In this Issue:
Jennifer Valcke, Amanda C. Murphy, Francesca Costa | Joanne Pagèze, David Lasagabaster | Elizabeth Long | Susanna Broggini| Robert Wilkinson, René Gabriëls | Cristina Mariotti | Francesca Helm, Fiona Dalziel
Jennifer Valcke, Amanda C. Murphy, Francesca Costa | Introduction EMI – A Tool for the Internationalisation of Higher Education
Round table moderated by Prof. Simonetta Polenghi, Professor of History of Education, Head of the Department of Education | What are we Changing when we Teach in English? Views from the Schools of Economics, Mathematics and Physics, Engineering and Linguistics
The Round Table was set up to provide a variety of answers to the same question: What are we changing when we teach in English? Representatives from four different disciplinary areas took part, three from Milan – Management, Engineering and Linguistics – and two – Maths and Physics – from Brescia. The issues that were brought up overlap to some extent, but each disciplinary area pointed out something original, indicating areas for future research. The speakers’ contributions have been edited slightly, but some elements of spoken discourse have been preserved for the sake of authenticity.
Francesca Costa | The Introduction of English as an Academic Language in a Faculty of Physics and Mathematics in Italy
The use of English as a medium of instruction at university level has increased dramatically in the last 15 years all over Europe. English-taught programmes are often imposed top-down, and this article presents one of the very few cases in which the process and decision-making have been documented, in terms of a pre-feasibility study conducted through a student questionnaire and interview with the Dean. The research is set within the Italian context of a Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. Results reveal that in general students have a positive attitude towards this implementation, but many adjustments still need to be carried out.
Keywords: EMI, English as an academic language, Mathematics and physics
Joanne Pagèze, David Lasagabaster| Teacher Development for Teaching and Learning in English in a French
Higher Education Context
Discussion of the impact of institutional initiatives on the development of EMI in the French context has been minimal due to the particular way in which EMI has emerged in France. The aim of this paper is to explore the impact of a teacher development initiative set up in 2014 at the University of Bordeaux in order to help disciplinary teachers make the transition to teaching their discipline in English. The objective here is to explore how local context is impacting this shift in teaching and learning practices through EMI.
Keywords: teacher development / EMI / France / Internationalisation
This article maps the evolution of lecturer training courses at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia since 2011 to the present to meet the growth of English taught degree programmes being offered. It illustrates a three-pronged approach developed to deliver methodological and language instruction to Italian lecturers through three distinct “Lecturing in English” modules, outlining the rationale behind each element. It also considers the new role of the teacher trainer in training university teachers.
Keywords: English Medium Instruction, teacher education, ongoing professional development, English-taught programmes, UNIMORE.
Susanna Broggini, Amanda C. Murphy | Metadiscourse in EMI lectures: Reflections on a Small Corpus of Spoken Academic Discourse
This paper describes a qualitative study on the use of metadiscourse in EMI university courses. It adopts Noble’s simplified and restricted classification model of metadiscourse markers, adapted from Ädel, focuses on reflexive language and is applied to academic spoken discourse.
Keywords: Metadiscourse, discourse analysis, academic spoken discourse, corpus-based study, qualitative research
Robert Wilkinson, René Gabriëls | Adapting to EMI in Higher Education: Students’ Perceived Learning Strategies 341Adapting to EMI in Higher Education: Students’ Perceived Learning Strategies
To a varying extent, many universities are changing their language of instruction to English in order to position themselves in the global market of higher education. This change attracts mobile students who wish to undertake studies abroad, but they may have to adjust the way they study. The central question in the study we report here is how students perceive an effect of English-medium instruction on their learning strategies. In an exploratory study, students were interviewed about their learning strategies as a consequence of EMI, about possible inequalities in EMI and how they perceive them. The findings suggest that modification of learning strategies depends on personal agency and the learning context. The interviews reveal three types of linguistic asymmetry at the individual level under EMI. The qualitative data confirm findings of previous studies and suggest new perspectives for quantitative research on learning strategies in EMI and linguistic inequalities.
Keywords: English-medium instruction (EMI), learning strategies, language inequalities, linguistic asymmetry
Francesca Costa, Cristina Mariotti | Students’ Outcomes in English-Medium Instruction: Is there any Difference Related to Discipline?
This paper focuses on the acquisition of content in Economics and Science EMI classes taught by the same lecturers. The control group consists of L1-taught classes (Italian), whereas the experimental group consists of L2-taught classes (English). Students’ marks in two comparable written exams are analysed. Data are complemented with interviews with the lecturers. The results show that in some instances the two groups differ significantly as regards the acquisition of content.
Keywords: ICLHE, content acquisition, content presentation, English-medium instruction, Italian-medium instruction
Francesca Helm, Fiona Dalziel | Beyond the Classroom: the Impact of EMI on a University’s Linguistic Landscape
In this paper we explore the linguistic landscape of an Italian state university. A “Linguistic Landscape” refers to the language visible in public spaces, and to a transdisciplinary approach adopted in language policy studies, often in “arenas of contestation”. The EMI context can be considered such an arena; linguistic landscaping offers an exciting new methodological approach, enabling observation of the changing face of universities in their quest for ever-increasing internationalisation.
Keywords: English-Medium Instruction (EMI), Linguistic Landscape (LL), language policy, internationalisation
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