English as the Language of Instruction Project (ELIP)
Fluency in English is a key skill for individuals in an increasingly connected world. Many positions in academia, government, and business require fluency in English in addition to one’s native language and additional languages. The need to communicate in English as a global language—and the intercultural competencies that accompany linguistic communication—is critical for the professional success of native German students and international students alike. To that end, Technische Universität Darmstadt is increasing support to students, scientific staff, administrative staff, and faculty, to improve their English abilities. High-quality English teaching will offer the university’s students, faculty, and staff the best of both linguistic worlds: the opportunities to learn, read, and express themselves orally and in written form in two important world languages.
Offers for Improving Teaching:
• 1-day or 1/2-day workshop with specific themes: Lectures in English, discussions in English, linguistics of intercultural communication (especially German to global English), and/or individual communication in English with students in office hours
• 1-to-1 advice for instructors regarding syllabi, course planning, and curriculum design
• 1-to-1 advice for instructors on sound, intonation, and related speaking and listening skills
• Observation of lectures and/or seminars with feedback and follow-up for instructors teaching in English
Offers for Improving Writing and Conference Presentations:
• Writing a Thesis in English Workshop (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, and/or Habilitation)
• Writing a Scientific Article in English Workshop
• Conference Presentations in English Workshop
English as the Language of Instruction Project (ELIP) began in October 2016 as part of the university’s ongoing internationalization strategy. Key elements of the internationalization strategy include increasing the number of master’s courses being taught in English by 2021, attracting more full-time (degree-seeking) international students per year, attracting more semester-long or yearlong international students, raising the number of international faculty, and having more bachelor’s and master’s degree students write their theses in English. Also, staff members in the central administration and auxiliary services can continue to improve their English in order to increase the university’s capability of international communication beyond German.
Shifting a significant portion of the university’s master’s level teaching activities to English requires a marked commitment and effort on the part of all members of the university. To improve the quality of English teaching and learning, ELIP offers workshops for instructors and courses for students that are specifically designed for the needs and requirements of each institute, department, and administrative area. ELIP offers its programs at all levels of existing English-language competence and aims to help with the particular linguistic needs of instructors and students in order to foster confidence, competence, and success in English communication.
ELIP addresses English-learning needs from multiple perspectives: L2 instructor to L2 learner, L1 instructor to L2 learner, L2 instructor to L1 learner, and mixed L1 and L2 student discussions. However, its primary focus is on the largest group of communicators at the university: native German speakers communicating with native speakers of other languages in English. Regarding speaking and sentence writing, its programs focus on identifying and then replacing “English in German disguise” (in which native German speakers use English words in German grammatical structures) with a standardized, widely accepted form global English. Regarding the composition of whole texts, its programs focus on British- and American-style organization of academic essays, using standard five-part essay forms. Workshops and courses may include, among many possibilities: learning the theory and practice of global English standards and sociocultural discourse conventions; reading comprehension of academic English; writing academic essays; practicing techniques for effective discussion leading; the Senior Advisor observing their courses and providing feedback; and identifying standard linguistic conventions that improve student comprehension and retention of lectures.