"The Tea Project": Teaching in English for Academics

More and more teaching in the ULB is being delivered using English as the medium of instruction (EMI). The students themselves are not native-speakers of English, meaning that a teacher may need to rethink some of their pedagogical strategies. It is also important that they themselves have a sufficient language level to feel comfortable in the classroom.

⇒ The goal of the TEA Project is to support to ULB academics and PhD assistants who are teaching in English. It provides provides a personalised programme, created to meet each teacher’s needs in terms of their teaching and language needs.

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following statements, contact us for an individual appointment to discuss how we might be able to help you in terms of English. 

  • Would you like to feel more fluent or confident when giving courses in English?
  • Would you find it helpful to have a English-language check on your syllabus, slides or exams?
  • Are you confident in English but would like some feedback or regular practice in order to maintain your level?

If you answer ‘no’ to any of the following statements, contact us for an individual appointment to discuss how we might be able to help you in terms of your teaching methodology.  

  • Do you know how non-anglophone students learn when they are studying in English?
  • Do you feel you have effective pedagogical strategies to bridge the gap between content and language in your English-taught course?
  • Do you know how to create fair assessments in English which minimise the language barrier?

Why participate in the TEA Project?

  • A flexible, individual programme designed to fit your language and pedagogical needs

  • A collaborative space to reflect, learn and implement evidence-based strategies and perspectives from international research

  • Improve your English and feel more confident 

  • Adapt your pedagogical strategies in order to be a more effective teacher to non-anglophone students

Two types of support

Pedagogical support

Whilst it is important for a teacher to have a certain level of English before starting to teach in the language, research suggests that the teaching methods used are in fact far more important and have a far greater impact on student learning. In short, it isn’t as simple as simply translating a course that exists in French and delivering the same content in the same way.

The TEA Project can guide you towards strategies and techniques that will optimise your teaching. Through seminars and individual sessions, we will look at:

  • Tools to assess your students’ level of English
  • Strategies for effective EMI course and lesson structure
  • Checking of teaching material (slides, handouts, exam questions)
  • Lesson observations with feedback
  • Student workshops: in collaboration with you, we can run preparation sessions, writing workshops and exam preparation sessions for your students

Language support

If you are teaching in English (as an academic or PhD assistant), you can almost certainly receive personalised support in English. Other faculty or PATGS members are welcome to join groups and classes when there is space available.

Support might be in the form of individual sessions, conversation classes or more traditional classes. Depending on your needs, they can focus on oral fluency; reviewing and enhancing your grammar and vocabulary; academic writing skills. Other options include:

  • Reading and writing tasks focused on specific genres: emails, abstracts, course explanations
  • Oral preparation of presentations, lessons or exams
  • Collaborative correction of your abstracts, slides and articles: work together with an English teacher to get a better understanding of your mistakes.
  • Writing/presentation workshops (for individuals or groups on demand)
  • Lesson observations: get feedback on your English use in context.
  • Group classes to prepare an exam certification.

See the current courses section to get an idea of what is currently on offer!

Examples of profiles using the tea project

Profile 1

Marie is a PhD assistant teaching a course on research methods to Masters’ students with very diverse levels of English. She engaged the help of the TEA Project over two academic years to help improve her oral language (all of the bi-weekly sessions were in English) but also to collaboratively design more interactive activities to ensure the students could understand and apply the relevant concepts and that they were secure in the specific vocabulary used on the course.

Profile 2 

Elena is a post-doc who teaches one Master’s-level course in English. Although she already had a high level of English, she was keen to get feedback to iron out recurring mistakes and so she joined a weekly exam class. After a year of preparation, she obtained a C2 evaluation – not only is this useful for her future job applications, she affirms that the rigour of the exam helped her to really improve her vocabulary and grammar.

Profile 3

Pierre teaches several courses in English but was feeling frustrated by one of the seminars because the students were very unwilling to interact and to speak in English. He had attended a TEA Project workshop on formative evaluation and then invited the trainers to design a training session for the whole teaching team on the course. This served to identify some of the issues that the students had; as a result the seminars were restructured, resulting in significantly more interaction and a number of scaffolding practices applied across the whole team.

Profile 4

Jean-Marc is responsible for a group of courses taught in English and engaged the TEA Project to conduct a review after a few years of implementation. This covered the students’ perspectives, the teachers’ views, comparisons with best practice from research and recommendations for strengthening the structure and delivering of the courses in English.

Language and methodology courses 2024/25


Individual meeting to discuss my needs

An individual appointment to discuss how we might be able to help you in terms of your teaching methodology

Click here

Cambridge Advanced class

A weekly exam class, beginning in September 2024, preparing you to take the Cambridge Advanced C1 exam. The preparation focuses on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and aims to upgrade your language and to put a focus on accuracy and fluency.

Click here

Academic English Exchange

Bi-weekly conversation groups, focused on presenting your research, discussing the work of others. With feedback and some writing practice.

Click here

What our participants say about us


I feel more relaxed and confident in interactions in English, at conferences and with students

It was great to have help correcting my slides and hand-outs; going through them in collaboration with the teacher helped me to understand my mistakes and gave me useful vocabulary and phrases for the future

The methodology sessions encouraged me to try out interactive activities. I wasn’t sure at first, but the students reacted really positively and I was less tired. I find this way of teaching much more rewarding and interesting!

Frequently asked questions

Where do classes take place?

The TEA Project is based on the Solbosch campus but generally the teachers can come to your office if you are based at Solbosch, La Plaine or Flagey.

Can I have lessons online?

No. The lessons and courses are taught in-person.

Do I have to pay?

No. The TEA Project is free for ULB staff.

How many hours of support can I get?

We allocate the number of hours to each participant according to their needs (priority to those with a lower language level) and in terms of the global number of hours we have available.

Do I have to do language and methodology together?

Ideally but not necessarily. We will draw up an individual programme for each participant, according to their needs.

Are the lessons at the same time each week?

The timing and frequency of the individual lessons is arranged between the teacher and participant and we try to be flexible. If you cannot make a session, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible. If you miss too many sessions, we will cancel your enrolment so that we can use the time for other participants.

Mis à jour le 29 mai 2024