Supporting your students with academic English
English is a lingua franca for many research fields, and it is important for many students to be able to read and write about their academic subjects in English. The Language Workshop provides support in the form of courses and tutorials for students who wish to improve their academic English. We are also a resource for teachers who want to find ways to help their students develop their language skills. Use this form to request a visit from one of our lecturers.
Things for teachers to consider
What level to expect
It is important to remember that students cannot be expected to produce flawless samples of academic writing in English from their first day at the university. Our international MA programs normally require that students have achieved a level of IELTS 6 in order to be eligible to study with us. This is roughly equivalent to level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. If we want students to advance to a higher level during their time with us, we should offer support and feedback to help them do so. This means providing students with relevant assignments with clear instructions and useful feedback.
EFL vs. ESL
English is a global language, and most people who use English do not have it as a mother tongue. It is important to remember that many of our international students have English as a Second Language (ESL) rather than as a foreign language (EFL). Many of our students from India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Nigeria, and many other countries have been using English in educational and other official contexts for much of their lives. Teachers should be aware that students may speak a dialect of English that is just as rule-governed and valid as British or American English, even if it is not a dialect that a teacher has previously had much exposure to.
Culture and academic writing
The academic-writing standards that you take for granted may be new to students who come from other parts of the world. Different writing traditions have different ideas about plagiarism, objectivity, essay structure, and much more. Teachers should be as clear as possible in their expectations for academic writing at Uppsala University. It is also important to give clear feedback on student texts. You can refer your students to The Language Workshop and the library for help, and you may also wish to book a lecturer from The Language Workshop to come and talk to the students or teachers at your department.