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Keynote Speakers

Dr Jim McKinley, University College  London, UK

“The importance of ESP in English medium instruction in higher education”

My main interests are in research methods in applied linguistics and TESOL, second language writer identity, English medium instruction (EMI) and content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in internationalised higher education, and academic community development. I was principal investigator on the British Academy-funded project ‘Exploring the teaching-research nexus in higher education’ (2018), a project from which I am developing further investigation into TESOL researcher-practitioners. I am currently involved in a project investigating language related challenges in English medium instruction with colleagues from the University of Oxford, funded by EMI Oxford. 
I have published in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Journal of Second Language Writing, TESOL Quarterly, Higher EducationStudies in Higher Education, and System, am an editor of Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, Dilemmas and Solutions (2017, Routledge), an author of Data Collection Methods in Applied Linguistics (2019, Bloomsbury), an editor of The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (2020), and co-author of Challenges and Innovations in Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (2021, Routledge). I am currently Co-Editor for System.


Dr Huang Jian, Central University of Finance and Economics, China

A Case Probe into the Process of an Established NNS Computer Scientist Preparing for His English Academic Presentation

Academic communication is the life blood of academia and recent years have seen a growing agreement that strong oral academic communication skills constitute a vital asset for both early-career and established scholars. One of genres of oral academic communication that academia is commonly involved is academic presentation in English for both NES (Native English Speaker) and NNES (Non-Native English Speaker). However, exiting studies on English academic presentation are mostly focused on students (NNES students in particular) from the perspective of linguistic features of their oral discourse, with the process of presentation preparation, especially by NNES scholars, under-explored . Consequently, little is known about how NNES professors prepare for their discipline-specific English academic presentations that matter for their professional development in terms of both knowledge-spreading and reputation-building.To make up for this gap, this study, taking a qualitative case-study approach, investigates how a well-established Chinese computer scientist goes about the task for preparing for academic presentation in an international conference. Specifically, it aims to answer two research questions corresponding to  two sub-processes of academic presentation preparation: : (1) How does the scientist prepare for the written text of presentation? (2) How does the scientist prepare for the delivery of the text prepared? The findings of this study have implications for instruction of academic presentation skills for NNES students and scholars in particular.


Huang Jian is a Ph.D in Applied Linguistics and an Associate Professor with School of Foreign Studies, Central University of Finance and Economics. He was a visiting scholar at Birkbeck University, London. His academic interests cover material development for language and translation instruction and assessment, ESP Teacher development & Qualitative Research.

Dr Elena Bárcena Madera, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain

The inclusive open online teaching of second languages for immediate needs

The concepts of topic relevance and inclusion require special attention in the domain of languages for special purposes on the part of the online teaching community. The standard contents of general-purpose language courses are usually inadequate for those people who need to communicate in the target language speaking community on their first arrival to the country. This partly explains the low popularity of these courses among displaced people, such as refugees and migrants, since they are at risk of suffering social exclusion and cannot count on other complementary forms of language training or support. They are often reluctant about the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of such courses in addressing their communicative requirements in a new country, given the differences with respect to those of other social and professional groups. However, it can be argued that displaced people can benefit from this type of second language courses when they are designed to cover their immediate needs of being linguistically self-sufficient and functional in a host country. The availability, flexibility, and lack of costs of MOOCs for students make them an ideal pedagogical modality for displaced people. However, dropout rates are extraordinarily high on these courses. The plethora of causes identified so far include feelings of detachment and isolation on the part of the course participants and the social, learning and digital cultural divide between them and the course developers. Such feelings may be particularly intense due to complex life conditions and emotional trauma often present in displaced people. Making an online course inclusive both in form and content appears to be a solution to improve course satisfaction and the associated completion rates. A number of linguistic resources and teaching practices that may impact both group exclusion and individual discrimination have been identified, therefore, based on principles and categories from Appraisal Theory. These resources and practices fulfill a double formative goal in second language MOOCs thanks to the strategies used by the teachers and facilitators to address the course participants.  Since language is both the means and the end of such courses, its explicit inclusive nature not only has a direct supporting effect on the students but also serves as a model for them to emulate, causing it to be propagated in their daily communicative situations, both online and face-to-face.

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