Workshops and individual consultations

All universities offer generic workshops and seminars to students to assist them with academic literacy or language development. The extent and nature of this provision varies across institutions. For example, the University of Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast both provide an eight-week English course for academic study/academic communication. Others, like Deakin University, provide individual workshops on different aspects of academic language and learning. Some workshops are specifically for students who have English as an additional language, such as Edith Cowan University’s grammar and writing workshops for international postgraduate students.

With regard to individual consultations, some universities, like Monash, offer short ‘drop-in’ services for individual students, with longer consultations by appointment. Many, like the Australian Catholic University, have online booking systems for these services. A few universities have discontinued individual consultations with students on the basis that they are highly resource-intensive and therefore expensive. However, their value is supported by the research literature (e.g. Chanock, 2007).

A number of universities have also started offering staff development specifically targeted at assisting staff to develop strategies that will help them to promote student English language proficiency. Such programs are often run from academic language and learning units. Examples include the Staff Feedback Toolkit provided by the University of Western Sydney.