On March 3, Professor Marguerite Ann Snow, California State University, Los Angeles arrived in Kutaisi on EL specialist program (US Embassy) to consult the English Philology Department of Akaki Tsereteli State University in designing curricula for English Philology and English teacher education programmes. Her work schedule included
• initial meetings with programme supervisors to discuss the overall structure, sequencing and organization of the programmes, to edit and improve programme learning outcomes;
• meetings with groups of authors working on syllabi that are focused on a certain aspect or skill and thus, have to be viewed in a logical sequence. These groups included e.g. Academic writing, language systems, linguistics courses, English literature, ELT methodology;
• individual consultations with staff members working to improve syllabi, their learning outcomes, assessments system and rubrics;
• lectures and workshops for larger groups on topics including: Second Language Acquisition, Content-Based Instruction, Principles of Syllabus Design and Research methodology.
As a result of Professor Snow’s involvement several crucial changes have been introduced in the curriculum. To list just a few, program learning outcomes have been completely revised; certain courses (e.g. SLA, Sociolinguistics, theme-based vocabulary) have been added to the curriculum; changes were made to the content of a number of syllabi; forms of informal assessment will be added to the assessment methods of the programmes.
The English Philology Department is deeply grateful to Professor Ann Snow for the extremely productive two weeks that she spent with our staff. The final drafts of the programmes are much more aligned to the international standards in the field than it would have been possible without her tactful guidance and expert advice.
Overall, this EL specialist program has made a great impact in terms of not only improving particular academic programmes, but also offering the department staff an excellent development opportunity.