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Curtin University

Embedding opportunities in the curriculum for students to develop their English language proficiency

What is embedding?

Embedding is the process of looking for opportunities to develop transferable skills alongside the development of disciplinary content knowledge and skills.

Why do we do it?

Embedding, as opposed to other development methods such as supplementary workshops, is the most equitable, efficient and effective way of reaching all students.

Course learning outcomes and graduate attributes

A helpful starting point for embedding is Curtin’s graduate attributes. One of the attributes relates to communication skills, which is reflected in course learning outcomes.

Unit learning outcomes

Learning outcomes at the course level should cascade down to unit learning outcomes. Questions that may help to decide whether a unit is suitable for developing students’ English language proficiency can be found here.

Assessment

Unit learning outcomes need to be assessed. In order to provide opportunities for English language proficiency development, it is helpful to consider what features of language students need to successfully complete an assessment task.

Criteria for language use can be included in rubrics. Expectations need to take into account whether the students have recently commenced or are close to graduating.

Feedback

In order to develop their language proficiency, students need to get regular feedback on their use of English. When giving feedback, consider which aspects of language will be useful for future assessment tasks. Possible aspects of language can be found here.