Task and project groups

Work carried out by SL Task and Project Groups is an invaluable component of SL institutional development and PPD activities based on the developmental needs of our school. All instructors are welcome to propose a ‘new’ task or project group based on institutional needs and priorities to help support greater effectiveness in SL practices. Once a task group or project is announced, instructors join by interest and based on their developing areas of expertise. Where possible, instructors responsible for specific tasks are given reduced teaching hours to work on relevant and specific tasks. The exact number of hours is determined by the SL Director at the beginning of each semester and may change according to institutional priorities and the availability of resources. Please click on the following document for an alphabetical list of Task and Project Groups that have worked on a wide range of institutional needs in the SL since its initial years: TaskAndProjectGroups

Information on CURRENT Tasks and Project Groups in the SL are provided below in alphabetical order (Asterisked names refer to coordinators/contact persons).

Accreditation and quality assurance: SU is focused on continuous improvement which also reflects the approach of the SL with its members always striving to improve school effectiveness. SU-SL has been actively involved with the work of the Council of Higher Education in trying to improve standards in higher education and in creating a national quality assurance scheme for language education at universities. In line with the growing importance on quality in education both locally and globally, in early 2020, the School of Languages started its work towards becoming an accredited member of Eaquals and applied for membership in October 2020. After undergoing a highly demanding inspection process in December 2020, the School of Languages received its certification as an Eaquals accredited member with points of excellence in all 12 categories of Eaquals quality standards. In collaboration with members of the SL Board, the group is currently working on post-inspection recommendations and ongoing quality enhancement practices. Current members of the task group: Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken, Jacqueline Einer*, Pınar Demiral Gündüz

Book Project 2:0: This group was formed in order to design a summer school book aiming to cover the objectives of the exit level FDY summer school course, and give students enough practice in the skills and language objectives that will be important for them for their faculty studies. Together with some other volunteers, the group has conducted a series of needs analysis studies with the current students and teachers in the SL as well as with faculty instructors and faculty students. In addition to helping identify the current and future needs of FDY students, the analysis work also enabled the group to identify the main themes of the book. The team have also carried out extensive literature review work in order to be able to reflect the latest findings in terms of methodology and learning strategies in the book. The course book is being piloted for the second time in Fall 2020-21 and will be revised based on the feedback that will be received from teachers and learners. The team has also created a website for the book project in order to guide those institutions who might be interested in designing their own course book. It is still under construction, so if you are interested, please check regularly for updates: SL FDY Book Project. Current members of the task group: Mutlu Bosson, Neslihan Demirdirek, Pınar Demiral Gündüz*, Sonat Demirdirek

Collaborative Learning (CL): R3 students are involved in Collaborative Learning. For this strand, students complete three different tasks in groups over a 16-week period; the tasks are designed to encourage students to work towards FDY curriculum objectives. The tasks require students to do research, read a variety of texts, write up reports, do presentations and prepare videos outside class and deliver presentations within class hours. The tasks are uploaded on SUCoursePlus and are open to comments from teachers and peers. Current members of the task group: Tuğçe Gürer*

Curriculum and Assessment Team: Curriculum and Assessment team members (CATs) are responsible for the route they are teaching on. One of the main responsibilities of the team is to ensure that the curriculum objectives for the level are met. Team members review objectives regularly and ensure that core course materials match the learning objectives. This involves making decisions about course books, course materials, vocabulary lists, and course calendar related decisions. Another core task of the team is to prepare assessment methods and processes to effectively and reliably measure students’ achievement of expected learning outcomes. As well as designing exams, they work towards ensuring a smooth and fair administration and grading of the assessed work. Another core task of the team is gathering feedback on the course from teachers as well as students, and suggesting and implementing changes to maximize learning and improve the program and the assessment methods. Current members of the team: Akif Çal, Deniz Renda, Esra Gün Alayafi*, Görkem Satak, İdil Ertugan and CAT Support: Gamze Bozkurt, Özlem İnan, 

Developmental Lesson Observations: Please see Blog Page on Developmental Lesson Observations. Current members of the task group: Ali Nihat Eken, Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken*, Jacqueline Einer, Nuria Gelado Rodriguez, Pınar Demiral Gündüz, Vildan Çal

English for Maths and Science (EMS): English for Maths and Sciences (EMS) is a content-based ESP component of the exit-level course, Route 4. It was designed to prepare students for their compulsory freshman Maths and Natural Sciences (NS) courses.  It involves a cycle of 50-minute weekly lectures conducted for all R4 students by faculty members from the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences (FENS). Students prepare for the lectures through pre- and post-lecture language work led by the SL teachers in their normal classes. EMS also involves a problem session delivered by Learning Assistants, undergraduate students who successfully completed their NS courses. Each lecture has content objectives and lists of target lexis based on an analysis of a corpus of the required readings for the freshman Maths and NS courses. The main aims of the EMS course are to exploit the content of lectures through a focus on lexico-grammatical features and skills development i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing in a scientific context. The EMS task group aims to implement this multifaceted course by organizing the course content; managing the course delivery process through liaising with NS instructors and Learning Assistants; arranging sessions and meetings with the SL team; getting regular updates about NS courses; and making necessary changes to the EMS course structure and materials accordingly to better prepare students for the NS courses. Current members of the task group: Bünyamin Mengi, Mine Münevver Bağ*

External Courses: There are currently two external courses in the SL. Staff English course (SEC) is a general English course we offer to Sabancı University Staff. The Human Reaources Unit and the School of Languages work in close collaboration to help participants improve their level of English. The second course is called the Industrial Leaders (In-Lead) English Course. This course is organized in collaboration with Sabanci University Executive Development Unit (EDU). The course is designed for professionals who are aiming to build their confidence in communicating in English in business situations. The course is designed around relevant, real-life business situations, tasks and projects.  Current members of the task group: Esra Gün Alayafi*, İsmail Arıcı, Sonat Demirdirek

Faculty Peer Writing Fellow Training: This is a collaborative project run by CIAD, FDP and SL. It aims to focus on writing at the undergraduate level at SU in order to help enhance the writing skills and strategies of SU undergraduate students.  It acts as a support mechanism where students can receive writing support from trained and supervised peers (i.e. other undergraduate students) for several different undergraduate courses. As the SL project team, we provide training along with support for selection and supervision of peer writing fellows. Current SL members of the task group: İlkem Kayıcan, Merve Karabulut Baykan

GR501/502 Task Group: Our aim in this course is to provide further resources for the GR 501/502 course run by Kristin Şendur. We plan to put together a number of input videos and organise interactive workshops on different areas of teacher training for graduate TAs who are teaching undergraduate courses at SU. Through our experience of teaching alongside graduate teaching assistants in the SPS courses and also observing lessons on various university courses as part of GR501, we have seen an opportunity for applying many of our own experiences and training in education theories and practice. Current members of the task group: Cameron Dean*, Jonathan Smith, Yuliya Shilova

İsmail & Magda’s PD Group (IMPD): The aim of this task group is to explore alternative ways of applying professional development activities within the SL with a view to supporting more effective teaching approaches and hopefully to provide an incentive for our colleagues to adopt the same framework or create a similar one to support teaching and learning. IMPD is a task group based on close collaboration and continuation of a framework we started to implement in the 2019-2020 Spring semester. We strongly believe in the PD that stems from teachers’ own incentive and which happens within their current teaching environment, but we also recognize the importance of structure, systematicity and the value of theory and methodology of language teaching and learning. In addition to the aforementioned work, this semester we will focus on the recording of our experiences in the form of journals. We will share resources which we find informative and valuable and sharing these with our colleagues so that you can also use them as a point of reference while planning your PD activities. If our project develops into other territories, we will also update you about it. You can access our Padlet Wall here. Current members of the task group: Gorica Stevanovic, İsmail Arıcı, Magda Adamczyk

Language and Culture Exchange Project: The idea of Tandem Learning inspired me to start the ‘Language and Culture Exchange Project’ at Sabanci University in 2009. Key tasks of the group include: promoting the project (using flyers, sending invitations via email, and sometimes giving presentations to exchange students); recruiting foreign and Turkish members; and facilitating inter-group communication through email, cell phone (Whatsapp) and Facebook. Our members meet as a group off campus every weekend if possible and visit tourist attractions of their choice, attend festivals, and so on. While having fun, our FDY students have the opportunity to practise spoken English with their international peers in real-life settings. Foreign students can also practice speaking Turkish and learn more about Turkey and the Turkish culture. So far, our team members have gathered and visited different places mainly in Istanbul. 4 years ago, one group travelled to Bursa and Trabzon. Current members of the task group: Ahmed Elmahi*

Learner Support Group: The Learner Support Group works closely with students who need additional support and guidance in their academic studies and study skills. Students who are referred to the group by their teachers or the SL Director are given support in groups and/or individually. Based on the learners’ needs, tutorials offered range from language-specific lessons to working together with students to help them design a study plan to address their language needs. These learners may also ask for extra materials that they can work on in their own time. The group also tries to help students who have personal or psychological challenges by informing these learners’ teachers, their CIAD counsellors and any other parties if necessary to make sure that they receive sufficient support and attention during and outside lessons, tutorials and exams. The progress of these learners are also followed by contacting them or their teachers throughout the semester. If parents ask for information or help, the Learner Support Group also meets or talks to the parents, but in a manner that respects learners’ privacy. Current members of the group: Neslihan Demirdirek*, and Sonat Demirdirek

Project 001: Project Based Learning (PBL) Project 001: Project Based Learning (PBL) is a form of experiential learning which puts the learners at the center of their learning experience. In the SL, the main purpose of our PBL course is to support the development of our learners’ English language knowledge, use and skills. Additionally and very importantly, it encourages the development of digital literacy, critical thinking, hard and soft skills and supports our lifelong learning goals. The course runs for a whole semester and takes the form of an extended, in depth project. The course has evolved with each iteration since it was first run in Spring 2016 (you can find the websites for previous versions here, here, here, here and here). Due to the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, the current project has evolved into a fully online version (more information is available on the website). The new version of the course focuses on learners researching the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, bringing them a new perspective and promoting them in SL and in the local community. The final outcome, after much work, used to be a poster presentation open to all Sabancı University members. However, in the post COVID-19 teaching era, the final outcome is now an online presentation open to all Sabancı University members. This fully online iteration of the course enables a fabulous opportunity for SL learners to develop their digital literacy skills. As a representation of their great efforts, we are delighted to share that some of the Proj teams from Fall 2017 presented their posters at the School of Languages conference in May 2018. In April 2016, a major feature of our second Professional Development seminar was sharing our work and experiences with PBL.  Current members of the task group: İsmail Arıcı*

Projects, Development, Research (PDR): PDR work involves a wide range of PD and institutional development activities such as institutional research, formative feedback, INSETs, supervision and design of courses, workshops and PD programs, developmental and assessed lesson observations, mentoring activities, national and international projects, coordination of research work, SL consultancy activities. Current members of the task group: Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken*

Pronunciation Task Group: The group works on a variety of tasks and activities to promote pronunciation education at the university. The group is currently working on a pronunciation curriculum to be used in the preparatory program, preparation of materials for use in the School of Languages across all routes and creating professional development for instructors. The group developed a pronunciation course for students and used the course to carry out experimental classroom research in the English as a Lingua Franca approach to benefit the sub-field of pronunciation education in English language teaching. The experiment finished successfully and is now in the data analysis stage. Current members of the task group: Justin Jacobs*

Proofreading: This group provides proofreading support for various university documents and announcements and for Above and Beyond course book materials. Current members of the task group: David Hill, John Evans

Queering ELT Task Group (QELT): The current aim of the group is to make the curriculum in Route 4 gender and sexuality inclusive. The group hopes to expand the mission to include other routes and grow the project to an even bigger level to include collaborations with teachers and student teachers working/studying in ELT departments in local institutions, experts, NGOs and union representatives. The group is collaborating with SUGender to accomplish these aims. Current members of the task group: Justin Jacobs*, Lukka Alp Akarçay*

SL-TeDOL Online Teacher Training Course Please see Blog Page on SL PD Projects. Current members of the task group: Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken, Jacqueline Einer, Pınar Demiral Gündüz, Nazan Gelbal, Nezaket Özgirin*, Sibel Taşkın Şimşek

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