InForm Conference

InForm Conference 2018

Theme: Transition into University: providing the tools for success

Saturday 30 June 2018, University of Birmingham, Edgebaston Campus

Birmingham University


This one-day event will include presentations and posters on themes related to international foundation and pathway programmes (IFP) and provide an opportunity for interaction and sharing of practice with colleagues from the IFP community.

Conference fee: £65



Please register online here and for queries email

Speaker proposals:

Papers are invited from teachers and professionals involved in international foundation programmes. Please use the form below and speaker proposals should be submitted by 30 April 2018.


Download the InForm Writer's Guide

Any questions or queries e-mail or

Previous InForm conferences:

InForm Conference 2017                                                                    Theme: Innovative ideas for enhanced student engagement

15 July 2017, University of Reading & University of Reading Malaysia 

Download Programme here

The 8th Annual InForm Conference had two parallel events on the same day, one in Malaysia at the new University of Reading Malaysia campus and the other at the University of Reading Whiteknights Campus. The two events were linked via video for the first keynote talk in Reading. The day proved to be exciting and interesting with a great deal of sharing of practices on different IFPs. Student engagement is driving a lot of what tutors do and the value of it was very evident during the day. We'd like to particularly thank our keynote speakers for opening the morning and afternoon sessions in such a stimulating way.

Below you will find the slides for the talks:

Reading event

InForm Conference_2017_programme_Reading

Keynote Address 1. Professor Colin Bryson, Director of Combined Honours Centre, Newcastle University and Chair and founder of Raise. Realising the potential of student engagement
Keynote Address 2. Clare Nukui, Co-ordinator of the International foundation Programme at Oxford Brookes University. Innovations outside the classroom: How new ideas in the areas of administration, co-curricular and welfare matters have enhanced the student experience at University of Reading Malaysia
Session 1a. Dr Meiko Murayam, University of Reading. Team Competition in a group project: Gamifying learning to enhance student engagement
Session 1b. Dr Sue Teal, University of Birmingham. Employing student teacher assistants to enhance student engagement: academic and practical benefits        
Session 1c. Alex Dawson, Cardiff University. Tracking former Foundation students in Undergraduate study: engagement gaps and ideas to fill them 
Session 2a. Alexandra Corrin, INTO Newcastle University LLP.

Shakespeare - Globe to Globe: Accessing plays on foundation Humanities        

Session 2b. Dr Shirley Ashforth-Frost, University of Nottingham

Using flipped learning to engage and integrate international students

Session 2c. Mike Groves, University of Birmingham. Increasing Engagement through Structured Tutorials    
Session 3a. Jane Sjoberg, University of Birmingham.

Engaging Foundation Learners with a Student-led Magazine  

Session 3b. Jane ward, University of Reading. IFP lecture delivery: maximising non-native speaker student engagement    
Session 3c. Kathryn Redpath, University of Edinburgh. Implementing continuous credit assessments for enhanced engagement: benefits and challenges at The University of Edinburgh
Session 4a. Tina Kirk, University of Southampton. The power of drama    
Session 4b. Adam Stewart, University of Brighton International College Synoptic Assessment on the International foundation Programme for Art, Design and Media       
Session 4c. Rina Fokel de Vries and Veronica Raffin, BIA, University of Birmingham.  Enhancing IFP Students' Engagement through Pronunciation Peer Practice        
 Session 5a. Kashmir Kaur, University of Leeds

Enhancing International student experience through audio formative feedback 

Session 5b. Amy Moses, University of Kent and Caroline Challans, CEWL, University of Kent From the horse's mouth: students' perspectives of engagement and disengagement on the IFP 
Session 5c. Karin Whiteside, University of Reading. Engaging a mixed native and non-native speaking group in the learning of written genres for Psychology 
Lunchtime Session. Abigail Letford, ELT Sales Representative, National Geographic Learning

TED Talks publications drop in session

National Geographic Learning Ted Talks website

Malaysia Event

InForm Conference 2017_programme_Malaysia

Session 1. Nabila Shariff, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus.

Positive student engagement through workshops centered on developing intercultural awareness

Session 2. Peter Sturman, University of Nottingham, Ningbo China. Early intervention in student disengagement
Session 3. Eoin Patrick, Xi'an-Jiaotong Liverpool University. Online peer assessment to promote student engagement outside the classroom
Session 4. Saleha Abdul Rahman, Nottingham University Malaysia Campus Low-tech for high engagement: Gratitude practices to enhance autonomous learning
Session 5. Bruce Howell, Associate professor of Language Assessment and head of FSLI, University of Reading.

Round table - enhancing student engagement on IFPs

No material currently available

Keynote Address 1. Professor Colin Bryson, Director of Combined Honours Centre, Newcastle University and Chair and founder of Raise.

Realising the potential of student engagement


Inform 2016

The Seventh Inform Conference took place on Saturday 16 July 2016 at Durham University and was themed Working with Words: Supporting understanding of discipline-specific vocabulary in IFPs. A big thanks to Megan Bruce, Julie Wilson and the rest of the team in Durham University Foundation Centre for organising a stimulating, highly enjoyable and well run conference. Thanks also to the excellent speakers and contributors for their informative and thought provoking talks, sessions and posters. 

The day featured two keynote addresses, 10 sessions and workshops and 3 posters. The opening keynote address was by Professor Mike McCarthy, Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham titled The vocabulary of academic speaking: an interdisciplinary perspective. After lunch Dr Dawn Knight, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Cardiff University delivered the second keynote address titled The application of corpora: supporting and informing the pedagogic landscape.

Summaries of all the talks can be found here: InForm Conference 2016 Programme and the presentation slides can be downloaded from the links below.

Presentation slides and handouts:

Keynote Address 1. Professor Mike McCarthy, Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham. The vocabulary of academic speaking: an interdisciplinary perspective
Session 1A. Aaron Woodcock, ISLI, University of Reading. Walking the line: selecting and teaching chemistry-specific vocabulary
Session 1B. Megan Bruce, Durham University Foundation Centre. Write on the edge: encouraging use of reporting verbs in physiology lab reports
Session 2A. Mike Groves, Birmingham international Academy, University of Birmingham. Providing focus or limiting options? Disciplines, lexis and EAP
Session2B. Dr Simon Rees, Durham University Foundation Centre. Chemical linguistic demand in multiple dimensions and implications for developing understanding in non-traditional students
Session 3A. Clare Anderson, Cats College Cambridge.

The selection of vocabulary, language and skills for a discipline-specific pre-university Foundation Programme

Clare Anderson Session 3A handout

Session 3B. Elwyn Edwards and Dr Lucy Watson, University of Southampton. Making sense of 'Global Society':teaching key conceptual vocabularies in the Foundation Year classroom
Keynote Address 2. Dr Dawn Knight, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Cardiff University.  The application of corpora: supporting and informing the pedagogic landscape
Session 4A. Hannah Gurr, CELFS, Brostol University. 

What's a parallelepiped? How to survive teaching English for Mathematics

Hannah Gurr Session 4A Quizlet and Socrative handout

Session 4B. Will Hutton, Queen Mary University of London. 'More difficult than physics': teaching and learning historical and political terms on an IFP
Session 5A. Steven Robert Herron, Northumbria University. A lexically focused IFP? Working with staff, students and the curriculum to join the dots
Session 5B. Sandra Strigel, Newcastle University. Raising linguistic awareness through CLIL: a reflective practice approach for subject teachers.


Julie Wilson, Teaching Fellow at the Foundation Centre Durham University.  To teach or not to teach: the effectiveness of overtly teaching formulaic phrasing in academic practice
Rina F. de Vries and Veronica Raffin, EAP tutors at BIA, University of Birmingham.  Specialist knowledge: an interactive approach

Inform 2015

The Sixth Inform Conference took place on Saturday 11 July 2015 at the University of Reading and was themed Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) on the IFP. It featured two keynote addresses and 15 sessions and workshops.

The opening keynote address was by Dr Paul Thompson of the Centre for Corpus Research at the University of Birmingham titled The potential for corpus enhanced learning on the IFP. After lunch Chris Cavey and Sara Pierson of the British Council delivered the second keynote address titled Strategy and Impact: lessons the British Council is learning from running MOOCs.

Summaries of all the talks can be found here: Inform Conference Programme 2015

Articles based on the talks are included in Issue 15 of InForm.

Inform 2014

The Fifth Inform Conference took place on Saturday 19th July 2014 at the University of Kent.

The theme of the conference was:

Assessment as a tool for learning on the IFP

There was a plenary delivered by Dr Sara Hannam and Birgit den Outer from ASKe, the Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange at Oxford Brooke's University

Please see the following documents from the Inform 2014 conference:

Investigating research into EAP Assessment Literacy - Anthony Manning

A tale of two cities - Carla Morris and Sebastien Cadinot

Assessment Literacy in International Contexts - Dr Sara Hannam and Birgit den Outer

Critiquing the Crit - Julie Mecoli

Developing critical thinking under test conditions - Sandra Leigh

Student Reflection as an Assessment Tool - Nancy Woods and Anne Stazickes


InForm 2013

The fourth Inform Conference took place on Saturday 20 July 2013 at the University of Reading 
What do IFP students need? Finding a balance between linguistic and content teaching: how much and when?

Across the UK, a range of IFP providers are helping to prepare international students for their undergraduate or postgraduate studies.  A wide variation exists in provision but what do students really need?  The InForm Conference 2013 aims to explore what is the right balance between linguistic and content input; what combination of language, study skills and content is best?

Keynote Speakers

 Dr. Dave Burnapp, Associate Lecturer, University of Northampton, National Teaching Fellow (HEA)

Russian Matryoshka Nesting Dolls:  In this presentation Dave will develop an analogy based on Matryoshka dolls to explore the different forms of knowledge and learning outcomes which International Foundation Programmes might try to engender.

 Professor Elspeth Jones, Emerita Professor of the Internationalisation of Higher Education and international education consultant

 IFP and the transition to UK academic culture: Bridge, ferry or ford? Elspeth will consider how the structure and content of international foundation programmes can support a diverse range of students as they make the transition to university study.

InForm Conference 2013 Programme of Events


InForm YouTube video


Hear what delegates of the conference had to say about InForm:






                                                                                 InForm YouTube Video 

InForm Conference 2012:

Is Teaching and Learning Enough? Can additional elements aid the transition from a foundation programme to university study?

The third InForm conference took place on Friday 20 July 2012 at Newcastle University.

Thanks to all of the speakers and presenters, and to Steven Herron and his team at Newcastle for organising such an interesting and stimulating day.

Across the UK a range of foundation providers, teachers and staff are helping to prepare international learners for their undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Yet learning academic English and other components of subject modules only form a part of the learning process. This conference aimed to bring together and critically explore the impact that additional activities (teaching and non-teaching) can bring to enhance the students before progressing to university study.

Most of the presentations are available to view below.

Opening speakers

Dr Felicity Breet, Associate Dean, Faculty of Education and Society, University of Sunderland. Breaking in or breaking the mould?

Professor Vivian Baumfield, Professor of Pedagogy Policy and Innovation, University of Glasgow. Synthesising sources and developing an argument: reflections on supervising international students

Dr Peter Sercombe, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University. Aiming for non-essentialised intercultural adjustment among international postgraduates

Conference programme

The draft programme summarises the main presentations at the conference.

Lee Hawkes, Queen Mary University

Josh Lange, University College London Service Learning and Social Entrepeneurship in Foundation
Julie Wilson and Alison McManus, Durham University Additional_language_Support_for_Foundation_Students 
Ann Smith, University of Nottingham Who's_in_Charge?
Chrisopher Copland and Huw Llewellyn Jones, University of York English_for_Integration_into_the_Campus_Community: A Video Project
Maggie Holmes ,York Saint John University; Wendy Altinors ,Leeds Metropolitan University; Anthony Flint, Teesside University Organising_a_Conference for International Foundation Students: aims and benefits
Steven Herron, Newcastle University Reflective Learning: Seeking Metacognition in Reflective Practice
Tatyana Karpenko-Seccombe, University of Huddersfield Critical_Thinking_in_EAP
Alison Leslie, University of Leeds 




InForm Conference 2011: Internationalisation - how far can it go?

The second InForm Conference took place at the University of Reading on Saturday 16 July. 

Keynote: How the 'Teaching International Students' project suggests a way of improving learning for all

The plenary session was delivered by Jude Carroll from Oxford Brookes University, who represented the Teaching International Students Project (TIS).

Please download her presentation here: Teaching International Students Project


You can download the online InForm conference programme or view the presentations below.

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3...

Chris Walklett

'Teach them to think': critical reading skills for international foundation students through the use of evaluation checklists

John Hall and Sandra Leigh

From intercultural awareness to global citizenship: engaging home students and staff in the process of internationalisation

Edward Bressan and Louise Green

Whose 'English' in English for Academic Purposes?

Stuart Perrin

Going the distance: Nigerian disabled scholarship students and their transition to foundation studies

Victoria Crane and Betty Alali Odema

Internationalising the seminar: Communicative Strategies from EAP across the Curriculum 

Ellie Kennedy

Internationalisation - to the classroom and beyond!

Maxine Gillway

Teaching Thinking Skills: A practitioner enquiry into the effectiveness of TS for postgraduate pathway students.

Steven Herron


InForm conference 2010: The challenges ahead

The first InForm conference took place at the University of Reading on Saturday 17 July 2010. The event included seminars and workshops on themes related to international foundation programmes, commencing with a keynote address by Rebecca Smith of UK NARIC. It was an interesting day with a wide variety of topics presented over two parallel sessions, and provided an opportunity to meet and share ideas with others from the IFP sector over lunch. Highlights from the conference are featured in InForm issue 6.


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