"Seek knowledge, even as far as China" — Muhammad.
Dr. Libor Stepanek is Director of the Language Centre at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Our active research entails setting up and running joint projects between EAP students in universities in different countries. This is motivated partly by a desire to uncover the full potential of EAP as a discipline, by exploring the pedagogical potential of new technologies and by recognising the central role of EAP in fostering a global identity in nationally-based students. This research necessarily pushes EAP into new areas of creativity. Some of Libor's EAP innovations are in critical and creative thinking.
Our joint student forum is GlobalEAP Masaryk-NYU Shanghai and our debut project is Bridges, currently live, comprises a joint study of seven pedestrian bridges in each of Brno and Shanghai.
This was followed by collaboration with a Chinese University in Spring 2016. Students from EAP: Cities and Urban Consciousness at NYU Shanghai and their counterparts from the Writing Programme at Nanjing University teamed up under the joint guardianship of Dr Anjuli Pandavar of NYU Shanghai and Dr Xi Jie of Nanjing University. Student teams of four (two Nanjing and two NYU Shanghai) perform a series of carefully-designed tasks aimed at enhancing the participants’ research skills, team-working, critical thinking, creative thinking, language proficiency, and readiness to take on new challenges. This collaborative project examined the recent controversy between Nanjing and Xi’an over pre-eminence of their respective city walls. The products included translations, videos and a blog, all of which were assessed. This collaboration was presented at the Joint International Conference on ESP in Asia 2016 in Tokyo, again by a joint NYU Shanghai-Nanjing University team.
EAP and the Liberal Arts
Brandon Conlon is Associate-Director of EAP and also an EAP lecturer. Along with other faculty members, I am supporting Brandon's active research into the application of a liberal arts ethos in the teaching of EAP. We are currently carrying out an action research project aimed at improving both teacher and student awareness of the link between liberal arts learning outcomes and EAP learning outcomes.
My EAP course, Cities and Urban Consciousness underwent a major review after its fourth semester, taking the lessons of two years on board. The course has been simplified with a stranger, more direct emphasis on the liberal arts.
Support for Counselling
Dr Madeleine Dupre is Senior Counsellor at NYU Shanghai. I provide non-professional ancillary support to some areas of her work, especially relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, and including facilitating introductions to local medical professionals. We also collaborate on awareness-raising and support efforts for socially-marginalised groups, as well as bringing faculty and staff input to student events such as Ally Week, and the Walk of Love. ...