A review by Esra Gün Alayafi & İdil Güneş Ertugan



The theme of the seventeenth FOCI event was “Action Research in Curriculum Development: Implications and Possibilities”. The theme of this FOCI event seemed not to lend itself to the usual approach to the focus group tasks. Therefore, a different approach was taken and it was decided that each focus group brainstormed potential puzzles in a particular area of curriculum development and actually planned an action research study which the groups presented to the whole group at the end of the second day. 

Prior to the focus group discussions, two presentations that focused on “explorations and innovations” and a hands-on workshop on action research were organized. The first presentation was carried out by Jeremy Schlichter from Fatih Sultan Mehmet University in which he explained the process of piloting an online reading platform including the data gathering processes and the discussion of the outcomes.  The second presentation was delivered by Hasan Savaş from Medipol University. His presentation was based on an article he published in the Journal of Qualitative Research in Education. The subject of the presentation was “Maintaining the Efficacy of Warm-up Activities in EFL classrooms: An Exploratory Action Research”. During his presentation, Hasan Savaş referred to Ann Burns’ action research processes and made connection with his own research. The hands-on-workshop was organized by a member of Medipol University. During the workshop, participants were involved in analysis of action research cycles. 


There were three focus groups that focused on a particular aspect of the issues which were identified by the participants prior to the event. 

Focus Group A:
The role of 21st Century Skills in Curriculum Development
This group identified an action research project related to questions in areas such as:
•Which online interaction skills, objectives should be included in the curriculum
•How can digital technologies be integrated into the curriculum?
Focus Group B:
The Place of the Speaking Skill in the Curriculum
This group identified an action research project related to questions such as:
•What speaking objectives should be included and what sort of materials/ tasks can best meet these objectives?
•How can speaking be integrated into the other skills in a way that facilitates language acquisition?
Focus Group C
Teachers’ perceptions of the Curriculum
This group identified an action research project related to questions in areas such as:
•How can we raise teachers’ “curriculum literacy” and broader their curricular vision?
•How can teacher resistance be minimized and collaboration with curriculum teams maximized?
After three focus group sessions, each group presented their ideas to all the participants. The presentations can be viewed online by clicking on the link below: