National Teaching Fellow 2014
Professor Glenn Fulcher has developed a unique pathway through the University’s MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL that leads to an endorsement “with language testing”. This has proved highly popular with students, as it provides a route into employment with examination boards worldwide, and delivers a range of analytic and statistical skills keenly sought after by employers of social scientists.
Influenced by the educational philosophy of Peirce and Dewey, Glenn has developed a student-focused ‘apprenticeship’ model to learning, in which learners practice the skills of assessment design, data collection and analysis as they build useful assessment tools. The applications used in the model are real-world language problems, such as certifying language readiness for jobs including air traffic control and call centre communication, or for university admissions. The approach is supported by a wide range of innovative web-based resources which are freely available from Glenn’s widely-used website, languagetesting.info.
The content and methodology of Glenn’s apprenticeship approach is based on a model of assessment literacy, developed from a large-scale needs analysis conducted with a grant from the Leverhulme Trust. Glenn’s teaching therefore has a strong theoretical as well as philosophical and practical foundation. It has generated a textbook as well as the online materials. The student experience has been enhanced as a result of the integration of multimedia learning resources, text and content, in a coherent whole.
Students have recognised the innovation. One wrote in the evaluation:
“In language testing and assessment we experienced the whole process from creating the test to evaluating it and analysing the data.”
Glenn’s innovative approach to teaching has had a positive impact on learning experiences well beyond his own institution. The package is used by universities around the world, and a lecturer at Purdue University said:
“Glenn Fulcher is able to introduce and explain difficult concepts in an accessible and effective manner in the text and these are supported by the rich examples, resources and supplementary materials that are available on his website.”