21st century universities hold a student population that is greater and more heterogeneous regarding its academic, linguistic and cultural background than ever before. Higher education professionals need to master competences and skills that cater for these diverse classrooms where international, intercultural and multilingual practices take place.
The UCM, within the Plan for Curricular Internationalization, provides in-service teachers with an intensive course (known as INTER-COM) aimed at developing lecturer strategies when working in international classrooms, where very often the language of instruction is not the teacher’s (nor all the students’) native language. In this setting, the INTER-COM course pursues the following objectives:
Raise awareness of what it means to teach in an international classroom
Provide teachers with strategies and techiques to help in the teaching and learning of content through a foreign language (often English)
Develop interactional practices with students
Encourage informed practices
Raise awareness of intercultural issues and differences across academic cultures
The Plan for Curricular Internationalization also promotes students’ and staff development of their foreign language skills by offering foreign language courses organized by the Centro Superior de Lenguas Modernas (CSIM). Additionally, the CSIM also prepares for official exams in a wide range of languages.