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Durham University

DCAD: English Language Support

Current Staff Information

Mrs. Jessica Sequera

Assistant Professor (Teaching) in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)

Contact Mrs. Jessica Sequera

Personal Profile

I am the coordinator for the Academic Skills PG programme, which provides free academic English courses to all students in the university. Every year we teach over 1000 students in the first term and close to 800 in the second term. I also coordinate the one-to-one consultation service, which provides individualized academic skills help for all students in the university. 

In addition to these coordinator roles, I am a Curriculum Support Teacher for the summer pre-sessional, where I support teachers in curriculum, planning, assessment and I serve as a third marker for assessments. I also tutor students in one-to ones, and I teach and at times design materials for many programmes, including academic skills, in- departmental provision, and the 20 week pre-sessional. For the MA, I am an MA dissertation supervisor and an academic advisor. I also co-convene an MA Dissertation support module which helps students through all stages of their writing process, from the proposal to the writing of the different dissertation chapters.

One of my previous roles was as the online materials developer for the FOCUS project with fellow DCAD colleagues Megan Bruce and Simon Rees. Megan and Simon developed a bespoke Durham University student academic writing corpus (FOCUS), and my role was to design online materials using the corpus for 3 departments: Chemistry, Sport and the PGCE programme in Education. For the PGCE project, we published an article as can be seen below.

Prior to this, I had a diverse teaching career beginning as a high school Spanish language teacher (Pilot Point, Texas) where I pioneered the Total Physical Response Storytelling method in my school for 2 years. After moving to the UK in 2005 to pursue a Masters in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, I continued training teachers in this method on the Japanese English Language Teacher Programme at the University of Birmingham.

I began my EAP career through teaching on the Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes course (University of Birmingham), where I worked for 3 years with mostly postgraduate International students from a range of disciplines, including Economics, Engineering, Social Sciences and Computer Sciences. In addition to this role, I taught various undergraduate linguistics modules as a Visiting Lecturer in the School of English at Birmingham City University. My other roles have included being an English teacher both in secondary schools and in further education and a dissertation supervisor for MA Linguistics students at the University of Birmingham.

Conference presentations

Use of Kaltura media capture in providing formative feedback on process essays. Durham University Teaching and Learning conference, September 2019

• FOCUS project: Using a corpus to develop online student activities. BAAL conference, September 2018 (Presented with colleague Megan Bruce)

• Development of online activities to support PGCE students’ academic writing. Durham University Teaching and Learning conference, September 2018. (Presented with colleagues Megan Bruce and Rachel Simpson)

• Write on the Edge: Using Xerte Online Toolkit corpus-based teaching activities to support Sport and Education students in writing assessments in unfamiliar genres. Durham University Teaching and Learning conference, September 2017 (Presented with colleague Megan Bruce)

• FOCUS project, Using a corpus to develop online student activities. Three Rivers Conference, Teeside University, March 2017

• FOCUS project, Using a corpus to develop online student activities. BAAL Corpus SIG Symposium, March 2017 Durham University (Presented with colleague Megan Bruce)

• FOCUS project, Using Xerte and Blackboard to develop online student activities. Blackboard Users Conference, Durham University, January 2017 (Presented with colleague Megan Bruce)

• Developing materials for developing listening: helping International students make the most of lectures. Durham University Inaugural Teaching and Learning Conference, September 2016 (Presented with colleagues Michelle Joubert, Gillian Powell and Lesley Kendall)

• FOCUS project: Using a corpus to develop online student activities. Durham Teaching Technologies Workshop, Durham University, June 2016 (Presented with colleague Simon Rees)

• Developing Materials for Listening and Speaking in English for Academic Purposes: Process and Product.Three Rivers Conference, Northumbria University, March 2016 (Presented with colleague Michelle Joubert)

• Process, planning and routine in a shifting EAP context: challenges, strategies and solutions. BALEAP PIM, Sheffield University, November 2015 (Presented with colleagues Michelle Joubert and Helen Costello)

Publications

Journal Article