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The CET Team dazzles the English Australia Conference

September 2017
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(from left to right: Ben Carkagis, Carolyn Matthews, Brooke Donnelly, Aaron Jolly, Aparna Jacob, Luke Alexander, Katherine Olston, Robert Chasse and Keren Stead Bomfim at the English Australia Gala Dinner)

The University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching was highly represented and commended during the 2017 English Australia Conference in Adelaide. This year, the conference focused on Empowering Global Citizens, a theme extremely relevant and close to the Centre’s values of ‘Connect, Empower and Transform’. Through its programs and initiatives, CET has been a passionate advocate of improving student’s English skills as well as preparing them for the global challenges of the world, their future studies and employment.


The CET MOOC Team wins the English Australia Innovation Award for the implementation of the ‘Academic Skills for University Success’ MOOC Specialization, during the English Australia Gala Awards Dinner at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide.
This series of five online courses aims to prepare pre-undergraduates, undergraduate and international students to the challenges and expectations of academic culture within an English-medium university. The Specialization is an innovative online experience designed to develop student’s academic skills using the graduate qualities and 21st century skills as identified by the University of Sydney. Find out more about the MOOC Specialization here

Keren Stead Bomfim, CET Teacher, winner of the Action Research Award for her research into the impact teaching phonemic awareness has on students’ listening skills.
Keren’s research question, ‘How can teaching phonological awareness impact on students’ listening (& note-taking) skills?’, was designed to address student difficulties with decoding, or bottom-up processing. She used her expertise in Speech Language Pathology and Literacy to design a program called Learning to Listen to Sounds which focuses on sounds, syllables, consonant clusters, rhyming, phonics and sound-spelling rules.

Aaron Jolly, CET Teacher, winner of the Bright Ideas Video Challenge.
Aaron presented his research on "Listening to Real Life Presentations: A guided listening approach to extensive listening with TED Talks”, by encouraging students to listen to TED talks to improve their listening and note-taking skills. After 3 successful pilots using different student cohorts, the content of the methodology and approach was adopted and available to use to all CET teachers and students in pathway program of 25-week.


Robert Chasse, Education Manager Services presented on: “Gamifying the international student experience through CET’s Student Engagement Program”.
The CET Student Engagement Program also called CET Connect provides a framework for a gamified engagement program for university pathway and ELICOS students. The program delivered via a customised app, aims to create an engaging environment which motivates students to participate in a suite of free activities outside of the classroom.

Benjamin Carkagis, Education Manager Professional Pathways presented on: “Practical methods to equip language learners for 21st century contexts”.
By fostering independent learning in and outside the classroom, the General English curriculum at CET is transforming the student experience by preparing students for dynamic and intercultural workplaces of the future. Ben presented three research-informed activities which could help other ELICOS centres better meet their customers’ needs and equip their students to successfully engage in a global context. Ben was also a finalist in the English Australia Award for Contribution to Professional Practice.

Aparna Jacob, Education Manager University Pathway Programs, and Brooke Donnelly, Teaching & Learning Coordinator presented on: “Designing and implementing support for 'At Risk' students”
By creating and implementing an extensive learning support system for pathway students, CET was able to clearly define the profile of at-risk students and extend their learning outside of the classroom to maximise their chances of being successful in their first semester. This system has created an effective monitoring and support of students who might be at risk of not satisfying their entry requirements for university study. The support system is compliant to the CET Progress Policy and linked to CET’s model (‘4;2;1’: 4 hours of learning in the classroom, 2 hours online and 1 hour of engagement outside of the classroom).

The University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching was a proud sponsor of the ‘Power and Influence: Coming into it and wielding it wisely’ Women in leadership panel discussion.
Convened by Brett Blacker, CEO of English Australia, the session explored the theme of power and how to use power to promote equity and diversity in organisations. The panel of powerful women featured Katherine Olston, CET’s Director, and Aparna Jacob, CET’s Education Manager University Pathway Programs. Other key speakers included Ruby Biscuit from Macquarie University, Donna Cook from Australian Catholic University, Sasha Hampson from Pearson Asia Pacific, Cynthia Kralik from Monash University English Language Centre, Sandra Pitronaci from Macquarie University English Language Centre and Gizelle Rezende from Greenwich Colleges.


Iris Loba +61 2 8627 8560