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 3.0: Following the production and implementation of the SL course book, Above and Beyond, 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. Current members of the task group: David Hill, Deniz Renda, Evrim Uysal, Jacqueline Einer*, Seyran Erdoğan, Suzan Altıparmak, Şila Yosulçay Uz

Collaborative Learning (CL): Students in Route 3 are involved in Collaborative Learning (CL) project over a 16-week period. Aside from aiming to develop their language skills, another core aim is to help students experience working in collaboration and thus help them develop both their soft and hard skills required in the 21st century. For this strand, students complete four different tasks in groups; 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, watch and prepare and shoot videos, prepare presentations outside class and deliver them within class hours. During this process, the project especially contributes to their usage of technology and improves their interpersonal skills as they overcome challenges as a group and experience being a “leader” in one of the tasks. Different from the previous semesters, Route 3 students will receive an outside class seminar on “How to Prepare and Deliver Presentations”. Additionally, students from Route 4 will have a chance to be a Learning Assistant (LA) for Route 3 students to help them complete their tasks by working together. The group has also introduced Team Learning (TL) on Route 2 this semester. Current members of the task group: Serpil Öz*

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: Arda Bayraktaroğlu, Deniz Çiçekoğlu, Deniz Renda, Ebru Ezberci Webb, Esra Gün Alayafi*, Görkem Satak, İdil Ertugan, İrem Gedil, Gamze Bozkurt, Nesibe Atasay, Seda Ertüm Emirler

EAP Practitioner Identity Research Project: This research project aims to investigate the ambiguity of the position of EAP practitioners and examine the juxtaposition between their self-perception and their role in the larger system of a higher education institution as viewed by its various stakeholders. The research focuses mainly on the experiences of EAP instructors (aka SL facilitators) within the specific context of a year-long compulsory humanities freshman at SU. The course is a world history and political science course with a strong emphasis on academic writing, the uniqueness of which derives from a number of factors including but not limited to the collaboration of two departments: Faculty of Social Sciences (FASS) and School of Languages (SL). This research explores the asymmetry in values among those working within the course related to teaching and learning outcomes, team dynamics and transparency, mutual respect and professionalism, as well as motivation and the utilization of resources.  The main questions that this research study aims to answer are as follows:

  • How do SL facilitators describe their own identity, agency and values?
  • How are they viewed from the perspective of various stakeholders within the course?
  • How can any gap between the self-perception and the perceptions of other parties be minimized?

The result of this research will be the creation of a set of instruments that will help to address the gap between the self-perception of SL facilitators and the perceptions of other stakeholders. It will also be made available to a wider community for the purpose of facilitating more productive synergistic collaboration between academicians and EAP practitioners to be applied within their particular contexts. Current members of the task group: İlkem Kayıcan Dipcin*, Kassandra Robertson, Merve Karabulut, Michael Thomas

English Public Speaking Co-Curricular Program: The goal of FDY English Public Speaking Co-Curricular Program is to promote and encourage an understanding of communication, presentation skills, and critical thinking and to raise awareness of leadership skills.  Students participate actively in the Co-Curricular activities and develop research, public speaking, reasoning and problem-solving skills.  FDY English Public Speaking Co-Curricular Program is devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. Moreover, students process their experience-based learning and advance in their socialization skills with the help of group work activities. Co-Curricular goals and practices are: to provide opportunities to the members to share ideas worth spreading in a unique style that demonstrates excellence in topic choices and public speaking; to train students, and provide opportunities to work on, different style of speeches; to make and present speeches within the Co-Curricular Program and SU community; to listen/watch the most inspirational talks; and to organize a workshop and invite other schools to participate. Current member of the task group: Ahmed Elmahi, Deniz Özden Rodrigues, Itır Beğen Yılmaz*, Nurdan Çoksezen Metel

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: Aybüke Filiz Gürer, Bünyamin Mengi*, Dalince Congara, Merve Yıldırım

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

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*, Sonat Demirdirek

Projects, Development, and Research: The team works on a wide range of professional and institutional development activities such as developmental lesson observations, in-house and external PD programs, INSETs, workshops, institutional research, national and international training projects, mentoring, and SL consultancy activities. Current members of the task group: Andrew Bosson, Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken*, David Gasper, İlkem Kayıcan, Mutlu Bosson, Yuliya Shilova

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: Ahmed Elmahi, David Hill

Proofreading Support for Translation: 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: Andrew Bosson, David Hill, Mutlu Bosson

SUCourse Support Group: This group aims to support all FDY instructors in dealing with any online or SUCourse issues (Zoom Accounts, recording online classes on Medial, Turnitin issues and any other related issues). This group acts as a bridge between IT and FDY instructors.  Current members of the task group: Sonat Demirdirek

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

Team Learning (TL): This project is designed for Route 2 students to provide them with an opportunity to work in teams outside class hours, research on specific topics to answer a guiding question. This group project aims to help learners develop language knowledge and academic skills, such as reading, writing, research, and speaking. As learners work in teams towards a common goal they also have an opportunity to develop their soft skills. They are graded twice; on their content vocabulary building task and their group writing task. Current members of the task group: Tuğçe Gürer*

Copyright by Sabancı University School of Languages

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