Attend a Free Development Workshop Hosted by the TOEFL® Programme.

The TOEFL® programme will be hosting free development workshops in Australia. Topics include helping students increase their understanding of textual cohesion, and writing items for the TOEFL iBT® speaking section. Check out the descriptions and contact information below.

Professional Development Workshop — Minding the Gaps: Helping Students Increase Their Understanding of Textual Cohesion.

Brisbane: Monday, 17 September, 2012 3:30–6 p.m. at ILSC Brisbane, Level 1, 232 Adelaide Street.

Melbourne: Tuesday, 18 September, 2012 3:30–6 p.m. at Monash College Conference Room, Level 3, 222 Bourke Street

When using authentic academic texts, students may have difficulties in understanding unmarked or unstated relationships between two sentences, ideas, or paragraphs. Such relationships can take the form of simple inferences the author expects the reader to grasp, or inferences based on the rhetorical or discourse level features of the text. The ability to recognise and grasp such relationships contributes greatly to an understanding of the overall coherence and cohesion of texts.

In this workshop, techniques will be demonstrated for creating tasks that help students build their skill in understanding textual cohesion. Participants will gain skills at identifying inferences embedded in texts, and writing tasks designed to increase students' skills in bridging textual inferences. The workshop will end with a discussion on how improving students' reading skills in this area can assist in developing their writing skills.

Item Writing Workshop — TOEFL iBT® Speaking Section.

Sydney: Saturday, 22 September, 2012, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at NEAS office, 3/189 Miller Street, North Sydney

The TOEFL programme is seeking qualified English-language professionals in Australia to be item writers. Test developer Phal Vaughter will lead a one-day seminar on creating Writing items for the TOEFL test. Participants will practice preparing test items using pre-selected source material, and there will be discussion of how this item type can be customised for classroom use. Compensation will be provided for any useable test item material produced during this session. Interested participants who complete the seminar will be considered for ongoing involvement in TOEFL item writing.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) Workshop Presenters:

Phal Vaughter

Phal Vaughter is an Assessment Specialist at ETS in Princeton, New Jersey. She has more than 15 years experience teaching EAP courses in the U.S. and has helped develop a full-time programme of English-language study for international students wishing to matriculate at an arts and design institute. She has taught English in Russia and China, holds an MA in Education with a concentration in TESOL, and was twice awarded fellowships for study of the Chinese language.

Cynthia Newman

Cynthia Newman has been an Assessment Specialist at ETS in Princeton, New Jersey, for the past seven years. Prior to that, she taught English courses in the United Arab Emirates and the United States for over 20 years. She holds an MA in TESOL/Applied Linguistics and the Cambridge DTEFLA (now DELTA). Her current areas of interest include constructed-response assessments and inter-rater reliability in oral proficiency scoring.

Registration

All workshops are free to attend but registration is required for catering purposes. For an application form for any of the three sessions, please email Katie Cook at kcook@etsglobal.org. Registration closes on Monday, 10 September, 2012.

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