What is the Academic Language Programme?
The Academic Language Programme (ALP) is a set of courses, workshops and coaching sessions focusing on communicative skills in English and Dutch. These services are specifically intended for students, PhD researchers, lecturers and other staff in all faculties and service departments of the VU. All participants can profit from intensive forms of feedback. The ALP is a specific contribution from the Faculty of Humanities to the implementation of VU language policy.
Why does the ALP focus on the VU community’s communicative competences?
Language users need to be communicatively competent to start out on the Dutch and international labour markets, and to confidently set out on a graduate programme. They will need to be able to use Dutch and English with ease in a wide variety of communicative situations. The Academic Language Programme seeks to contribute to a successful expansion of the VU’s internationalization programme as well as to its reputation in Dutch society.
How does the Academic Language Programme work?
The courses offered by the Academic Language Programme (ALP) can play different roles in degree programmes and other forms of training. This means that they are financed in different ways as well. A lot of ALP courses produce credits which fall within the VUSAM system. These include obligatory courses or course modules in Bachelor degrees, courses in a minor programme, as well as electives in Bachelor and Master degrees. Other services for Bachelor and Master students are offered in the form of workshops or coaching sessions. In the current situation, students have to pay for these services themselves. Finally, courses for PhD researchers, academic staff and support staff also have to be paid for by the participants themselves.
The teachers on the ALP are language specialists with considerable experience in developing and teaching language courses in the academic core and at master and PhD level. They integrate their newest academic and didactic insights into practical training programmes that include significant individual feedback on the work that participants produce.
The ALP programme committee is keen to meet with educational programme directors and other staff whose work relates to language policy. Issues include determining the role of Dutch or English in a degree programme, developing teaching programmes for specific groups, and optimizing communication processes.