International mobility continues to be a central aspect in the lives and careers of students and academics alike. Traditionally, language centres have successfully prepared both groups to study or conduct research in a second or foreign language. In the last 25 years, academics have increasingly also faced the challenge of teaching in a second or foreign language, either at a university in another country or even in their home country. In 2006, the FIESOLE Group was founded at the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole, Italy, as a transnational network of applied linguists, educationalists and teachers at higher education language centres, its mission statement being to support the international mobility of early career academics. Since 2008, it has played an important role in preparing post-doctoral fellows on the Max Weber Programme at the EUI, in the form of both teacher-training workshops at the EUI and in teaching practice weeks hosted mainly at university language centres of FIESOLE Group institutions. Having offered extensive and intensive courses as well as participating in and contributing to international conferences in the field of English as a Medium of Education in Multilingual University Settings (EMEMUS), we would like to discuss the following questions with you:
- Do language centres have the necessary linguistic and didactic expertise to make a significant contribution to the training of academics in teaching their subjects in a second or foreign language?
- Do language centres also have the capacity to offer courses and support in languages other than English?
- What role should certification (for trainees) and quality control (for language centres) play in the provision of such courses?
- Do existing associations and networks such as CercleS and the Association for Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education provide the support that language centres may need, or should we set up our own network?
Bei dieser Diskussionsrunde zu einer möglichen Rolle der Hochschulsprachenzentren bei der Vorbereitung von Lehrenden auf eine Unterrichtstätigkeit in einer Fremd- oder Zweitsprache möchten wir die folgenden Fragen erörtern:
- Verfügen Sprachenzentren über die erforderliche sprachliche und didaktische Fachkompetenz, um einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur Vorbereitung von Lehrenden zum Unterrichten ihrer Fächer in einer Fremd- oder Zweitsprache zu leisten?
- Können Sprachzentren auch Kurse und Unterstützung in anderen Sprachen als Englisch anbieten?
- Welche Rolle sollten Zertifizierung (für Fachwissenschaftler*innen) und Qualitätskontrolle (für Sprachenzentren) beim Angebot solcher Kurse spielen?
- Bieten Verbände und Netzwerke wie zum Beispiel CercleS und der Verband Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education bereits die Unterstützung die Sprachenzentren benötigen, oder sollte ein eigenständiges Netzwerk gegründet werden?
David Bowskill has been teaching EAP at Humboldt University Language Centre since 1994, and has developed and run courses for postgraduates and university staff in English for Teaching in Higher Education. This interest goes back to 2006 when he helped set up and facilitate a series of professional development and teaching skills workshops for the Max Weber postdoctoral fellowship programme at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy. Since 2010 he has jointly developed and delivered annual teaching practice weeks for Max Weber fellows at Humboldt University Language Centre and has supported partner universities in their teaching practice weeks.