Curriculum Unit

Curriculum development at the Language Centre is supervised and undertaken by the Curriculum Unit (CU). The CU strives to ensure the production and use of quality materials that correspond to the stated learning outcomes for each course. It oversees the curricula taught in the different programmes in the Language Centre.
 
Representing the CU in programmes entails a number of tasks which need to be clearly defined to ensure smooth cooperation between the CU, course/programme coordinators and staff.  A detailed description of the CU members’ role in programmes allows for more efficient communication and implementation of required modifications in the areas crucial to curriculum development. The following points outline the CU members’ current responsibilities in programmes:
  • Gather information on curriculum-related issues from the programme
  • Provide feedback to teachers on issues related to the curriculum
  • Report issues / concerns raised by teachers to the CU
  • Follow up on projects assigned within each programme
  • Review final tests with regards to the curriculum learning outcomes
  • Cooperate with course coordinators in presenting curriculum-related issues to the incoming teachers (e.g. learning outcomes, materials, etc.)
  • Review course outlines and pacing schedules to align them with curriculum requirements
  • Perform any other duties related to curriculum development assigned by the CU Head

Acting CU Head

Dr.Meenalochana Inguva


CU Members

Abdullah Khalfan Al Rawahi

Badria Al- Barashdi

Christopher Denman

Jokha Al Hosni

Nicholas Hilmers

Robert Blake

2013
  • 12.03.2013

Learners’ Vocabulary Development - (Certified workshop) 
By Prof. Steve Gershon
Participants: CU members+ LC Staff

  • 11.11.2013

Developing Listening Skills: The Challenge of Authenticity

By  Paul Woodfall

The presenter went through a series of  engaging, practical activities  that help students develop awareness  of phonological features  in authentic discourse.

  • 31.10.2013

Communicative Grammar and Vocabulary Practice

By Rob Dean

Ways of supplementing / adapting the course materials with easy to prepare and highly adaptable practice activities.

  • 30.10.2013

Developing the Speaking Skill

By Rob Dean

Includes a look at reasons for real life communication and ways of bringing this into the classroom. How to prepare speaking activities, monitor while students are speaking and follow up after speaking activities. Also a look at common problems with getting students to speak and ways of overcoming them. Includes elements of Task Based Learning, and ties in well with Cutting Edge.

  • 13.02-26.02.2013

Learning How Courses are Designed - Part I & II - (Certified workshop)
By Dr. Andrea Hall
Participants:CU members+ 3 AU members+ ACC FPEL0340 + ACC Credit program

2012

  • 12.12.2012

Developing Reading and Vocabulary Materials for Lower Proficiency Levels in the FPEL: Needs Analysis
By Hranush Ginosyan and Aga Ptak
The presentation provided a brief review of  the theoretical background on acquisition of reading skills and shared the findings of the needs analysis conducted  by the CU in Spring 2012.The results will provide a framework for developing vocabulary and reading materials for lower proficiency level FPEL students.

  • 14.11 – 15.11.2012

Beyond the Course Book
By David Evans
Participants gained an in-depth knowledge on planning tools for course material writers/ developers, frameworks for developing course materials and tools for reviewing and evaluating course materials.

  • 25.10.2012

The New Edition of a Textbook Series "Progressive Skills’
By Peter Holly
This session provided an overview of relevant developments in EAP as well as a clear review of changes made in response to regional requests. Attendees also saw how these changes have been incorporated into a unit taken from ‘Progressive Skills in English 1: Listening & Speaking’ book.

  • 14.10.2012

Cartoon Movie Creation Technology
By Ahmed Al Abdali
Participants: CU team

This workshop introduced attendees to Xtranormal’s simple text-to-movie technology. Participants were shown how to use a range of characters, sets, colors, movement and accents to create short cartoon movies that were both enjoyable and contextualized to students’ needs.

  • 10.10.2012

The New Revised FPEL Pronunciation Syllabus
By Ahmed Al Abdali
This presentation reviewed the work  done on the new  pronunciation syllabus designed to deal with the particular problems of Omani speakers of English and  then looked  ahead to the materials that were going to be  produced in the Spring 2013 and then piloted in the Fall.

  • 26.09.2012

An Online Repository for Supplementary Materials
By Robert Blake & Luma Ashoo
The Language Centre has developed  an online  repository of  supplementary materials. This presentation showed how it could be accessed and  the procedure for submitting material.

  • 10.09 – 18.09.2012  

Strategies in Developing Listening Materials – Part I & Part II
By Anfal Al-Wahaibi
These workshops trained the members on how to prepare worksheets focusing on the learning outcomes. The most useful part of the workshops were given hands-on-experience to the  members. Each member prepared supplementary materials based on the input received during these workshops. 

  • 3.10.2012

Using Student Feedback for Reflection and Development
By Robert Blake
This workshop used a loop learning technique whereby participants were firstly asked to  redefine their understanding of the notion of  formative assessment. They then participated in a number of activities  which involved evaluating   a variety of formative assessment tools and  their suitability for use with Foundation Program students in Oman.

  • 16.02.2012

Developing Listening Materials for FPEL Classes
By Anfal Al-Wahaibi
Participants: CU team & Listening and Speaking Material team

In this workshop, the presenter went through the process of producing supplement materials for ESL Classes and the steps that are involved in. Consequently materials that are developed must be well planned, goal orientated and accountable. The workshop provided participants with the best approaches to develop materials that address the students’ intellectual needs. The presenter wanted to offer a sense of what is involved in the process of producing supplemental materials, and to allow teachers to plan accordingly.

 

Piloting new books for FPEL 0120, 0230 & 0340

The CU assists the course coordinators to identify the most appropriate materials for their students on the Foundation Programme through the process of piloting new books. The involvement of teachers, course coordinators and  students is crucial in helping the CU to assess the effectiveness and suitability of a piloted book.  To ensure that a fair decision is made, the CU has created feedback forms and a teacher’s log which are used before, during and after the 1st piloting of the book. A new reading book for 0230 was piloted in Spring 2013. Reading books for 0120 and 0340 will be piloted in Fall 2013.

As per the decision reported in the CU End of Semester Report, Spring 2012(ref 6.5), inspection copies of published commercial books were obtained and inspected. The books were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • coverage of learning outcomes (LOs)
  • test specifications
  • vocabulary and content
  • methodological framework


Supporting the piloting of new e-learning activities in the Foundation Programme: eFolios, e-writing and e-project designed by the Faculty Academic Support Unit

Expanded versions of the e-learning elements (e-Folios, e-writing and e-project) were piloted with several sections of English for English Specialists, Arts and Law EEAL 0560/0604 and Engineering 0560/0604 students. The aim was to identify some advantages (and possibly disadvantages) of these elements compared to paper-based portfolios and the conventional paper-based ways of teaching and learning writing and research skills. Furthermore, acquiring competence in e-learning technology enhanced the professional development of the participating CCs and the teachers. Overall, the piloting experience was successful, especially in terms of the students’ positive response to doing their learning reflections online in a shared document. Feedback forms were distributed to all of the participating  teachers and students. The data have been compiled and summarized in a final report which will be presented in Fall 2013.

Updating the FPEL/CELP curriculum documents (available on the LC  website)

FPEL:New information has been added to some sections in the Appendix, the FPEL summer structure, the course outline descriptions and the assessment matrix.

CELP: the document has been updated according to information received from the credit programme coordinators.  In addition, the lists of course equivalencies and pre-requisites have been revised and modified. A unified design, layout and font type was used.

Materials Production by the CU

Sounds Right, Book 1 is the first listening and speaking skills book for students of English as a Second Language produced by the Curriculum Unit. The book responds to the crucial need to develop listening and speaking skills materials for our FPEL courses that are engaging in terms of both topics and activities. Designed to help students improve their speaking and listening skills, this book also provides students with an understanding of the importance of good communication skills in their personal development and learning. Teachers have flexibility in dealing with the different pronunciation difficulties and issues the students might encounter. The selected themes address the students' needs and encourage them to express their own ideas as well. The activities in Sounds Right  encourage students to work independently at their own speed and show them that, with the right tools, these skills are easier to acquire than they look.