Facing a Global Challenge at a Local Context: Training in English Medium Instruction at the University of Tokyo

Where: The University of Edinburgh, Paterson’s Land LG34

When: Wednesday 16th January 4:30-6.00 pm

Sho Shimoyamada is a Project Researcher at the Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, the University of Tokyo. He works on a Global Faculty Development initiative in one of the University’s campuses. His academic interest includes EMI, internationalisation of Japanese universities and online education. As a graduate from the Moray House, Sho is keen to promote knowledge exchange between Edinburgh and Tokyo. He is the Japan coordinator on an EMI global network organised by Dr Nicola Galloway (https://globaleng.wpengine.com/about/).

Japanese higher education has witnessed the growing trend of English Medium Instruction (EMI, i.e. teaching academic subjects in English). EMI is promoted by the Japanese government but its top-down approach is often criticised for failing to understand local demand. Some Japanese universities implement EMI without carefully designed strategies for quality assurance. This talk will give an overview of how training in EMI is planned, conducted and evaluated at the University of Tokyo, by a university-wide project Professional and Global Educators’ Community (PAGE). PAGE develops a massive open online course (MOOC) on English for academic purposes and offline workshops where participants can engage in micro-teaching sessions in English. The MOOC and offline workshops are blended in a way that supports graduate students and early-career academics of the University to improve their competence in EMI. The talk will also highlight current collaborative work with The University of Edinburgh (Dr Nicola Galloway) to situate issues surrounding EMI in Japanese higher education in a global context.