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Transnational Alignment of English Competences for University Lecturers (TAEC)

Progetti internazionali
Programma di ricerca
Erasmus+ KA203-2017-004
350.000 euro
18/09/2017 - 17/01/2020
Alessandra Molino

Aree / Gruppi di ricerca

Partecipanti al progetto

Descrizione del progetto

The project "Transnational Alignment of English Competences for University Lectures" (TAEC) is a 28 months project, funded through the Erasmus+ programme. 

The TAEC project is a collaboration between the following partners:

Associated partners are Complutense University of Madrid and Delft University of Technology.


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The purpose of the project is to develop a common framework for EMI quality assurance and support, which will help the partners adapt local EMI training and certification language assessment instruments for transnational uses.

TAEC will result in three intellectual outputs: 
1. Report on the facets of a common EMI framework
2. Technical report on alignment and
3. An EMI handbook (download here)

Furthermore, the project aims at raising awareness about the specific characteristics of EMI and offering opportunities for linguistic and pedagogical training for teaching in the EMI context.  

The background for the TAEC project can be found in the internationalization of European universities during the last 20 years which has led to a rapid increase of English-medium Instruction (EMI) programs and courses across Europe. 

Though EMI has been developed to increase student, teacher and researcher mobility, its fast growth has raised concerns regarding the oral English language competences of non-native English speaking lecturers and the implications for the quality of teaching and learning. Consequently, lecturers' English proficiency is under scrutiny and universities are developing policies for quality assurance, which are enforced by the implementation of internal language assessments procedures and EMI teacher training.

Thus far, assessment and EMI teacher training procedures such as these have been developed and used only locally, at the institutional level. Therefore, the innovative purpose of this project is to improve the transparency in terms of how to reach and assess lecturers' language competences and teaching qualifications in order to establish their transnational recognition. 

In other words, this project supports the implementation and development of a transparent, common framework, which can assure instructional quality and language support for lecturers in various EMI contexts across Europe. 

The project addresses the internationalization agenda of the Council of Europe which is mirrored at the universities across Europe. The internationalization in Higher Education (HE) has been implemented through a rapid increase in EMI programs and courses across Europe, which has raised concern among different HE stakeholders regarding the oral linguistic competences of non-native English speaking lecturers, the implications of teaching in English for the instructional quality, international faculty and student recruitment as well as local student retention at HE institutions in non-Anglophone countries. Consequently, lecturers' English proficiency is under scrutiny and universities are developing policies for quality assurance, enforced by the implementation of internal language assessment and teacher training procedures. 

However, the project partners are unsure about the transferability of language competencies and EMI teaching support programs across different European contexts since these contexts have not been examined comparatively. 

Therefore, TAEC seeks to undertake innovative approaches to the development of a common framework for EMI quality assurance and support on the basis of which we can adapt local EMI teacher training and language assessment instruments for transparency in transnational use. 

The objectives of the project are to:

  1. identify and differentiate between the transnational and the local administrative, instructional and language needs of EMI programmes at partner universities
  2. align a locally-used assessment scale (the TOEPAS at UCPH) with Council of Europe's CEFR, which will allow for standardization of results
  3. develop an EMI handbook and
  4. raise awareness among stakeholders.

(see outputs below)

The long-term objective of the TAEC project is to provide the groundwork for an EMI framework for quality assurance which could be applicable across European universities beyond the partner universities involved in the project. 

The TAEC project consists of seven inter-related work packages, all of which are integral parts of the project cycle. The project management and quality assurance are led by the UCPH while the partners are responsible for dissemination and sustainability. Each of the three work packages related to the three main outcomes of the project (EMI framework, alignment to the CEFR scale and EMI handbook) is managed by a different partner university, though supported by representatives from all partner universities.

During the project, the partners will host a series of local EMI workshops as well as arrange a conference on "EMI practices in Europe" in April 2019. 

Local EMI workshops

As part of the project, each partner will host a 3-day EMI workshop for local staff. The purpose of each workshop is to introduce the local participants to the basic characteristics of EMI and to provide them with opportunities to develop strategies to support teaching and learning in their local context. Furthermore, this is a way to try out and implement both the EMI framework and the EMI handbook into the institutional level of each partner university.

The workshops will take place in winter 2018/2019 and the partners will be responsible for the hosting of and invitations for the workshops. 

Conference on "EMI practices in Europe", 4-5 April 2019

This two-day conference will consist of presentations of current research into and experience from EMI practices as well as workshops sessions where practitioners, researchers and EMI trainers will share best practice concerning the methods related to teaching in a second language.

We invite proposals for papers and poster presentations. Anonymous proposals should be in English and comprise no more than 300 words (excluding the title, keywords and references). All proposals will undergo a double-blind peer-review process and will be assessed according to relevance and quality. 

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 14 October 2018 and for the notification of acceptance is 5 December 2018.

More information about the conference can be found at

The conference email is


Risultati e pubblicazioni

1) TAEC Literature Database

The TAEC Literature Database includes research on EMI in higher education across five different countries, Denmark, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Croatia, in the period between 1999 and 2018. The five countries are intentionally selected to represent contexts at different stages of EMI implementation and EMI research histories. It includes 206 resources, i.e. articles, books (monographs and edited books), book chapters, chapters in proceedings, handbooks, institutional documents. The database entries were annotated based on a number of different categories, including language of publication (Catalan, Croatian, Danish, English, Italian), type of publication (e.g., journal article, book chapter), area of interest (e.g., policy, language use, assessment), foci (e.g., attitudes, intercultural communication, learning outcomes), type of research (e.g., empirical, conceptual), type of analysis (e.g., qualitative, quantitative), methodology (e.g., case study, ethnography), data (e.g., questionnaire, interview), domain (e.g., social sciences, life sciences), as well as information about the research questions, methodological specifications, and main findings. The database is searchable, and the entries can be sorted according to one or more of the above categories. The entries were double-coded, which means four coders annotated 10% of the entries again in order to ensure the consistent application of the categories. A high inter-coder agreement was achieved, i.e. the coders agreed on average on 90% of the annotation categories for the entries. The resources were selected based on their relevance for EMI, which was defined as:

English-medium instruction is characterised by four main features: 1. English is the language used for instructional purposes; 2. English is not itself the subject being taught; 3. Language development is not a primary intended outcome; 4. For most participants in the setting, English is a second language. (Pecorari & Malmström, 2018)

If you use the database for your research, we recommend the following citation: TAEC Literature Database (2020). The Transnational Alignment of English Language Competences for University Lecturers Literature Database. TAEC Erasmus+ project (2017-2020). URL (date of last access)

Please, see report attached below.

2) TAEC EMI Lecture Corpus

The TAEC EMI Lecture Corpus is available upon request. Please, see report attached below.

3) Linking the TOEPAS with the CEFR

Please, see report attached below.

4) TAEC EMI Handbook

The Handbook can be downloaded below. Recommended citation: TAEC EMI Handbook (2019). TAEC Erasmus+ project (2017-2020). 

Ultimo aggiornamento: 14/11/2022 15:24
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