The College of International Affairs, in line with the University's efforts to promote the implementation of the Higher Education Deep Sprout Project on the internationalization level, to enhance the effectiveness of EMI, and to promote EMI-related activities, held the end-of-semester EMI teacher symposium on December 3, 2021, with all full-time faculty members in attendance.
In his opening remarks, Dean Pao said that the President had announced in many meetings that the College would gradually transform into a college fully utilizing EMI, and today, through this symposium, he hoped that if the faculty had any questions about the bilingual learning program or the transformation process, they would bring them up for discussion. Vice President Wang was also invited to attend today’s meeting.
During the meeting, Dr. Fu-Chang Zhang, Dr. Li-Juan Chen, Dr. Lin Cui from the Graduate Institute of European Studies and Dr. Fu-juan Huang from the Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies made the following suggestions:
1. The implementation time of the EMI program is too short and abrupt, and the teaching staff and students are not mentally prepared, so is there any buffer period and related measures.
2. The teachers are happy to cooperate with the University's policy, but not all of them have studied in English-speaking countries, so it is a bit difficult to teach in English, so can the University arrange English training sessions for the faculty.
3. All teachers and students are under a lot of pressure in EMI courses, and they need to teach and explain in English the whole way. From the second week, there were very obvious number of student absentees. Doe the requirement need to be so rigorous, and would it be possible to conduct the classes in both languages.
4. The teachers of the Latin American Institute are willing to cooperate with the University's policy, but as there are currently only four full-time faculty in the Institute, and they need to prepare to teach in three different languages at once, this is causing a lot of pressure, so are there any approaches that can be taken.
Vice President Gao-Cheng Wang’s responses were as follows:
1. In the original application proposal, the EMI target value was set at 40% by 2025, but considering the difficulties in the actual implementation, the second amendment of the program revised the target to 30%, and it is not all institutes need to offer 30% of EMI courses, but that the EMI course across the entire college is to reach 30%.
2. The definition of EMI is when more than 70% of the courses is taught in English, the course can be defined as an EMI course.
3. There is no buffer period for the program, as the Ministry of Education stipulates that the program has to be implemented from the 2021 academic year, but the implementation can be adjusted appropriately, where faculty can apply for a TA to assist with the teaching. However, due limited funding, priority is given to undergraduate faculty first.
4. EMI training camp will be held. In principle, the training camp will be conducted in person, and targets teachers who have had experience of teaching in English in the past three years.
5. EMI teaching consultation service will be set up. One-on-one consultation can be arranged, and teachers with had experience of teaching in English in the past three years will be required to attend at least one such consultation.
6. The University will arrange for collaboration and training with the University of Queensland. The plan is to hold an online EMI training course on February 17-18, 2021, and each department/institute is invited to send one faculty member to participate in the training.