Course code(s) and title(s):

ENGE 1320
Communication for English Majors II

Department:  Department of English 

Subject area: Grammatical voice, pedagogical grammar, contrastive linguistics, short stories, creative writing  

Instructor: Dr Suzanne Wong 

Embedded international elements 

In the first meeting with Dr Wong, two international elements were added to the original course design. The first element is to encourage students to choose a global topic for their individual presentation. The second element is to modify the assessment rubric by adding an assessment criterion ‘Showing a global perspective’.  

International topics 

ENGE1320 Communications for English Majors is a course that all first-year English majors take, and there is an assessment where they prepare and deliver a 10-minute individual talk in the style of TED talks. Students were encouraged to use the talk to share with their classmates something that matters to them. To instil a more global perspective in thinking, students were requested to incorporate a global element to that talk so that as they prepare for their speech, they were suggested to look into how other countries are dealing with the issues (Please see Table 1). Dr Wong suggested some possible issues including education (assessment), environment (plastic waste), space exploration and e-payment.

Modified assessment rubrics 

An additional criterion was made explicit in requiring students to include a global element in their 10-minute individual talk. In order to meet the assessment criteria, students were advised to either choose a global issue as presentation topic, include an international journal for reference, or cite international research results to support their stance.

Impact on students’ performance 

In the post-course discussion, Dr Wong identified some notable changes in students’ performance in the 10-minute individual talk. 10 out of 15 students in the split class had chosen a topic of international focus or element. Majority of the students had included references from international sources or journals. Some students had consulted Dr Wong on the chosen topic by asking if it was deemed as displaying a global perspective. This change in students’ performance in displaying higher-order thinking and more critical thinking is largely due to the modification of the teacher’s delivery of instruction and a modified assessment rubric after considering the embedment of international elements. Before the modification, most students would select a personal issue to present, mostly from a local and personal perspective. The diversity and more global choice of topics illustrate a positive response to the internationalization of curriculum. Below is the summary of students’ topics of presentation as reference. 

Local issue(s) Cha Chaan Tengs
Personal issue(s) Sleep
My favourite cartoon
Prophetic dreams (Sleep)
Global issue(s) Idol Worship
Social media & flat-earthers
Video gamers and literature
Minimalist lifestyle
Does our perception of teachers influence us
Elephant compassion
Accepting mental illness
Smartphone vacation
Art therapy
Decoding KOLs

Table 1 Summary of students’ presentation topics

There are two points to note concerning students’ choice of topics. Dr Wong highlighted that the students who chose a personal issue could also take a more global angle into presenting their ideas. For example, on the issue of sleep, it is a universal topic which concerns every individual. On the whole, it can be concluded that the internationalization of curriculum project has imposed a notable change in teaching and learning in this course.

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