CHALLENGES OF ADAPTING ENGLISH MEDIUM INSTRUCTION INTO THE SPANISH UNIVERISTY CURRICULA AND SOME NOVEL SOLUTIONS: TECHENGLISH
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The integration of the Spanish university system in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) demands a series of concrete proposals. As we advance in the implementation of the process of Bologna, it is necessary to contemplate a new paradigm of teaching/learning. Central to this new paradigm is the adaptation of the curricula into the English language medium (EMI). This phenomenon is only not occurring in Spain but throughout Europe. Studies show that at over 400 European higher education institutions there were 2400 English-medium programs in 2007, which represented a 340-percent increase within bachelor and master courses compared with 2002. We can only assume that lately the increase is even more dramatic. However, the rate of implementation does not always coincide with the rate of success. In fact, the implementation of EMI is plagued with challenges and difficulties. This paper examines the implementation of a recently introduced project TechEnglish at the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM). We begin by describing the context of the UPM and the forces driving the adoption of English as a Medium of instruction through TechEnglish. Although, the project is in its early stages, many challenges have arisen and novel solutions have been employed. The paper will provide the background to the TechEnglish project but will mainly concentrate on the linguistic challenges of the lecturers (the key players in achieving the TechEnglish goals) and the solutions provided by close collaboration between the department of applied linguistics and the lecturers themselves. It will detail the process of engaging language teachers to provide seminars dealing with topics paramount to the lectures (content teachers). It will then describe the process of selection of a series of teaching assistants and describe their role in the adaptation of EMI. Finally, feedback on these processes from the lectures themselves will be detailed.
Keywords: Internationalism, EMI, ICLHE, Technical English.