August

ELFSC Research Newsletter; Staff News; Award; Guest Lecture; New StaffLanguage Centre; Open Foundation; Professional Development Days; New Space; ELFSC Health and Safety Award; Health and Safety.


ELFSC Research Newsletter

For all the latest news on research in the centre go to the August Research Newsletter

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Staff News

For the last 12 months we have seen exponential growth in our Open Foundation Online student numbers.  As a result of this growth Dr Emma Hamilton has been appointed as the Online Open Foundation Convenor. For the near future Emma will continue in the role of Open Foundation Deputy Convenor but in order to lighten Emma’s load, Dr Scott Sciffer has agreed to be the online Academic Adviser and Dr Murray  Sciffer will take over Scott’s F2F Academic Adviser role.

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Shortlisted for Award

Congratulations to Tim Hyde and Jess Burden who have been shortlisted for the annual Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards in the - Equity and Opportunity Category for the Just in Time Communication Strategy they developed. There were over 100 applications for the 10 award categories so it is a great achievement to be shortlisted.  The winners will be announced at a gala dinner on the 29th of August in Sydney.

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Jaime’s Guest Lecture

At the end of June, Dr Jaime Hunt was invited to give a lecture on his research into the influence of English on German at the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt, Austria. He was invited by Alexander Onysko, a leading researcher in anglicisms in German and professor of English linguistics at the Department of British and American Studies.

Jaime’s presentation, titled Oh no! Anglicisms!, was attended by various staff and students within the English department.

During his undergraduate degree, Jaime studied at the University of Klagenfurt as an exchange student, and he is currently working with Prof Onysko in strengthening research ties between the university and UON, developing a cross-institutional postgraduate student supervision program, as well as re-establishing the student exchange agreement between the two institutions.

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New Staff Member

The Centre welcomes Hannah Pipe. Hannah is the recently appointed (and long-awaited) Indigenous Student Enabling Advisor.

Hannah’s role will involve co-ordinating programs and activities at the Newcastle and Ourimbah campuses in relation to the University’s strategic direction of increasing success, access, participation and retention of Indigenous students within the English Language & Foundation Studies Programs. Hannah will collaborate with Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, Yapug Program Convenor, to develop and evaluate appropriate learning programs for Indigenous students undertaking enabling programs. Her role will require her to work in a range of disciplines to integrate the academic expectations and study skills required for success, participation and retention of Indigenous students within the English Language & Foundation Studies Programs including providing learning activities and resources that complement teaching. She will provide a mixture of intensive student support, and will work directly with students through workshops and consultations.

Hannah will share her time between the McMullin Building (MCLG34) and Wollotuka.

A morning tea to welcome Hannah will be held on Wednesday at 10am (McMullin lunch room).  If you’re in the vicinity please drop by and introduce yourself to her.  All welcome.

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Language Centre

PD Week

The second week in July saw the Language Centre conduct a full week of professional development activities. Representatives from a range of divisions within UON including the Centre for Teaching and Learning, the Blended and Online Learning Design team, and Student Central facilitated sessions during the week. These included a look at Principles of Assessment with Carol Miles from CLT, and Introduction to Podcasting with Rebecca Wotzko and an overview of Marketing and International Student Recruitment from Tim Hyde.

Study Tours

During the first week of the July break, 10 students from Hohai University, Nanjing, P.R. of China took part in a week long Study Tour at the Language Centre. The program consists of language tuition in the morning and cultural activities in the afternoon. In addition, in the second week of the July non-teaching period 19 students from the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences commenced a 3 week program at the Callaghan Language Centre. The students will also participate in a fourth week of activities delivered by the School of Medical Sciences.

UECA PD Fest Representative

Callaghan’s Louise Pavey (Elementary Coordinator) presented at the UECA PD Fest in Melbourne on July 26th. Louise’s presentation examines some of the problems students have speaking English and how simple rhythm and musical activities can provide assistance. The presentation was delivered earlier this year at the Sydney instalment of the UECA fest.

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Intensive Open Foundation

With an extended admission application period, the number of applications for the Intensive Open Foundation program was very pleasing.  At the close of applications, the Foundation Studies office staff processed over 780 application for Callaghan and 335 for Ourimbah.  It will be a busy semester!!

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Orientation for  new enabling students

Our commencing Intensive Open Foundation students were invited to attend our Orientation Events at each campus in July.  The Ourimbah event is held in conjunction with the mid year undergraduate commencers. Returning Newstep students were also invited to attend Course Information Sessions to assist with their 20 unit course selection for semester 2.

A special thank you to our Student Liaison Officers, Holly Dillon and Sharon Boyd for their careful planning and implementation of this important activity.  Holly and Sharon worked closely with the Program Convenors, support and teaching staff.  As usual a selection of very enthusiastic former enabling students willingly gave up their valuable time to assist and advise our new students.

Callaghan Orientation Group photo with Seamus Fagan

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Professional Development – Foundation Studies Academic and Teaching

From Michelle Picard, Deputy Director:

Thank you to all of you who attended the PD day on 20 July. We had extremely useful discussions on how to further enhance our culture of care within Foundation Studies. The day started with an introduction by our Director, Associate Professor Seamus Fagan. Then, Emma Hamilton described how the Online team have been working towards developing teacher presence, learning communities and a culture of care online. Joyleen Christensen also discussed how the language used in policy, assessment and materials can result in students feeling included or excluded.  Then Sara Motta(Politics) and Anna Bennett talked about the enabling pedagogies project and how staff care of students and staff care of each other are key within enabling pedagogies. Anna then also played a video from the Resource for Recognising and Developing Capability in Higher Education and Cathy Burgess briefly introduced the project. This set the tone for a group discussion on how we can make our students feel less isolated and build learning communities. After morning tea, we explored along with Callan Davies from CTL how Blackboard can be used as a tool for monitoring student progress and retention and can be part of our culture of care. Then Sharon Cooper lead us in a activities exploring how the language of learning outcomes and their alignment with assessment items can impact on the student experience and student learning. We all hope to revise our learning outcomes for 2018 in line with Sharon's input! During lunch we were able to view the posters by Scott Sciffer, Rob Morgan, Paul Chojenta, Tony Morrison, Heath Jones, Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, Miranda Douglas and Cathy Burgess. Finally, Gemma Edgar (our Callaghan Enabling Counsellor) and Emma Mosman (from Student Care) lead a workshop on appropriate boundaries in student care.

Congratulations to Heath Jones who won the poster competition and Sharlene Leroy-Dyer who was the runner up. We will have another opportunity to display the posters later in the year and hope that all the participants will be able to use their work for other purposes (e.g. conferences or display in class).


Professional Staff head to NeW Space

Over 20 of the Centre’s professional staff enjoyed a PD event on 20 July at NeW Space.  Making use of the free Park-Ride shuttle bus to and from the city, staff enjoyed an uplifting, thought provoking and very humorous presentation by Jacki Furey.  Jackie’s presentation was titled “Bringing out the best in self and others”. Director of the company Bedrooms to Boardrooms, Jackie is a trained psychotherapist who believes that nothing affects our lives more profoundly than our relationships with our self and others. Her presentation delivered insights and inspiration to support living our best life.

Staff were also able to explore the amazing NeW Space building, including the library and information commons, the collaborative learning and teaching spaces, the social spaces, as well as the work spaces for staff.  The views are pretty special!!

In the afternoon, the professional staff joined teaching colleagues at a workshop on Student Care.

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ELFSC Health and Safety Award

The University and the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre are strongly committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff and students. To support this commitment, the Centre has established an annual Health and Safety Award.

The ELFSC H&S Award acknowledges and rewards leadership and performance of ELFSC staff in Workplace Health and Safety matters. All ELFSC staff are eligible to nominate.  The award may be granted to an individual or group. One award per calendar year is available.

The award is valued at $500 and may be paid as salary, be used to purchase resources for ELFSC or to contribute towards attendance at a conference or professional development event. Nominations can be made for another staff member or staff may self-nominate. Nominations will close on 29 September 2017.

See here for Health and Safety Award Guideline and Nomination Form . All enquiries should be directed to Jenny Williams, Executive Officer (ext. 17198).

For more H&S News see below.

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Health and Safety

Free counselling for staff

From 1 August 2017 Auspsych will be UON's Employee Assistance Provider. The company has links to EAP providers across NSW so all UON locations can be supported. Services include:

  • confidential external professional counselling for personal or work related issues
  • face-to-face counselling or phone counselling
  • phone support for managers facing difficult workplace situations
  • access to critical incident management services
  • provision of resilience through change awareness training

From 1 August Auspsych can be contacted on 4926 1688. Further information can be found on the Auspsych website.


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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