English as a Medium of Instruction

 

Magnus Gustafsson

A little learning is a dangerous thing – EMI, the language problem, and challenges with faculty training courses 

In this talk, my concern is with the actual impact of our various faculty training courses and activities. I will try to offer a confessional of sorts and attempt to draw out possible aspects that might transfer into other EMI contexts.

What do we really aim for in faculty training courses in EMI contexts? Do we take intended learning outcomes to heart and really, as in really, assess them? Has anyone ever ’failed’ a faculty training course they completed for instance? Are these mainly conceptual courses where we settle for facilitating a more informed approach to improving student learning but settle for less when it comes to the details – where the devil resides as you all know.    

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If we get feedback from our former participants that their courses or assignments don’t really work, that feedback doesn’t happen or that it is only summative – does that in any way affect the courses we give faculty or our co-teaching with faculty in integrated interventions? Or is it that we settle for studying the impact of our faculty training by looking at vacuous course evaluation data? If we do want to increase the granularity in our courses, what are our options even? At some point, we may have to acknowledge that we sit on expertise that might not transfer in, say, a 3-credit course, and that we may have to take charge of a collaboratively taught course for enhanced learning among students and further education among our faculty colleagues!      I will account for faculty training and educational development resources including our integrated team-teaching at Chalmers and present a few examples from activities where I am involved. Once that is covered, we can hopefully discuss these challenges together.”

Elena Belyaeva

EMI MOOCs’ comparative analysis

English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) at higher education institutions (HEIs) is gradually becoming more and more important and has a unique range of issues clearly different from those of EAP and ESP. EMI in higher education can facilitate the growth of the Russian Higher Education export potential and help each and every HEI move up the university rankings due to the growing numbers of international students. There is clearly a need for more university courses taught in English and EMI in higher education has already been discussed extensively in a number of international scholarly journals promoting globalization and internationalization of higher education. Since 2014 Oxford University Department of Education (OUDE) launched a new research centre which has been conducting research into English as a Medium of Instruction and delivers and teachers professional development programmes for teachers and lecturers. 

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A small-scale research has been made to find out what kind of professional support is currently available for university faculty teaching and lecturing in English. The research has been limited to massive open online course (MOOC) platforms and international teaching qualifications providers. A brief outline of the research findings with an overview of the EMI-related MOOCs targeted at university faculty will be offered. A detailed comparative analysis of the following MOOCs will be presented: “English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics” developed by the University of Southampton on the “FutureLearn” platform and “English for Teaching Purposes” developed by the Open University of Barcelona on the “Coursera” platform. The comparative analysis will cover the following course variables: syllabus statement, assessment, methods and techniques, level of support, resources and learning outcomes.

This talk is aimed at the university faculty and everybody working in higher education who are already or will be working in academic international contexts in English with international cohorts of students in a global classroom.