Oxford EMI (English as Medium of Instruction) training program at ICU
The first Oxford EMI Training program in Japan was held at ICU from August 20 to 24, 2018. Participants included 17 faculty members from 10 universities including ICU.
(Oxford EMI Training Program at ICU)
This program aims to improve the teaching of courses in English by faculty who are non-native English speakers. The program was taught by EMI instructors from Oxford University, who give lectures on teaching methods in English around the United Kingdom and the world.
After an overview of the significance of EMI, the program covered the design of interactive lessons for diverse students (in terms of English proficiency and personality) and essential techniques for furthering students' understanding, through detailed advice from the instructors, as well as group work and discussions.
Midway through the program, guest speakers from Waseda University and Meiji University gave presentations on the implementation of EMI in their courses. The discussion of practical examples from universities in Japan generated a series of questions, making it a forum for exchanging and sharing information on the nature and challenges of EMI classes at different universities.
The program culminated in mini lessons conducted by two-person teams on the final day. During the short program period of five days, it was a great achievement to draw on each participant’s specialization to design a 15-minute lesson. After the mini lessons, there was about 15–20 minutes of feedback from the instructors in a separate room, followed by feedback from the other participants. Thus, simulating the roles of both instructor and student seemed to be an important part of the learning experience.
At the end of the program, an award ceremony/farewell party was held in the dining hall. It was great to see the participants relaxed at the end, receiving their certificates of completion with bright smiles and chatting happily over drinks.
With the globalization of education worldwide and the significant rise in demand for EMI in Japan – and perhaps because it was the first program of its kind in Japan – the participants were very enthusiastic, active, and cooperative, which was also positively remarked upon by the instructors. It was an honor to be able to host this program at ICU and to contribute to the EMI training of university faculty in Japan.
<The First Half of the Program>
Through advice from instructors, group work, and discussions, the participants learned about how to design interactive lessons, as well as effective teaching techniques. This photo shows participants exploring optimal staffing and movement of teachers for EMI using board game pieces to represent students and teachers.
<The Second Half of the Program>
The participants worked in teams to design the most appropriate teaching method for a specific class situation that they had set themselves. They also received advice from the instructors and feedback from other participants. This photo was taken during the mini lessons and feedback from this team-teaching activity on the final day. Each 15-minute mini lesson was followed by 15–20 minutes of feedback from the instructors and 15–20 minutes of feedback from the listeners.
After comments from the EMI instructors, Julie and Tom, and speeches by ICU President Junko Hibiya and CTL Director Jeremiah Alberg, President Hibiya presented certificates to all the participants. There was a great sense of accomplishment as the participants received their certificates.
Message from Ms. Julie, Director of Oxford EMI Training
The Oxford EMI team would like to thank ICU for hosting the Course in English Medium Instruction (EMI) for University Lecturers. We were very pleased to welcome lecturers from 10 different universities in Japan who came to ICU to learn together and share their EMI experiences. These universities are going international and are therefore teaching academic subjects through English.
During the course we explored how to teach through EMI at university level, how to make lectures more comprehensible and interactive to help our students to learn. We also had the opportunity to participate in lectures by well-known Japanese scholars: Professor Emi Sauzier-Uchida from Waseda University gave a very informative lecture on how Waseda University has implemented EMI. She described a case study of how Waseda University teaches English to prepare Japanese students for English Medium Instruction courses at the School of Political Science and Economics. We were also fortunate to welcome Professor Annette Bradford from Meiji University who gave a very insightful lecture on the current context of EMI in Japan. She spoke about MEXT policies on EMI as well as how these transfer practically to the university classroom. We would like to thank these two researcher-lecturers for their contributions to our course.
On the final day of the course all of our participants co-taught a mini-lecture, demonstrating their understanding and implementation of the teaching techniques which they learnt during the week. We were highly impressed by their EMI teaching. We were also impressed by the support our participants gave to each other and delighted at the friendships made between teachers from universities at opposite ends of Japan. Long may the friendships and co-operation continue! As universities in Japan continue to internationalise, we wish all of the participants the best of luck in their future teaching.