Kadir Has University School of Foreign Languages (SFL) Teaching and Learning Philosophy
The SFL EPP Curriculum is developed around Content-Based Instruction (CBI), which aims to create opportunities for a more natural way of developing language ability, and where students are exposed to intensive teaching of the target language by focusing on content through themes ranging from information on familiar and personal topics to semi-authentic and authentic texts. In this approach, students learn about the scope by using the language/rhetorical patterns they explore as tools for developing knowledge in ways that build their linguistic ability.
Students are thus guided to recognize language/rhetorical patterns and lexis in the texts they study and develop strategies to understand, re-structure, learn and use them effectively. While doing this, students also develop essential academic skills such as note-taking, paraphrasing and summarizing, analyzing and synthesizing information from (a variety of) texts, and evaluating and re-structuring information, which can then be transferred to other subjects. To this end, the SFL EPP curriculum aims to prepare students to be better equipped for an academic environment that requires the achievement of inter-disciplinary 21st Century skills, which are not restricted to language learning but will help them succeed in their future studies.
By the end of the program, students are expected to have completed the final course of EPP (i.e., Track 5) and exam requirements and have developed sufficient English language competence to continue their academic studies in their departments and beyond. This is achieved through intensive teaching and learning of content and language support provided through multiple means (i.e., instruction and exploitation of core and supplementary materials and texts, tutorials, language support classes, written and verbal feedback, and asynchronous tasks.)
While this support is provided in an ongoing manner, students are encouraged to be actively engaged in and take responsibility for their learning and fulfill duties as expected.
Track 1: This course aims to raise students’ level of English from a basic level to one where they can communicate in simple tasks on familiar topics. This is achieved through intensive use of (short) texts, language support (grammar and lexis), and materials that explore content-based teaching. Overall, the course focuses on the development of basic reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills as well as the development of basic grammar and vocabulary. This course is offered in Fall Semester only.
Track 2: This course aims to build a concrete background for the learners who are in the process of transitioning from being a basic language user into being a more independent one. It targets to raise learners’ level of English to a level where they can reasonably communicate in a variety of subjects within their field(s) of interest, which requires the students to understand enough to be able to meet the needs of a concrete type of conversation provided that speech is clearly articulated. This is achieved through intensive exploitation of (short) texts (written and spoken), language support (grammar and lexis), and materials that explore content-based teaching. This course is offered in Fall and Spring Semesters.
Track 3: This course aims to move students, whose level is beyond basic, to a more independent level, where they can communicate with some confidence on familiar topics and express thoughts on more abstract ones in spoken or written ways. This is achieved through intensive exploitation of longer and/or semi-academic texts (written and spoken), language support (grammar and lexis), and materials that explore content-based teaching. The course helps students to further develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills as well as their linguistic competence. At this level, students start to improve their academic English skills and become more advanced in terms of fluency and accuracy. This course is offered in the Fall, Spring and Extended Spring Semesters.
Track 4: This course aims to raise students’ level of English to one where they can deal with familiar matters and/or semi-academic or academic content/texts with a degree of fluency and spontaneity. This is achieved through intensive exploitation of longer texts (written and spoken), language support (grammar and lexis), and materials that explore content-based teaching. Overall, the course focuses on the further development of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills through more advanced content and materials as well as the development of advanced grammar and vocabulary, while academic skills are explored. This course is offered in Fall, Spring and Extended Spring Semesters.
Track 5: This course focuses on the development of main academic skills learners are required to have achieved in their first year in faculties. The course aims to further develop learners’ English language competence in an intensive learning environment by using theme-based and technology supported materials so that they can read various academic content/texts, write and communicate fluently in academic context. This course is the highest level of the KHAS English Preparatory Program and is offered in Spring and Extended Spring Semesters.
Assessment at KHAS SFL
Since the SFL EPP Curriculum is developed around Content-Based Instruction (CBI), the content that is used to teach the language is organized through themes ranging from information on familiar and personal topics to semi-academic and academic texts.
The Assessment system at the KHAS SFL recognizes the importance of continuous, theme-based and transparent assessment components, reflecting both the formative and summative elements of a meaningful assessment system, and it is a combination of assessed course work and exams.
As such, the assessment of learning at KHAS SFL contains formats which reflect the type of activities our students will be expected to perform in their faculty courses, such as:
- Writing a short response: based on some of the content of the material students have studied during the course.
- Writing a long response: using information from a selection of texts which have been provided, in line with the academic writing conventions
- Learning Portfolio: producing short and longer pieces of writing every other week which consist of the draft and final versions. The Learning Portfolio provides an opportunity for students to improve their writing and language skills, as well as reflect on their own learning experience.
- Independent Study and Classroom Participation Evaluation: assessing the work students do during class time, as well as the assigned work they need to complete outside class hours. It is also expected for learners to proactively participate in the lessons, adhering to the rules of punctuality and using English in the classroom.
- Oral Assessment: assessing students’ general spoken performance in English, as well as fluency, idea development, and interaction skills.
- Language Exams: short exams assessing the language and vocabulary covered in the course at regular intervals.
- Mid-Term Exam: happening in the middle of the semester, covering the skills, language and vocabulary students are expected to have developed until that point.
- Final Exam: happening at the end of the semester, covering the skills, language and vocabulary students are expected to have developed throughout the semester.
At the start of each track, more detailed information regarding the assessment components such as the expectation and weigthing of each component, as well as due dates, are provided to students.
For more detailed information, please refer to the KHAS SFL English Preparatory Program Student Handbook at this link.
Professional Development Opportunities KHAS SFL
SFL EPP offers a variety of professional development opportunities to instructors:
CAST Work: Developing expertise working in collaboration with the Curriculum and/or Assessment Teams
PD Seminars: Input sessions on themes based on institutional priorities, developments in the field of EAP, faculty and student needs.
PD Fair Days: Mini-sessions where instructors have an opportunity to share their teaching or research-related ideas, or good practices they have used with their classes including innovative online teaching tools and services.
Seminars/workshops from outside counselors, trainers and prominent researchers in the field.
In-service training opportunities e.g., Action Research Group: Sessions that last typically two consecutive semesters where participants are encouraged to carry out action research on a theme of their interest after which they are expected to come up with an output that will benefit themselves and SFL.
Task groups focusing on track-specific or institutionally prioritized needs.
Special interest groups where participants reflect on, discuss and share ideas/practices on an area which is of common interest to them.