Call for Papers

CONFERENCE – Boğaziçi University School of Foreign Languages 1st ELT Conference.
Towards Higher Education (THE): Bridging the Gap.
15 April 2017, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey)

Target Audience: Instructors and researchers focusing on Preparatory/ Pre-sessional/ Academic Bridge/ Pathway/ EAP Programs worldwide.

2017 marks the 59th year of the founding of the first English preparatory school in Turkey at Boğaziçi University (then Robert College) in 1958. For almost 60 years, we have been functioning as a bridge to lessen the gap that exists between secondary and higher education. Bridging this gap has always been a challenge, and now more so than ever, as Turkish universities are striving to attract international students, and are offering more and more courses taught in English. Yet Turkish secondary school graduates are enrolling in colleges and universities with less than the bare minimum level of English required for English-medium instruction.

Given the name “preparatory class” in Turkey, and “pathway program,” “academic bridge program” or “intensive English program” elsewhere, similar programs at English-medium universities which receive international students worldwide share a common mission: to equip their students with the necessary language skills to enable them to follow lectures and read articles, and critically respond in oral and/or written form to the input they receive. Students in these programs need both language instruction and guidance in Academic English: the intensiveness of the programs therefore requires that students improve rapidly in only one or two semesters, and that teachers actively engage in students’ academic and transitional affairs.

The tradition to organize ELT events at both secondary and higher education institutions is well established in Turkey; we, however, see a need to focus specifically on what could and needs to be done in academic bridge programs. In these programs, English language instructors, administrators, professional development units, and syllabus and test designers strive to provide their students -- usually in less than one year -- with the necessary skills to cope with the requirements of their freshman courses, but also to create a work environment that makes it possible for the instructors to achieve this gargantuan task.

Boğaziçi University School of Foreign Languages is organizing a conference designed to address the theme of “bridging the gap.” We are interested in hearing about research studies and effective practices that can help bridge the gaps that may exist not only for learners, but also for teachers, professional development specialists, syllabus and materials designers, test writers, policy makers, and administrators at university academic bridge programs. We encourage presenters to identify the learning needs of a specific group of learners, and to present ways to creatively and effectively respond to these. Presenters may wish to focus on the gaps that teachers or trainers have to overcome in terms of teaching practice or methodology. Other topics to explore could be effective practices in designing syllabi and developing materials to cater to the needs of a specific group of learners, or the assessment of whether or not the previously set aims and objectives have been reached. The challenges met and resolved by institutional policy makers and administrators could also be examined.

Areas to be explored may include, though are not limited to, the following:

  • Language Skills: Writing, Reading, Speaking, and Listening
  • Language Systems: Vocabulary and Grammar
  • Learning Strategies
  • TELL (Technology Enhanced Language Learning)
  • Learner/ Teacher Autonomy
  • Motivation
  • Testing and Assessment
  • Syllabus Design
  • Materials Development
  • Professional Development and Teacher Training
  • Policy Making and Administration

It is strongly advised that you thoroughly read the guidelines before submitting your proposal.

You may submit your proposal by visiting the Ex Ordo abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first):