TESOL 2019

How do we design programs that lead to measurable progress?

In institutions around the world there is increasing pressure to demonstrate how program design will lead to demonstrable progress in English for learners. It raises a key question: how do we design programs that lead to measurable progress. Over the last three years, numerous schools have begun to work on how they can address this challenge using the Global Scale of English (GSE). This year, at TESOL 2019, it will be my pleasure to facilitate a discussion between two administrators who have worked through this process. For me, it's an opportunity to share some of the best practices I've seen developed by experienced educators in the field. For my colleagues, it's a chance to talk about what they learned during the process, the benefits to their learners, and their future plans.

Salem State University

Shawn Wolfe, the Associate Director of English Language Programs and International Enrollment Management at Salem State University, will be the first to share his insight into applying the GSE in an institutional environment. At the institution—located in Salem, Massachusetts—Shawn began to explore how the GSE could help to address a greater need for insight into progress given the time ELLs had to prepare in order to enter their degree courses. How much time was required to achieve success in English? How could progress be measured in a way that was tangible to professors and students? These are just a few of the questions that lead Shawn to begin to explore the Global Scale of English. 

While the process has been slow and steady, Shawn can provide first hand experience from his use of the GSE, including how he is working to secure facility buy-in by embedding professor views in the curriculum alignment process.

Sacred Hearts University

Alla Schlate, Academic Director at Sacred Heart University based in Connecticut, will be our second speaker, sharing her process of curriculum review and alignment for her various English programs. At Sacred Hearts, like Salem State and other schools that enroll international learners, there is a significant challenge with both the diversity of language ability and degree interest areas demonstrated by students. In order to address these challenges, Alla has developed a four pillar approach to support learner development. Her long-term goal is to create a curriculum that can be easily adapt over time to the changes in learner needs, instructor needs, and available materials and content. At her institution, like Shawn, she faced similar challenges with aligning the program to the GSE: from gaining faculty buy-in to addressing the challenging and changing needs of the student population.

How did Shawn and Alla achieve success in their institutions using the GSE? What can other schools learn from their experiences? At our TESOL 2019 panel discussion session (on Friday, March 15 at 2pm, Room A407) we intend to explore answers to these questions, and more. We look forward to seeing you in March, and sharing our experiences with you. 

Shawn Wolfe, Associate Director

Shawn Wolfe is an associate director of the Center for International Education at Salem State University in Massachusetts, where he oversees student recruitment and the core academic components of the center's English language programs, including accreditation preparation, curriculum and student assessment, instructional coaching, and professional development for English language specialists. Shawn has more than 11 years of EFL/ESL teaching and administrative experience in Japan, Mexico, and the United States. Prior to working at Salem State, Shawn oversaw a community-based English language program for adults and was a recognized state leader and advocate for adult language learners in West Virginia. Shawn holds an MAT-TESOL from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and has research interests in teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP), second language Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), and E-learning.

shawn wolfe

Alla Schlate, Academic Director

Alla Schlate is the Academic Director of the English Language Institute at Sacred Heart University. Professor Schlate is responsible for academic oversight of the ELI. She is in charge of the content of the Intensive English Program: curriculum, instructors, books, etc., as well as makes sure that the curriculum meets the rigorous requirements of higher education accreditation organizations. She leads Professional Development meetings providing the instructors with the best opportunities to keep abreast with the latest research in Language Acquisition Methodology. Her goal also is to ensure that international students are actively engaged in meaningful language learning process exploring all opportunities offered by numerous Departments at SHU. Prior to working at Sacred Heart, Professor Schlate worked at the Institute of International Relations, Yekaterinburg, Russia, and was an acknowledged leader in Education in the Ural Area of Russia. Professor Schlate holds an M.A. in Linguistics and an M.A.T in Teaching EFL/ESL and Literature from Udmurt State University in Russia (Evaluated by WES); an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York; and a CELTA in Teacher Training and Material Design, from Cambridge University, UK.

alla schlate