The University of Cordoba (P1) hosted a two-week English language teacher training programme in September 2014 to which all university partners from Russia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan sent teaching staff. The two weeks training consisted of sessions on teaching methodology, ICT teaching tools, evaluation methodology etc, and all delivered by highly professional academic staff with many years of practical teaching experience. The programme began with a session on ELT materials development that aimed to develop critical awareness of the theories of language acquisition and pedagogy applicable to materials development. Participants looked at different aspects of language learning materials, and discussed how to formulate and apply criteria for the evaluation and adaptation of them, and worked both independently and in a team to produce different types of materials. This was followed by a module on evaluation where participants assembled a portfolio of materials collected and developed during the module for use in their own teaching contexts back home. Time was built into the course for reflection and for participants to consider how to adapt ideas from the course to their own professional contexts. Another module on English for students with special needs introduced participants to the field of TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) for specific needs students. These cases were approached from a psycholinguistic point of view in order to develop a cognitive methodology which can make it possible to design teaching materials oriented to these groups in particular rather than adapting other teaching materials. Still another module focused on ICT in English language teaching at universities which explored the possibilities of ICT to practise language skills, provided information about IT resources and tools useful for ELT and designing activities to practise specific language skills. The final module was on new trends in English language teaching: English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) programmes in higher education, which is based on the fact that English has become the lingua franca of academic exchange. Lectures in all areas are facing a new reality: seminars and lectures with a highly diverse body that requires instruction through English. EMI has become an important development in creating a truly university. The growth of these programmes is closely linked to the importance attached to developing teaching strategies which ought to foster the learning of English, and in consequence, to prepare domestic students for the labour market. The quality of academic teaching in this context is a crucial issue for institutions, lecturers and students alike. This module explored the necessary organisational and pedagogical actions to be taken in order to implement adequate EMI programmes. It aimed mainly to identify the dimensions that may enhance teaching quality in the university, understand the potential benefits of EMI to raise the linguistic standards, plan the construction of EMI programmes, and how to approach innovative strategies for day-to-day teaching practice.
All UNICO teaching partners sent one or more representatives to the University of Cordoba in September 2014 to participate in two weeks of intensive training on teaching the English language. The full programme for the two weeks' of training can be found here.
Víctor Pavón Vázquez: Teaching languages to learn, learning to teach languages
Fernando D. Rubio: Foreign Language Evaluation at University Level
Javier Avila: Materials Development
An example of the Certificate of Completion awarded to all training participants can be viewed here.