anybody because of their ethnicity or national origin”

While assuring these measures “don’t prohibit entry or restrict access”, when pressed he told the committee that: “in some cases, the visa – if approved – might be limited to one year, multiple-entry with the option to renew.”

The backdrop to this policy shift was laid bare in a Senate hearing, in which concerns shared by the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence about technical information and intellectual property being stolen by “foreign adversaries” were revealed. China was said to be at the top of that list of adversaries.

The hearing, ‘Student Visa Integrity: Protecting Educational Opportunity and National Security’, was originally titled ‘A Thousand Talents: China’s Campaign to Infiltrate and Exploit US Academia’ before being changed.

During the two-hour hearing, chair Senator Cornyn – a Republican from Texas – pointed out that China contributes 350,000 foreign students to the US, while Russia “has about 5,400”, and India, contributing the second largest source of foreign students, “is not an authoritarian country”.

He asked the panel to elaborate on why China was a prime concern.

Joseph G Morosco, national intelligence manager – Counterintelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, responded: “our counter-intelligence concern with respect to China is not driven by race or ethnicity of the students that are in the United States, our counter-intelligence concern is driven by the fact that China has a publicly-stated policy goal of acquiring sensitive information in technology around the world, to include here in the US, and that they seek access and recruit global experts regardless of their nationality to meet their science and technology aims.”

Morosco referred to these aims as outlined in the Made in China 2025 national strategy as well as the Thousand Talents program.

Bill Priestap, assistant director, Counterintelligence Division at the FBI, added, “When it comes to our investigative efforts, we do not focus on anybody because of their ethnicity or national origin; what we focus on is activity.

“For some of the reasons Mr Morosco mentioned, a disproportionate number of what I refer to as our economic espionage cases happen to be on Chinese citizens.”

Priestap’s full statement, made prior to facing questions, is available online. He outlined risks and benefits of the US’s international education industry and said the FBI was keen to play a role “striking a responsible balance between openness and security in US higher education”.

Steps that are already being taken by institutions and national research laboratories to ensure security were also explored during the hearing.

“America’s higher education community is really the crown jewels of what we have to offer as Americans to the world”

The value of foreign students to the US was a point highlighted on a number of occasions during testimony from the first panel and a second panel which included Texas A&M University System’s chief research security officer and NAFSA’s Jill Welch, deputy executive director for public policy.

Cornyn himself, when introducing the hearing, noted, “Most students and visiting scholars come to US for legitimate reasons. They are here to… contribute their talents to [the US]. Indeed I’ve come to believe America’s higher education community is really the crown jewels of what we have to offer as Americans to the world.”

In her statement, NAFSA’s Welch underlined: “It’s exceedingly important that the majority of Chinese students and scholars understand that we are not talking about them today.

“It’s exceedingly important because there are many choices of where talented people can go, and our research programs in the United States, particularly at the graduate level, are incredibly dependent on this kind of talent in order to offer the spaces in our classrooms to American students as well.”

The post New 1-year limit for some Chinese students in US as Senate debates IP risk appeared first on The PIE News.

Book supporting dyslexic learners wins prize

The PIE News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:02

A handbook to help ELT instructors support dyslexic learners in the classroom has taken out the recent Ben Warren-International House Trust Prize, which recognises most outstanding work in the field of language teacher education.

Supporting Learners with Dyslexia in the Classroom, written by Michele Daloiso and published by Oxford University Press, combines theoretical research and practical experience on dyslexia to provide a best practice guide for teachers.

“Recent years have seen an increased awareness of the presence of students with dyslexia in our schools”

“Recent years have seen an increased awareness of the presence of students with dyslexia in our schools,” Daloiso said.

“Learning English can be very challenging for [dyslexic] students because their learning difference clashes with a number of additional barriers that may be present in the classroom due to inappropriate teaching methods.”

Daloiso said many of the difficulties observed of those with dyslexia were just the “tip of the iceberg”, and learners experienced many more barriers to working memory, phonological processing and processing speed.

“These features of dyslexia can have an impact while learning a foreign language, for instance in memorising a new word, or trying to understand a text, or in speaking,” he said.

Speaking with The PIE News, Daloiso said he was inspired to research the topic after a personal experience with an ELT learner.

“While I was studying for my PhD in Educational Linguistics, one day, after a class, a student approached me and said:’I am dyslexic, so I can’t learn English. Is this course compulsory?’ I didn’t even know what dyslexia was,” he said.

“As a researcher, I was curious about what the student had said: Is it true that learners with dyslexia aren’t capable of learning a foreign language?

“If so, what am I supposed to do as a language instructor?”

He added that learners with dyslexia currently represented 5-10% of school populations and that better understanding their needs helped educators to deliver a fundamental human right.

On receiving the award, Daloiso said it “went beyond any expectation”.

“I am honoured and happy that such an important recognition went to a book about inclusive education.”

A recent report from The PIE revealed that many international students with disabilities are blocked from entering Australia, and Ireland released a report in early 2018 calling for higher outbound mobility for those with a disability.

The post Book supporting dyslexic learners wins prize appeared first on The PIE News.