English and higher education ©

British Council Russia

The British Council and Cambridge University Press have developed a unique coursebook: «English for Academics», which will help university staff to develop the skills needed to participate effectively in international educational dialogue.

The Aim

To improve the level of English proficiency among university academic, research and administrative staff and to help universities integrate into international education and improve the international ratings of Russian universities.

The book is for:

  • teachers of any subject
  • research staff
  • administrative staff of higher education institutions
  • postgraduate students                                                                  


Book one comprises 72 academic hours of taught materials and includes the following sections:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing

Full table of contents


  • Unit 1 International academic conferences
  • Unit 2 University teaching, learning and research
  • Unit 3 Academic publications
  • Unit 4 International cooperation


  • Unit 1 Attending a conference
  • Unit 2 Troubleshooting
  • Unit 3 Networking
  • Unit 4 In the audience


  • Unit 1 Socialising
  • Unit 2 Presentation skills


  • Unit 1 Academic correspondence
  • Unit 2 Writing a summary
  • Unit 3 Writing an abstract
  • Unit 4 Writing an executive summary of a grant proposal

The set also includes a teacher’s book and audio materials available online.


The group of authors consists of 12 teachers from various Russian cities, who were selected on the basis of open tender in March 2012.

The final group of authors:

Bezzabotnova O.A (Krasnoyarsk)
Bogolepova S.V (Moscow)
Gorbachev V.V (Moscow)
Groza O.L (Krasnoyarsk)
Ivanova A.V (Krasnoyarsk)
Kuzmina T.A (Moscow)
Kuznetsova L.B (Saint-Petersburg)
Oschepkova T.V (Omsk)
Pervuhina I.V (Ekaterinburg)
Suchkova S.A (Samara)
Shadrova E.V (Vologda)
Shelenkova I.V (Tambov)

The course was written under the guidance of the UK expert and project consultant – Rod Bolitho.
Rod Bolitho is Academic Director at the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE) and Head of the Masters Programme in English language teaching professional development.

Where to buy

ISBN 978-1-107-43476-9

If you have any questions about purchasing the book you can contact «Britannia»

Contact details for book orders:

Telephone +7 495 786 25 65
Website: www.britannia-elt.ru
Stores addresses


In February 2013, British Council Russia began pilot testing the course materials. More than 60 universities in Russia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Belarus participated in the pilot process. As a result, 450 questionnaire forms were collected, providing detailed feedback that allowed the authors to revise and improve the book’s materials.

The results have shown that there is a huge demand for such a book in the academic environment among teachers and higher education institution staff, who want to use English in their work.

«The book helps to broaden one’s knowledge of English and it also contains important academic information»
Piloting participant

The British Council would like to express its gratitude to all those who participated in the piloting of «English for Academics» materials.

Baseline research

A large-scale research project carried out by the British Council in 2011 anticipated the release of this book. This research was led by Elena Frumina and Richard West — Russian and British experts in the field of English language teaching at higher education institutions. The main aim of the research was to describe and analyse the process of teaching English to students from faculties that do not focus on language studies ie. engineering. This is prompted by the growing internationalisation of higher education.

The authors of this research touched upon the range of aspects that influence the process of the internationalisation of higher education and provided recommendations for further work in this field. One such recommendation included the need to improve the level of English language proficiency among teaching staff and academics of higher education institutions, in particular, the creation of an «English for Academics» course. Furthermore, the research suggested that a more detailed analysis of academic English should be conducted and an «academic language framework» should be created for practical use in Russian universities. You can find a sample «academic language framework» in the supplement to the research.

You can download the full version of the research here.

Webinar: English for academics

This webinar was devoted to the principles underlying the «English for Academics» course developed by the British Council and Cambridge University Press in 2014. The aim of the coursebook is to improve the level of English of university teachers and scientists and to contribute to the internationalisation of higher education.

Watch the webinar here.
Download the presentation here.

Speaker: Ekaterina Shadrova, PhD in Pedagogy, British Council regional trainer based in Vologda. Ekaterina teaches English at Vologda State University and is a co-author of «English for Academics».

Webinar: From needs and principles to evaluation: how effective textbooks are created

 In this webinar we looked at the process of textbook development. We considered the stages and the outcomes of each stage, discussed the current thinking about what principles teaching materials should be based on and how their evaluation can be carried out. The theory was illustrated by the examples from English for Academics, Books 1&2.

Watch the webinar here

Speaker: Svetlana Bogolepova, Ph.D., senior teacher at National Research University "Higher School of Economics", Department of Foreign Languages‘