Curriculum Development Open Sessions (CuDOS)

The CuDOS Group has now been integrated with the Centre for Language Pedagogy, in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, SOAS.

Here are the minutes of the CuDOS meetings. If you would like to know more about what CuDOS involved please click here.

Meeting 1: The place of language skills in the curriculum
Wednesday 19th November 2008

Led by Michalis Sivvas (LWW CETL)

What is the place of practical language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) in our language courses in terms of teaching, learning, and assessment? Participating members are invited to give a brief overview of practices in their courses. LWW CETL staff will present briefly the place of practical language skills in extra-curricular activities organised by the department. We will share our experiences, and investigate whether there are opportunities for further development. We will also look at and discuss key relevant policy documents.

Relevant documents: minutes, resources, recommendations

Meeting 2: Heritage-language education at SOAS
Thursday 22nd January 2009

Led by Dr Martin Orwin (SOAS)

The second CuDOS meeting will focus on provisions for heritage language learners. Dr Martin Orwin, Senior Lecturer in Somali and Amharic, will present a few facts about heritage learner education in Somali at SOAS. What is the profile of these learners and what support is or could be available for them? Group members and participants are also invited to talk about the challenges in their own departments, while Michalis will provide input on practices in other Universities. We will consider actions to support heritage language learners at SOAS.

Relevant documents: minutes, resources

Meeting 3: Independent Learning Skills at SOAS
Tuesday 10 February 2009
Led by Jonathan Bunt (University of Manchester)

The third CuDOS meeting will look into independent learning skills and their place in language degrees. Jonathan Bunt, Head of East Asian Studies at the University of Manchester, is our guest at this meeting.

Jonathan will discuss the Independent Language Learning Programme, an assessed component of the BA in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester. He will talk about how independent and partnership learning is organized and incorporated into assessment, with particular emphasis on face-to-face and video-conferencing based partnerships.

CuDOS members will have the opportunity to discuss this programme with Jonathan, share their experience of similar programmes, and investigate further possibilities for the provision and assessment of independent learning skills in our courses.

Meeting 4: Review of CuDOS meetings 1, 2 and 3
Tuesday 24 March 2009
Led by Michalis Sivvas

At this meeting we will be reviewing the minutes from CuDOS meetings 1, 2, and 3, reporting on any developments related to these meetings. We will also form a strategy for CuDOS activities in the forthcoming academic year.


Relevant documents: minutes

CuDOS is a newly developed group, set up by Michalis Sivvas. Its focal point is curriculum development and innovation opportunities for our language courses, taking advantage of developments in the field both in the UK and abroad. Below are some basic facts about the group, and information about how you can join in.
CuDOS Group is a loose support ‘group’ of professionals involved in language teaching at SOAS who:
a) have an interest in curriculum design and development, and b) consider curricular innovations for their courses.

CuDOS encourages sharing of information and of good practices, functioning as a curriculum development resource for SOAS teachers.

Central to the group activities will be informal sessions, held about twice a term, drawing on:
a) our own professional experience, (b) theoretical frameworks, (c) relevant educational policy frameworks.
You are invited to lead sessions, e.g. on curriculum design initiatives that have worked in your context, or on issues on which you need support and ideas from colleagues in other departments. There is also a list of curriculum development resources (bibliography, links to online articles and reports, briefings of our discussions, etc).


Some of the areas of interest of the group are:
- Identifying our students’ Needs
- Defining Learning Outcomes for our students
- Implementing changes on Course Syllabi
- Learner Assessment and Course Evaluation
- Teaching and Learning Materials and Resources

- Teacher Training* & Learner Training issues

* refers to Teacher Training issues, and not practical Teacher Training sessions


CuDOS is an ‘open’ group. Any colleague involved in language teaching can be a member, and there is no expectation on members to join in all group activities – yet some level of commitment will be appreciated.
To become a member please contact Michalis at

Members of the group so far include:
Michalis Sivvas (Curriculum Specialist and Learning Advisor, LWW CETL), Jo Eastlake (Teacher Trainer, LWW CETL) , Dr Lianyi Song (Principal Teaching Fellow, China and Inner Asia), Dr Noriko Iwasaki (Lecturer in Language Pedagogy, Linguistics), Rakesh Nautiyal (Lector in Hindi, South Asia), Kazumi Tanaka (Senior Lector in Japanese, Japan and Korea), Sallehuddin bin Abdullah Sani (Lector in Indonesian), Naresh Sharma (Lector in Hindi, South Asia), Christine Sas (Lecturer in Dutch, UCL Department of Dutch), Sinae Lew (Teacher of Korean, SOAS Language Centre), Yousef Omar (Arabic Co-ordinator, SOAS Language Centre), Nathan Hill (Senior Lector in Tibetan, China and Inner Asia), Dr Lucien Brown (Research Fellow, Centre of Korean Studies)

Michalis’s role is to coordinate and lead some of the group activities, invite professionals from outside, disseminate feedback on the group activities, and advise stakeholders at SOAS on the group’s suggestions and initiatives. If you would like to take a more active role in the group, please let me know.

The sessions are detailed above and further upcoming sessions will be advertised shortly. Possible topics for the next months include: Integrating and Accommodating Heritage Learners; The Year Abroad in the Curriculum; Language Courses and Learning Outcomes; and Practical Language Skills in the Curriculum. Your suggestions are very welcome.