So, the Baleap conference ended today. This was my first Baleap conference. If you do not know what Baleap conference is, it is a conference about EAP (English for academic purposes), I guess. EAP practitioners talking about EAP stuff.
I attended a lot of talks. I also presented with my colleague. A Pecha Kucha (that will be a different blog post). I learnt some things, but mostly started thinking about a lot of stuff. This conference made me want to blog and share some thoughts with you guys.
Thought number 1
One of the main themes of this Baleap conference was the role of the EAP practitioner.
Who are we?
A whole identity crisis (kinda).
Are we teachers? Are we academics? Are we support staff?
Who are we?
A whole plenary was dedicated to that.
We say we are not subject specialists
We do research/scholarship, so we are academics
We are counselors
We are language specialists
We are teachers
We are not just teachers
And lots more along these lines
The most interesting comment though (for me) was made by someone in the audience.
We do similar things at every single uni around the UK, but we all have different titles
(and salaries may I add) .
When teaching EAP, you can be called a language tutor, an EAP tutor, a lecturer, an Associate lecturer and many more. You can be a grade 5, grade 6 or a grade 7. Get paid something from 24K to even 40K (rough guesses folks) for the same thing.
So much inconsistency in the titles and the salaries, I do not get that. I am a person who has had the title EAP lecturer and language tutor. Both jobs exactly the same. Responsibilities, the same. My qualifications, the same.
I do not understand that.
We change title from institution to institution. How? Why?
Even the basics are not defined…. Blurred….
In 2013 I was called a Lecturer
In 2017 a Tutor
(and temporary staff…. )
As for my identity?
I consider myself an EAP teacher. I also find myself acting as a counselor a lot of times. I do not consider myself an academic because I come from an educational background where an academic is someone who has a PhD and publishes in journals. I do not.
So, thought number 1 blog post. Done.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below. Oh! Don’t forget to follow my rambles or my social media stuff….
Till next time (which will be very soon)…..