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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Partnership with Tomsk, Russia

The collaboration between Modern Languages at the University of Southampton and Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Russia began last November when Inga Slesarenko, TPU's Head of Department of Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages, brought a group of 12 academics and researchers from TPU to Southampton to attend an intensive 2-week English Medium Instruction (EMI) course we had developed for them as part of their professional development.

Building on the success of this first course, a second group visited us for a similar course in November this year. In the meantime, TPU has purchased our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Toolkit of online study skills materials and will be rolling it out across their university for the benefit of staff and students alike.

These two aspects of our collaboration illustrate the growing, pressing need for academics throughout the world to function in the English language, be it delivering courses through the medium of English, attending conferences or publishing in internationally renowned journals where English is the Lingua Franca. We in Modern Languages are proud that we are addressing this global need by developing bespoke EMI and other courses to meet the requirements of the international academic community.

Mary Page, Senior Teaching Fellow at Southampton and Academic Lead for English Medium Instruction, spent 5 days in TPU in September working with our Russian colleagues and learning more about their needs and the challenges they face.

As well as catching up with the language and professional progress made by the 2012 cohort, she also met most of those academics who studied with us in November this year with a view to analysing their precise needs. She gave a demonstration to a group of TPU's language staff of how the EAP toolkit can be used both in the classroom and in blended learning. In addition, she attended a class for a group of local businesspeople taking a course in English Language for Entrepreneurship at TPU, again a new initiative on their part and one which illustrates how forward-thinking and ambitious this Siberian university is.

The collaboration between Southampton and Tomsk carries on as further courses have been commissioned by TPU and will be delivered in early 2014.



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