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Sharing Perspectives on English-Medium Instruction

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Edited By Katherine Ackerley, Marta Guarda and Francesca Helm

English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in European higher education not only in northern countries, but also in the European ‘south’. This volume is fruit of a project which was carried out in a public university based in the north-east of Italy with the aim of delivering professional development for university lecturers engaged in EMI. It begins with an overview of the European context, the Italian context, and some of the arguments against the indiscriminate spread of English as a medium of instruction in higher education. The volume then focuses on the microcontext of the university, giving voice to the various stakeholders in EMI. These include researchers, lecturers, administrative staff, those involved in professional development and students. The central part of the volume presents the views and experiences of twelve EMI lecturers from a range of academic disciplines. In sharing these perspectives on EMI, the volume hopes to stimulate critical dialogue and research on the many issues involved in this aspect of internationalisation in higher education institutions.

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Acknowledgements

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We would like to thank the following people who have directly and/or indirectly contributed to this volume which is the final output of the LEAP project, a pilot project aimed to support lecturers as they engage in EMI.

First of all the International Relations Office and the then pro-vice chancellor Alessandro Martin who had the foresight to invest in a project to support lecturers in the arduous task of changing their language of instruction. We believe that Padova is the first International Relations Office to have invested in such a project. Then of course we would like to thank the lecturers themselves and their interest in and enthusiasm about the professional development. After agreeing to support this project prof. Martin became momentarily concerned that there would be little interest on the part of the lecturers, yet this rapidly disappeared when he saw the overwhelming response to our call for applications in the LEAP project and the enthusiasm with which they have participated in courses the Language Centre has offered. Those who have contributed to this volume are just a small number of the many lecturers from whom we have learnt a great deal through our conversations during the various EMI-related workshops and courses we have run. We would also like to thank the international and local students at the University of Padova, who are key stakeholders in the ‘internationalisation’ of the university.

Thanks are also due to the Language Centre, in particular Fiona Dalziel...

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