The Whole Person: Foundation English Student Experience at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

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The University of Auckland prides itself in it year-long bridging programme leading to the award of The Tertiary Foundation Certificate. Students attaining the certificate are extremely well-prepared for undergraduate study and happily report their advantage over other direct-entry students. Programme co-ordinator Stephanie Wyatt and English co-ordinator Dr Nina Nola tutor the course’s compulsory English classes and see their teaching role as complex. Through encouraging introspection and self-analysis – a looking inside to find a core to work from – Wyatt and Nola foster self-worth in each tutorial class. Fundamental to this burgeoning sense of a positive self is the discovery of previously unsuccessful study and behavioural patterns such as procrastination, lack of completion, non-attendance – patterns which Wyatt and Nola endeavour to help the students identify and break. Central to this process is the writing of a journal which is evaluated not academically but in terms of the commitment students make to the journal. More significant than the grade awarded is the revelations students discover in the daily practice of writing. With an extremely multicultural student body – Auckland is the world’s largest Pacific city, a large number of the students are Pasifika or the indigenous Maori, and migrants make up almost half the student population – Wyatt and Nola are constantly challenged to foster student engagement and retention. This paper highlights some successes of the programme and looks at the dynamics of the journal process in the foundation context.


Keywords: Nurturing, Introspection, Journal Writing, Self-Worth, Foundation Students
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Whole Person, The


Dr. Nina Nola

Co-ordinator of English, Tertiary Foundation Certificate, Foundation Studies, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand

Nina Nola is passionate about fostering student engagement with learning and continually experiments with creative teaching materials. Along with co-tutor Stephanie Wyatt she constantly adjusts her teaching programme to help students get the best out of their foundation year. Her research interests are multicultural literatry criticism - her doctoral thesis pioneered this field in New Zealand - and motivation skills. She is the descendant of Dalmatian migrants, represents the community at political functions and lectures extensively on the Dalmatian communities in New Zealand.

Stephanie.V Wyatt

Programme Co-ordinator, Foundation Studies, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

Stephanie Wyatt is the Co-ordinator for the Tertiary Foundation Certificate Programme (TFC) at the University of Auckland. She also teaches, with Dr Nina Nola, the English component in the programme. She has a background in secondary school teaching and her interests lie in the field of English, and foundation education. She is particularly interested in shaping and developing the TFC Programme so that it is meaningful, challenging and relevant to the wide variety of people that make up the TFC student body at the University of Auckland.

Ref: L09P1132