Julie & English Medium Instruction (EMI)

Julie Dearden and EMI

My name's Julie Dearden. I am the Director and founder of OXFORD EMI TRAINING. 

I have been fortunate to travel widely speaking on EMI at conferences and training teachers and academics. I have worked on EMI with universities in France, Austria, Germany, Poland, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Russia, Turkey and Morocco. What is surprising is that we are all facing very similar challenges when our universities decide to 'go EMI'. As the decision to internationalise a university is often a top-down process we, as teachers, are left feeling that we bear the load. Some institutions provide ongoing support for teaching through EMI but many do not. We may be used to speaking at conferences and writing academic papers in English, we may even have studied in other countries ourselves, but teaching a cohort of international students with varying abilities in English and differing cultural and academic expectations is still an alarming prospect!

It is for exactly this reason that I am thrilled to be the Director of OXFORD EMI TRAINING. We do not believe in 'promoting' EMI but rather in providing support to those teachers whose institutions have already decided to teach through EMI. In our EMI professional development courses we tackle the difficulties together and we base our courses and discussions on research evidence.

EMI Research Background

My own research background is here in Oxford; I was Senior Research Fellow in EMI at the Department of Education, University of  Oxford, until 2016. My publications include a report for the British Council, English as a Medium of Instruction: a Growing Global Phenomenon (2015) which is an overview of EMI in 55 countries. More recently I have co-written A Systematic Review of EMI in Higher Education (2018). I have published articles on teacher beliefs and attitudes in EMI; Higher Education Teachers’ Attitudes towards English Medium Instruction (2016) and EMI: Comparing teacher beliefs in secondary and tertiary education (2018). In 2016 our research project in Turkey roused my particular interest in how English Language teachers and EMI academics might need to adapt and how they might work together, see EMI in Turkish universities: Collaborative planning and student voices (2016). In my recent publication The changing roles of EMI academics and English language specialists (2018) I propose that English teachers should play an increasingly important role in an EMI world.

My own experience as a university teacher of Masters students, researcher and previously as Director of International Programmes, have given me the opportunity to grapple with some of the issues involved in internationalisation and  'going EMI'. 

I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together in the future. Perhaps you will come to Oxford or we will come to you! Please feel free to contact me julie.dearden@oxfordemi.co.uk.

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