April 2019

From the Director; ELFSC Board; Newstep Trivia ;For Your Diary; Conference; Language Centre News; Research News; Work Health & Safety

From The Director

I am delighted to have the opportunity to stay on as Interim Director of the Centre until the end of the year. I have been fortunate to meet with many of you across each of our three campuses to learn more about how our various programs and courses are working as they are being delivered. The approaches to continuous development and ideas for improvement discussed are also very impressive. I look forward to seeing you at upcoming events, including the professional development day for enabling programs and the Language Centre and Foundation Studies combined morning tea we are planning to take place soon, so that all staff have an opportunity to connect again as the year moves along.

Please read on to learn about various ELFSC activities, important dates for your diary and other news.

With best wishes,


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The ELFSC Board met on Wednesday 27 March.  The Board is Chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and has members including our Program Convenors, staff representatives, enabling students and a nominee from each Faculty.

Items and reports considered by the Board included:

  • Interim Director’s Report
  • The Interim Director, Dr Anna Bennett, reported on the Centre’s activities including:

  • Student numbers at ELICOS Callaghan are strong, while ELICOS Sydney student numbers are slightly lower than previous years
  • The ELFSC team are continually working on increasing flexibility and transparency in their programs for enabling students
  • The ELFSC Professional Development Day for enabling staff will be held on 15 April 2019
  • The recent Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (ROAC) at Callaghan was very successful and deeply moving due to the amazing student speakers
  • The Yapug program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019
  • Pilot Scheme - Concurrent Study in Enabling and an Undergraduate Course The Board approved a pilot scheme allowing high achieving part time Open Foundation students at Callaghan, Ourimbah and Online the opportunity to study 1 x 10 unit 1000 level undergraduate course concurrently with their 20 units of enabling courses in semester 2. Students who achieve a Distinction or higher in both of their Semester 1 courses will be invited to undertake this pilot. Courses available to these students are still being negotiated with Faculties.
  • An update to band 5 requirement for undergraduate education programs was approved
  • Enabling completions in 2018 and undergraduate offers at UON.  Overall there were 1206 offers made in 2019 and 1057 acceptances of offers into undergraduate degree programs at the University of Newcastle. A total of 286 (known) offers were made to prior-enabling students to other Universities in NSW
  • Reports were also received from: the ELICOS programs (Callaghan and Sydney); Newstep (Callaghan); Open Foundation Programs (Callaghan and Online); Central Coast programs; Yapug.
  • Report on UONPREP - A suite of 39 on-campus Courses for Undergraduate and Open Foundation/Enabling students were scheduled at Callaghan, Ourimbah and Port Macquarie during the period from Mon 29 Jan to Saturday 24 Feb.  This program involved 26 academic staff and 3 administrative staff. Five courses were offered online with a 3-week staff moderation period for students to request help etc. with the course material. Between orientation and the first week of this semester, 320 students enrolled in the online courses.
  • Access to any of these reports is available from our Quality Assurance (Teaching and Learning) Officers Sally Curzi and Elizabeth Bridges via email.

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Newstep Trivia

On Wednesday 27th March, we hosted a Trivia Lunch for the Newstep students at Callaghan. Students formed teams to answer ten rounds of fun questions from our quiz-master, Ryan O’Neill. It was a great opportunity for students to bond and make some new friends, over a free lunch. Student comments included, “That was so much fun. You should do that every week” and “We made friends. We didn’t know anyone, now we’re in a SnapChat group!

A big thanks also to all the staff that helped organise the event.


Deputy Program Convenor (Newstep)

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For Your Diary

Here’s a reminder that all staff in the Academic Division are encouraged to attend the DVC (A)’s “Town Hall” Meeting on Wednesday 8 May at 11am.

At Callaghan: RW149       At Ourimbah: IRC113      At Sydney: ELI217 (at the moment, but room may change depending on numbers attending).

This is a great opportunity to gather will colleagues across the Division and hear fist-hand, updates from the DVC (A).

If you are unable to attend, I understand that the session will be recorded and a link will be available to view the session at a later date.

Please note the dates for the next 2 “Town Hall” events: Tuesday 20 August (9.30-11) and Wednesday 20 November (9.30-11) – venues to be advised.

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Conference: Michelle Picard

I was extremely lucky to attend the Postgraduate Supervision Conference in Stellenbosch South Africa from the 26th to the 29th of March as well as some initial meetings with research collaborators in Cape Town the preceding week.  This conference is the third largest globally in the field of postgraduate supervision/researcher education and attracted scholars from around the world which was particularly pertinent since the theme this time around was ‘the global scholar’. I presented some work completed by Kylie Shaw (School of Education) and myself around social justice and equity in postgraduate supervision as part of our ETEHE grant project. The presentation: ‘Researcher Development Curriculum in Australia and South Africa: A social justice perspective’ was well received and we are in the process of working to setting up further international collaborations on the topic. On a personal note, Cape Town was fabulous and I managed to get in a couple of long walks on the beach and some family time in my leave before the conference. I will present on the topic Wednesday 17 April (12 noon in MCG56). Please contact Jo Hanley if you would like to Zoom into the presentation.

Associate Professor Michelle Picard

Deputy Director English Language and Foundation Studies Centre

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Language Centres


Student Experience Program

SEP Coordinator Anne Burnett recently received confirmation that the Language Centre had received a grant facilitating 10 weeks of swimming lessons for 35 ELICOS students. The grant was awarded by Royal Life Saving NSW Hunter and is valued at approximately $4900. These lessons contribute to the Centre’s goal of providing students with a wide range of engagement opportunities during their time studying English.

Global Sports Day continues to be popular for Centre students, and is consistently the most well attended event run as part of the SEP. In March, over 60 students attended Global Sports Day events.

According to data collected by the SEP Coordinator, 23% of Callaghan ELICOS students completed the SEP Passport in Block 2. The Passport provides students with the opportunity to document and reflect on their engagement with activities and events outside of the classroom. Students collect stamps for participating in designated SEP events, with 20 stamps earning a free coffee from Gloria Jeans and the chance to win $100. Anne Burnett will be speaking on the SEP Passport at the upcoming NEAS Management Conference in Sydney this May, with the program being recently endorsed as a NEAS Premium Product.

UON Student Central has timetabled a staff member to participate in SEP Passport events including Speed Conversations and Ready to Talk. This involvement replaces the now defunct HIB Chats, which provided students with an opportunity to get to know staff on campus and understand in more detail the support services available to them.

Short-term integrated, Study Abroad and ELICOS Only

Block 5903 saw the arrival of 9 students from partner institutes in Japan who will study ELICOS at the Language Centre, with 8 students from Kumamoto studying 2 weeks each, and 1 student from Tokyo Gakuen studying 15 weeks. They are joined by 3 students from the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies who will first study 15 weeks ELICOS before taking up one semester of exchange with UON.

In addition the Centre is still hosting a number of other ELICOS only and Study Abroad students who arrived from partner institutions earlier in the year, including 10 students from Doshisha for 20 weeks and 1 student from Musashino who will transition to Study Abroad after ELICOS.

UECA PD Fest in Sydney

UECA will host their annual PD Fest in Sydney on April 13th. Callaghan Program Convenor Ben Doran will speak at the event alongside University of Wollongong’s Luqing Wang regarding the peer review project the two institutions recently participated in. In addition, a number of teachers from Callaghan and Sydney campuses will attend the event with the support of funding from the ELFSC.

Сайн байна уу? From Mongolia

We recently received the following communique from Helen Askie and Liza Pezzano, fearless ELFSC teachers who have arrived in Mongolia to teach an EAP module as part of the Australia Award program.

Hello from UlaanBataar, the capital of Mongolia. We have been in UB for over a week now and are very much enjoying being involved in the APP 2 program. The program is designed for students with an Australia Awards Mongolia Scholarship who will be undertaking a Master’s degree in Australia starting in Semester 2 2019. The course is a six- week intensive program focusing on Academic skills and Australian academic culture. The students come from provinces around Mongolia: some from over a thousand kilometres away from the capital. They also work in a variety of fields and for many different organisations. We have doctors, geologists, psychologists, economists, entomologists, engineers and lawyers in the group. This makes for very interesting discussions. The students work for government agencies such as the Department of Public Health and NGO’s such as Amnesty International and World Vision.

On a personal note, we are working hard but enjoying the sights of UB. We particularly love the ballet which is on every week. The restaurants here are many and varied- Korean, French, Japanese, Indian and of Mongolian. We are trying to eat in as many as possible in our time here. UB is a compact, walkable city and although the thermometer tells us it’s minus 7, it doesn’t really feel very cold.

Sounds amazing and we wish Helen and Liza all the best.

Reading Group

Friday April 5th will see the latest instalment of the fantastic Callaghan Reading Group, started last year by teachers Natalia Soeters and Adam Connor. The article to be discussed will focus on the impact an EAP program can have on students’ ability to take part in discussions at University. The topic is especially relevant given our upcoming review of EAP.

Transition to University Seminar

April 3rd will see the debut of the Centre’s first Transition to University seminar. This event aims to assist in the University wide effort to provide continuous support for ELICOS students during their journey at UON. Students in attendance will be those enrolled in the Advanced (EAP) program, which is predominantly accessed by students with offers for further study at UON for the purposes of meeting their English Language requirements. As this event will be held during class time, attendance will be compulsory and we are expecting around 62 students in total. The majority of these students are in the second half of their 10 week program, and as such will be finishing their ELICOS on April 18. Due to the time of year, almost 75% of these students are destined for PGCW programs at UON with the remainder enrolled in a variety of UG or NIC programs.  Only 3 students are on ELICOS only offers.

Speakers on the day include representatives from International Admissions, Student Central, the Library, CTL, UON Global and NUPSA. This ambitious event aims to assist students answer questions pertaining to the next step in their student journey, such as:

  • What happens next?
  • What about my visa?
  • Who can I ask for help after I finish ELICOS?
  • How do I enroll in subjects?
  • What is Orientation and is it important?
  • Where can I find more support for Academic or language related issues?
  • What is happening at the University and how can I get more involved?

If successful, the Centre plans to host these sessions once every 10 weeks so that all students transitioning through EAP in Callaghan have the chance to attend.


Harmony Day was celebrated on Wednesday 20 March with numerous joint activities organised by ELICOS SEP, the UoN Sydney Welfare Advisors, campus coordinator and the International Student Engagement Assistant Manager. SEP Doris Ayala organised a dancing show with students from Jordan and China showing off their moves and in one case karaoke. The activity was a big hit and many students joined in.

The Newcastle Business School Guest Business lectures commenced Block 3 and we were fortunate to have Dr Sammy Ying present her lecture to EAP students during class. The lecture topic was Accounting and Corporate Government; students received pre lecture readings and teachers ran class activities to prepare the students before the lecture. The Guest Business lectures are part of the on- going strategy to prepare students for their degree programs by providing them with the opportunity to attend university lectures.

For Block 3 PD teachers were put into groups to make videos using the model case study PEST as an example of a team presentation for students (the EAP week 10 speaking assessment) . The aim was to ensure EAP teachers know how to embed a video into a Power point presentation so they can show their students when they prepare their team presentations. The event finished with an Easter afternoon tea (staff provided a plate).

In other news Owen Wilson has been appointed Sydney Coordinator one day a week commencing Block 3. Owen will take on liaison duties with Callaghan coordinators as well coordinate program  activities in Sydney. Congratulations to Owen!

Sydney LC Photo

Harmony Day dancing

Barbara Mansfield

Program convenor

UoN Sydney Language Centre

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Research News

As discussed at the recent ELFSC Board meeting, research-informed approaches to programs, courses and teaching are very important. All of these activities require continuous evaluation of reach and impact.

ELFSC is committed to providing support to research and the scholarship of teaching and learning, including through individual consultations, feedback, further development of the seed grant scheme (introduced in 2017), and a series of Brown Bag lunches which will be held during the common lunch hour. In these sessions, ELFSC staff will be sharing information about their research interests, conference presentations and projects.

Anna Bennett, Jo Hanley and Emma Hamilton will be working closely with Penny Jane Burke and Belinda Munn from CEEHE to evaluate HEPPP-funded initiatives through a series of focused case studies to co-design a contextualised HEPPP Evaluation Framework and set of principles/toolkit to be ‘tested’ in different settings. This set of resources will be shared in various ways/forms with staff and the wider sector.

NAEEA/ EPHEA Conference

Enabling Excellence through Equity – 24-27 November University of WollongongResearch News Pic April

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN (Early bird closes 30 July/Reduced rate for members)


Submit a presentation in one of three formats:

  • Showcase presentations: submit a 250 to 350 word abstract about your initiative
  • Poster presentation: submit a 250 to 350 word abstract
  • Refereed papers: submit a full paper, maximum 10 pages, selected papers will also be published in a Special Issue of the Student Success Journal in 2020.

Click here for more information.

Do you know about Research Advantages EMCR Connect & Empower Network?


An opportunity for you to raise your Research Profile by understanding the value of having a social presence

Who: UON Early / Mid Career Researchers

When: 10 – 11.30am Friday 3 May 2019 [tea, coffee and biscuits provided]

Where: HPE203 [Health and Physical Education Building], Callaghan Campus

Prerequisite: bring your phone and/or laptop

Join via zoom [Meeting ID: 796 615 728]

Register now via Discover


Dr Paula Jones – Changing nature of research – value or currency of Impact

Professor Clare Collins – Research Profile – social footprint – the value add for researchers

Mr Rob Brooks – Types of social media and how to get started [practical applications]

Research Support in 2019

Watch out for emails from Jo Hanley, ELFSC Research Manager, regarding grant opportunities and research activities. For tailored, one-on-one support please make an appointment with Jo via email.

Please make contact with Jo if you have any research news or project updates for future newsletters.

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Work Health and Safety

Staff are encouraged to take a moment to look at the UON Health & Safety Training Calendar, and make the most of the range of events and training opportunities available.  The calendar is updated regularly.

Items for the ELFSC Link Newsletter are always welcome. The newsletter is published early each month, with items due 2 weeks prior to publication.  

Please forward any items to Jenny Williams, Maureen Jones or Leah Hill.

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