September 19, 2019 at 10:00 am

Bikowski Awarded U.S. State Department Grant for Online Education E-Teacher Project

Dawn Bikowski, portrait

Dr. Dawn Bikowski

Dr. Dawn Bikowski was awarded a $40,000 grant by the U.S. State Department to develop and teach an online course for an international audience of higher education educators.

Bikowski is Director of the English Language Improvement Program at Ohio University.

The eight-week online course is part of the American English E-Teacher Program, which delivers virtual learning opportunities to over 1,800 foreign professionals worldwide. The project is supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Participants will be faculty who want to revise courses they have previously taught in their own languages (e.g., Portuguese, Vietnamese), adapting the content and materials so that they can teach the class in English. Their students will come from different linguistic backgrounds as well, so teaching and learning subject matter in English will be new for faculty and students alike.

English as a medium of instruction (EMI) is a growing trend in international education, as countries around the world seek to attract international businesses with an English-speaking workforce. Courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and business fields are particularly popular for EMI programs.

“I’m very excited about this project,” Bikowski said. “Much of the work I’ve done professionally for the past several years builds into this project, from online learning, to faculty professional development, and teaching highly-proficient English users in academic and professional communication.”

Bikowski spent four weeks in Vietnam in 2018 in order to prepare for the project, via needs assessments and in-person workshops on EMI with professors in Business, Computer Science, Biology, Economics, and Engineering.

“Teaching content to a group of students who speak a language other than English at home, when you yourself as the teacher learned English later in life, can be very challenging. This area of EMI is only going to continue growing. Professors and departments want concrete strategies on how to teach in ways that are more student-centered and incorporate more critical thinking as they teach in English. With our international student body at OHIO and our program’s background and expertise, we are able to share those strategies and experiences.” she said.

Dr. Dawn Bikowski giving the keynote at the International Conference on Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in Hanoi, Vietnam

Dr. Dawn Bikowski giving the keynote at the International Conference on Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in Hanoi, Vietnam

The English Language Improvement Program’s Academic and Global Communication Program, housed in the Linguistics Department, is recognized as a leader in using technology to create engaging, student-centered, and pedagogically-sound learning environments. ELIP offers graduate and undergraduate courses in academic writing and speaking for on-campus and online students, and have a number of international partnerships as well.

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