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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

Perspectives on Professional Practice

Edited By Jennifer Valcke and Robert Wilkinson

This book offers a collection of original papers showing how Higher education institutions have coped with changing the language of instruction. It points out that Higher education institutions have undergone radical change in the past decades; of which the shift to English-medium instruction, as well as bi- or plurilingual programmes, is one notable example. The papers comprise new research on teaching and learning through an additional language, and its impact on professional development for university teachers, programme and course development, as well as quality assurance. The articles span different international contexts, and provide education developers, university teachers, educational administrators, language experts, and others, with global perspectives on the professional practices of university teachers.

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Teachers’ perceptions of need in EAP and ICLHE contexts (Maria Ellison / Sofia Aráujo / Marta Correia / Fátima Vieira)


Maria Ellison, Sofia Aráujo, Marta Correia and Fátima VieiraUniversity of Porto, Portugal

Teachers’ perceptions of need in EAP and ICLHE contexts

Abstract: As the English language continues to dominate international academic discourse and further establish itself as the lingua franca in the sphere of higher education, demands on teachers to be functionally proficient in the language at an advanced level have become even greater. This is due to the fact that besides the use of English for academic productivity such as publishing and giving conference papers, it is now increasingly used for the purpose of teaching. However, support for teachers to develop their competences for these endeavours is seldom provided. This paper describes an attempt by the University of Porto to support its teachers within an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme designed to develop their linguistic and methodological competences. Teachers’ needs were monitored through on-going systematic needs analysis using questionnaires and written reflections. This revealed that their perceptions of their needs focused almost exclusively on linguistic competence which they equate with improved ability to teach, and less on methodological issues. It serves to highlight the challenges of implementing a support mechanism for teachers especially where there is dichotomy between their perceived needs in the initial course design process and their actual perception of needs.

Keywords: EAP; needs analysis; teachers’ perceptions; linguistic and methodological competence.

1. Introduction

The internationalisation of higher education institutions (HEIs) has become a complex...

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