Announcement

Dear all,

as ScOLa family, we all give importance to continuous professional development.  We are involved in various developmental activities such as pursuing graduate studies, representing the school in local and international conferences, conducting classroom research, attending different courses, reading extensively, sharing our ideas with our colleagues and so on.

Since its foundation, apart from in-house symposiums, ScOLa has also hosted some major forums and events in the world of ELT, such as FOCI, FOAI and a joint event with the British Council to create further opportunities for professional development.  Seeing the success of these events and with the expertise we have gained so far, we believe we are ready to set sail for a new journey in professional development–our first International Conference on language teaching & learning 🙂

As you know, such an organization requires collaboration and the ownership of whole ScOLa and it is for sure that each and every one of us will be ready to put effort into this journey.  In addition to this invaluable support from each ScOLa member, an organization committee also needs to be established.

If you would like to be involved in this committee to undertake some major responsibilities and to be accountable for the smooth running of the whole process, please send an e-mail to Aylin (aylin.yurtsever@ozyegin.edu.tr ) stating your interest by the end of 21.07.2017.

Thank you in advance.

Have a great week.

 

 

 

Reflections on Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training by Nagihan Aydın and Emine Merdin

Dear all,

Two of our assesment specialists, Nagihan and Emine, attended Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training which was held in Beykoz University between May 25th and 27th.

Below, please find their reflections:

NAGIHAN AYDIN

As an Assessment Specialist, I attended Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Training which was held in Beykoz University between May 25th and 27th.

The aim of this three-module training is to provide its participants with a broad overview of the major principles involved in foreign language testing and assessment. In the first module, representatives of testing units from a range of universities came together and discussed assessment related issues and experiences. The programme was facilitated by Zeynep Ürkün, İdil Güneş Ertugan and Merve Karabulut from Sabancı University, School of Languages.

Module one core themes were on theoretical and practical issues in testing and assessment. Day one started with history of language testing and continued with key issues in assessment, which were validity, reliability and practicality. As representatives of our institutions, we all reflected on the reliability and practicality of our own tests; shared contexts and experiences with one another in small groups. In the next two days, there were some hands on activities about writing general test specifications, developing classroom tests and testing use of English. Test samples; advantages and disadvantages of each sample considering given contexts were discussed. At the end of each day, we had Q&A sessions with the course facilitators and were given time to consider how to adapt ideas from the course to classrooms in our own professional contexts.

One major idea that was emphasized throughout the training was the “integrated learning system”. In this system, curriculum, delivery and assessment go hand in hand and they are inseparable. Therefore, one recommendation for preparatory programmes was to ensure that their syllabi, classroom materials and exams are in tune with one another. Another key point during the discussions was to define the “minimally competent person”. To be able to define it accurately, it was suggested that enough importance should be given to standardization sessions and the way these sessions are held.

This three-day training gave me the opportunity of meeting and exchanging ideas with other professionals in the field of testing and assessment. It was interesting to learn what other institutions are implementing and experiencing. Over all, I was really glad to see that we had already taken a lot of action to organize the way we administer, become standardized and do the marking of our exams.

EMINE MERDIN

Testing, Evaluation & Assessment Module 1 was organized by Gordion Akademi and hosted by Beykoz University. The 3-day event involved cherished speakers from Sabancı University such as Zeynep Ürkün who shared her valuable experiences in the testing field.

The attendees were mostly from universities around Istanbul, and this gave me a chance to compare our practice at ScOLa to other places and was happy to see that, in terms of testing and general practice, we are a school that is presented and considered as a high quality school.

The event’s sessions ranged from the history of testing to validity and reliability in testing. The final day was focused on testing specific skills and a vast amount of time was spared for the questions from the audience. This allowed me and everyone to take note of various practices at different institutions.

On the whole, I believe this was a fruitful beginning to a three-module testing course. I’m certainly looking forward to joining the following two modules.

 

 

Reflection on International Language Symposium by Nazan Özçınar Sırel

  • Conference Title: International Language Symposium. CA Institute of Languages. BRNO, 1-3 June, 2017
  • Presentation Title: Enhancing Lifelong Learning by Using NLP in the ELT Classroom
  • Presenter(s): Nazan Özçınar Sırel
  1. Brief information about the conference (location, the theme(s), keynote speaker(s), the length, etc.):

The conference venue was Brno, a small town in the Czech Republic. It was organised by the CA Institute of Languages which is an accredited organisation of EAQUALS. Although it was their first symposium, it was organised in a very professional way. The symposium started on 31st May with a reception dinner at the institute and continued with the plenaries on 1st June which were all very educative and fruitful. The next two days continued with workshops and presentations. Some of the keynote speakers included: Stephen Krashen, Jacquelin Kassteen, Jason Fritze, Ben Beaumont, Philip Kerr, Hugh Dellar, Jeremy Harmer, Marek Kiczkowiak and more! Below a picture of Jeremey Harmer while giving his plenary entitled: To Begin at the Beginning.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brief information about my presentation:

My presentation took place on 2nd June, Friday from 12.30-13.30. There were 16 participants with great interest. Some of the participants had never heard of the word NLP which is one of the reasons that made Prof. Stephen Krashen attend my workshop. I received very good feedback from participants who were eager to take part in my workshop and who told me they had learned what NLP was after the workshop. It was a very interactive workshop which contained theory and practice about NLP.

  1. “Highlights from Conference”

 As mentioned before, the first day of the symposium consisted of all the plenaries which made it possible for the participants to get all the theoretical information regarding ELT followed by all the workshops and presentations on the following two days. I would like to give some brief information about some of the plenaries:

PLENARY 1: Jeremy Harmer’s plenary: To Begin at the Beginning

Jeremy gave a very interesting talk on how to begin a symposium because he was the first plenary of the symposium. He started with a question: How do you begin a lesson / a conference / a talk or a symposium? He said there are various options:

  • Housekeeping: starting with taking the register
  • Shock and awe: starting with a test
  • Hit the ground running: open your books to page…
  • Firecracker: warmers / icebreakers / settlers(silence) / start with a question (what did you have for breakfast)
  • Set the scene: today I will talk about…. Here you talk about your aims: SMART. S stands for SPECIFIC / MEASURABLE / ACHIEVABLE / REALISTIC / TIMED

 

Jeremy also mentioned about Scott Thornbury’s Blog: An A-Z of ELT and advised us to read the blog: Bring Students into the Class.

PLENAY 2: Another Plenary was Huw Jarwis’ one on: From Digital Self & Students to Professional Self & Teachers.

At the beginning of his plenary he mentioned about certain acronyms:

PBM: Paper based Medium

DBM: Digital Based Medium

PPP: Presentation Practice Production

CALL: Computer Assisted Language Learning

MALL: Mobile Assisted Language Learning

TBLT: Task Based Language Learning

CPD: Continuing Professional Development

MALU: Mobile Assisted Language Use → using a variety of mobile devices in order to access / communicate information for their academic purposes.

He said that we can talk about Digital Residents vs Digital Visitors

“I link, therefore I am” (Pegrum, 2010)

He continued his plenary by saying that digital residence matters because it can…

  1. bring authenticity and reflects what the world does.
  2. inform debate about language ownership.
  3. equip students with online practice by using digital devices.

PLENARY 3: The third plenary was Hugh Dellar’s Teaching Grammar Lexically:

Grammar is an umbrella term for a large number of separate or loosely related language systems. What is Grammar?

  • is types of words and their functions
  • rules and forms – few/ a few / much/ many…
  • slots that can be filled with words
  • syntax and the position of words in sentences
  • tenses and verb phrases

He emphasised that teachers should not only focus on grammar as rules and patterns, rather they should see grammar as….

  • Vocab and phrases such as: What is it like? Or I wouldn’t bother if I were you.
  • Phrases providing slots: What are you doing…tonight?
  • Collocations (including prepositions)
  • Patterns: Just because I am a teacher it doesn’t mean I’ve failed at everything else.
  • Discourse: While some believe that…. It nevertheless seems true that…
  • Genre dependence

What are the classroom implications of all this?

  • The road is long: It’s learned slowly… from input. Usually whole sentences are better to deal with in class.
  • Explanation and learning rules
  • Context & eliciting
  • Noticing
  • Guided discovery / inductive learning: turning rules into questions.
  • Two-way translation → but sentences are better. E.g., I haven’t seen you for ages.
  • Cloze exercises
  • Gap fill / choose the form
  • Drills
  • Negotiate meaning and correct (reformulate / interrupt / point out / and teach)

PLENARY 4: The fourth plenary was Philip Kerr’s Translation, technology and the Language Classroom:

He started with a question: how much L1 do you use in class? He said that people always lie about this because it used to be bad to translate words or sentences in class. The following is a common belief: The best way to learn English is in a natural way where English is spoken or through English. Some believe that teachers need to use the target language only in class because…

  • Translation is not an important skill
  • Time spent L1 is not spent using the target language
  • Learners need to think in the target language
  • Translation promotes fossilization

He emphasized that teachers need to allow L1 in class because of…

  • research
  • learning objectives
  • psychology of learning
  • learner preferences
  • efficiency
  • technology

PLENARY 5: The fifty plenary was Prof. Stephen Krashen’s reading Hypothesis:

Krashen emphasized the fact that reading is an important skill and needs to be taught in the family. He believes that skill building hypothesis is only successful with people who like it which is about 5 % of the people and those people become language teachers. The other 95 % hates it.

“Comprehensible input has to be interesting, only then learning will take place”

Reading will take people to the highest levels. Therefore,…..

  • parents have to read stories to their kids
  • people need to read whatever they want. Teachers should do silent reading for 10 minutes in class every day.
  • children have to solve problems so they need to do free voluntary readings.

WORKSHOP: The most interesting workshop was Alex Cann’s workshop entitled “Giving Effective Feedback and Coaching Team Members”.

He started his workshop with two questions:

What is effective feedback?

What does it look like?

 

Feedback should be developmental and motivational because it helps to build competence and build confidence. We need to follow the following acrostic:

BOOST = balanced / objective / observed / specific and timely

 

The PRISM model is another one: Permission / reality / impact / solutions and make it happen.

Permission: Asking when to give feedback

Reality: what does their performance look like?

Impact: Impact of their performance.

Solutions: how to improve their performance

Make it happen: what actions will they take?

 

He finished his workshop with some Feedback Tips:

  • Send feedback questions ahead of time
  • Start using a log / feedback book
  • Mention specific behaviour – what they did? When they did it? And comment like this: when you do this…. this happens/ I feel like this.
  • Start with motivational feedback “and” if you had done this… it would have been better, rather than “but”
  • Remember to “ask” rather than “tell” by using target questions.
  • Use feedback sessions to build relationships, strengthen channels of communication, improve performance, motivate them.

 

These are my reflections from the symposium. I would like to thank Nergis and all of you for your valuable feedback and giving me the opportunity to attend a great conference like this to gain a lot of new insight and share my experience with other ELT teachers.

 

Some photos from the symposium and Brno:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA Institute and Erik Dostal’s son at the reception.

 

 

 

 

Luch with Prof Stephen Krashen, Cormac and Larissa.

 

 

 

 

 

City Centre of Brno. Morevska Galerie which is the second largest art museum in the Czech Republic, established in 1961.

 

 

 

 

 

Petrov Cathedral in Brno established at the end of the 14th Century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view of the old city from the Royal Castle of Brno.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The royal castle of Brno established in the 13th Century.

 

 

WEEK 18: 29 May- 2 June

Dear all,

We would like to inform you about the following events:

1. UGE Sharing Experience (Shaexperience)  Workshop and Presentation Series Spring 2017: Prep instructors can also join these sessions if their schedules permit.

 

Presenters Name   Date, Time & Venue Title of Presentation/Workshop Abstract (max. 50 words)
1 Saadet Tıkaç 1st  June 2017, Thursday @11:00 a.m.in Room 314 “Use of Corrective Feedback by Native and Non-Native Teachers: A Comparative Analysis” This research paper presents a study on the beliefs and practices of a native English speaking teacher (NEST) and a non-native English speaking teacher (Non-NEST) of prep students in a private high school of Turkey on giving corrective feedback to students’ oral production.
2 İlkay Tuzcu Tığlı 6th June 2017,Tuesday @ TBA in Room 314 Digital Identity and Cyber Culture on Social Media:“Rich Kids of Turkey” as a Neo-Subculture on Instagram

 

This research aims to offer an insight for theorizing the role of social media in facilitating the search for meaningful identities in a sense of community focusing on the neo-subcultural characteristics of interactive users mediated by images.
3 Saadet Tıkaç 8th June 2017, Thursday @TBA in Room 314 “Hedging in Academic Writing: The Use of ‘can’ in University

Students’ Argumentative Essays at an English Medium University in Turkey”

This study aims to shed light on the ways of using meta-discourse markers and specifically hedging devices in academic writing by a group of first year university students studying in the department of English language education at a Turkish state university.
4 Sedef Erdogan Giovanell 12th June 2017, Monday @TBA in Room 314 Culinary Heritage in Turkey: Cultural Policy, Official Practice and Online Representation of Food Culture

 

As a part of my PhD thesis, this research aims to examine the employment of the intersection of food and heritage as the foundation for establishing food as an intangible cultural heritage. More specifically, in this research, the online representations of food culture by official bodies of Turkey will be identified and analysed by looking at the different contents available on the Internet by using the discourse analysis.

 

2. Cambridge Webinar: Teach with digital: developing digital skills for language teaching

Overview

In this webinar, practical ways for teachers to develop their digital skills for language teaching will be discussed. Knowing where to start and what to do can be challenging, so how teachers can evaluate their own skills, decide what they would like to work on, and how they can move forward in those areas will be considered.

Participants will look at some useful questions to ask when selecting digital products to use for teaching and for professional development. They will also be provided with examples of how teachers can extend the use of digital products to support learners in communicative language learning.

* Check the times of the webinar where you are

Monday 19 June 2017, 14.00- 15.00 (UK time) Wednesday 21 June 2017, 10.00-11.00 (UK time)

If you would like to register, you can use the following link:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/resources-for-teachers/webinars/teach-with-digital-developing-digital-skills-for-language-teaching/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new%20webinar%20on%20teach%20with%20digital%20developing%20digital%20skills%20for%20language%20teaching&utm_content=new%20webinar%20on%20teach%20with%20digital%20developing%20digital%20skills%20for%20language%20teaching+cid_38449551ec6622c0ae832e0486532422&utm_source=campaign%20monitor%20cameng%20webinars&utm_term=register

Wish you a fruitful summer module.

Best,

TLDU

 

 

Reflection on FOCI by Berrin Rüzgar

As a Curriculum and Assessment Team member, I attended the 15th FOCI (Forum on Curricular Issues) event, which was held at Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus, on 11th and 12th May. The forum was set up by the Curriculum Team of Sabancı University School of languages in May 2010 for representatives from the curriculum teams of a range of preparatory programs preparing students for their academic studies in English. The forum provides an opportunity for the participants to come together to share experiences and ideas relevant to curricular issues from diverse contexts.

This FOCI event was different in that the Eastern Mediterranean University was also hosting the T-Plus event on the same days. Therefore, the theme of FOCI was the relationship between Professional and Curricular Development.

The FOCI event started with a plenary session given by Tony Prince, the academic director at the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE)-where he provides support for teacher training related to teaching English in higher education.  The plenary session was entitled “Teacher expertise: Knowledge and practice. What we need to know and what we need to do.” After the plenary session, three focus groups were formed, where we shared ideas and experiences on the theme of the relationship between Professional and Curricular Development. At the end of the event, one person of each focus group presented the work of the focus group to the whole group. All these gave me the opportunity to discuss issues related to professional and curricular development and learn different practices in this area at other institutions, which enabled me to reflect on our own practices.

Week 17: 22-26 May 2017

Dear all,

we’ve made it to the end of the spring semester. Congratulations to you all for your hard work and motivation 🙂 & enjoy marking and prep days 🙂

You can find the reminders and highlights of this week below.

1. Don’t forget that the deadline for applying for the assessment specialist responsibility is today by 17.00.

2. Don’t forget to fill in your Annual Leave Forms according to your holiday dates and hand them in to Eda by Wednesday 24th May.

3. Reflections of our colleagues who attended different events for the last couple of weeks have been posted on our blog under “ScOLa at Conferences” category. If you would like to become more familar with these events, such as FOCI, FOAI, T-Plus and EAQUALS Conference, you can have a look at the reflections.

Wish you all a smooth week,

Best,

TLDU

Reflection on FOAI-8 by Nurkan Dikmen

 

As an assessment specialist, I had an opportunity to attend FOAI-8 at Karabük University. FOAI (Focus on Assessment Issues) was established as a forum for representatives from a range of universities in Turkey and North Cyprus to come together to discuss assessment issues in universities.

The theme of this eighth one was speaking assessment. We were able to exchange ideas about how institutions assess speaking skills in English. There was a plenary session entitled “Speaking Assessment” by Christopher Sheen, a teacher trainer and coordinator at Oxford University Press. He discussed how to build an effective environment for a speaking assessment task and he talked about the characteristics of a speaking rubric. This plenary session was followed by four selected university participant presentations. Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul Technical University, Social Sciences University of Ankara and Özyeğin University each gave a mini-presentation on how the speaking skill is assessed in those institutions. I tried to explain our formative and summative evaluation of speaking. I talked about our MCD speaking tasks and speaking test in the B2 level.

After those mini-presentations, we formed focus groups in which we discussed several questions on speaking assessment. Each group focused on different stages of speaking assessment:

Focus Group A: Development of Speaking Tasks

Focus Group B: Training Graders and Using Criteria

Focus Group C: Test Administration

At the end of the event, there was a reflection session in which every focus group shared the outcomes of their discussions. We also discussed the next event’s theme, which might be how to create a speaking rubric.

Overall, this event gave me the opportunity to meet other professionals in the field of assessment. I also felt good that we as Özyeğin University had already taken lots of action in the process of speaking assessment.

Reflection on GlobELT 2017

Conference Title: GlobELT Conference 2017

Presentation Title 1: Investigating the perceived factors affecting students’ level of English proficiency during their studies in a university with English-medium instruction: a phenomenological study
Presentation Title 2: The impact of English medium instruction (EMI) on students’ language abilities
Presenters: Gülçin Coşgun, Bahar Hasırcı

1.Brief information about the conference
Researchers, linguists, EFL/ESL experts and ELT scholars had the opportunity to present their papers at the GlobELT 2017: An International Conference on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language, which was held in Ephesus, İzmir between 18-22 May. The major themes in the conference were:
 Applied Linguistics and Language Education
 Approaches and Methods in English Education
 Culture and Literature in English Education
 Early English Education
 English as an International Language
 English for Academic Purposes
 English for Specific Purposes
 English Language Curriculum and Teaching Materials
 Intercultural Communication
 Language and Peace Education
 Language Learning and Acquisition
 Language Policy
 Language Testing and Evaluation
 Life-long Language Learning
 Distance Language Education
 Multimedia and ICT in English Education
 Teacher Training and Education
 Translation Studies & Language Teaching
The key note speakers were Brian North (British Council), Hacer Hande Uysal (Gazi University), Alastair Henry (University West) and Steve Mann (University of Warwick).
2. Brief information about our presentations:
We submitted and presented two papers at the conference.
Abstract of our first presentation:


Being a global lingua franca, English is increasingly recognized as an indispensable requirement in various fields including business, diplomacy, and academics, which led to an increase in the number universities providing English-medium instruction (EMI). Due to the popularity of the EMI programmes, there have been much qualitative research investigating the reasons, advantages, challenges of EMI and the needs of the students and instructors (Coleman, 2006; Kırkgoz, 2009; Kim 2002). However, there is a lack of empirical research on the actual language gain during the course of students’ studies (Hu and Lei, 2014). Therefore, this paper aims to investigate English-medium university students’ perceptions of the change in their language ability and provide statistical evidence for the difference between students’ level of English proficiency when they start their departmental studies and in their 4th semester and onwards based on their proficiency exam scores. The research has a quantitative approach including a questionnaire to explore students’ perceptions the change in their language competence and a comparison of exam results of these students. Results revealed that 1) studying in an English-medium university improves students’ reading, listening and overall English proficiency significantly 2) there is not a statistically significant change between student’s pre and post writing scores 3) the empirical findings are line with participants’ perceptions of the impact of studying in an English-medium university on their language development. These findings suggest insightful implications for English-medium universities in Turkey and all around the world.
Abstract of our 2nd presentation:


There has been a significant increase in the number of students studying in a university which provides English-medium instruction (EMI); therefore, it has become important to explore the growing trend at universities. There have been some studies focusing on the reasons for the popularity of EMI and the challenges associated with this phenomenon (Hellejaer &Westergaard, 2003; Klaassen & Graaff, 2001; Kim, Tatar & Choi, 2014). However, there are not many studies on students’ perceptions regarding the language development in an EMI context Therefore, this paper aims at investigating Turkish English-medium university students’ perceptions of the change in their language ability and the factors affecting this change. This study undertakes a phenomenological approach and multiple interviews with different participants sharing similar experiences were conducted for an in-depth investigation of experiences and perceptions of undergraduate students on their language development in EMI context. Results revealed that 1) when students are highly exposed to English and are expected to use it productively for their studies, they perceive that there is greater development in their language skills and abilities 2) students think that corrective feedback plays a crucial role in helping them focus their attention on the form 3) speaking is perceived to be the weakest and the least improved skill over the years. These findings suggest insightful implications for English-medium universities in Turkey and all around the world.
3. Highlights from Conference
It was a very big event bringing together scholars, researchers, academicians and teachers teaching various contexts and covering a wide range of subjects from teacher education, linguistics, assessment to classroom practice. We had the opportunity to listen to local and foreign colleagues presenting their papers. We also had the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas as well as expanding our network with very valuable scholars. One of the plenary sessions was conducted by Hacer Hande Uysal from Gazi University. We found what she suggested regarding critical pragmatic approach to academic writing interesting. She described pragmatic and critical approach. She then introduced critical pragmatic approach as the best approach so as to teach academic writing skills. Critical pedagogical approaches involve awareness raising about the complexities and socio-political issues surrounding English academic writing and code-mixing with L1, which leads to rhetorical creativity. The presentation also included the discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of this new approach.

Reflections on T-Plus Event

As TLDU members, we joined the 9th T-PLUS (Trainers’ professional learning and unlimited sharing) event hosted by Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus.  T-PLUS was set up in 2012 with the mission of contributing to the development of teacher education and in-service professional learning within university sector language programs through collaboration and open exchange of practice.  This year’s event aimed to bring the curriculum and teacher training specialists together with the theme “The Inseparable Duo in Success: Curriculum & Teacher Training”.

 

There was a plenary session entitled “Teacher expertise: Knowledge and practise. What we need to know and what we need to do.” It was given by Tony Prince, the academic director at the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE)-where he is responsible for training related to English in higher education.  This plenary session was followed by concurrent sessions and a closing panel. All these gave us the opportunity to meet professionals in our sector and get to know what the practices in other institutions are, which enabled us to reflect on our own practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also nice to catch up with Melek, our former colleague from Ozyegin University.

Reflections on EAQUALS International Conference 2017

  • Conference Title: Eaquals International Conference 2017
  • Presentation Title: An Accreditation Journey
  • Presenter(s): Gökçe Ünlü, Serkan Aras

 

  1. Brief information about the conference (location, the theme(s), keynote speaker(s), the length, etc.):

27 – 29 April 2017 in Riga, Latvia

 

The 3-day event provided a rich programme of professional development for centre owners and directors as well as academic staff.

 

https://www.eaquals.org/event/riga/

 

Conference Themes:

  • Language Teaching and Learning
  • Course Design and Assessment
  • New Trends and Innovation
  • Staff Development
  • Managing for Quality
  • Business and Marketing Management

 

Keynote speakers

 

  1. Brief information about our presentation:

The process of getting accredited can be perceived as a burden by institutions; however, the institutions on accreditation journey could turn this challenge into an opportunity. In our case, this process became a fruitful experience for Özyeğin University, and in this presentation, we shared our rewarding journey of EAQUALS accreditation: how it started, proceeded and reached the happy ending. It also provided some practical tips for schools aiming to turn accreditation into a developmental process. The presentation started with the process before accreditation: the motives leading us to prefer EAQUALS and how we identified our needs and actions. The second part of the presentation showed the actions taken through self-assessment process in which we were able to identify where we were and where we were heading to. The last part was devoted to the details of the process following the advisory visit and the inspection.

You can reach the slides of our presentation from the link below:

https://www.eaquals.org/resources/serkan-aras-gokce-unlu-an-accreditation-journey/

 

  1. “Highlights from Conference”

 

EAQUALS Annual General Meeting

For the first time as a member of EAQUALS, Nergis Uyan attended the EAQUALS Annual General Meeting which was held on Friday 28th April.

 

The new members were introduced and welcomed in the meeting. Different members of EAQUALS Board presented the below reports;

  • Treasurer’s Report for 2016 and proposed fees 2018,
  • 2016 Trustees Report.
  • Report from the Executive Director,
  • Report from the Director of Accreditation

Election of Trustees was also a part of the meeting and all the members voted for the selection of EAQUALS board members and the results were announced at the end of the meeting.

 

Discussion of EAQUALS’ Policy on Publishable Statements was another agenda item of the meeting that gave all the members the opportunity to discuss and share their views on the options presented.

 

Day 1

Duncan Foord gave a whole-day management training on ‘Developing Your Team’ to all conference participants.

Here is the outline of his training:

“In this one day workshop we will look at three areas relating to building and maintaining effective teams in organizations.
• We will work on “teamthink”, how to create better meetings and arrive at better decision making by encouraging people to think independently and creatively.
• We will learn about and practice the fine art of delegating within the team to get people contributing from their strengths.
• We will consider issues around motivation and rewards for teams and individual team members.
The workshop will be of interest to all language education professionals including teachers, centre managers and owners.”

 

Day 2 and 3

In total there were 51 sessions apart from the management training by Duncan Foord.

In addition to three plenaries, we were able to attend 13 sessions choosing from a range of elective sessions.

Transitions in the Life of a Teacher by Rod Bolitho

“This talk looks at professional development from a number of angles and pinpoints some of the challenges that language teachers face as their career unfolds over time. The first transition, from being a learner to becoming a teacher is possibly the most difficult of all, and I will examine some ways of dealing with it. But I will also discuss later transitions, most of which are optional in nature: moving into training, taking on new responsibilities, becoming a manager, embarking on research, writing materials and even retiring (!!) and will consider what each of these options opens up and closes down in career terms, with reference to some individual case studies. I will also consider the value of the professional and academic qualifications that teachers often go for, as well as the place of CPD frameworks in mapping out a teachers’ career pathway.”

Supporting and managing language teachers: challenges & insights by Tim Herdon, Brian North, Richard Rossner

“This workshop will focus on a key aspect of the role of academic managers and coordinators: the support and management of the teachers they work with. This role spans a range of management activities that are essential to the quality and effectiveness of an institution’s work, for example orientating teachers to the courses provided by the institution, including the syllabuses and resources; overseeing and supporting teachers’ ongoing professional development; and managing teachers’ performance in and outside the classroom.”

Inclusion of all – is it possible? Myths and realities. By Marie Delaney

“This workshop will continue the themes of the plenary speech and will look in more depth at the classroom teaching issues when developing inclusive classrooms. It will look in particular at ways of dealing with challenging behaviour in relation to students with special educational needs. Often behaviour is the only indicator that a learner is having difficulty with learning.
. We will look in particular at how behaviour can be a sign of
• working memory difficulties
• hearing impairment
• dyslexia
• tracking and attention difficulties
• communication difficulties
• social difficulties
• trauma and loss in early years
We will look at some strategies which can help teachers in general to manage these learners in class.”

Bringing the Eaquals Framework for Language Teacher Training and Development to Life by Chris Farrell

“Within the realm of teacher development, the issue of teacher competencies is a crucial consideration. Both the teacher and the institution should have a clear idea of what each individual teacher’s strengths and weaknesses are in order to best prepare for further development. The Eaquals Framework for Language Teaching and Training is an excellent document which lays out these competencies clearly. This workshop will seek to raise awareness of how this framework can be used in a practical manner, with some case studies of usage, and some practical advice for attendees. In addition, it will look at the role of teacher reflection based on the Framework in the development of teaching and teachers. In summary, it will attempt to bring this document to life for many who may be unfamiliar with it.”

How will a language school in 2025 differ from a language school of today? by Justin Quinn

“I will be looking at how a school will be teaching in 2025 & the types of students that will be learning the language.
How a school will attract these students and where will the school get the materials to teach the students of tomorrow / the role of the LTO in training its trainers to diversify from its traditional language training model
I will also be looking at the student and how their needs and requirements will have changed. And what will they be looking for in a Language Training Organisation.”

Plenary: 21st Century Skills – Going Beyond Language Learning by Jacqueline Kassteen

“As the pace of technological change quickens and the world undergoes economic, political and cultural shifts, human behaviour is evolving, affecting both our personal and professional lives. Moreover, job functions are shifting, directly impacting the skills young people need to master now in order to excel in the future. Today, more than ever, schools must broaden their educational offering to encompass much more than language instruction. The real question is, how will your business model adapt to these new requirements?”