Bridging the Linguistic and Affective Gaps: The Impact of a Short, Tailor-made Language Course on a Danish University Lecturer's Ability to Lecture with Confidence in English

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This paper reports on a small-scale case study which follows an experienced Danish university lecturer during a tailor-made, one-to-one language course to improve her English language skills for lecturing, consisting of a five-week cycle of observed English-medium lectures and subsequent language feedback sessions. The study also includes a structured, in-depth interview with the informant, which yields very specific and rich data about how one lecturer feels about teaching in English, the informant’s own learning focus and the outcomes of a short language course. The aims of the study are fourfold, namely: 1) to describe the informant’s motivation for taking an English course; 2) to compare her affective and perceived linguistic needs with her objective needs; 3) to follow her own language focus areas during the course; and 4) to identify any subjective or objective gains she achieved from the course. The conclusions suggest that while the immediate observable linguistic gains on such a short course are relatively modest, what should not be overlooked are the significant ‘knock-on effect’ benefits relating to the informant’s affective needs. Furthermore, many of the informant’s direct quotes provide a ‘voice’ revealing the underlying feelings and attitudes about lecturing in English which serves to support findings in other broader studies conducted among lecturers at the University of Copenhagen and other universities in Europe. Finally, there is a call for universities to exercise caution in assuming that a shift from mother tongue to English medium lecturing will automatically be an easy and problem-free process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicies, Principles, Practices : New directions in foreign language education in the era of educational glaobalization
EditorsRita Cancino, Lotte Dam, Kirsten Jæger
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne, UK
PublisherCambridge Scholars Press
Publication dateAug 2011
ISBN (Print)1443829986, 9781443829984
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - parallel language use, EAP, language acquisition, affective factors

ID: 35244013