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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference

Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh

Higher education has seen dramatic changes in the past quarter of a century, notably in the language used for instruction. Universities worldwide are increasingly switching to English enabling them to attract a wide student population. This book presents a new collection of original papers showing how universities apply content and language integrated learning to their instructional contexts. The papers highlight the challenges of theory, policy, programme and course design, integration, and teacher and student competences. The diverse international contexts addressing not just English will be of particular interest to university teachers, educational administrators, linguists and others wishing to understand the instructional landscape of higher education today.
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Lecturers’ English proficiency and university language policies for quality assurance


Abstract The rapid increase of EMI programs across Europe has raised concerns regarding the oral linguistic competencies of non-native English-speaking lecturers and the implications for the quality of teaching. Consequently, lecturers’ English proficiency is under scrutiny and universities are developing language policies for quality assurance, which are enforced by implementation of internal assessment. This paper reports on a performance-based EAP certification test, Test of Oral English Proficiency for Academic Staff (TOEPAS) designed to respond to such policy at a Nordic university. This paper reports on a study that examines (1) the relationship between the university language policy and teaching in EMI programs, and (2) the ways TOEPAS’ formative feedback influences lecturers’ language development and content instruction. The research is based on 10 interviews with lecturers who took the TOEPAS. Lastly, drawing from the interviews, the authors discuss the general findings in relation to teaching EMI programs and university language policy. (150)

Keywords: quality assurance; EMI; staff language proficiency; testing; formative feedback study

1.  Introduction

The present paper focuses on how the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) policy for quality-assurance of instructional programs in English, implemented through the Test of Oral English Proficiency of Academic Staff (TOEPAS), has influenced lecturers’ language and content teaching in EMI programs. The policy was a result of the university’s internationalization process, specifically the university’s endeavor to increasingly recruit international students for the Copenhagen Master’s of Excellence (COME) programs.

The increased recruitment of international students and academic...

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