July 2018

From the Director; Research News; ELFSC Board; For your Diary; Staff News; Language Centre; Student Art - Ourimbah; Work Health & Safety

From the Director

The ELICOS Convenor, Callaghan, and the Director ELFS recently visited 17 partner institutions in 6 cities across Japan.  Most of the partner institutions have been long term partners of UON but we also had an opportunity to visit a  few new partners. There were a number of pleasing aspects of the trip.  It was great to learn from our partners that a  significant number of Japanese students will come  to study at the Centre in July and October but more pleasing is that a  number are coming for longer term study. We also caught up with Jenny Cook, a teacher from the language Centre, who has been teaching at our partner institution, Shohoku College for the last few months, and 11 of the students Jenny has been teaching at the College, will come out to Newcastle for 10 weeks of ELICOS study in October.

We also met a number of UON students who are undertaking an exchange program at one of our exchange partners ,Nagoya University of Foreign Studies(NUFS).  One of the UON students  was a former Newstep student and the other was Ryan Dean who used to work at the Language Centre Office.  We also met with Austrade officials who informed us that student visa numbers to Australia are down 5% and so it is pleasing that our partnership strategy in Japan is providing an increasing number of students and weeks studied.

At the recent National ELTS Accreditation Scheme (NEAS)  Management Conference held in Sydney, UON Language Centre was among  a number of language centres presented with a plaque to commemorate 25 years of quality assurance and accreditation by the NEAS.

Below is a photo of the Director receiving his plaque from Patrick Pheasant the CEO of NEAS.

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Research News

NAEEA 2018 Symposium : Free for ELFSC Staff
Enabling Voices: Policy-Practice-Research & Evaluation

Please join us at NeW Space for this 2-day event.

The symposium is intended as a forum for shared dialogue on what matters to enabling educators across Australia. The three symposium themes will be introduced by guest discussants in a series of panels.

Venue: Lectorial Theatre X-101, NeW Space

Proceedings commence at 1:30pm Thursday 27th September (registration desk opens at 12:30pm) and conclude at 3:30pm on Friday 28th September.

PLACES LIMITED – please note that to take advantage of the FREE registration you must be a current employee of ELFSC (ongoing or sessional staff) teaching in Open Foundation, Yapug or Newstep.

To register please email Dr Jo Hanley by Friday 10 August with the subject ‘NAEEA Symposium Registration’.

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The ELFSC Board met for on 13 June. This was the second meeting of the Board in 2018.

At the meeting the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) reported that the NeW Education Framework is moving forward, including some prototyping of new programs.  Work is also being done on branding to assist with the launch of the framework.   Work is continuing with the renewed programs approval process, but we are in a transition period. The Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC) will continue to approve programs but the new Portfolio Strategy Group (PSG) will be involved in the process including looking at the business case; PSG is the group which provides a holistic approach to UON’s suite of programs and courses.

The Educator Network (tEN) was also mentioned.  This initiative, part of the NeW Education Framework, is being introduced to support educators with matters such as training, showcasing, recognition and research.  It will also include teaching awards (innovation) and investment funds.  There will also be a series of ‘learning lunchboxes’ that will include talks providing take-homes such as tips and advice on pedagogy changes.

The Board also approved the creation of two new enabling courses for introduction in 2019.  They are: EPENG101 Introduction to Engineering: Problem Solving in Practice; and EPGENG201 Introduction to Engineering Physics. These courses will be available to students in Open Foundation and Yapug, and will be offered at Callaghan only.  They aim to provide a smooth the transition of enabling students into engineering degrees by assisting them to build familiarity, competence and understanding of professional engineering as a career and engineering as a field of enquiry.

The Board also received reports from our Director, the Head of Research Engagement and Development, and from each Program Convenor with an update on program-related activities. Copies of these reports are available from the Secretary to the Board via email.

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For your Diary

Orientation – for Intensive Open Foundation

Callaghan: Wednesday 18 July (10am – 12:30pm) Great Hall

Ourimbah: Tuesday 17 July (11am – 1pm) Lecture Theatre 2 (LT102)

Foundation Studies PD Day – reminder – 26 July

Foundation Studies academics, teaching and support staff are reminded about the forthcoming Learning and Teaching Professional Development Day being held at New Space on Thursday 26 July 2018 from 9:45am – 3:45pm.

Please go to Eventbrite to see the preliminary schedule and to book your place.

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Staff News

Farewell to Ben Carter

Friends and colleagues of Ben Carter gathered on 7 June to say farewell to him on the eve of his relocation to Melbourne.  Ben has been teaching Maths in ELSFC since 2013, having previously worked in the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, the Centre for Teaching and Learning and the School of Education.

All the best Ben!!

Book Publication

Congratulations to Associate Professor Michelle Picard and Dr Christo Moskovsky (Faculty of Education and Arts) on the recent publication of “English as a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia”. The book is part of the Routledge Research in Language Education Series, and offers a detailed discussion of key aspects of teaching and learning English in the Saudi context and offers a comprehensive overview of related research authored or co-authored by Saudi researchers. It provides readers with an understanding of the unique cultural, linguistic, and historical context of English in Saudi Arabia—with a focus on the principal factors that may influence successful teaching and learning of English in this country.

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Language Centre


University of Newcastle Language Centre (Callaghan) teachers Louise Pavey, Louise Noell and Natalia Soeters will present at the University English Language Centres of Australia (UECA) PD Fest Melbourne 2018, hosted by Monash College. This year’s Melbourne UECA PD Fest is entitled “Survival of the Fittest”. Louise Pavey is delivering a session entitled ‘Reboot, Reenergise and Revitalise your students’ which will focus on demonstrating simple rhythms and innovative musical activities to open the pathways to learning whilst studying English. Louise Noell and Natalia Soeters will co-present a session entitled ‘A practical, beginners’ guide to making videos for the classroom.’

The UON Language Centre will present its own week of PD and Project Work activities for Callaghan based staff from July 16th – 20th during the non-teaching period. With the schedule for the event slated for release next week, highlights already confirmed include presentations from Evonne Irwin and Paul Chojenta on blended pedagogical approaches in Foundation Studies and beyond, a presentation from UTS Insearch ELT Curriculum Officer Paul Godber on his work with the Language Testing and Research Centre, Callan Davis from BOLD on Turn It In, and a range of presentations from Language Centre teachers on topics ranging from Translanguaging to innovative apps for the ELICOS classroom.


The Sydney Student Achievement Award was presented Wednesday 27 June for January-June 2018 period. There were 4 nominations. They were Hao Zong (Elena); Meliling Liu (Christine); Na Wang (Anna) and Jingjun Xu (Amy). Na Wang was the winner of the $500 prize for her excellence in active learning. Her 2 teachers said Anna was always first to class and “rarely (if ever) absent, and such a diligent student. She wasn't afraid to ask questions when she was unsure. She voluntarily completed self-study work outside of class.  She engaged very well with classmates during classroom activities and never failed to complete homework. Na Wang (Anna) takes initiative to seek out ways to improve her weaker areas in English language learning and takes advantage of extra classes offered by UON (e.g. extra writing class). She showed remarkable time-management skills considering the amount of study she does both in and out of class while at the same time raising a family”.

Our congratulations to Anna -a worthy recipient.

In other news Dr Laura Luo lecturer from Newcastle Business School (NBS) gave a lecture to the continuing EAP students in Block 5 about Carbon Accounting. The lecture is part of the guest lecture series Sydney ELICOS is running with NBS. The lecture was well received and students appreciate the opportunity to experience a university style lecture.

Barbara Mansfield (Program Convenor)

UoN Sydney Language Centre

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Student Art – Ourimbah

These photos show some of the work produced by female students who have managed to fulfil the EPARTS156 Visual Art Fundamentals in semester 1, course requirements at a high level. Both students participated fully in all the learning activities and were a great influence and role model for the younger students. They were happy to share their intellectual property with their peers, which added another dimension to the teaching and learning in the tutorials.

Their visual literacy skills combined will ensure an easy transition into an undergraduate program, and both students have confirmed that they will be returning to VA for EPARTS256 in semester 2.

The Course Coordinator was very impressed by the students’ commitment to study in an area that is unfamiliar to them and both have illustrated a thirst for knowledge that reinforces the capacity building skills that underpins the enabling program.

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Work Health & Safety

Some housekeeping to consider:

If you use powerboards in your office and work environment, please ensure that the powerboard has a trip switch, and that each outlet used has an on/off switch.  All areas should be free of double adaptors. Orders for powerboards can be placed through the staff member who orders office supplies for your area.

Please ensure that any cords/leads do not create a trip hazard in the workplace.  Use extension cords if required to run leads safely around (and not across) work-spaces and traffic areas.

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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.