BICS And CALP In The EFL Classroom
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In any classroom, regardless of what is being taught, you will find students who differ in many respects. Even if they are the same age, nationality, gender and language level, each student will have their own strengths, weaknesses, learning styles and preferences. In the EFL classroom, one way our students differ is in the type of language skills they lean towards: BICS or CALP. This blog explains BICS and CALP in the EFL classroom.
What are BICS and CALP?
BICS and CALP refer to Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency. Learners of a language tend to be more proficient in one of these skills than the other. As you can probably guess, students who are stronger at BICS are more communicative, especially in everyday situations, while those who are stronger at CALP are better in academic contexts.
BICS and CALP in the EFL classroom
How does this affect the EFL classroom? Well generally BICS students are more outspoken and chatty in the EFL classroom. They might respond quicker to prompts by the teacher and they may seem more eager to participate in classroom discussions. CALP students, on the other hand, may seem more reserved as they can take longer to come up with appropriate responses in real-time. However, they work well with classroom materials, especially written work.
Where this may pose a problem is for assessment. If we are assessing our students based on their participation in class our BICS students will fare very well. On the other hand, if we are assessing students based on academic tests, our CALP students will do very well. Consequently, our assessment may be skewed depending on the type of assessment being carried out.
It can also be easy to overestimate or underestimate your students’ English ability. It’s natural to make a judgement based on our students’ interactions with us and their classmates. If we see a student chatting away before and after the lesson we may assume their English is, say Intermediate, but when we take a closer look at their writing we may need to adjust our assessment of their overall level. At the same time our quieter students who are able to show a range of vocabulary in their writing may be identified as lower than they are based on their conversation skills.
The moral of the story re BICS and CALP?
Don’t judge a book by its cover, of course. Try not make snap judgements of students and their abilities based on what you see or hear. At the same time, understand that your students have different strengths and weaknesses which means they have different needs. When dealing with students, bear BICS and CALP in mind. Consider the abilities of your students and think about how they can improve their BICS or CALP skills where necessary. In order to be well-rounded English speakers, your students need to have a handle on both BICS and CALP.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2023
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Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.