Topic Oriented Mixed-Method System (TOMMS)

A Holistic System to Integrate English Language Classes into English-Medium Instruction Courses in European Higher Education
  • Mathew Docherty
  • Kurt Gaubinger
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 715)


This paper addresses the issue of English-Medium Instruction (EMI) in European higher education, which has been referred to as ‘the language of higher education in Europe’ [1]. It outlines the goals of this new phenomenon, analyses the current situation and evaluates potential limitations. It investigates how, using team-teaching, inverted classrooms and active classroom techniques, potential hurdles may be reduced. How, through careful planning and coordination, students and teachers alike, can be prepared for the new challenge of teaching and learning content through English. It goes on to outline a systematic approach, coined by the authors as the Topic Oriented Mixed-Method System (TOMMS), where each topic is initially addressed in a contact lesson with a Language Teaching Expert (LTE), to prepare students, it then introduces them to the theory in self-study sessions, before applying the theory, under guidance of the Content Expert (CE), in tasks and projects. This paper provides a holistic mixed-methods pedagogical approach to address the issue of knowledge transfer in EMI programmes using state of the art methodologies to allow the LTE to support the CE in planning and teaching of content. It offers higher education institutes (HEIs), who may be averse to teaching content courses in English, an effective system to implement EMI and, for those that already have, it offers ways to improve the efficiency of them.


English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) Inverted classroom Blended learning Active classroom Web-based learning Project-based learning Team-teaching 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of Applied Sciences Upper AustriaWelsAustria

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