The project “Transnational Alignment of English Competences for University Lectures” (TAEC) is a 28-month project (18 September 2017 - 17 January 2020), funded through the Erasmus+ programme.
The TAEC project is a collaboration between the following partners:
- University of Copenhagen - coordinator
- Maastricht University
- University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Associated partners are Complutense University of Madrid and Delft University of Technology.
The purpose of the project is to develop a common framework for English-medium instruction (EMI) quality assurance and support, which will help the partners design and adapt local EMI training and certification language assessment instruments for transnational uses.
The objectives of this project are to:
1. identify and differentiate between the transnational and the local administrative, instructional and language needs of EMI programmes at partner universities
2. align a locally used assessment scale with the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
3. develop an EMI handbook
4. raise awareness among stakeholders about the specific characteristics of EMI
5. offer opportunities for linguistic and pedagogical training for teaching in the EMI context.
TAEC will result in three intellectual outputs:
1. Report on the facets of a common EMI framework
2. Technical report on alignment to the CEFR scale
3. EMI handbook.
The TAEC project consists of seven interrelated work packages. The project management and quality assurance are led by the University of Copenhagen, while the partners are responsible for dissemination and sustainability. Each of the three work packages related to the three intellectual outputs is managed by a different partner university, though supported by representatives from all partner universities.
The background for the TAEC project can be found in the internationalisation of European universities during the last 20 years, which has led to a rapid increase in EMI programmes and courses across Europe. Though EMI has been developed to advance student, teacher and researcher mobility, its fast growth has raised concerns among different higher education stakeholders regarding the English language competences of non-native English-speaking lecturers and their impact on the quality of teaching and learning. Consequently, lecturers' English proficiency has come under scrutiny, and universities are developing policies for quality assurance, which are enforced by the implementation of internal language assessment procedures and EMI teacher training.
However, the project partners are uncertain whether language competences and EMI teacher support programmes are transferable across different European academic contexts since they have not been examined comparatively. Thus far, language assessment and EMI teacher training procedures have been developed and used only locally, at the institutional level. The purpose of this project is to design and develop a transnational framework for EMI lecturers’ language and teaching competences to increase their transparency and transferability to different contexts.
As part of the project, each partner will host a three-day EMI workshop for local staff, in winter 2018/2019. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce the local stakeholders to the characteristics of EMI and to provide them with opportunities to develop strategies to support English-medium teaching and learning in their local context. In addition, actions will be taken to introduce and implement both the EMI framework and the EMI handbook across each partner university.
This two-day conference, to be held at the University of Copenhagen on 4-5 April 2019, will comprise paper and poster presentations of current research into and experience from EMI practices. It will also include a TAEC symposium, where team members will share and discuss their work on the project.