Englishes Mooc

2019 – ongoing
massive open online course


This online course is developed for art students and other young makers who use English in their working lives. It wants them to stop measuring their English along a ‘native’ standard in the international realm. When adapted according to the needs of its users, new varieties of English can emerge.  Englishes Mooc helps to develop practical skills towards this.  It also features a platform for live discussion between its participants.

Englishes Mooc is open to everyone, regardless of English proficiency or academic qualification. Depending on engagement with the community of participants and the assignments, Englishes Mooc takes about two hours per week to complete. It is free of charge.

Englishes Mooc is written and produced by Nicoline van Harskamp, who has worked extensively on the topic in her video and performance work. She introduced the term ‘Englishes’ to describe the global use of English between people who do not speak it as their first language. It refers to the multitude of emerging varieties of English that may eventually replace its dominant strains.

Van Harskamp discussed the issue of English so often with art students that she decided to develop a curriculum for it. She chose an online format that maintains the qualities of a multilingual classroom environment: the Massive online open course (Mooc). Actresses from different language backgrounds perform Van Harskamp’s classes in different types of English. Students and alumni from the affiliated institutions perform the process of learning.

In six thematic modules, presented by women with different language backgrounds, Englishes Mooc helps to develop practical skills towards the shaping of an inclusive and varied ‘Englishes’. The course material is presented in various videos, and video transcripts in PDF format. Additional research material is available as text, audio and weblinks.

There are weekly assignments, the results of which can be uploaded to the panel in order to be discussed.

Between 2019 and 2021, a number of  six-week course cycles started on a fixed date, with a fixed group of people, signed up in advance often through partner institutions.  From April 1st 2022, Englishes Mooc will be accessible non-stop and for free, and no longer require enrollment.


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In 2018, an ulta-short version of Englishes Mooc was produced as part of the opening days of Das Neue Alphabet at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. This video shows the first five episodes.


Englishes Mooc is a project by Nicoline van Harskamp, realised co-operation with the Sandberg Institute and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. It is made possible by the Creative Industries Funds of the Netherlands.

A short version of Englishes Mooc was produced for Das Neue Alfabet opening days at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in 2019.

Educational and art institutions that have co-hosted a six-week cycle of Englishes Mooc are Central St Martins MAGCD in London; Pratt Institute in New York City; Kunstraum D21 in Leipzig and Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst in Oldenburg.