Just came across this, thought it was funny. I disagree with the author that the ideas can be “torn apart” though.
nb: As always, comments and corrections are very welcome!
Hyland (2003) Genre-based pedagogies: A social response to process Journal of Second Language Writing 12 17–29
Swan, M (2005) Legislation by Hypothesis: The Case of Task-Based Instruction Applied Linguistics 26/3: 376–401
Many people have informed me that younger Americans have become homophobic, based on the observation that they use “That’s so gay!” as a putdown. But the numbers say otherwise: the younger the respondents, the more accepting they are of homosexuality. Their acceptance, moreover, is morally deeper. Older tolerant respondents have increasingly come down on the “nature” side of the debate on the causes of homosexuality, and naturists are more tolerant than nurturists because they feel that a person cannot be condemned for a trait he never chose. But teens and twenty-somethings are more sympathetic to the nurture explanation and they are more tolerant of homosexuality. The combination suggests that they just find nothing wrong with homosexuality in the first place, so whether gay people can “help it” is beside the point. The attitude is: “Gay? Whatever, dude.”(Pinker 2011:619)
Edit: I did come across an article which claimed that heaing the phrase “that’s so gay” may cause students to be more likely to suffer from “headaches, eating problems and feelings of isolation”. I haven’t had a chance to read the study yet.
Student visa information was not known/incorrect
Student attendance records were not correctly kept
Information regarding language tests was somehow not adequate
every student has to show their English proficiency not only to the University they are to attend, but also to UKBA. Standard proficiency tests like IELTS are taken, and students have to pass them to a higher level before they could even get admission. It is thus, difficult to understand how University failed to live up to the standard required for English, since the UKBA itself verifies English proficiency, and even conduct interviews with the candidates
This shows a slight misunderstanding of how the system actually works. Students are often required to get around 6.5 in IELTS to enter university courses. However, Pre-sessional courses offer students, who fall short, the chance to reach a “notional” 6.5 after a period of intense study. In order for this system to be accountable the students must take test which are comparable to IELTS in order to show they have reached an adequate level of English to cope with university courses. Without this check in place, universities could “game” the system and pass students regardless of their ability. In the case of the Met it seems that English language assessment was not adequate or was missing altogether. Again I can only compare with my institute where assessment is carried out, teachers are standardised, work is second and often third marked and then kept until those students graduate. As I noted, details are sketchy, but if the Met is falling short of these standards, as one of its lecturers allegedly claims it is, then it deserves to be punished.
Students and UKBA
It is also heart-breaking for students who have yet to come to the UK but who have now been told to stay at home. The visa application process takes at least two weeks and is expensive. It would be tough for students to find another institution, receive an offer and get a visa in time for new courses. Another problem is that the Met offers cheaper courses than many other universities, so students who do change may end up paying more; though on a brighter note Regents College has offered to take 200 students and provide scholarships to make up the difference in costs.
Similarly with the Met decision, the way in which the action has been carried out is not ideal. It’s hard to understand why the met couldn’t allow present students to finish but ban the recruiting of new students. Maybe finding so many student errors convinced the UKBA that the problem was fairly widespread. But this still isn’t much solace for students who were at the Met perfectly legally, went to class and could speak English. These students will now be thrown into turmoil and some of them will even be forced to leave. So whereas the Met may have significant failings the UKBA has (yet again) hardly covered itself in glory.
Students are not migrants. They come from all over the world to study here, contributing to the economy both through payment of fees and wider spending. Whilst we are right to seek to eliminate bogus colleges and bogus students, we need to ensure that we continue to attract the brightest and the best. The Government’s policy ought to be evidence-based. Generating policy based on flawed evidence could cripple the UK education sector. In the case of international students this could mean a significant revenue and reputational loss to the UK
The Met’s colourful history
|Guardian 2013 University Ranking|