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Joan McCormack

  • ISLI PSE Admissions Tutor. As ISLI Pre-sessional  Admissions Tutor, I work with the with Global Recruitment Admissions team, to promote the academic aspects of the PSE programme, and deal with queries related to this.
  • Module convenor for: Intercultural Competence and Communication, an ISLI Global Graduate Module.

Areas of interest

My main area of interest is cross-cultural communication and competence, and how to support students in their transition from a Presessional Programme to their academic programme, especially in terms of developing their extended writing skills, and oral communication skills.


I have worked at ISLI for over 20 years. I started my teaching career in Tokyo, as a secondary school teacher of French, European History and Drama; I have also taught at Shujitsu University in Okayama. I spent two years working in Arequipa Peru, and then in San Sebastian Spain. I first came to the University of Reading to do an MA in TEFL, and from this became involved in EAP teaching. Working at UoR as a tutor, Course Director and then Programme Director has enabled me to continue to work with international students which is the aspect of my work I most enjoy.

My most recent work has involved developing a course to enhance cross-cultural understanding between home and international students through developing intercultural competency skills. This is an eclectic programme drawing on lecturer expertise from a range of academic disciplines, aimed at raising awareness, understanding and empathy between students from different cultural backgrounds



Academic qualifications

MA TEFL University of Reading

RSA Diploma in TEFL, (Cambridge DELTA) International House Piccadilly, London

Higher Diploma in Higher Education, Trinity College Dublin

BA in French and History, University College, Dublin

Licentiate Diploma in Speech and Drama, Leinster School of Music, Dublin


Professional bodies/affiliations

Senior Fellow of the Higher education Academy (SFHEA) 

British Association of English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP)


Selected publications

Conference Papers and Presentations

May 2021 – China-based Association for Partnership in Educational (CAPED) online Conference China joint delivery Supporting Staff in Intercultural competence

October 2018 – EAP Ireland Conference Dublin, presentation on The role of Intercultural Competency in Adapting to Diverse Cultural Environments

June 2018 – University of Reading, joint delivery of workshop with ISLI and CQSD colleagues on Introducing Teaching and Supporting Learning 

February 2018 and February 2019 – University of Reading, joint delivery of workshop on Developing Intercultural Competence for Teaching and Supporting Learning

November 2017 – University of Nottingham, BALEAP PIM Joint Presentation on An Experiment in introducing Intercultural Competency into the EAP classroom


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