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.