Building on International Good Practices and Experimenting with Different Teaching Methods to Address Local Training Needs: The Academic Lecturing Experience
Keywords:teacher professional development, English Medium Instruction (EMI), English Medium Education (EME), academic teaching, internationalisation
AbstractThe internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions is a process conceived of not as an end in itself but as a means to improve the quality of education, research and services (De Wit and Leask 2015). However, one of the consequences of this phenomenon is that lecturers are often called on to embrace the challenge of teaching their subject through a foreign language without receiving formal training in this, especially in countries where English-taught programs are still in their infancy, such as Italy. With the aim of supporting academic staff in this transition, the Academic Lecturing programme has been set up in a medium-sized public university in the north-east of Italy: it is specifically designed for lecturers who teach their subject through English and aims to raise their awareness of the impact of the internationalisation process on teaching, the more extensive set of skills needed for teaching and learning in English, and the increased heterogeneity of the student population. The purpose of the programme is also to help participants try their hand at new teaching methods and new technologies as a means of making lessons more interactive, thus increasing their accessibility and making them more effective, and to help participants to improve their strategic use of English within their disciplinary field. The professional development programme will be reported in the light of both a brief description of the programme format—a course and a one-to-one support service—and the feedback received from participants in the various editions so far. This feedback will be used to inform the future development of the programme, with a view to encouraging increased collaboration between language specialists and content specialists (Lyster 2017, Wingate 2018), thus further addressing the need for a more integrated use of language and content in university lectures.
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