The Hellenic Open University is a multi-school university based in Patras. It is unique in the Greek context because it exclusively provides distance education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The university comprises four schools, namely a School of Humanities, a School of Social Science, a School of Science and Technology and a School of Applied Arts. Degrees include...
ESSE 2012 - 11.Conference Of The European Society For The Study Of English, Bogazici University, September 4-8, 2012, Istanbul/TURKEY...
I am coorganising (together with Dr Yasemin Bayyurt) a seminar titled "English Language Education Policies And Practice: A Mediterannean Perspective". In this seminar, we aim to give a Mediterranean Perspective on the English language education policies, i.e., formal educational guidelines and orientations in the form of published curricula and teacher education documents, as well as practice, i.e., procedures related to teaching, learning, assessment and testing routines that spring from everyday classroom experience. [...]
Ahmar Mahboob, The University of Sydney, Australia › Nicos Sifakis, Hellenic Open University, Greece and Andrew Blair, University of Sussex, UK › François Tochon, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.
The second issue of Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning celebrates the first decade of the postgraduate programmes in the teaching of English, French and German at the Hellenic Open University (HOU) , by publishing the proceedings of a conference held in May of 2009 for that purpose. The conference, which was organized by the HOU and co-funded by the Greek Ministry of Education, aimed at bringing together tutors and students of these programmes in problematising and discussing various aspects of distance learning at this postgraduate level. Such aspects involved, among other issues, ...
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Μ.Ed. in TESOL programme of the Hellenic Open University, we distributed a questionnaire to graduates as well as current students of the programme. Our primary goal was to further reflect on the usefulness of the programme ten years after and identify possible weak points that need enhancement for the ultimate benefit of our students and the Greek society at large. To that end, we aimed to map out students’ views about the programme and its influence on their professional life. In the various sections of the questionnaire we tried to explore (a) whether their expectations are fulfilled; (b) which modules of those on offer they have selected and which they consider as the most and least important for their professional training and development; (c) how the programme has influenced the professional choices they make/have made outside teaching a class-proper; (d) whether they regard the programme as a springboard for further professional development which they can embark upon on their own; (e) what suggestions they can make for the programme’s further improvement of. The results were very positive...
-- Sifakis, N. C.; Lytra, Vally; Fay, Richard (22-25 Μαΐου 2010, Βιέννη) “English as a lingua franca in an increasingly post-EFL era: The case of English in the Greek state education curriculum.” Εισήγηση στο Third International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF3). University of Vienna -- Bayyurt, Yasemin; Sifakis, N. C. (22-25 Μαΐου 2010, Βιέννη) “Teaching English in a changing world: a comparative analysis of in-service Turkish and Greek teachers' perceptions of the evolving multicultural and multilingual nature of their contexts.” Εισήγηση στο Third International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF3). University of Vienna
The term ‘lifelong learning’ has played a central role in policy discussions, as well as in studies of the sociology and economics of education, for more than a quarter of a century now. At the dawn of the 21st century, the relationship of this term to the rapidly changing world of information and communication technologies, and to the inroads they have been making in all levels of education (more commonly known as ‘e-learning’) has also raised a lot of concern. This paper seeks to shed light on the importance of linking lifelong learning and e-learning skills for the professional development of foreign language teachers living and working in Greece. I begin by providing definitions for the terms ‘lifelong learning’ and ‘e-learning’ and focus on ways in which these notions are interlinked. I then move on to consider ways in which foreign language practitioners can improve their teaching practice and develop as teachers employing the principles and processes of lifelong and e-learning.
The English in Europe project aims to examine the role of English in different contexts of today’s Europe by hosting five conferences in different parts of Europe (Sheffield, Zaragoza, Copenhagen, Thessaloniki and Prague). SEERC is proud to be the lead organizer of the third conference in Thessaloniki on 22-24 November, 2013.
The South-East European Research Centre (SEERC) is an overseas research centre of the University of Sheffield, established as a non-profit legal entity in Thessaloniki, Greece.
“Multilingualism is a totally necessary asset, but there is a problem. There are many myths, such as ‘it troubles the mind’, ‘multilinguals can’t learn any foreign language well enough’ and ‘only children can learn a foreign language well’. The latest research has come to break down misconceptions of such kinds”, explains Nick Sifakis...
The links between teaching, assessment and testing, and their impact on learning, have always raised a particular interest for language educators. Different contexts present different challenges and it is rewarding – indeed, it is necessary – to learn from research studies of how these links fare under widely variable circumstances. In this special issue of Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning we are particularly happy – and, indeed, honoured – to host an extended discussion of a great variety of concerns in the area of language testing and assessment. The focus here is on the language teaching and learning contexts of two countries of the Expanding Circle with a great interest and a significant tradition in assessment and testing practices, i.e., Greece and Cyprus. [...]
Launching the distance-learning student-tutor interaction process, tutors of the first module of the M.Ed in English course at the HOU lay the foundations of academic student autonomy by means of providing – inter alia -- the appropriate written feedback on written assignments. In doing so, they need to gauge the content and form of their written comments systematically with regard to both output- and student-, that is human factor-related issues (cf. Goldstein, 2004), the latter being particularly relevant to the distance-learning context. In this article we discuss tutor policy as well as tutor perceptions (cf. Lee, 2004, 2009 among others) regarding written feedback on students’ academic assignments in terms of aspects of deviance treated and the relative gravity of ‘global’ and ‘local’ errors (e.g. Ferris, 2002), the directness of the correction, the punitive or facilitative nature of the comments provided as well as the relative balance of student strengths and weaknesses on the tutor’s comment agenda (cf. Hyland & Hyland, 2006). The role of the tutor as an assessor and/or counsellor is explored and the importance of striking a delicate balance between the two, especially in a context where face-to-face feedback opportunities are severely restricted, is underscored. We suggest that distance-learning feedback practices may need to be at least partially individualized to maximize student response and meet the goal of ‘informed autonomy’.
When, in 1998, the postgraduate programme in English language teaching (ELT) at the Hellenic Open University accepted its first students, it was immediately felt that it filled a gap in the continuing education and training of in-service ELT teachers in Greece. The programme was, and still is, targeted at practitioners with a first degree in English language and linguistics and has a strong practical orientation, in the sense that...
The key goal of this project is to show in actual practice and by a scalable example, that it is possible and economically feasible to substantially supplement the meager and sometimes irrelevant educational opportunities normally available to residents of remote and insular regions in the EU:
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