Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Emma Riordan, Clive Earls, Silvia Benini, Colin Flynn, Aine Furlong
Annual Conference of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics
Higher Education Language Educator Competences (HELECs): Supporting language teacher professional development in the context of Languages Connect
National University of Ireland, Galway
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
The national languages strategy, Languages Connect, published in December 2017 by the Department of Education and Skills, aims to increase the number of students learning a foreign language in higher education (HE) from approximately 4% to 20% by 2026, and to diversify the languages offered. This dramatic increase in student numbers will put a further strain on the already under-resourced language provision at HE institutions. As there is no universally recognised language teaching qualification for HE language teachers, recruited staff have a range of profiles and there is no national approach to accrediting their continuing professional development. The HELECs project, funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, aims to support the necessary increase in teaching capacity by investigating the range of competences that a language teacher needs in the HE context and developing an empirically informed professional development framework for language educators. This paper outlines the project aims and approaches, refers to the currently available frameworks for language teacher competences and argues for the necessity of a HE-specific profile. We will present our preliminary findings on the complexity of the language teaching landscape in HE in Ireland to highlight the need for a cohesive national approach whereby teachers’ competences can be catalogued, recognised and transferred between institutions.
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education