Communities of Practice: Research in Quality Assurance
This COP is for ELT professionals who would like to learn more about research in ELT. This COP provides an overview of the benefits of engaging in research and provides participants with practical tasks to encourage and support engagement in research. Topics in this area include the continuum of research and the role of quality assurance. The NEAS Endorsed Master Practitioner badge is awarded to industry professionals who undertake an area of research of their own specialist interest.
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Congratulations to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), on the successful completion of its Quality Endorsement exercise. NEAS is delighted to announce that UTS has joined a select group of NEAS Endorsed ELT Qualifications Providers. The TESOL and Applied Linguistics courses at UTS are taught within the School of International Studies and Education, one of two schools within FASS. Quality Endorsement covers these four courses: C04420 Master of TESOL and Applied Linguistics (Extension); C04305 Master of TESOL and Applied Linguistics; C06116 Graduate Diploma in TESOL and Applied Linguistics; and C11254 Graduate Certificate in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. These qualifications are embedded, in that the subjects within the graduate certificate form the first part of the graduate diploma and the graduate diploma forms the first part of the master’s degree. Earlier versions of these courses have been running for many years and are well respected across the industry.
The sense of community within the teaching and academic management staff was observed and commended; this positive environment enables the teaching staff to obtain a very good understanding of each student and provide individualised support. A rigorous and systematic approach to gathering feedback and implementing it was also observed, and this ensures that the courses are continuously improved and respond to student need. Students interviewed in focus group sessions praised the School’s response to the COVID pandemic, and provided many positive comments about the responsiveness of teachers and improvements made throughout the challenging period. This speaks, again, to the collegiality of the School, staff members’ attention to the students, and the continuous improvement culture within the School. Alongside the multiple stakeholder meetings conducted as part of the Quality Endorsement exercise, the documentation provided for auditing was extremely thorough and reflects well on a governance framework that is comprehensive and solid.
Tell us, how did you first come to know about NEAS?
As the Head Teacher at a boutique ELICOS college in the late 90s my manager at the time was very keen to make sure that I had a thorough understanding of the accreditation process for the college. This was how I was introduced to NEAS as they were the only accrediting body for ELICOS providers in NSW. I began to learn the NEAS Standards and what it meant to be compliant.
How did you join NEAS and what were your motivations in doing so?
In those days the annual review required the providers to collect piles of hard copy paperwork and as the NEAS Head Office was located nearby I regularly headed into their office to drop off paperwork or ask for advice in regard to particular matters, such as teacher qualifications and defining parts of the ESOS Act or National Code. I became quite intrigued with the process of annual accreditation and used to ask lots of questions to learn what was “best practice” in the industry. Eventually, I was asked to join a training session for new NEAS Assessors and my manager thought this would be a great opportunity to extend my knowledge and improve quality at our own college at the same time.
What are your views on the changing face of NEAS over the past 10 years?
The main changes have been the application of the quality review cycle which allows centres to participate in a range of quality reviews, rather than the same type of review each year. In addition, NEAS has become a body that supports and promotes centres that strive for quality in order to deliver the best outcomes for their stakeholders, rather than simply checking on compliance issues. These days there are so many opportunities for centres to reach out to NEAS on a regular basis for support with areas such as professional development, premium product endorsement for unique services as well as receiving regular health checks and supporting continuous improvement.
Looking into your crystal ball, what do you foresee for NEAS and international education for the next decade?
I see a strong future for NEAS because in our industry there will always be a desire by centres to improve their level of quality and to gain the best outcomes for all of their stakeholders. As educators, we will always have an essential desire to learn and improve.
In addition, it seems clear that the opportunities for some centres to deliver their courses transnationally will continue to grow and NEAS will be central to this development.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
As a former Director of Studies, I always felt fully supported by NEAS because of their level of care and depth of knowledge. As a NEAS Quality Assessor, it’s always a pleasure to assist and support centres as part of the NEAS Quality Assurance process.
NEAS Australia and English Australia – Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
NEAS Australia is pleased to announce the signing of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with English Australia. The MOU was signed by NEAS Chair, Prof. Tanya Buchanan and English Australia Chair, Ms Kerry Sutcliffe on Tuesday 12 April 2022. NEAS CEO Dr Patrick Pheasant and English Australia CEO Mr Brett Blacker were also part of the online ceremony.
The MOU establishes the terms and understanding between NEAS Australia and English Australia to facilitate collaborative activities that are mutually beneficial for both organisations. The purpose of the MOU is to:
ensure a consistent understanding of what type of information the organisations can share and how this information should be used.
establish agreement on the most effective form of this information so it can feed into established regulatory systems.
clarify the relevant liaison officers to facilitate the relationship between the organisations and the exchange of information.
We are enthusiastic that this partnership will strengthen and advance the interests and activities of each organisation and continue to promote excellence in the English Language Teaching sector.
NEAS congratulates PEAR Academy Australia on becoming our most recent Quality Endorsed Member! Specialising in enhancing further the English language communicative skills of Medical and Allied Health professionals, PEAR Academy prides itself on being designated a Premium Preparation Provider for the Occupational English Test (OET) in Australia and India. PEAR Academy is also an OET licensed test administrator, with test venues in Adelaide (Australia), Bangalore, Mangalore, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, and Pune (India). PEAR Academy’s purposeful strategy is to achieve NEAS Endorsement as an online provider of OET preparation in the first instance, before extending its partnership with NEAS to cover the development of Quality Endorsed physical ELT Centres abroad. Over the past months, NEAS worked closely with PEAR Academy to review these critical components: syllabus, Learning Management System, teacher qualifications, and Train-the-Trainer programme. Integral to NEAS Endorsement has been its distinctive 360-degree stakeholder-driven feedback model, which is informed by input from students, teachers and professional staff.
PEAR Academy has successfully negotiated partnerships with education providers in India to administer OET Test Centre Days on campus under strict guidelines set by OET. It has also recruited trainers and support staff with strong industry and TESOL experience to effect best practice approaches to teaching, learning and testing. PEAR Academy offers a dedicated course, titled, English for Health Professionals (EHP) – OET Communication, which is delivered online and is offered in two-, four-, six- and 12-week modules. In addition to supporting students to achieve their target OET levels, the EHP Course helps students communicate effectively in real-world clinical settings. Teaching, Administration and Student focus group respondents gave highly positive feedback about studying with and working for PEAR Academy, which participants dubbed “Care” Academy. Anonymous student online survey responses included comments such as, “PEAR Academy guides and mentors candidates in a rightful manner”. Highly positive focus group responses were indicative of best practice approaches to online course delivery and test preparation and industry placement.
As a participant in the recent NEAS Australia Vietnam Workshop Series, we want to thank you for your attendance and commitment to professional development!
NEAS was delighted to curate this unique series, showcasing best practice in quality assurance and online delivery in English language teaching. We were thrilled to feature keynote speakers from the Australian Embassy, Vietnamese National Foreign Languages Program and Ministry of Education in Vietnam.
Separate to the live events, we hope that you also enjoyed the 13 pre-workshop video presentations listed below:
Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat – Macquarie University International College & English Language Centre
Professional Development During Change: A Case Study – South Australian College of English (SACE)
The Importance of Oral Skills Development for Online ELICOS Students – Albright Institute of Business and Language
It’s Always, All About the Student! – Ivanhoe Grammar School
The Future of Pathway Programs and Teaching: Introducing an Entrenchment Model – ELSIS English Language Schools
Simulcasting: Your Studies, Your Way! – ILSC Language Schools
Partnership Creation Through John Paul International College Academy – John Paul International College (JPIC)
Principles of Online English Language Teacher Training – The University of Sydney, Centre for English Teaching
Developing and Delivering a Professional Development Framework – Australian Catholic University (ACU) English Language Centre
English Language Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age – Macquarie University, Department of Linguistics
Rethinking Pedagogy for Online Teaching and Learning – Mitchelton State High School
Engaging Asian Students Online Towards a More Communicative Approach – SMEAG English
Incorporating External Testing into an EAP Program for Direct Entry – The University of Newcastle, Pathways and Academic Learning Support Centre
If you missed out on any of the above, all content from the series is now available for viewing via NEAS Online.
Thank you once again for your participation! NEAS remains dedicated to bringing Quality Assurance in ELT to the forefront, and hopes to facilitate more cross country events to the ELT community in future.
A highly respected and experienced education leader, David has a great passion for second language development theory and practice. With a background in TESOL, English, Business and Social Sciences, he is committed to broadening horizons, global empathy and perspectives through languages.
As Deputy Head of International Operations at John Paul College, David leads the ELICOS programs, business operations and strategic direction of John Paul International College (JPIC). As part of this role, he advocates for the ‘ELICOS in Schools’ sector, of which NEAS is a key part of quality assurance and compliance in Queensland.
David’s leadership delivers data led solutions that are customer centric, removing barriers and creating positive stakeholder outcomes. In his current role, he has delivered projects to reimagine all aspects of the student, parent and agent journey through innovative and interactive stakeholder engagement mechanisms. David is an enthusiastic contributor to IET discourse communities at conferences and networking events.
David has extensive experience in international education both in Australia and abroad and is a NEAS endorsed Quality ELT Professional. He has post-graduate qualifications in TESOL, Education and Business, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. From growing up on the island of Guernsey to living in various places around the world, David brings a critical perspective to executive teams and committees.
After the events of 2020/21 and the likely volatility in 2022, David believes we must take the opportunities presented during these ambiguous, uncertain and competitive times to create new value propositions, target new markets, hone operations in existing markets and reflect.
We must do this by being mindful, selfless and compassionate.
Thomas is the Dean of SCU College (Direct Entry and General English ELICOS, Enabling and Diploma courses) and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) at Southern Cross University. He is a specialist in the design, delivery and management of English language and higher education pathways, empowering students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds gain access to and succeed in university study.
His more than 20 years of post-secondary education professional experience, in Australia and abroad, demonstrates a long-standing commitment to ensuring that English language courses deliver an inspired experience for students. While much of his professional experience has been working with University students studying academic English, he has also worked designing and delivering English courses for recently settled migrants from CALD backgrounds, work-and-holiday travellers, as well as primary school pupils’ Study Tours. His research interests are in applied linguistics and he has published on English for Academic Purposes, vocabulary knowledge, language testing, pronunciation teaching and digital literacy.
In 2018-2019 he co-led the University English Centres Australia (UECA) national initiative: the External Referencing of the ELICOS Standards and International Education [ERESIE] Project. 20 Australian universities participated in the project to benchmark ELICOS program outcomes. In 2020 he was the UECA Assessment Symposium Chair and host. He is a member of the Australian Government’s TEQSA Expert Register for ELICOS and international education. He is well known for his collegiate approach and silly sense of humour. He would like to represent English Centres on the NEAS Board, advocating for quality outcomes for their students, staff and communities.
My approach to teaching, educational management and leadership is based on the principles of equality, empathy, empowerment, and best practices. Thus, I continually work to ensure high standards of learning and teaching as well as efficient and collaborative management of the ACU English Language Centre on North Sydney campus. In this work, I do my best to apply the knowledge gained from several management and leadership programs such as Emerging Leaders and Managers Program and in-house workshops developed by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
I have been involved in the Australian ESL community for eighteen years. In 2018, I was a part of EA Conference Organising Committee, and I am an active member of EA AMSIG committee. My involvement in the EFL community started much earlier back in Europe when I was the owner and the manager of a private language school for 10 years.
My deep appreciation of other cultures and languages has been enriched during my extensive travel as well as my own learning of several languages. In 2018, I was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for a community engagement program that supported refugees and migrants. Last year, I chaired the Professional Development Working Party and developed Professional Development Framework for our Education Pathways Directorate.
I hold a BA in English and English Literature, CELTA and TEFL Certificates, and an MA in TESOL. At this stage of my professional life, I would like to contribute to the wider ELT community and NEAS members. I believe that my sound knowledge and understanding of cultural and language differences, ability to identify the needs of individual students and groups, teachers, and colleagues, and all NEAS members, as well as high-level communication and organization skills would be useful in the role of a Board Director.
Dr Pamela Humphreys has worked in international education for over 30 years in Europe, Asia and Australia for a range of both private and public organisations. Currently the Director at Macquarie University International College (MUIC) & English Language Centre (ELC), she has oversight of English language programs, Foundation, Diploma, Undergraduate Certificates, and a suite of online test preparation products which have seen over 800,000 users to date, and two of which were ranked #1 and #3 by FutureLearn in 2020.
active contributions to sector submissions to DESE and TEQSA
involvement in sector benchmarking activities
sharing of expertise via presentations at conferences
Over her career, Pamela has been a teacher, examiner trainer, teacher trainer, and manager for ELICOS, pathways programs and higher education courses. Under her leadership, she and her teams have won over 10 national and institutional awards and citations, including the prestigious OLT Program Award for the Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy. Pamela has also been the recipient of leadership awards, and her PhD thesis, on the construct of English language proficiency in higher education, won the IEAA Outstanding Thesis Award for Contribution to International Education.