Study Orientation for International Postgraduate Taught Students Sue Rigby Assistant Principal University of Edinburgh
Introduction contentMore welcomesPeople running the programmeContextThe ChallengePlan for session
Top 10 best City in the World Voted by Wanderlust readers, 2008 Voted Best place to live in the UK YouGov Poll of 10,000 UK residents, 2009 “Edinburgh isn’t so much a city, more a way of life ... I doubt I’ll ever tire of exploring Edinburgh, on foot or in print.” Ian Rankin, bestselling crime writer andalumnus of the University of Edinburgh
We are consistently ranked one of the top 50 universities in the world* * THES – QS Ranking 96% of our disciplines have research that is world leading* * 2008 UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise
Sharing our Global Vision with China. France. Germany. Australia. Switzerland. Norway. India. Belgium. Mexico. America. Africa. Japan. Austria. Fiji. Pakistan. We are also part of the Russell Group which represents 20 of UK’s leading Universities. It is similar to US’s Ivy League group of Universities and Australia’s Group of Eight.
Our role in shaping the modern world “One scientific epoch ended and another began with James Clerk Maxwell … the special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell’s equations of the electromagnetic field.” Albert Einstein, physicist and philosopher
Masters study in Edinburgh Short timescale High expectations High aspirations Large investment Lots to do, not just work -How to succeed and make the most of your studies?
Your blueprint for success – assessment and feedback
Your expectations Vocational or research masters? Costly – should have value to you in future Should give you specific and generic skills PTES highlights challenges – confidence in new settings, transkills, career support – we are working on these, so must you…..
Your School Provides teaching, but you may also take courses from other Schools or Colleges Provides advice and administrative support for your Programme Sets and marks your exams Through the Board of Examiners ratifies your degree award
Taught component of masters Two taught semesters Most courses assessed by course work and exam Must pass first time, you should check your local progression rules to see if you can continue with the Masters if you fail any elements of a course.
Feedback How to do better next time – must be timely and forward looking Comes from Programme Director, Lecturers, Demonstrators Make sure they do this! Can come from Peers Audit yourself – how to do this….
Dissertation Research dissertation over the Summer Prepare for this early Talk to staff, use personal contacts Make sure you get on with your Supervisor Make sure you are clear about what is required from you Nag, bully, be persistent in getting the help you may need
ACTIVE LEARNING Tony Lynch English Language Teaching Centre
What are lectures for? • One local view: “I don’t want just to hear my voice. What I really want is to hear students who are willing to question and challenge me, and take the debate forward”.
An alternative view: • “Being quiet in class, listening carefully and taking precise notes are regarded as traits of a good student”
Decisions in note-making • What the lecturer has said • What it means • Whether it’s important enough to go into your notes • How to note it down efficiently
Is a point important? A critical attitude: • Analysing • Evaluating • Applying if relevant
Lecturing styles • Reading (more formal language) • Conversational (more informal) • Multi-modal (speech, writing, image, and body language - SWIBL)
Active = Interactive • Interaction inside your head: KEL KNOWLEDGE EXPERIENCE LECTURER’S WORDS • Interaction with other people LECTURER STUDENTS
Lecturers’ language • Markers of importance • Markers of topic change DIGRESSION and RETURN • Markers of summary / conclusion • But relatively informal speech (so conversation practice helps)
Markers of importance • Central / key / core / vital • Stress / underline / highlight • What this boils down to is… • The crux of the matter is… • The $64,000 question is…
Markers of topic change • Having looked at X, let’s turn to Y • I’d like now to move on to … • Incidentally / By the way / While I think of it… = DIGRESSION • Anyway … / As I was saying … = RETURN
Markers of summary / conclusion • To sum up / In conclusion • What does all this mean? • At the end of the day… • For my money… • In a nutshell…
What are they for? The local view: • Exploration • Exchange • Participation An alternative view: “We just talk”
What can go wrong? • “It was a disaster. They hadn’t done the reading. Nobody wanted to say anything, so I thought we might as well finish early”
Stages in participation • Understanding • Processing • Forming a response to the speaker’s point • Producing that response • Listening to the next speaker • (Understanding, etc.)
Sources of difficulty • Not understanding the previous speaker(s) • Not having anything to say • Having something to say, but not working out your response in time
Improving your understanding • Listen to a range of accents • Listen to discussions • Listen in on others’ conversations
Improving your speaking • For fluency - talk (to yourself, if necessary) in English • For conciseness : the 4-3-2 technique