The following blog post was written by Bob de Hoog, a faculty member at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement (CEIIA). This blog post is part of our Conference Reflection blog series.
As part of the ATESL 2017 Conference, on Saturday, October 21, I delivered a presentation titled Multiformity of Media Use in an EAP Classroom with my colleagues Greg Danowski and Chris Hyland. Each of us discussed ways in which his level of the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at Bow Valley College introduces learners to Canadian Media Cultures.
The EAP program has three levels. I teach the Transition to Academic English (TAE) class which is the first level in the program. I presented on how TAE learners begin to actively use media by listening to and identifying the topic and main idea of six news stories on the daily radio podcast CBC World Report.
To start, in the first week, the learners only identify topics. Then in the second week, they identify only the main ideas.
- To identify topics, they note keywords that are repeated throughout each news story.
- To identify the main idea, the students analyze a story for the who, what, where, when, and why.
- Both of these activities are done the first few weeks with about three news stories, and the class as a group shares and corrects examples on the whiteboards in the classroom.
About halfway through the session and near the end of the session, I ask the learners to identify the topic and main idea of news stories on their own. I provide individual feedback on this activity.
In addition to improving their listening skills, the learners have commented that the news stories in Canada are not finished, whereas the news stories in their first country are broadcast only when the story is complete. Another learner mentioned that listening to CBC World Report reinforces her understanding of news in other media.
Through this activity, learners establish a foundation of analysis that they continue to build on throughout the program.