News
Richard Rossner, Eaquals Consultant and Co-Founder
Richard Rossner

This week, Richard Rossner, Eaquals Consultant and Co-Founder, writes about a new series of books for academic managers working in language education published by the language school accreditation body.

Eaquals, an international association of language education organisations committed to high quality, and one of its Associate Members, Oxford University Press (OUP), agreed on the publication of a new series of books called 'Language Education Management'. The titles will no doubt resonate with academic managers and directors of studies working in all sectors of language education:

 

·       Language Teaching Competences, which was published in spring 2017 and launched at the Eaquals conference in Riga in April.

·       Language Course Management (to appear in autumn 2017)

·       Language Course Planning (to be published in 2018)

 

 

The three books, each of which contains activities for thought and reflection, introduce and elucidate key areas of Eaquals' work on quality and effectiveness in language education, which has been going on since its foundation in 1991 and up to the present day. These areas cut across several of the twelve aspects of language education and language travel which are focused on in the Eaquals accreditation scheme standards, against which the nearly 140 accredited members of Eaquals are regularly audited.

 

Language Teaching Competences speaks for itself. It focuses mainly on the European Profiling Grid (EPG), which was developed by a consortium of 11 language education organisations, including the Goethe Institut, Instituto Cervantes, the British Council, OPTIMA Bulgaria, and, of course, Eaquals, which had developed the prototype profiling grid on which it was based. The book begins with an exploration of teacher competences and a look at some of the many frameworks for teachers that have been developed over recent years. It then examines the four types of competence covered by the EPG, and the various ways in which the framework and its electronic version can be used by teachers themselves, by trainers and mentors and by managers. The last part of the book looks at the more detailed Eaquals Framework for Language Teacher Training and Development (the Eaquals TD Framework).

 

The second book, Language Course Management, is about the various responsibilities of language course managers (LCMs), i.e. directors of studies, heads of department, coordinators etc., and the challenges that face them on a daily basis. Many of these challenges have been the subject of guidance materials developed by Eaquals project groups and Eaquals training events over the years, and this work feeds into the book. Language Course Management covers: teacher recruitment, teacher management and guidance, teachers' professional development needs and how professional development can be supported, lesson observation, performance management, course design, the management of teaching and learning resources, quality assurance measures, and performance management. Language Course Management is not a recipe book, more an aid to thinking through key issues in each area and developing a good approach and appropriate procedures for the context.

 

The title of the final book in the series, Language Course Planning, is self-explanatory. This is another important area of work within the Eaquals community of practice, and one for which many resources have been developed. The team of writers includes Brian North, one of the authors of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and a former chair of Eaquals, and the senior educational managers of two Eaquals organisations who have led the process of course reform and development in their institutions and contributed to the development of Eaquals resources. Then aim of the book is to provide some background to key aspects of curriculum and syllabus development and then to provide LCMs with practical guidance on developing or revising curricula and course programmes that are based on CEFR principles and make reference to CEFR levels and descriptors, and to help them to ensure that the course programmes are well implemented. The book also deals with the different purposes and means of language assessment during and at the end of courses.

 

Eaquals, OUP and the authors very much hope that these three books on language education management will be seen as valuable resources for managers in the field, and will contribute to the assurance and further development of quality of language education.

 

Richard Rossner is one of the Co-Founders of Eaquals in 1991, and was Executive Director of the association between 2006 and 2011, and Chair from 2014 to 2016.  

 

The first book in the series is available from the Open University Press.