9:30am to 5pm Thursday 21st & 9am- 4pm Friday 22nd December, 2017
Venue:  TOBB University of Economics & Technology, Söğütözü Mahallesi, Söğütözü Cd. No:43, 06560 Ankara

 Theme: Putting Grammar in its Place: alternative curricular approaches

The question of the role in grammar seems to be a perennial problem for curriculum developers. It is hard to find the balance between allowing it to dominate the curriculum and the danger of completely ignoring it.  Learners (and often we as teachers) often perceive learning grammar as a matter of completing closed answer gap-fill or multiple choice questions; rather than more productive tasks.

  • How should we be approaching grammar in our curricula at different levels?
  • How can we best cover language items which are lacking from course-books?
  • How can we best integrate language development into the four skills?
  • How can we best identify our learners’ needs in terms of grammatical structures?
  • Which grammatical features should we be prioritising in order to best prepare our learners for their academic studies in English?
  • Is grammar more than just gap-fills?

This FOCI event will explore the challenges facing us as curriculum developers when it comes to the question of grammar. Participants will share the different approaches and experiences of grammar in the curricula of different institutions.

The forum will take an informal and hands-on approach to the practical “nitty-gritty” of curriculum work aiming to complement the formal presentation of papers or workshops to be found at other professional gatherings such as conferences, seminars and workshops. It is intended that participants will come away from the Forum with concrete examples of how other institutions have responded to the challenges raised by the theme. This will involve whole-group discussion and smaller groups focusing on particular areas who will then present to the whole group. The topics for the smaller focus groups’ discussion will be decided from suggestions made by participants on the registration form.

• In order to ensure efficient and focused discussion and an informal atmosphere, places are limited to ONE representative from each institution. We hope that you will understand the necessity for this.
• The representative should be a member of a syllabus or curriculum team, or other teacher who is actively involved in curricular development, rather than an administrator.
• If interest exceeds capacity, places are allocated randomly from applications received by the closing date, maintaining a range of different types of university and geographical spread in order to ensure the widest variety of perspectives.
• There is no fee. Refreshments and lunch are provided free of charge.
• The language of the forum is English.
• The deadline for registration is Friday 6th October 2017.

For enquiries contact:
To register: The deadline for registration is Friday 6th October 2017. Click here  to register.
Transport: To be announced

Accommodation: Unfortunately we are not able to provide accommodation.

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9:30am to 5pm Thursday 11th & 9am- 4:30pm Friday 12th May, 2017
Venue: Eastern Mediterranean University, Foreign Languages and English Preparatory School Prep B building, South Campus.


Curricular innovation may entail a new course-book, renewal of syllabus objectives, a change in coursework tasks or alterations in the way learners progress through the programme.  This may, in turn, necessitate changes in methodology or new teaching approaches or alterations in established classroom practices. This has implications for teacher training and professional development.

To what extent do we, as curriculum designers, take into account the possible training needs that might arise from changes to our curriculum? How can we better raise teachers’ awareness of the rationale for curricular changes? From whom should support for curricular changes come: curriculum teams or teacher development teams? How can we collaborate better with teacher trainers? What role does the curriculum itself have as a vehicle for promoting teachers’ professional development? Do we consider the range of abilities and skills available in our teaching staff when making decisions about the curriculum? How can the curriculum contribute to a culture of professional development within the institution?

This forum will examine the two-way relationship between the curriculum and professional development and look at ways that collaboration between colleagues involved in these two areas can be encouraged.

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FOCI-XIV – TECHNOLOGY & the Curriculum: Getting the Blend right

9am to 5pm Thursday 15th & Friday 16th December, 2016

Venue: Click here for address and map
Theme: TECHNOLOGY & the Curriculum: Getting the Blend right

 Educational technology has been a hotly-debated topic over the last decade or more. There seems to be consensus that it can be a useful tool to engage learners and to aid successful learning, but often it seems to be up to the individual teacher to use (or not to use) technology to aid their teaching. How can we promote learning by integrating technology use in the curriculum of Preparatory Programmes? What are the limitations and risks? What exactly are the advantages? Are we using it to best effect? Where should we start? Are we getting the blend right?

This FOCI will attempt to clarify the practical ways of systematically integrating technological tools into the delivery of the curriculum in such a way that will allow technology to be exploited in a pedagogically effective way in our classes.

Click here for details

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FOCI-XII: Feedback & the Curriculum: the who? what? when? how? and why?

@Yeditepe University / Istanbul (10 – 11 December 2015)

As teachers we give oral and written feedback to our students on their performance both on an on-going basis in the classroom and through assessment. As Curriculum developers we also try to seek feedback from teachers and learners on our programmes, to provide data to inform decisions about planning and evaluating curricular innovations.

What exactly do we need to get feedback on? Who do we get it from? Using what methods? When and how often should we be doing it?

But maybe more importantly: How can we ensure such feedback is reliable? What should we do with all this feedback once we’ve got it? Can there be too much feedback? 

This FOCI event will be an opportunity for participants to share their feedback practices and tools as well as to revisit and re-evaluate the role of feedback in planning the curriculum, in implementing the curriculum in the classroom and in evaluating the programme.

For more details click here

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FOCI-XI@ TED UNIVERSITY: Motivation of learners and teachers: the role of the curriculum

9am to 4.30pm Thursday 14th & Friday 15th May, 2015

Registration has now opened. The deadline is Friday 13th February 2015. Click here for more information and the link to register.


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FOCI-X @ Sabancı University: Prep and Freshman: two sides of the same coin or worlds apart?

9am – 4.30pm 11th & 12th December 2014

Venue: Sabanci University, Minerva Palas, Bankalar Caddesi No:2, Karaköy, 80020 İstanbul

Do our preparatory and freshman English programmes complement one another? How much do we really know about each others’ programmes? What are the similarities between our curricula and how can we build on these? And in what ways are our aims and approaches different and what implications do these have for the curriculum? What opportunities are there for mutual support? What can we learn from each other?

This FOCI event will focus on ways in which preparatory and freshman programmes within and between institutions can work together to ensure efficient and effective curricula which complement one another to help prepare learners for and support learners during their academic studies in English.

Registration deadline is Friday 10th October 2014. For more information and to register click here

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Registration has now opened (deadline: 28th February) Dates: 8.45am to 4.30pm, Friday 9th May and Saturday 10th May, 2014

Critical Thinking is one of those “buzz-words” which we hear over and over again, not just in the ELT circles, but also in the wider field of education. When we use or hear the phrase ‘critical thinking’, do we all mean and understand the same thing? Is it just a term which we feel we need to mention in order to add weight to our discussions? Or is it an active and meaningful concept which forms and influences our approach to developing the curriculum? And if so, do all teachers know what we mean? What about the learners?

This FOCI event will attempt to identify and clarify the meaning of critical thinking and to think of practical ways in which Curriculum Teams can work within their institutions towards a common approach to promoting the skill of critical thinking.

You can find out more information and register from this link: FOCI-IX

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