Interdisciplinary Department of English
Language support for the Faculties is provided by the Moscow School’s Interdisciplinary Department of English (IDE). One of its main purposes is to provide proactive support to students in overcoming language barriers and developing academic skills, enabling them to quickly and effectively manage their studies and research.
With its team of highly-qualified staff, the IDE is one of the top language centres in Russia specialising in teaching EAP and ESP. The Programme includes two major parts, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Professional Development (EPD). EAP courses draw from the latest British, American and Australian manuals, coursebooks and Web resources. EPD courses are specially designed by the teachers to support students in each of the Faculties; thus, each course is aimed at meeting the needs of a particular programme and involves authentic materials from the appropriate discipline.
The teaching staff employ the latest learning methods and technology in course design and materials development. Students are encouraged to choose individual learning strategies within both disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts. As a result, they do not only show a wide range of achievements, but also succeed in working with authentic materials when writing essays and theses (no less than a quarter of their bibliography is required to be in English). As part of the Centre for Educational Policy’s MEd programme, the teaching staff is also involved in designing distance learning modules and has accumulated substantial experience in e-learning and blended learning.
A completely new direction in the work of the Department is the development of academic writing skills for the Russian language. This essential new trend emerged from Irina Korotkina’s research in academic literacy, which resulted in her PhD thesis (2009), a manual for teaching academic writing in Russian (2011) and several articles in Russian academic journals and conference publications. Since 2008, students of the MSSES with insufficient command of written English have an opportunity to attend the interdisciplinary course of How to Write a Good Essay in Russian during the induction week.
The IDE is a member of the National Association of Teachers of English (NATE), and the teaching staff actively participate in international and national conferences on teaching EAP/ESP, e-learning, ICT in language education and educational technologies. They give methodological seminars and teacher training sessions. Today, we focus on literacy studies and actively participate in introducing academic literacy into the Russian education system. In November, 2011, a round table was held in the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and we are planning a more representative convention on academic writing and literacy as part of the CEPS annual international conference Trends in Educational Development, held in February, 2013.