Alison McBoyle


11th June 2016:

BALEAP PIM, Southampton University & Exeter PGR conference

EMA (English as a Medium of Assessment)


Not only is English a medium of instruction, it is also a medium of assessment in both subject and EAP courses. We may have our ‘favourite’ or habitual, ways of giving feedback which may or may not have an underlying rationale. It therefore makes sense that students might also have a preferred method of receiving feedback. However, there could be a mismatch between the two. Drawing on critical theory, and in particular the domain of critical applied linguistics (CALx), the purpose of this presentation is to share results of small investigation that reflected on and questioned an existing practice (corrective feedback) that is often imposed on learners. By ‘problematizing a given’, I hope to raise awareness of the importance of student voice in an educational process and its potential effects

15th February 2015:

EAP Conference, St Andrews

~~The role of error correction /corrective feedback in EAP writing assessment

Writing is a major element of pre-session courses and part of that includes corrective feedback (cf).  It has often been commented that teachers spend more time reading and giving feedback than the students do on preparing and writing the texts. However, what may not be considered is both the effectiveness and the efficacy of this process.  It is often the case that little is known about either the student’s attitude to error correction, or  to what they actually do with the feedback.   Throughout a course, corrective feedback should be a formative process rather than just allocating a mark or grade (which if done is often all a learner may be interested in) but more often than not, the isolated and inconsistent nature of it may negate that.  This session intends to highlight one identified issue with cf which concerns the type of feedback given, whether it be in the form of writing ‘codes’ or written comments,  and to share students views on this.  In addition, there will be brief overview of some of the, sometimes contradictory, research into cf and then to consider future directions.   This is intended to be a reflective session rather than presenting any ‘solutions’ and is aimed at EAP tutors involved in developing writing skills.


28th February 2009:

BALEAP Pim St Andrews and Glasgow

~~This presentation addresses the continuing challenge of how listening skills are taught, with particular reference to the relevance of materials to the EAP students.  Whilst note-taking remains a valuable skill, and is an area that students need practice in, the nature of many further education lectures has changed, thus prompting a change in EAP methods. 

A large number of lecturers now provide content-related information prior to their lectures, which allows the students to prepare themselves in advance.  This pre-lecture information provides a structure for the lecture and acts as a basis for further note-taking and it is this that has prompted the production of ‘home-made’ mini lecture materials, for which students have to download information sheets beforehand.

These mini lectures were delivered on a weekly basis over a ten-week semester, and together with follow up activities, have provided relevant and valuable note-taking practice