The National Reform of Teaching English
Currently the Department is taking part in the national reform of teaching English that has been initiated by the British Council and the English Teachers' Association of Georgia (ETAG). The implementation of the reform was expedited by the successful application of the module system. The project is supposed to be realized in 2003-2005. In accordance with this reform, students of English will be trained to pass the Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) and Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAC). A five-hour weekly course is allotted for this purpose.
For implementing up-to-date methods of teaching English and sharing experience, the English Studies Department has invited British and American experts (337 specialists including 28 professors worked with ESD) and arranges study visits of its staff members to Great Britain and the United States. A total of 37 teachers of the Department have updated their professional skills in this way.
Another important area of the Department's work is its involvement in student interest groups and societies. First of all is the students' research group which conducts an annual linguistic conference. Students of Bachelor and Master degree courses take part in this conference and consistently demonstrate a perfect knowledge of the English language, thorough nderstanding of the issues currently raised in linguistic literature and the ability to discuss in depth linguistic problems of the Georgian and English languages.
As an indicator of the quality of academic and research work conducted in the Department we could cite the review of HEADWAY, published by Oxford University Press, the publisher of this extremely successful ELT course book. It should be mentioned that the ESD was the first in the country to introduce this course book into the curriculum. Generally, such an attitude to novelty is characteristic of the ESD. It has often acted as an initiator of teaching innovations that were later adopted by the University.