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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Oranised by Gediz University and supported by IATEFL Reasearch SIG:

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Conference announcement: Learners &Teachers as Companions on the Road to Autonomy

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Recommended Reading for FOCI-VIII Participants

In preparation for what will be two days of stimulating discussion and valiant efforts to come up with the “perfect textbook”, we’d like to suggest participants have a look at the links below.

Jack Richards’ many years of work in ELT Curriculum and Methodology need no introduction and have produced a number of excellent books and articles. The writing we suggest here is simply meant as a “stimulus” for participants’ group discussions and perhaps an appropriate lead-in to the groups’ work in December. His article is linked here: 

While not directly related to our student profiles or educational environments, additional articles by three Taiwanese scholars (“Thinking of the Textbook in the ESL/EFL Classroom”:

as well as Sheldon’s still frequently cited “Evaluating ELT textbooks and materials”:

McGrath’s metaphors in “Teachers’ and learners’ images for coursebooks” (attached files) should also provide some very useful “pre-FOCI thought” and help lead to even more interesting discussions in our focus groups.

Last April, Funda and William had the pleasure of attending the IATEFL “ELT Journal Signature Event” debate in Liverpool. Curriculum gurus Catherine Walker and Scott Thornbury squared off in a lively debate on textbooks – all under the watchful eye of the ELT Journal’s new Editor, Graham Hall, who successfully managed to ensure they came out shaking hands at the end. We thought that listening to their fighting words on the topic “Published course materials don’t reflect the lives or needs of learners” might further lead to accelerated group work. You can find the debate at:

Note: There are some sound difficulties at the beginning of the clip, and there may be reduced sound quality for some throughout. Like all of you, we are looking forward to our meetings and discussions next month. See you soon in sunny İzmir!

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EALTA Assessment for Academic Purposes SIG Conference 14th December, 2013 (Saturday)



Cag University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

ELT Department, Mersin, Turkey 

We welcome papers on planned, ongoing or completed research or test development projects in the field of assessment for academic purposes.

Participants are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by Monday, December 2nd to Peter Holt and Sehnaz Sahinkarakas

Presentations will be approximately 30 minutes (20 min presentation + 10 min question-answer)

For registration, please contact the above e-mails.

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