Plenary speakers

DOLORES GONZALEZDolores González-Álvarez

Dolores González-Álvarez is Vice-rector for students at the University of Vigo (Spain). She is responsible for the university language policy and EMI programmes. From 2010 to 2014 she was the Head of the University Language Centre and took active part in the launching of EMI programmes and the design and implementation of HELA (in-house test for teachers participating in English Taught Programmes). She is the coordinator of the Language Policy group within the CRUE (National Association of Rectors of Spanish Universities).




Language policy and quality assurance tools for the internationalisation of higher education in Spain: the challenges of EMI

The internationalisation of higher education is a key priority for almost all universities; however this strategic priority is not always followed by the necessary and sufficient language provision for students, researchers and staff or an institutional language policy specifying entry & exit language level requirements or support infrastructure and incentives. This talk takes stock of the heterogeneous situation in Spain and proposes a number of actions in the fields of certification, training and incentives based on the recommendations which the Spanish Rectors’ Conference recently approved to coordinate internationalisation strategies at a national level.




Dr. Stephen Bax i Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics at the Open University, in the United Kingdom. His research includes a focus on reading, technology and innovation in pedagogy. For his 2013 article in Language Testing, which used eye tracking technology to analyse L2 reading, he was awarded the TESOL Distinguished Researcher Award 2014. He has also researched the role of English as a Medium of Instruction in East Asia and was recently awarded a TOEFL research grant to research EMI in Sweden and Nepal.  His books include 'Discourse and Genre' (2011 Palgrave Macmillan). He has recently developed an online tool called Text Inspector for analysing text difficulty in testing and teaching.



Managing change and innovation in turbulent times: the tricky case of EMI in higher education

This workshop considers the implementation of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) in Higher Education with reference to the wider body of research literature concerning the nature of educational innovation, and how to manage change. In this light, EMI can be considered a particular innovation in HE settings, but is it desirable, is it understood by stakeholders and policy makers, and how can we best manage it to maximise the benefit to our students and communities?

 The workshop will begin by setting out some key principles for managing this innovation, and will then invite discussion in workshop mode of some key elements in the process, including planning, timing, teacher and student language proficiency, support, materials and assessment. The aim will be to generate debate and possible agreement on the most effective ways of implementing EMI in practice in university settings in Spain and internationally.


 julieJulie Dearden

Julie Dearden is Director of EMI Hertford College, University of Oxford. She helped to create and then managed a centre in Oxford for research into English Medium Instruction. Now, Julie develops and teaches courses for university lecturers who are faced with the challenge of teaching their academic subject through the medium of English. Julie is interested in the global shift from English being taught as a ‘foreign’ language to English being used as a medium of instruction for other academic subjects.

Julie is author of English as a Medium of Instruction: a Growing Global Phenomenon (2015) which is a bird’s eye view of EMI. She has also written articles on Higher Education Teachers’ Attitudes towards English Medium Instruction (2016)  andEMI in Turkish universities: Collaborative planning and student voices (2016). This reports on her team's research project in Turkey in which English Language teachers and EMI lecturers cooperated in the planning of EMI lectures.

Julie is particularly interested in how EMI brings about a change in pedagogy and how English language teachers and EMI teachers might work together in order to support both teaching and learning in EMI universities.


The changing roles of EMI lecturers and English Language teachers.

In recent years, at universities around the world, we have witnessed a rapid growth in the number of academic subjects being taught through the medium of English. This has been due to a bid by universities to 'internationalise'. There seems to have been an assumption, yet to be supported by research evidence, that students’ proficiency in English will improve as a result of EMI and that the transition for lecturers from teaching through their first language to teaching through English is an unproblematic one.

I would like to base my talk on research that we and others have conducted, firstly to give an introductory overview of EMI around the world; then to explore why EMI lecturers and English Language teachers might need to re-think their view of their roles, referring to our research study in Turkey in which English Language teachers and EMI content lecturers worked together to support teaching and learning.

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