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TESOL Quality Improvement Plan

Program : TESOL
Review Date: May 22, 2019
Last Updated:


*Visiting Team Recommendations ** Update on Actions Taken/Current Status
Completed Date
Improvements that require no budget or policy change
1.The program, as is the whole university, is in the midst of many transitions. We encourage TESOL faculty to “seize the moment” and take advantage of this “golden opportunity” to build upon past successes; collectively consider new trends in the field, students’ needs, and current and incoming faculty areas of expertise; come to a shared vision about future directions for the program and innovations that move them beyond the status quo. Based on that new vision, TESOL faculty can realign the program (course content, course offerings, course sequencing, teaching assignments, faculty administrative responsibilities, and hiring priorities). We urge the administration to support this collective reflection through funding for retreats and in-depth meetings.(for more in-depth recommendations, see page 5 of the program review)
2.The TESOL program has indicated, in its Self-Study (Goal I, p. 27), the need to reevaluate its assessments for each of the program learning outcomes. We encourage TESOL faculty to attend to this. Throughout the Self-Study, TESOL faculty also demonstrate an awareness of the value and need for formative and summative assessment to track students’ progress. In particular, we heard about student portfolios, Signature Assignments (sometimes referred to as capstones/capstone assignments) for different courses, students’ Language Development Plans, and assessments of students’ language abilities upon entrance into the program and at graduation. (for more in-depth recommendations, see page 7 of the program review).
3.We recommend full participation of TESOL faculty in TESOL and EIL teaching, when expertise permits. When TESOL faculty are invested in and can pair EIL and TESOL courses, their teaching of both are enriched and enhanced as a result of this naturally occurring symbiotic relationship. Furthermore, when TESOL courses are distributed among a larger pool of qualified faculty, students receive exposure to a diversity of faculty perspectives. We therefore urge the TESOL faculty to prioritize new hires with expertise and experience to teach both TESOL and EIL courses. (for more in-depth recommendations, see page 8 of the program review)
4.TESOL faculty are working so diligently, with heavy teaching loads and other program responsibilities, leaving little time for scholarship and professional development. We recommend that the TESOL faculty consider what constitutes acceptable scholarship in their discipline, in preparation for conversations with the Dean regarding definitions, expectations, and standards of the quantity and quality of scholarship for the faculty unit. (for more in depth recommendations, see page 8 of the program review)
5.Academic advising is being conducted most ably and professionally by Marilee Ching, who seems to have just the right attitude toward what she calls “developmental advising,” empowering students to make decisions of their own. However, TESOL students seem to need mentoring, for example, with regard to their Language Development Plans. The TESOL program may want to consider assigning “faculty mentors” to students; the mentor could periodically review mentees’ Language Development Plans and involvement in activities that could lead to more professional development (e.g., more involvement in the student-led TESOL Society). Given faculty workloads, faculty may want to consider meeting with groups of mentees at the same time.
6.To facilitate students’ return to their home communities to teach (as an extension of Self-Study Goal D, p. 27), we recommend that the TESOL faculty provide students with additional information about career pathways in those settings as well as methods for pursuing those pathways (e.g., how to build networks, how to find internships in their home countries, which alumni to contact).
7.At present, Marilee Ching, TESOL Academic Advisor, makes it possible for BA TESOL students to automatically earn a TESL Certificate. Given that there is an overlap between the BA TESOL and TESOL Certificate, BYU-H should consider automatically granting the Certificate to BA TESOL graduates. Strangely enough, there are numerous countries in Asia (and possibly in Pacific islands) that place a greater value on a TESOL Certificate than a TESOL degree, even though the latter entails many more credit hours and courses. BA TESOL students would benefit greatly from having both on their records, without having to depend on a conscientious advisor to put through the paperwork.
8.We understand that BYU-H is going to switch over to a new Web interface soon. In Self-Study Goal B (p. 27), the TESOL faculty describe the current Website as outdated and lacking “pizzazz.” We recommend that when the switch-over happens, (a) a TESOL faculty member be given web-editing access, training, and release-time support so that program-specific Web content can be updated accurately and in a timely fashion; (b) the new TESOL Web incorporate multimedia materials (e.g., photos and videos of TESOL students at internship sites) already included in TESOL students’ e-portfolios, if granted permission from students to do so. [The portfolios of TESOL students Indian Miller and Stephanie Gaertner, for example, have inspiring and high-quality videos.] A TESOL Website that “speaks to” prospective students would make the Website much more effective.