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Overseas EMI upskilling training experience: EMI project in the U.S. for on-site training



National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) collaborates with Arizona State University (ASU) to offer a customized EMI overseas upskilling program for teachers at NSYSU and regional partner schools. The initiative includes advanced trainings and guidance, and development of EMI teaching plans. Participants in this program include NSYSU and nine regional universities: National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung Medical University, I-Shou University, National University of Tainan, Tainan National University of the Arts, National Chiayi University, National Chi Nan University, National Pingtung University, and National Taitung University. These institutions recommended 19 specialized and language field professors and one administrative officer to attend a two-week on-site training at ASU. The training program, targeting seed teachers in domestic EMI teaching, emphasized student-centered teaching methods and yielded fruitful outcomes.


The content of this customized training course was diverse, including workshops, classroom observations of ASU faculty, lesson plan discussions and microteaching, action plan discussions and presentations, as well as campus tours. The workshop, led by ASU experts Alissa Nostas and Vincent Lauter, covered topics such as student-centered teaching, integrating artificial intelligence tools in teaching, discussing ethical issues, enhancing teaching delivery, and facilitating discussion. The teachers also explored articles on learner-focused EMI teaching. Participants expressed that it was an invaluable experience to return to the role of students, refine EMI teaching methods, and engage in post-class discussions with colleagues.


The training program specifically arranged for participants to observe 14 ASU faculty’s classes, learning about their teaching methods and observing student-centered teaching in action. The teachers greatly appreciated the way ASU faculty engaged students in discussions and interactions. A key component of this program was microteaching, where teachers conducted 15-minute teaching demonstration, moderated by Alissa Nostas and Vincent Lauter, with group members acting as students. This provided opportunities for observing diverse teaching styles and thinking about different methods for future classes. Beyond course participation, ASU also organized diverse campus tours, including visits to Luminosity Lab, Thunderbird School of Management, Makerspace and Library, and Dreamscape, deepening understanding of ASU's holistic learning environments.


NSYSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Po-Chiao Lin emphasized that this overseas upskilling training went beyond classroom training courses, importantly enabling teachers from various fields to collaborate and support each other. It fostered the design of innovative courses, encouraged the formation of cross-institutional teaching communities, and continued the practice of innovative EMI teaching. The program was not just about learning teaching methods but also about the valuable ongoing dialogue and mutual teaching growth. To share the outcomes of this overseas training, the NSYSU BEST Program and the Southern Regional Resource Center for Bilingual Education hosted an exhibition in December 2023 showcasing the results. Future details are available on the NSYSU BEST Program website (https://best-tdc.nsysu.edu.tw/en/Index_en.aspx) and the Southern Regional Resource Center for Bilingual Education website (https://emi-tdc.nsysu.edu.tw/).

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