Presenters: Lonnie Croal and Larissa Thurlow, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Qatar
The Independent Learning Centre (ILC), housed within the Learning Commons at CNA-Q, is an environment in which learners are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and deepen their understanding of the learning process. This strategically located space is where autonomy is promoted and supported. The unique challenges of this educational context (high dependence of learners and low meta-cognitive awareness) are an opportunity for a framework of professional coaching. A pilot coaching project carried out over a 15 week semester with a diverse group of English as Foreign Language (EFL) students highlighted the benefits in addressing this gap. We wanted to demonstrate that a shift to coaching would: 1) result in students becoming autonomous and responsible for their learning 2) promote learner reflection at a deeper, more affective level 3) help to remove the stigma associated with receiving Language Support, which is viewed by many faculty and students as “remedial” help. • Would shifting to a coaching focus help reframe how the Language Support Centre and the ILC are viewed both by learners and faculty?