This policy describes James Cook University’s (JCU) expectations of students’ English language and numeracy proficiencies at admission and conferral, and the requirements for the development and assessment of these proficiencies during their course of study. The policy seeks to clarify the roles and responsibilities of staff and students, and recognises JCU graduates need to demonstrate appropriate levels of English language and numeracy proficiency as an assurance of the ongoing quality of JCU’s academic programs.
The policy addresses the development and assessment of English language and numeracy proficiency across students’ enrolment and applies to all staff and students undertaking preparatory, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including higher degree by research programs, in which English is the language of instruction and assessment. This includes staff and students undertaking James Cook university degrees through domestic and international partners. The policy aligns to aspects of the Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy, the Strategic Intent and the University Plan, as specified in the Admissions Policy and the Higher Degree by Research Requirements.
English language proficiency: has been defined as the ability of a student to use the English Language to make and communicate meaning appropriately in spoken and written contexts, while completing their higher education studies and after they graduate. Such uses may range from a simple task such as discussing work with fellow students, to complex tasks such as writing an academic paper or delivering a speech to a professional audience, English Language Standards for Higher Education. (DEEWR, 2010, p.2)
Numeracy proficiency: “Numeracy involves … using … mathematics … to achieve some purpose … in a particular context" (Australian Numeracy Education Strategy Development Conference, 1997, p.3).
The English Language and Numeracy Policy at James Cook University is philosophically driven by the following principles:
- Through its Admissions policy, JCU endeavours to ensure that all students are prepared for the English language and numeracy demands required to participate successfully in their course of study.
- At JCU, it is through English language that content is delivered and assessed.
- Pursuant to JCU’s commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to internationalisation, the University recognises the value of cultural and linguistic diversity as well as specialist language use within the disciplines.
- JCU actively encourages students to take responsibility for their own English language and numeracy development.
- JCU supports student development of English language and numeracy skills within disciplines and across a course of study.
- JCU assesses English language and numeracy proficiency as appropriate to the course of study, to ensure attainment, as relevant, of Course Learning Outcomes, the JCU Graduate Attributes Statement, Professional Accreditation Standards and Higher Education Standards.
The JCU English Language and Numeracy Policy describes English language and numeracy requirements on entry, across a course of study and on exit.
- JCU’s English language and numeracy standards recognise and comply with professional course accreditation requirements and legislative requirements, including consideration of strategies students with a disability may use to facilitate demonstration of their English language and numeracy proficiency and performance during their course of study and in subsequent endeavours.
- Standards for English language and numeracy proficiency are set at a level that ensures JCU students are sufficiently proficient in English language and numeracy to participate effectively in their university studies when commencing.
- JCU course structures are designed to allow students to develop the English language and numeracy skills required within the discipline and throughout a course of study.
- Courses will include frequent opportunities for authentic assessment, work integrated learning (WIL) and capstone experiences, where students demonstrate the required level of English language and numeracy proficiency, relevant to the discipline or course of study.
- Students will receive feedback on English language and numeracy proficiency through early learning activities that identify students’ support needs, relevant to the discipline or course of study.
- Students will receive explicit feedback on English language and numeracy proficiency as relevant to the assessment tasks within the discipline and throughout a course of study.
- Students requiring additional assistance with English language and numeracy proficiency development and assessment, will be referred to the appropriate support services in a timely manner.
- English language and numeracy support services will be adequately resourced, highlighted and promoted throughout the students’ life cycle, relative to the scale and needs of the student cohort.
- Students will take responsibility for their own English language and numeracy development through engagement with feedback, resources and expert support services provided by JCU.
- Regular moderation and external benchmarking activities will be undertaken to ensure JCU students satisfy appropriate standards of English language and numeracy proficiency, including liaising with industry/employer groups.
Related policy instruments
Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy
Higher Degree by Research Requirements
Charter of responsibilities for Academic Quality Learning and Teaching
Related documents and legislation
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
Disability Discrimination Act and related Education Standards;
Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations Act 2001
NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students)
Date for next Major Review (in accordance with the Policy Handbook)
Amended to incorporate assessment of proficiency in English language, clarification of scope and updated to current policy template.
Manager, Academic Language and Learning
14 - 1
Roles amended to reflect organisation re-structure
12 - 1
Policy established and implemented
Manager, Academic Language and Learning
English language, numeracy, proficiency learning