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Research Article

English Support to Academic Staff

A Pilot Study at the Department of Management

Elena Borsetto    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia     ORCID iD

Daniel Patrick Schug    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The internationalisation of Universities is a global phenomenon that has an impact on teaching and administrative staff, who, as a result of top-down decisions are required to perform their tasks in another language, usually English. Given that this process often leads to concerns regarding the quality of services and teaching, more research is needed to better analyse these issues. Therefore, this project seeks to investigate the main linguistic and methodological difficulties experienced by the teaching and administrative staff in an Italian university when English is the medium of instruction and communication. The Department of Management at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice has instituted a pilot project running from November 2015 to May 2016, in which linguistic support is provided to the academic staff, in the form of a language help desk. To understand the specific needs of the department, diary entries of help desk activities were analysed through the lens of Grounded Theory. Initial results indicate that less proficient users would ask for a revision of some grammar points, while more proficient users would prefer having their articles and slides proofread, or rehearsing their lessons.

Keywords: English-Medium Instruction (EMI). English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). Teacher Education. Language Support Service. Internationalisation.

Language: en

Submitted: April 12, 2016   Accepted: July 22, 2016   Published: Sept. 30, 2016  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-50-16-1

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License