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Research project

English as a Medium of Administration

Project overview

This project will develop and pilot a two-week, online, open course on the topic of English as a Medium of Administration working in partnership with Futurelearn (an online course platform provider). It is aimed at University administration staff who are required to deal with international students and staff on topics related to administration. The course is likely to cover language communication issues, language of socialising, pronunciation and intercultural communication/issues. The course will be interactive with learners learning from each other as well as course content.

This course builds on an existing successful partnership between Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, a WUN partner, and the Schools of Humanities (MLL) and Education at UoS. The partnership was established through a 2019-21 British-Council project funded under their digital capacity-building/internationalisation theme. The project involved partner visits for consultation, and UoS staff delivering training in video creation and online learning, MOOC-creation and delivery. UFMG staff have worked as facilitators twice on the UoS MOOC ‘English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics’ (EMI) and delivered subsequent training to their own staff in a cascaded, knowledge-exchange model. The EMI MOOC serves as a focus for discussions exploring the nature of internationalisation both at UoS and UFMG, and our shared experience on delivery of the online course has furthered our knowledge of English Medium Instruction and digital co-delivery across borders. This project has demonstrated that an important aspect of effective EMI delivery is being able to actively incorporate and work with local, regional contexts.

Our new course will take our partnership forward by co-creating a short online course for administrators. It offers an opportunity to explore and understand the mix of ‘global and local’ context in effective EMI delivery. Content will be created by MLL/ACIS staff working with the School of Education’s media team. The course will be delivered on the Futurelearn platform working with the Futurelearn team. The course will be facilitated by a team from UoS and UFMG and may include some local, live sessions. By co-creating such a pilot course, the UoS team aim to test the market for this kind of course, with an aim to develop a longer, richer version for an enterprise market. A working partnership with UFMG will enable us to explore issues of necessary language level, potential intercultural issues and differing contextual needs. The knowledge exchange will be two-way as we learn from each other on how this kind of course can be of benefit.


Other researchers

Professor Kate Borthwick MA (Hons), MA, PHD, FHEA, SCMALT

Professorial Fellow of Enterprise

Research interests

  • Massive Open Online Courses (and Language MOOCs)
  • Open educational practices and resources
  • Blended learning for languages

Ms Alison Dickens

Dir. of Enterprise & Short Course

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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