Prof Parvaneh Tavakoli has recently received research funding from the prestigious Future of English/British Council scheme for a project entitled ‘Digitally-mediated EMI communication in Higher Education classrooms: Transforming evidence to practical resources’. Prof Tavakoli is a Co-investigator on this project working collaboratively in collaboration with Dr Fumiyo Nakatsuhara from University of Bedfordshire (PI) and other colleagues from University of Bedfordshire, Waseda University in Japan, and University of Reading Malaysia.
The project examines digitally mediated English Medium Instruction in Japan and Malaysia. It aims to a) investigate emerging practices of digitally-mediated communication in English-medium instruction (EMI) classrooms, b) identify the support needed for students, academic and non-academic staff in these contexts, c) explore issues and challenges central to digital communication in relation to different genders, and d) provide empirically driven test specifications and test task prototypes.
With the increasing significance and prevalence of digital learning and EMI in higher education around the globe, this research project will offer not only critical information about the challenges and opportunities EMI users experience when communicating online in these diverse educational contexts, but will also help further develop an up-to-date and effective agenda for policy makers and educators and a realistic research agenda for researchers around the world. The study will aim to ensure pathways to impact by making the findings of the study available in the form of useful multilingual resources for a range of stakeholders involved in teaching, learning, and testing in digitally-mediated EMI contexts.
In this research funding scheme, the British Council has aimed to provide researchers with an unprecedented opportunity to conduct research that will lead to actionable insights on key trends associated with the role of English as a global language for a range of stakeholders including policy makers, university academics, support staff and students.