“The course has prepared me well for my upcoming learning experience. I have noticed that there are positive changes in term of my reading, writing, speaking and listening skill. I'm really grateful about this.” Cambodian ALIP student
University students in Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos have been attending Academic Language Improvement Project (ALIP) courses to prepare them for studying abroad for a semester on an English medium of instruction programme (EMI) in either another ASEAN country or in Europe.
Thanks to the SHARE project, scholarships have been made available for ASEAN students to study abroad. However, for many students, especially in these four countries, English levels are not always high enough to cope well with studying in English.
To help prepare them, the ALIP courses were designed to provide an intensive boost of academic English for the students before they go abroad, with the side benefit of increasing their confidence when interacting with people from other countries (all the teachers were from abroad).
“The course help me to speak and communicate with foreigner. I am very happy.” Lao PDR ALIP student
Each course was slightly different, adapting to the needs of the students, but they all shared a focus on preparing the students for lectures and coursework in English.
“The most useful part of this training is academic writing because it is helpful when I study in another country.” Lao PDR ALIP student
Many of these students were unused to a more communicative and discursive style of learning and the techniques used by the teachers also helped to develop their critical thinking and discussion skills.
“I don't feel I am listening to a lecture, but more likely joining a group discussion since everyone is encouraged to speak. I wish there are many lecturer like him a lot in Cambodia.” Cambodia ALIP student
Despite the short and intensive time-scales students on the ALIP courses showed marked improvements in their English skills and confidence. At the end of the course they also felt far more confident about going abroad and studying in English.
SHARE, a European Union (EU) grant funded programme, aims to increase and enhance mobility for university students, and promote regional harmonisation of higher education across ASEAN. To implement SHARE ASEAN is working with a consortium led by British Council.