Quality Benchmarking – NEAS Assist

NEAS Assist is the consultancy arm of NEAS Australia, providing tailored solutions to support the ELT community. In recent months, NEAS has been invited to deliver specialist services in assessing ELT curricula and providing detailed, evidenced-based reporting on course outcomes that align to equivalencies in international English language test scores. Through the provision of independent analyses respected by decisionmakers, NEAS plays a critical role in supporting Centres to demonstrate achievement and excellence in their work.

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Expanding the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework

NEAS has been developing and working on additional sets of areas of standards for the ELT community over the past 12 months and has recently released two new Quality Standard Areas to complement the existing 12 Quality Standard Areas in our Quality Assurance Framework:

·         Area M: Transnational Delivery; and

·         Area N: Foundation Programs

NEAS’s Quality Assurance services continue to evolve and expand to serve Member Centres. In a period of challenge and flux, NEAS works closely with its Members to set aspirational quality standards for innovative practices and to help them grow their businesses.

NEAS is finalising operational details to pilot these new Quality Areas. If you are interested in participating in our pilot initiatives for Transnational Delivery and Foundation Programs, please email Operations Manager, Daniel Yuen: d.yuen@neas.org.au

Check out the NEAS QA Framework here

ELC Malaysia

NEAS congratulates English Language Company (ELC) Malaysia for becoming the latest Quality Endorsed Member Centre, successfully progressing from Pending status. ELC Malaysia completed its Quality Review after a series of onsite meetings, Focus Group discussions, stakeholder surveys, and observations of online lessons, over an extended period. Centrally located in Kuala Lumpur, ELC successfully transitioned its mainstream courses to an engaging online environment. Students aspiring to enter university programs have remained at ELC in this capacity.

ELC’s students are located in Japan, China, and the Middle East, with some also being located in Malaysia. Teachers and staff at ELC closely monitor the progress of students and actively enhance learning by directing students to opportunities in which students can practise their English outside of class. Observations of recorded online lessons revealed that students were actively supported in their learning. Well done ELC Malaysia!

See your listing here.

2022 TOEFL® Grants and Awards

Applications are now open for the following 2022 TOEFL® Grants and Awards:

2022 TOEFL® English-language Researcher/Practitioner Grant Program – The purpose of the grant is to enable practitioners to become involved in ETS’s efforts to promote English language learning, and to support education and professional development for English-language teachers worldwide through ETS’s assessments and services. ets.org/toefl/grants/el_researcher_practitioner_grant

2022 Jacqueline Ross TOEFL® Dissertation Award – This award recognizes doctoral dissertation research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge about second or foreign-language tests and testing and/or the use and development of such tests and testing. ets.org/toefl/grants/jacqueline_ross_dissertation_award/

2022 TOEFL® Essentials™ New Scholar Award – This award recognizes a recent graduate in the field of foreign- or second-language assessment, whose scholarship or other major professional activities have already made an outstanding contribution. ets.org/toefl/grants/essentials_new_scholar_award/

Cambridge Assessment English

Congratulations to Cambridge Assessment English on achieving NEAS Quality Endorsement of its CELTA course (traditional and online) and its Linguaskill English language test, in the category of Quality Products and Services.

Arguably the most widely recognised English teaching qualification in the world, CELTA has earnt a well-deserved reputation as the gold standard in pre-service teacher training. CELTA graduates develop a solid foundation in teaching methodology, and the course’s traditional in-person delivery has also been updated to a fully virtual mode. An extensive study has shown CELTA to be the English teaching qualification most often requested by employers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Linguaskill, an online multilevel English language test, assesses all four macro skills, and requires only an internet-connected computer to run. Designed as a fast, convenient, and easy-to-use assessment tool, it employs adaptive technology to deliver personalised experiences to its candidates; the test’s level of difficulty self-adjusts to match the user’s true ability. Linguaskill’s currency and relevance is maintained and refreshed by a dedicated research team of world class repute; the test benefits the ELT community through its advances in automated test scoring. The test can also be administered to candidates at home through remote proctoring.

The Benefits of Transnational Partnerships​

Australian ELT providers have been partnering with offshore providers for decades.  Transnational partnerships are a sustainable way for Australian providers to grow and compete internationally as well as develop greater understanding of the cultural contexts of their international partners.

Transnational arrangements between Australian and offshore providers include delivering programs through distance learning modes, teacher and/or student exchanges and offshore campuses. NEAS has recently added a new area, ‘Transnational Delivery‘ to the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework.

Offering international students a transnational experience in their home countries provides many benefits.  It’s a cost-effective way for students to build their English language competencies whilst being able to stay close to their families and support networks.  Students also become accustomed to the teaching and learning culture delivered by the pathway institution assisting them adapt to both the target language and teaching methodologies.

NEAS endorsed provider, UTS College has enjoyed a successful history of transnational partnerships with a number of off-shore providers.  According to their ELT Director of Studies, Jason West, a key benefit of these partnerships is the internationalisation of the college’s curriculum.  

“When we are refreshing our curriculum, we can seek input from our partners to ensure that the content is more relevant for cohorts of students from different cultural backgrounds, We’ve listened to our partners to build in materials that listen to and respond to the voices of our multi-cultural and multi-lingual students.”

Another NEAS Master Practitioner for the ELT Community!

Congratulations to Dr Alexander Nanni who was recently received the prestigious NEAS Master Practitioner certificate.

NEAS Master Practitioner is unique in its kind and sets the benchmark for understanding quality assurance, using qualified research into English language teaching and demonstration of knowledge of the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework.

The course comprises a capstone project which enables the participant to apply quality assurance principles to an area of interest and specialisation. The capstone project submission may take one of several forms such as an essay, research project, an experiential work or a multimedia presentation.

Alexander submitted a research report titled ‘Characteristics of Effective English Language Teachers: Students’ and Teachers’ Views’. The report outlined an investigation aimed at improving the quality of the English courses offered by the Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics at Mahidol University International College, Thailand. The project investigated students’ and teachers’ beliefs about the characteristics of an effective language teacher.

Master Practitioners not only demonstrate their understanding of Quality Assurance in ELT but can become quality ambassadors for their Centre. The Master Practitioner capstone project can be utilised to enhance a professional’s understanding of their work and centre, bringing about benefits for the organisation, staff and students.

Well done Alexander!

Congratulations to USQ College.

Congratulations to USQ College on the successful Quality Endorsement of its two online English language courses: ACS7001 Advanced Communication Skills One (ACS1) and ACS7002 Advanced Communication Skills Two (ACS2). The courses are delivered via Zoom instruction and associated online materials, and contain opportunities for forum discussion and self-study. Making use of USQ’s Virtual Learning Environment and support services, the advanced communication skills courses prepare students well for future faculty studies. The courses benefit from extensive mapping, curriculum and assessment document preparation, which strongly align assessment with learning outcomes.

Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant (AVEG) Program Update

NEAS recently conducted its first online workshop for the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant (AVEG) Program. In this decision-making forum, NEAS engaged leaders from the National Foreign Languages Project (NFLP), a department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), in a highly productive discussion. Participants shared ideas and confirmed details for the upcoming specialist workshops to be delivered by NEAS in October and November 2021.

Focussing on Quality Management, Online Delivery, and Teacher Professional Development, these hybrid workshops will deepen industry links, showcase Australian education, and identify new collaborative opportunities between providers in our two countries. NEAS acknowledges the important support of DFAT for this flagship initiative; NEAS also benefitted immensely from the participation and input of colleagues from DFAT, DESE and Austrade. NEAS continues to works closely with its valued Members and stakeholders in Australia and Vietnam for the implementation of the AVEG Program. Additional details will be available in the weeks ahead.

Congratulations to Albright Institute of Business and Language

NEAS congratulates the Albright Institute of Business and Language for becoming the latest Quality Endorsed Member Centre. Established in 2017, the Albright Institute delivers a range of English language and VET courses in prime locations across four major cities: Melbourne (the Main Centre), Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide. NEAS completed an in-depth assessment of Albright Institute’s application and supporting documents, and followed up with a Virtual Quality Review exercise. NEAS Quality Endorsement is granted and maintained through its 360-degree stakeholder-driven feedback model.

A NEAS Quality Assessor was assigned to conduct structured online meetings and focus group sessions with Albright Institute’s management team, students, teachers, and professional staff. Benefitting from an active marketing department and close links with agents, the Albright Institute continues to recruit onshore students vigorously and showcases a diverse mix of learners from South America, South Asia, and East Asia. The Centre has successfully cultivated a strong sense of community among students and teachers through its social media channels and face-to-face engagement. The Quality Assessor opined: “There is a strong sense that students are well cared for by teachers, professional staff, agents and management. There are plenty of avenues for communication between students and teachers and students and staff members …”