Workshops for universities 

'It's about so much more than just spelling!' Getting your doctoral thesis proofread – what does a proofreader do (and not do)?'

Target audience: students taking a doctorate and PhD/EdD supervisors


This practical workshop and discussion investigates the following questions:


  1. What does a proofreader do?

  2. What does a proofreader not do?

  3. What difference does a proofreader make to your thesis?


The session will give a supervisor’s, doctorate student’s and proofreader’s perspective on the thesis proofreading process. You will also see a sample of the tracked changes and comments a proofreader provides to enhance the clarity of the language used in a thesis.


'It's about so much more than just spelling!' Or isn't it? What should a thesis proofreader do (and not do)?'

Target audience: postgraduate research supervisors and library staff supporting research students


The aim of this practical, interactive session is to facilitate a discussion about expectations and limitations in relation to the proofreading of theses written by both native and non-native speakers of English. It will also raise questions around whether (or how) proofreading in universities should be regulated.  

Through a semi-structured discussion, aided by statements of what thesis proofreading may or may not consist of, participants can expect to:

  • consider some common issues related to the proofreading of doctoral theses

  • gain greater awareness of different perspectives on the scope of thesis proofreading

  • become more familiar with ways in which different UK universities aim to regulate proofreading and create consistency across different external proofreaders

  • touch on how the proofreading of theses may differ to that of dissertations at undergraduate or masters level, as well as of books and journal articles for publication rather than assessment.

Intitot? Language awareness when working with international students


Target audience: All academic and support staff who work with international students


 “I find my English level is not high enough to follow the teachers”. Despite meeting the university’s English language entry requirements, understanding the English spoken by native speakers, such as the lecturer and classmates, is one of the main challenges for international students studying in the UK.


This interactive workshop investigates some of the aspects of the English language which can make listening to it so challenging for the non-native speaker. Is it the native speaker’s accent, the words they use, their pronunciation? Or is it because of the nature of the English language itself? Through the use of some very practical exercises and discussion, you will gain first-hand experience of some of the difficulties which your international students may face. The workshop will also provide practical tips for use both inside and outside the classroom to improve communication between staff and international students. You may be surprised at just how complex the English language is.

Put yourself in their shoes. Understanding life and study in the UK from an international student’s perspective


Target audience: Academic and support staff who work with international students in the UK


This interactive workshop puts participants in “an international student’s shoes”. After discussing challenges which may arise when working with international students, we will share practical and immediately implementable ways of supporting them on their journey towards enjoyment and success on their chosen course.



Expectations and Reality  – What level of English should staff expect of international students with IELTS 6.0?


Target audience: All academic, admissions and quality team staff who work with international students or who process international student course applications


Do international students typically require “IELTS 6.0 or equivalent” to gain a place on your undergraduate or postgraduate degrees?  What is IELTS and what does IELTS 6.0 actually mean in practice? What level of English can lecturers expect of international or EU students with this level of English? How might/should the English used by students in their assignments affect lecturers’ marking of international students’ work? What Academic English language support is available to international students to support them in their studies?


Through a range of practical activities, this interactive workshop gives you the opportunity to consider staff and student expectations of international students’ English and gain a greater insight into the type of mistakes that international students with an IELTS 6.0 level of English might make. The session also offers a set of guidelines for staff to help bridge any gaps between staff’s expectations and the reality. 

Why do employers like people who can speak another language?


Target audience: Anyone who speaks more than one language;  students of English as a Foreign Language; Year 10 and Year 11 school pupils who are considering studying a language at A Level.


“The only job you can do with languages is teacher or translator”. This commonly held misconception affects how many people choose to study a language in the UK, yet many UK businesses feel that their international business and exports are being held back because of a lack of language skills. Although teaching and translating can be very satisfying career choices (I’ve personally done both of them), this interactive workshop will highlight all the qualities and skills which speakers of more than one language can offer in the workplace. You have so much more to offer an employer than your language skills. A little knowledge of another language can go a long way.



The characteristics of the Good Language Learner


Target audience: Anyone currently learning or interested in learning another language


Do good language learners have certain characteristics in common? If so, which? How might knowledge about such characteristics help us to become better language learners?

Based on my own and others’ experience and strategies as a language learner, this interactive workshop offers practical tips to help you to learn another language as quickly, easily and efficiently as possible. You may be surprised at how much difference a few language learning strategies can make to your ability to communicate in another language!




  • Proofreading a thesis

  • Language awareness

  • Intercultural awareness

  • Put yourself in an international student's shoes

  • What level of English should staff expect of students with IELTS 6.0? 

  • Why language graduates are attractive to employers

  • Characteristics of the good language learner




  • All staff who work with international students

  • Academic staff

    • lecturers

    • personal tutors

    • course leaders

  • Course administrators

  • International Office staff

  • Admissions Office staff

  • University Quality Team staff

  • Language degree students and graduates