Julie & EMI

Julie Dearden and EMI – a background

My name's Julie Dearden. I am the Founder and Director of OXFORD EMI TRAINING and a teacher and researcher at the University of Oxford. 

I teach professional development programmes for lecturers and teachers around the world and have been fortunate to work with EMI academics in countries such as France, Austria, Germany, Poland, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Russia, Turkey and Morocco. What is surprising is that we are all facing very similar challenges when our universities decide to 'go EMI'. As the decision to internationalise a university is often a top-down process we, as teachers, are left feeling that we bear the load. Some institutions provide ongoing support for teaching through EMI but many do not. We may be used to speaking at conferences and writing academic papers in English, we may even have studied in other countries ourselves, but teaching a cohort of international students with varying abilities in English and differing cultural and academic expectations is still an alarming prospect!

It is for exactly this reason that I am thrilled to be the Director of the OXFORD EMI TRAINING. We do not believe in 'promoting' EMI but rather in providing support to those teachers whose institutions have already decided to teach through EMI. In our EMI professional development courses we tackle the difficulties together and we base our courses and discussions on research evidence.

I was Senior Research Fellow in EMI at the Department of Education here at Oxford until 2016 and wrote 'English as a Medium of Instruction: a Growing Global Phenomenon' (2015), a bird’s eye view of EMI around the world. My experience managing the EMI research centre and my previous experience as Director of International Programmes at Hertford College have given me the opportunity to grapple with some of the issues involved in 'going EMI'.

I am particularly interested in how EMI brings about a change in pedagogy for academics of all disciplines and how English language teachers and EMI academics might work together. I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together in the future. Perhaps you will come to Oxford or we will come to you!

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