Supporting students at the University of Johannesburg. Presentation by Prof Jenny Clarence-Fincham February 2010. Aims. To identify the available services within ADS Think about the language problem and Academic Development in the context of UJ.
Supporting students at the University of Johannesburg
Presentation by Prof Jenny Clarence-Fincham
To identify the available services within ADS
Think about the language problem and Academic Development in the context of UJ
A wide range of professional and confidential services, ranging from therapeutic services, psycho-educational services, career services, people with disabilities and Work Integrated Learning.
All services in PsyCaD are completely free to students
Services to Campus Health / Occupational Health (Counselling aspect):
Trauma: 24-hour crisis line – 0800 777 000
Office: People with Disabilities
Work integrated learning support
Career Resource Centres – for job searches, posting of CVs
Graduate Recruitment Programme
APK – C Ring 1; B5
APB – Impala Court
DFC – House 4, Louis Street
SWC – Block C (Old Science Building)
Edu-link – a learning management system
Computer proficiency training Edu-link training for students and staff
Student assistance in computer labs
Individual assistance to staff
What do you understand by the language problem in the context of UJ?
Think of a traditional western fairy tale:
Now the modern version
My two daughters have always enjoyed traditional fairy tales and can pretty much retell all of the well known ones without any problems. As much as they like these stories though, they much prefer modern day fairy tales which always seem to have an original and comical slant on the stories they are based on. One such story . . . is Prince Cinders by Babette Cole. This is a fabulously funny picture book that tells the story of our hero Prince Cinders who lives with his three big hairy brothers who make him do all the work while they go to the Palace Discos with their girlfriends. Prince Cinders (who is very small and weedy) wishes that he could be big and hairy too and it looks like his wish may just be granted when he is helped by a dirty fairy who comes down the chimney! She attempts to turn a baked bean can into a smart sports car and his raggy clothes into a suit and make the prince big and hairy too. Unfortunately her magic spells do not exactly go according to plan - the car is tiny, the suit is a swim suit and Prince Cinders looks like an enormous hairy monster. However, he does not realise this because when he looks in the mirror, his reflection is a handsome prince! He sets off to the palace disco using his car as a skate board. He meets a pretty princess who thinks that she is about to be attacked by a great big hairy monster. Luckily though, at that very moment, midnight strikes and Prince Cinders is turned back into himself and the princess thinks that he has saved her. He is too embarrassed to be seen as he normally is and runs away but as he does so he leaves his skinny jeans behind leading to a kingdom wide search to find the owner. Eventually Prince Cinders is found and on discovering that the jeans fit, the lovely Princess Lovelypenny proposes to him and they both live happily ever after!
What has happened here and why is this amusing?
What has all this got to do with our students at UJ?
The more often we use particular textual conventions, the more they seem to be natural and common sense.
But they are highly constructed which means the
the familiar is not obvious
The world of the university and the languages it speaks are not obvious to our first year students
Tutorials, lectures, pracs
new disciplines, referencing
plagiarism, institutional silence
admin and academic staff
difficult accents, note-taking
There is a fundamental link between “the culture of knowledge and the language by which is maintained and expressed” (Ballard and Clanchy 1988: 7).
The role of academic development staff is to
It is only by working alongside each other that these challenges can be addressed and we can develop interventions that result in students acquiring the discourses they need to succeed at university . . . and it is only when we develop a common understanding of the complexities of “the language problem” that we will create an educational context in which this can happen.
Read this text!!