About Bob Wilkinson

Robert (Bob) Wilkinson (University of Ulster, University of Edinburgh) has been working at Maastricht University, the Netherlands, since 1984. An applied linguist he was a member of the team under Prof. Geert Hofstede that started the first complete English-medium degree programme in the mid-1980s. Successful experience with this degree in International Management led to many other degree programmes, especially during the mid-1990s and after the change to the bachelors-masters degree structure in 2002. Bob Wilkinson was involved with the introduction of many of these programmes, particularly regarding language competences of staff and students as well as instructional design to facilitate the learning of both content and language.

Bob Wilkinson has always been a practitioner working in many fields, notably economics and business, health, medicine and life sciences as well as, more recently, the sciences. He has worked for many years in the commercial world as well, especially with manufacturing firms and banks.

He has published widely on the experience of Maastricht University as it has changed from a Dutch-medium institution to one that is bilingual where most programmes are now English-medium. He has also advised other universities that are in the process of offering English-medium instruction, for example Universidad de Extremadura (Spain), University of Freiburg (Germany), and the National University of Malaysia. He worked in France, Czechoslovakia, and Scotland, before moving to the Netherlands, and has run training courses for university teachers and/or administrators in Spain, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Malaysia and Sweden.

Bob Wilkinson was the initiator of a conference series on Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education, and has been conference chair for the three conferences held in Maastricht (2003, 2006, and 2013). A series of publications followed from these conferences, including the seminal one in 2004.

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Expertise

Academic writing in English, principally in fields such as biomedical sciences, economics, management sciences, and educational sciences.

Professional Career History

  • 2016-to date: Retired; consultancy work.
  • 1998-2016: Maastricht University - Language Centre, NL.
  • 1990-1998: Worldneth Language Centre, Maastricht, NL (includes work for Maastricht University and many business firms & governmental organizations).
  • 1982-1989: Rijkshogeschool, Opleiding tot Vertaler, Maastricht, NL (translation training, includes working for Maastricht University since 1984).
  • 1978-1981: Univerzita P.J. Safarika, Presov, Czechoslovakia (lector in English) (now Presovska Univerzita).
  • 1976-1978: Golspie High School, Sutherland, Scotland.
  • 1974-1975: Cegos SA, Suresnes, France (language trainer & consultant).
  • 1973-1975: Universite de la Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris III, France (lecteur).
  • 1971-1972: Lycee Aristide Briand, Saint-Nazaire, France (assistant).
  • 1968-1969: Board of Trade (Dept of Trade & Industry), London.

Education

  • 1981-82: University of Edinburgh (MSc in Applied Linguistics).
  • 1975-1976: University of Edinburgh (DipEd), Moray House College of Education (Teaching Certificate (Scotland); TEFL)
  • 1969-1973: University of Ulster, Derry/Coleraine, N. Ireland (BA).
  • 1967-1968: Institut Britannique, Paris.

Research Profile

Language teaching methodology; language policy; integrated content and language learning in higher education.

Publications (selected)

  • Wilkinson, R. & Walsh, M.L. (2015) (Eds.). Integrating content and language in higher education: Putting theory into practice. Berne, Hamburg: Peter Lang.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2014). Contrasting attitudes towards a bilingual institutional language policy under internationalization. Fachsprache 1-2, 11-30.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2013). English-medium instruction at a Dutch university: challenges and pitfalls. In: Doiz, A.; Lasagabaster, D.; Sierra, J.M. (Eds.): English-Medium Instruction at University Worldwide. Challenges and Ways Forward. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2011). If all business education were in English, would we notice the difference? Business English in Europe Conference. HogeSchool Universiteit Brussel. ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 161, 111-123.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2011). What can we learn from practice about changing the instructional language? Impacts and teaching techniques. EAIE Raabe Handbooks on International Education.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2009). Inequity in teaching content in different languages: A case study of an English native speaker teaching professional skills in Dutch. In: Veronesi, D., & Nickenig, C. (eds.). BiMU 07 – Bi- and multilingual universities. European perspectives and beyond. Proceedings of the 2nd BiMU conference. Bozen-Bolzano, 20-22 September 2007. Bolzano: Bozen – Bolzano University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-88-6046-024-0. Available at: http://www.unibz.it/en/public/universitypress/publications/all/Documents/9788860460240.pdf
  • Wilkinson, R. (2008). English-taught study courses: principles and practice. In: C. Gnutzmann (ed.). English in Academia. Catalyst or Barrier?. Tübingen: Gunter Narr. (169-182)
  • Wilkinson, R. (2008). Locating the ESP space in problem-based learning: English-medium degree programmes from a post-Bologna perspective. In: Fortanet-Gomez, I., & Räisänen, C. (eds.). ESP in European Higher Education. (AALS 4). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (55-73)
  • Wilkinson, R., & Zegers, V. (eds.) (2008). Realizing Content and Language Integration in Higher Education. Maastricht: Universiteit Maastricht. (e-book) Available at: http://arno.unimaas.nl/show.cgi?fid=12521
  • Wilkinson, R., & Zegers, V. (eds.) (2007). Researching Content and Language Integration in Higher Education. Maastricht: Universiteit Maastricht.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2007). Citation behaviour in psychology: Acquiring the domain culture. In: Ahmad, K., & Rogers, M. (eds.). Evidence-based LSP: Translation, Text and Terminology. Bern: Peter Lang, (Series: Linguistic Insights, vol. 47). (177-194)
  • Wilkinson, R., Klaassen, R., & Räsänen, A. (2006). Instructional practices and quality of learning: Do exchange students get a raw deal? In: Way, C., Soriano, G., Limon, D., & Amador, C. (eds.). Enhancing the Erasmus Experience: Papers on Student Mobility. [TEMCU project] Granada: Editorial Atrio. (161-174)
  • Wilkinson, R., & Zegers, V. (2006). Assessing incipient language competences: An institutional perspective. In: Wilkinson, R., Zegers, V., & Van Leeuwen, C. (eds.). Bridging the Assessment Gap in English-Medium Higher Education. Bochum: AKS-Verlag. (Series: Fremdsprachen in Lehre und Forschung (FLF): Band 40). (61-76)
  • Wilkinson, R., & Zegers, V. (2006). Introduction: The eclectic nature of assessment issues in content and language integrated higher education. In: Wilkinson, R., Zegers, V., & Van Leeuwen, C. (eds.).  Bridging the Assessment Gap in English-Medium Higher Education. Bochum: AKS-Verlag. (Series: Fremdsprachen in Lehre und Forschung (FLF): Band 40). (25-39)
  • Wilkinson, R., Zegers, V., & Van Leeuwen, C. (eds.) (2006). Bridging the Assessment Gap in English-Medium Higher Education. Bochum: AKS-Verlag. (Series: Fremdsprachen in Lehre und Forschung (FLF): Band 40).
  • Wilkinson, R. (2005). The impact of language on teaching content: views from the content teacher. Paper at the “Bi- and Multilingual Universities – challenges and future prospects” conference in Helsinki 1-3 September 2005. Available from: http://www.palmenia.helsinki.fi/congress/bilingual2005/presentations/wilkinson.pdf
  • Wilkinson, R. (2005). Effective design in integrated content and language learning: factors, challenges, opportunities. In: Alam, J. (ed.). Faculty Academic English. Proceedings of 6th Annual Symposium. Ankara, Turkey: Bilkent University Faculty Academic English Program. (2-16)
  • Wilkinson, R., Rijlaarsdam, G., Van Essen, A. (2005). Patterns of citation behaviour in published psychology articles. In: Allal, L., & Dolz, J. (eds.). Proceedings Writing2004 [CD]. Adcom Productions. (141-147)
  • Wilkinson, R. (2004). Integrating content in language and language in content: Conclusions from experiences. In: Wilkinson, R. (ed.). Integrating Content and Language: Meeting the Challenge of a Multilingual Higher Education. Maastricht: Maastricht University Press. (455-467)
  • Wilkinson, R. (ed.). (2004). Integrating Content and Language: Meeting the Challenge of a Multilingual Higher Education. Maastricht: Maastricht University Press. Wilkinson, R. (2003). Domain-specific writing: acquiring expertise in psychology writing. In: C van Leeuwen & R Wilkinson (eds.). Multilingual Approaches in University Education: Challenges and Practices. Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers/Talencentrum Universiteit Maastricht. (163-185)
  • Hellekjaer, G.O., & Wilkinson, R. (2003). Trends in Content Learning through English at Universities: A Critical Reflection. In: C van Leeuwen & R Wilkinson (eds.). Multilingual Approaches in University Education: Challenges and Practices. Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers/Talencentrum Universiteit Maastricht. (81-102) Van Leeuwen, C., & Wilkinson, R. (eds.) (2003). Multilingual Approaches in University Education: Challenges and Practices. Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers/Talencentrum Universiteit Maastricht.
  • Wilkinson, R. (2002). Merging content and language: developing domain-specific writing skills in an arts and culture programme. In: F. Luttikhuizen (ed.) V Congrés Internacional sobre Llengües per a Finalitats Específiques. (The Language of International Communication). Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. (368-376)
  • Wilkinson, R. (2001). Merging content and language: developing critical reading skills in culture and science. In: Mayer, F. (ed.). Language for Special Purposes: Perspectives for the New Millenium. Vol. 1. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. (409-417). Hellekjaer, G.O., & Wilkinson, R. (2001). Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in higher education: An issue-raising workshop. In: Mayer, F. (ed.). Language for Special Purposes: Perspectives for the New Millenium. Vol. 1. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. (398-408).
  • Machowinski, H., Meder, G., Shannon-Little, T., & Wilkinson, R. (2000). Language preparation for international MBAs: scientists and engineers. (Leonardo project working party). (Materials). Essen: Haus der Technik.
  • Wilkinson, R. (1998). Audience effects on presenters. In: R Gibson (ed). International Communication in Business: Theory and Practice. Sternenfels, Berlin: Verlag Wissenschaft & Praxis. (97-108)
  • Wilkinson, R., & Foster, SF. (1998). Assessing task motivation in an LSP programme. In: L Lundquist, H Picht & J Qvistgaard (eds). LSP: Identity and Interface. Research, Knowledge and Society. Proceedings of 11th European Symposium on LSP. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School. (965-975)
  • Wilkinson, R., & Swaak, TA. (1994). Reverse-role simulations: applications with pre-experience students. In: S Barrueco, E Hernández, L Sierra (eds). Lenguas para Fines Específicos (III). Investigación y Enseñanza (Proceedings of Alcalá LSP Conference 1993), Alcalá de Henares: Universidad de Alcalá Servicio de Publicaciones, Spain. (29-38).
  • Wilkinson, R., & Geerligs, T. (1994). Language teaching for specific purposes within a problem-based curriculum. In: S Barrueco, E Hernández, L Sierra (eds). Lenguas para Fines Específicos (III). Investigación y Enseñanza (Proceedings of Alcalá LSP Conference 1993), Alcalá de Henares: Universidad de Alcalá Servicio de Publicaciones, Spain. (13-28).
  • Wilkinson, R., Swaak, TA, & Foster, SF. (1994). Repetition, rephrasing and reconstructing in international business: enhancing understanding and confidence in the other tongue. In: M Brekke, Ø Andersen, T Dahl, J Myking (eds). Applications and Implications of Current LSP Research (Proceedings of 9th European Symposium on LSP). Bergen: University of Bergen/Norwegian School of Economics & Business Administration. (pp151-162).
  • Wilkinson, R. (1993). Clockwise - acquiring effective and productive meetings skills. Language and Intercultural Training, 14/1, (pp4-7).
  • Wilkinson, R., Swaak, T., & Foster, SF. (1992). Fluency development by means of simulations. In S Barrueco, MJ Sánchez & L Sierra. Actas de las 1 Jornadas Internacionales del Ingles Academico, Technico y Profesional: Investigacion y Enseñanza, Alcalá de Henares: Universidad de Alcalá Servicio de Publicaciones, Spain. (pp204-208).
  • Wilkinson, R. (1991). The souring of the optimism: stimulus to the growth of English in Europe? English - a World Language, 2. (pp51-54).
  • Wilkinson, R. (1991). Innovation and development in English in Europe. In T Caudery (ed). New Thinking in TEFL. The Dolphin, no. 21, Aarhus: Aarhus University Press. (pp159-169).
  • Foster, SF & Wilkinson, R. (1991). Development and uses of a language screening test for business students. In C Braecke (ed). Business Communication in Multilingual Europe. Antwerp: UFSIA. 1991. (pp127-138).
  • Wilkinson, R. (1990). Trends in European English. In G Niemann & A Lee (eds). Protokoll der fünften Tagung der Arbeitsgruppe "Fremdsprachen". Oestrich-Winkel: European Business School. (Also on ERIC Datafile, Washington.)
  • Wilkinson, R. (1990). Information structure variability: translating into the foreign language. In GM Anderson and MA Rogers (eds). Translation in Teaching and Teaching Translation, v.III. Guildford: CLTS, University of Surrey. (pp71-85).

Teaching experience

Teaching academic writing to first-year students (especially economic and business); research proposal writing (for Master's students in molecular life sciences and health sciences); writing for publication (PhD students - biomedical sciences at UM; management sciences at MSM, Open Universiteit NL, & Nyenrode; educational sciences & psychology at Open Universiteit NL).
Teaching presentation skills, especially for conference or seminar publications (PhD students and staff).
Previously: in-company training in English for a large number of companies in Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and France.

Education Projects

  • Quality Management of International Profiles (coordinated by ZHAW, CH) (2016-2017)
  • IntlUni project: International classroom project involving 38 universities in 27 countries (coordinated by Aarhus University, DK) (2012-2015)
  • Maastricht-Kyiv-Tbilisi project: training academic staff to teach PhD writing. (2011-2013).
  • ECOSTAR project: Redeveloping English training for staff and students for Science and Technology through the medium of English (coordinated by ORT Braude College , ISR) (2014-2016)
  • Residential training programmes on Languages for Specific Purposes, PBL, English-medium instruction given in Madrid (3x), Athens (3x), Leipzig, Pyatigorsk (Russia), Debrecen (Hungary) among others.  

Extra Activities

  • ICLHE Conferences (2003, 2006, 2013, 2015): Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education, a series of major conferences at Maastricht focusing on the interface between language and what is taught, including all aspects of policy, instructional design, and the institutional and societal impacts. Associated events under the same banner have been held in Cape Town (2001, and 2011) and Gothenburg (2012). Currently working on fifth conference (Copenhagen, 2017) http://iclhe2017.ku.dk
  • ICLHE Association (2016- ): established 6 December 2016. In informal existence since 2010, with around 90 members from some 25 countries. http://iclhe.org

Membership of Associations

IATEFL (UK), ICLHE Association
Prior to retirement: BAAL (UK), BALEAP (UK), EARLI, EATAW, EALTA, IPrA

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