English and Study Skills 2020 Programme Underway by Distance Learning
The intensive, 3-month English and Study Skills programme (ESSP) for 2020 is underway with 21 students from 14 countries. Due to travel restrictions resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the programme is being delivered fully online. All of the enrolled students will be continuing in the Maritime Affairs MSc programme in Malmö, which begins in September.
At the start of the programme on 15 June, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, welcomed the students to the WMU family. She noted that although the current situation has not allowed for the students to be in Malmö for their ESSP programme, WMU is fully committed to delivering the high standard of education for which the University is renowned, and by distance learning until such time when it is feasible to gather in person. She highlighted that the Class of 2020 has adeptly adjusted to their studies through online learning with steadfast commitment to completing their degrees on schedule, saying: “The Class of 2021 will undoubtedly show the same outstanding fortitude, bravery and group spirit as you join the elite ranks of WMU students and, in due course, of WMU graduates. We will do everything possible to ensure that you can join us here in Malmo, Sweden, as soon as it is possible for us to do so.”
The 2020 ESSP cohort includes students from Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Republic of Korea, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. The new online format allows participants to engage in dynamic learning activities, such as group problem-solving and collaborative writing, while developing a new digital skillset. Small class sizes allow a very high level of individual feedback to students from their teachers. The competencies that are developed include effective problem solving, solid research methods, critical reading and analysis, all skills that are needed in postgraduate study.
The ESSP has always been taught in person, but with the COVID-19 crisis, WMU took advantage of the University’s long-standing expertise in delivering courses online and adapted the ESSP delivery accordingly. “My learning experience in ESSP online is amazing so far. Interacting with classmates from different countries across the world, from our home, makes the experience unique. ESSP 2020 is fortunate to be the first group learning in this manner and completing the programme online,” said Laura Noelia Sanchez who is located in Argentina.
Anne Pazaver, Lecturer, has taught in the ESSP programme since 2002. She noted that the 2020 ESSP class has adapted exceptionally well to online learning. “They are an extremely motivated and engaged group and a pleasure to work with. We are pleased with the progress they are making in their language and academic skills and look forward to meeting them in person in Malmö," she said.
The ESSP runs each year from June to September, and its curriculum is designed to upgrade the English language competencies of the participants in Academic English for maritime purposes. It may be taken as a precursor to WMU’s M.Sc. programmes, or as a stand-alone course for professionals wishing to improve their academic skills in English in the maritime context. The core components include academic writing skills, speaking and presentation skills as well as maritime-focused academic lectures by WMU professors, and IT and library workshops.
Instructors for this year’s programme are Lecturer Anne Pazaver and Instructors Inger Battista, and Siobhan Claesson.
For more information about the ESSP programme, click here.