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Research report

Bridging Programmes

Ian McGrath and Stephen Bailey

Preparation for undergraduate study through the medium of English

English-medium universities require evidence that an applicant has a level of English such that they can cope with a course taught through the medium of English. Although universities may accept a range of English language qualifications, the most widely accepted international English language qualifications are IELTS and TOEFL. An alternative route to acceptance is through a bridging course.

This report analyses the need for what will be termed ‘bridging programmes’. These are preparatory courses for non-native speakers (NNSs) of English wishing to undertake English-medium undergraduate (UG) study in Anglophone countries and elsewhere. It examines the range of such programmes available internationally and identifies effective practices for their design and delivery. Suggestions are also made for further research.