Cover Page






Simon Morley dedicates this book to the loving memory
of his father, Michael Morley, 16 June 1926–27 March 2014.


The authors wish to thank the University of Southampton for its initial support of this project through its Internationalisation Fund and the University’s Winchester School of Art, on whose teaching practices most of the book is based. Simon Morley was responsible for researching, compiling and writing Sections I, III, IV and V. Annie Makhoul coordinated Sections I, II and V, in addition to overseeing the entire project from its early stages.

Many academic staff at the Winchester School of Art have provided invaluable support, resources and advice during the development of this project and our sincere thanks go to Cecilia Langemar, Tim Metcalf, Nick Stewart and Ray Yang for photography for the illustrations, and to Monica Chen and Craig Wadman for the illustrations themselves. We also wish to thank many others who have made a contribution to this project at various stages. Our special thanks go to Professor Ryan Bishop and Professor Jonathan Harris, without whom this project would not have reached its final stages.

The following works and websites were consulted. For the verb list in Section V, the University of Southampton’s Quality Handbook, ‘Writing Aims and Learning Outcomes’ ( For Section I: The Free Dictionary (, Artcyclopedia (, Artlex ( and Webmuseum ( For Section V, John Lechte’s Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Post-Humanism (London and New York: Routledge, 2nd edn, 2008), the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( and the European Graduate School website (


Studying is always rewarding and daunting, ecstatic and frustrating, challenging and demanding. It is doubly so in a second language. The guide you hold in your hand is designed with these demands and rewards in mind, crafted carefully over many years to heighten the positive elements of studying art, design or media in a second language and to minimise the negative elements. This book’s goal is to make your life as a student easier and more fulfilling. The authors of the work have long experience with second-language learning situations, including having both studied and taught in such settings, and they have determined what kinds of information would be of most benefit to students of art, design or media in English when students are not native speakers of the language. The fields of art, design and media are internationalising at a rapid rate, demanding collaborations across national borders and often in English. Students well versed in the English-language study of these fields will have distinct advantages and will also be able to generate satisfying collaborative projects.

Based at the Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton, Annie Lu Makhoul is head of the International Studies Department and Simon Morley is an artist and writer who teaches fine art and has much experience working with international students. Together they recognised over their years of engaging with the ever-growing second-language population in art, design and media that a guide of this nature would prove an invaluable aid in the successful negotiation of a student’s career and degree demands. From names of tools to more abstract information (e.g., introductions to important theorists and their thought), and from project examples to strategies for studying and reading lesson plans, this guide covers a wide range of material that will serve any second-language student well throughout his or her time as a student and beyond into a professional career.

Successful study in a second language entails more than simply knowing the language. It also entails understanding differences in methods of teaching and in the classwork that is asked of students. The pedagogy of one’s home country might differ widely from what is asked of students in English-language settings. Primary among the differences is the critical engagement with the materials, projects and assignments required of students in English-language systems. Whether your studies take you to Australia, Canada, the UK, the US, New Zealand or any other English-speaking environment, this guide will aid you in this most demanding and fundamental element of English-language study in art, design and media: critical thinking.

So, if you are now embarking on your own studies in an English-language curriculum, rest assured this guide will be just that: a guide – something that will lead you through the new, uncharted territory of your studies and that will aid you in realising your potential as a student and your goals as a professional.

Ryan Bishop

Professor of Global Art and Politics
and Director of Research,
Winchester School of Art,
University of Southampton