23 November 201724 November, 2017

English as a Medium of Instruction – Yes! But whose English?

About our presenter:

Robin Walker has taught at the Escuela Universitaria de Turismo de Asturias for over 20 years before leaving to found EnglishGlobalCommunication. He now works as a freelance teacher educator, ELT author, and ELT consultant, and regularly collaborates with teacher’s centres around Spain, Trinity College London, Oxford University Press, and MacMillan Education. His main interests are pronunciation, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), and teacher education. He is the author of numerous articles on teaching English, and of the OUP teacher’s handbook Teaching the Pronunciation of English as a Lingua Franca (2010).

About the talk:

English is now increasingly used as a medium of instruction in tertiary and vocational education institutions around the world. In the majority of cases non-native speaker teachers give their classes in English to non-native speaker audiences. This raises the question as to whose English the teaching staff should be using. Should they approximate as best as possible to an appropriate native-speaker model, with the choice being made in terms of geo-political affinities? Or is it possible that in a world where the number of nonnative speakers of English far outstrips that of native speakers, EMI requires teaching staff to look elsewhere for the best English for teaching purposes?

In his talk Robin will define ELF (English as a lingua franca) and compare this recent development of the language with other better-known roles, particularly EFL or ESL. He will then consider the implications that the globalisation of English has for teaching staff working in an EMI environment. In particular, he will look at how teaching staff can optimise intelligibility in spoken discourse, paying special attention to two key aspects of this discourse, idiomaticity and pronunciation. He will use the data from empirical studies will show nonnative speakers generate non-standard idioms and non-standard pronunciation without any negative impact on intelligibility, whilst other data suggests that in ELF environments such as EMI, native-speaker interlocutors may not be the best understood.

Key Details:

Date:  23 November 2017

Talk time:  13:50-14:40 (Moscow time)

Live stream: Watch this talk as it happens at

Recorded video: A recording of the talk will be available till Thursday following week.

Working with writing: understanding texts, writers and readers

About the presenter:

Ken Hyland is Professor of Applied Linguistics in education at the University of East Anglia, UK, where he has recently moved following 9 years as a professor at Hong Kong University. He has published over 220 articles and 27 books on language education and academic writing and collected nearly 32,000 citations on Google scholar. A collected volume of his work, the Essential Hyland, has recently been published by Bloomsbury. He is an honorary professor at the University of Warwick and founding member of the Hong Kong academy of the Humanities. He was founding co-editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes and was co-editor of Applied Linguistics.

About the talk:

Writing has been a central topic in applied linguistics for over half a century. Prof. Hyland will explore the main approaches to teaching and researching writing, making a broad distinction between theories concerned with texts, with writers and with readers by showing what each approach offers and neglects and what each means for teachers and classroom practice. He will also present his own bias towards reader-oriented theories of writing and will use some of his own research to illustrate what this approach contributes to our understanding of writing and the advantages it offers in the classroom.


EAP and Language: What do learners want?


About the presenter:

Craig Thaine has worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in many different countries including Canada, England, Italy, Egypt, Sweden and his native New Zealand. He is currently Director of Teacher Training at Languages International, Auckland. He is a Cambridge English Teaching Awards assessor for both the CELTA and Delta schemes as well as being a CELTA Joint Chief Assessor. He has published articles for The Teacher Trainer, English Language Teaching Journal  and most recently Modern English Teacher. He is author and co-author of the following Cambridge University Press publications:  Real Listening and Speaking Level 2 (2008), Teacher Training Essentials (2010), Cambridge Academic English Intermediate and Advanced (2012) and Cambridge English Empower Beginner to Advanced (2015).

About the talk:

Research into the needs of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) learners has indicated that an explicit focus on language is a priority for them. While Second Language Acquisition research has not shown conclusively whether language instruction leads to acquisition, more attention is now being given to EAP learners’ self-perceived needs in relation to learning grammar and discourse. This presentation will look at examples of native speaker and non-native speaker academic writing and then look at the kind of grammar and discourse that can help EAP learners produce written and spoken language that is more sophisticated and complex. It will also consider the issue of subject-specific EAP language and look at learners’ methodological preferences when they do engage with language and then explore approaches and principles that can lead to more effective noticing of language in authentic academic texts.

Key Details:

Date:  24 November 2017

Talk time: 10:20-12:10 (Moscow time)

Live stream: Watch these talks as they happen at

Recorded video: A recording of the talks will be available till Friday following week

More information about the presenters and their talks you can find at