2.3.6. Building graduate capability in English language skills for employability

Date:  Thursday 8 October
Time: 1:00PM - 2:15PM
Location: R7/8

Session Type: Panel

Chair: Ms Helen Cook, Associate Director Client Relations (Australasia), Educational Testing Service (ETS) (Australia)

Building graduate capability in English language skills for employability (1181)

English language communication competence is a key employability skill for globally mobile international students. However there are many misconceptions about English proficiency, how and when English is best taught and learned, and what communication skills employers are seeking. Unfortunately there has been much generalisation and distortion of these issues. The ABC program Degrees of Deception, which focused on issues of poor English proficiency, plagiarism and cheating had many viewers among the general community believing the negative picture of international education that the program painted. The April 2015 NSW ICAC Report Learning the Hard Way espoused similar views. Such reports can then be used to justify the lack of employment opportunities in Australia for those international graduates with work visas. While it is necessary and important to raise and debate issues critical to the welfare, academic and employability outcomes of international students and the role of Australian institutions, it is essential that such partial investigations do not merely reinforce superficial stereotypes. The panel will examine some of the recent research and developments in institutions’ policy and practice, identify real gaps in provision and discuss potential solutions to improve quality assurance, international student employment outcomes and community perceptions.


Key interest area (KIA): L&T
Sector(s): ELT, HE

Speakers:
Ms Helen Cook, Associate Director Client Relations (Australasia), Educational Testing Service (ETS), Australia
Dr Sophia Arkoudis, Deputy Director Associate Professor in Higher Education, Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE), The University of Melbourne, Australia
Ms Lynette Harris, Director, Careers and Internships, Careers and Learning Skills, Navitas, Australia
Mr Thomson Ch'ng, Student, Curtin University Sydney, Malaysia