Intensive Teacher Education for an EMI Context: Facilitating the Professional Development of University Teachers

Simon Webster, Rupert Herington


In this paper we report on an intensive professional development intervention (PDI) delivered in a UK higher education setting for university teachers from different countries. These teachers were either teaching, or preparing to teach, English Medium Instruction (EMI) courses in a range of disciplines. Few previous studies have focussed on the impact of intensive training interventions on teacher participants, particularly for interventions conducted outside teachers’ local contexts. To address this, qualitative research was conducted that explores the influence of the PDI on participant teachers’ beliefs and self-reported teaching practices in their own institutional contexts. The findings suggest that the PDI resulted in significant changes in many of the participants’ beliefs about teaching pedagogy for an EMI context. The PDI also appeared to increase teachers’ self-efficacy, and to facilitate innovation in their classroom practices. As a result, the study highlights the pedagogical elements of the PDI which emerged as being significant in bringing about these changes and discusses the implications for PDI design. Overall, the study suggests the potential role that intensive PDIs delivered outside teachers’ home and national contexts can play in facilitating teacher development.

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