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English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy sets out Charles Sturt University's requirements for, and expectations of, students' English language, literacy and numeracy, at enrolment, during their course of study, and at the point of graduation, for all undergraduate courses in which English is the language of instruction and assessment, and as appropriate, postgraduate courses in which English is the language of instruction and assessment.

(2) The Policy recognises the importance of English language, literacy and numeracy development and aims to:

  1. ensure the ongoing quality of Charles Sturt University's academic programs; and
  2. clarify roles and responsibilities of staff and students in relation to English language, literacy and numeracy development.

Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all staff and students of Charles Sturt University undertaking undergraduate courses in which English is the language of instruction and assessment, and as appropriate, postgraduate courses in which English is the language of instruction and assessment. This includes staff and students undertaking Charles Sturt University degrees through domestic and international partners.

Related Legislature

(4) This Policy should be considered in relation to the following legislation:

  1. Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000 (ESOS);
  2. 2010 Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) 'English language standards for Higher Education';and
  3. Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.
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Section 2 - Glossary

(5) For the purposes of this Policy, English language, literacy and numeracy are defined as the ability to effectively use English language and mathematics:

  1. to gather ideas and information from careful and critical reading, listening and observing;
  2. to analyse and reason, to produce well-argued and carefully constructed accounts of complex thinking using English language (including spoken, written, visual, multimodal texts as relevant to an academic discipline and or professional practice and to specific purposes and audiences);
  3. to interpret and use mathematical information, concepts and problem-solving methods as relevant to an academic discipline and/or professional practice; and
  4. to generate and communicate mathematical information using methods such as tables, graphs, algorithms, calculations and written and spoken English.
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Section 3 - Policy

Part A - General Policy and Implementation Principles

(6) Charles Sturt University (the University) values the diversity of student language backgrounds and learning experiences. Staff shall identify strengths in students' backgrounds and learning experiences.

(7) The University is responsible for ensuring that students have access to carefully designed curriculum and to supplementary support to achieve appropriate levels of English language, literacy and numeracy to participate effectively in their university studies, to achieve the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) threshold learning outcomes at graduation and to be competent beginning professionals.

(8) The University ensures that graduating students achieve and demonstrate the levels of academic literacy appropriate to their discipline and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification, and these levels are regularly benchmarked against external institutions.

(9) Strategies to support English language, literacy and numeracy development undergo regular evaluation and review and will be monitored and improved, as required, using an evidence-based approach.

(10) Resourcing for the development of English language, literacy and numeracy is adequate across all courses including effective and appropriate professional development opportunities for relevant staff to support the ongoing development of students' English language, literacy and numeracy.

Part B - Entry standards and admission principles

(11) Requirements for English language, literacy and numeracy will be made clear to prospective students through admission policies, course information, the University's Student Charter, Graduate Learning Outcomes, and all marketing materials of the University.

(12) Students will be informed of their responsibilities as follows:

  1. Prospective students will be informed of English language, literacy and numeracy responsibilities associated with studying at Charles Sturt University; and
  2. Current students will be informed of their responsibilities for further developing their English language, literacy and numeracy skills during their university study.

(13) The University will monitor entry pathways approved for admission for their capacity to support students' transition to university, and ensure that appropriate measures are implemented in English language, literacy and numeracy to enable enrolled students to participate effectively in the early stages of their studies at the University. It is important to note that for students awarded credit, the early stages of their studies at the University may not occur in the first year of a course. This needs to be addressed when implementing appropriate measures in English language, literacy and numeracy.

(14) Where students admitted to the University are assessed as academically underprepared in relevant knowledge and/or English language, literacy and numeracy to participate effectively in the beginning of their university studies, they will be referred to a range of appropriate options to assist students to develop the necessary skills.

(15) The University's orientation programs will include information about the learning resources available to students to help them develop English language, literacy and numeracy.

(16) Higher Degrees by Research supervisors will:

  1. identify students' academic English language, literacy and numeracy development needs early in their candidature; and
  2. refer students to sources of academic English language, literacy and numeracy development as appropriate.

Part C - Principles for developing English Language, Literacy and Numeracy

(17) The University recognises that the development of English language, literacy and numeracy is integral to the development of discipline-based knowledge, and that English language, literacy and numeracy use varies according to context, audience and purpose. It is through English and Mathematics that students both engage with knowledge and are assessed on their understanding and application of such knowledge.

(18) Students of the University, irrespective of mode of study, are supported from point of entry to graduation by an integrated and scaffolded approach to English language, literacy and numeracy that is systematically integrated into curriculum design, assessment practices and subject delivery.

(19) All undergraduate course design will reflect a staged approach to the development of English language, literacy and numeracy in order to achieve the Charles Sturt University Graduate Learning outcomes such that:

  1. Early identification and intervention will be systematically embedded in core subjects that students routinely meet in their first year of study. Where needed, students will also be directed to supplementary support. In addition, it is important to note that for students awarded credit, entry to the University may not occur in the first year of a course. This needs to be addressed when implementing appropriate measures to support development of English language, literacy and numeracy capabilities;
  2. In the first stages of the course the explicit course-level focus will be on:
    1. gathering ideas and information from careful and critical reading, listening and observing to ensure that students can engage with the wide variety of texts (traditional or digital) required, to build the conceptual and factual foundations of their disciplines;
    2. understanding and building proficiency in the basic mathematical knowledge and methods needed as foundations of their disciplines/profession;
  3. In the middle stages of the course the explicit course-level focus will be on analysing, reasoning and producing well-argued and carefully constructed accounts of complex thinking; and where appropriate interpreting and using mathematics information and concepts to solve problems and communicate results; and
  4. In the final stages of the course the explicit focus will be on students demonstrating the threshold English language, literacy and numeracy proficiencies required for their professions/disciplines to a level appropriate to the AQF qualifications and externally benchmarked.

(20) Where credit package arrangements occur for undergraduate courses, every effort will be made to ensure that students enter with English language, literacy and numeracy skills relevant to their entry point (as outlined in the points above for early middle and late stages), and that appropriate measures are implemented to support development of English language, literacy and numeracy capabilities for students with identified needs.

(21) In order to achieve the Charles Sturt University Graduate Learning Outcomes (for details refer Graduate Learning Outcomes, clause 31, Section 4 - Procedures) students will take an active role throughout their studies to improve their English language, literacy and numeracy.

 

Part D - English Literacy and Numeracy and Curriculum at CSU

(22) Course design will make explicit the strategies to be used for developing students' English language, literacy and numeracy, specific to their discipline/profession.

(23) In order to promote the development of students' English language, literacy and numeracy, Faculties will use course design teams that include relevant experts, for instance, Academic Literacy Learning and Numeracy (ALLaN) Advisers, Course Directors, discipline experts, Educational Designers, and librarians.

(24) Courses are designed and/or reviewed through the Smart Learning process to ensure that the development of relevant English language, literacy and numeracy is actively integrated within all curricula, assessment practices and course delivery. This approach will also inform course and subject revisions not yet included in the Smart Learning rollout.

(25) Each course will include an identified subject(s) in which to place assessment tasks to identify students in need of additional English language, literacy and numeracy support.

(26) Course structures, wherever possible, will allow students to undertake discipline specific credit-bearing units which focus on discipline specific English language, literacy and numeracy.

(27) Capstone units/assessments are included in course design, in which students must demonstrate the expected level of English language, literacy and numeracy required of a University graduate.

(28) Throughout their course, students will be referred to sources of English language, literacy and numeracy support as appropriate.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Roles and Responsibilities

(29) Each Executive Dean will report to Academic Senate at regular intervals on the proportion of courses that meet the Policy and timelines for all remaining courses to meet the Policy.

Accountable officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Implementation officers: Executive Deans of Faculty, Dean of Students, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning)

(30) Through the use of evidence from a variety of sources, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is responsible for monitoring and improving the university's support for the development of students' English language, literacy and numeracy and for the implementation of this Policy, including providing education to the University community about its operation, and reporting to Academic Senate annually on the effectiveness of the Policy and its implementation. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may issue relevant guidelines and/or procedures at his or her discretion.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

(31) The Charles Sturt University Graduate Learning Outcomes include a dimension specific to Academic Literacy and Numeracy. The design of curriculum and student support to facilitate the achievement of these outcomes is integral to the English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Policy.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.