English has become the common language of academic exchange. Lecturers in all subject areas are facing a new reality: seminars and lectures with a highly diverse and international student body that requires instruction through English. English as Medium of Instruction – or EMI – has become an important development in creating a truly international university. The quality of academic teaching in this new context is a crucial issue for institutions, lecturers and students alike. In response, the British Council has created the course Academic Teaching Excellence: English as Medium of Instruction (ATE). This course for university lecturers is not only an English language course. ATE combines innovative teaching methodology and linguistic practice in order to enhance the quality of teaching in higher education. ATE helps build the future of the university.

What is ATE?

The ATE course is an intensive seminar for non-native English speaking lecturers who teach their subjects in English. It has been co-developed by the British Council and the University of Oxford’s Department of Education. It is a foundation course in EMI that addresses the complex linguistic challenge of teaching and learning in a second language.

Why choose ATE?

ATE offers lecturers of all disciplines hands-on linguistic tools and teaching strategies in order to communicate their materials more effectively. It covers a variety of teaching contexts such as large lectures, interactive seminars, and one-to-one supervision situations. ATE is an intensive seminar that updates language skills and offers an innovative approach for day-to-day teaching practice.

ATE advances the lecturer’s ability to: 

  • structure and deliver lectures in English effectively and confidently 
  • communicate effectively with students whose first language is not English 
  • use English language in supervision/discussion/small-group contexts.

For your institution, this could mean: 

  • enhanced teaching quality for English-taught course offers 
  • the ability to attract a more diverse student body 
  • a stronger international reputation.

Course format

This 35-hour course can be delivered as an intensive seminar over five consecutive days or split up into blocks. ATE is interactive and grounded in discussion and group work. It uses the academic subjects of the participants as a core resource to illustrate EMI teaching strategies. Overall, ATE provides the following: 

  • introduction to the principles of teaching through the medium of English 
  • intensive speaking practice and review of advanced language skills 
  • discussion of teaching practices in a variety of contexts 
  • micro-teaching units by each participant with peer review and comprehensive trainer feedback.

Modules include:

  • addressing a mixed language-level student body 
  • discourse markers
  • asking the right questions & reducing tutor talk time
  • encouraging student participation
  • using visual aids to enhance linguistic comprehension
  • effective feedback.
  • contextualising EMI: skills and challenges
  • teaching observation criteria
  • English language skills update
  • lecturing styles and strategies
  • observation & discussion of online lectures
  • micro-teaching sessions/feedback 
  • English language skills update
  • dealing with large groups
  • student needs and participation
  • micro-teaching sessions/feedback
  • English language skills update
  • communication in small seminars
  • creating an interactive learning community
  • micro-teaching sessions/feedback
  • English language skills update
  • supervisions and tutorials
  • oral and written feedback strategies
  • praise and correction
  • micro-teaching sessions/feedback
  • English language skills update

‘The course has helped me in identifying gaps in my teaching, to make my sessions more interactive and interesting and in engaging students in different activities.' — Academic Teaching Excellence participant

Course size 

The course is designed for 10-14 lecturers from all academic disciplines who are either beginning to or are already actively teaching through the medium of English. It is geared towards C1 level speakers (Common European Framework of Reference).


We have a team of experienced British Council trainers who have attended an ATE training course at the Department of Education, University of Oxford.


A British Council Certificate of Completion will be given to each participant at the end of the course.


For further information, please contact: