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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

Perspectives on Professional Practice

Edited By Jennifer Valcke and Robert Wilkinson

This book offers a collection of original papers showing how Higher education institutions have coped with changing the language of instruction. It points out that Higher education institutions have undergone radical change in the past decades; of which the shift to English-medium instruction, as well as bi- or plurilingual programmes, is one notable example. The papers comprise new research on teaching and learning through an additional language, and its impact on professional development for university teachers, programme and course development, as well as quality assurance. The articles span different international contexts, and provide education developers, university teachers, educational administrators, language experts, and others, with global perspectives on the professional practices of university teachers.

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Purposeful interaction and the professional development of content teachers: Observations of small-group teaching and learning in the international classroom (Kevin Haines)

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Kevin HainesUniversity of Groningen, the Netherlands

Purposeful interaction and the professional development of content teachers: Observations of small-group teaching and learning in the international classroom

Abstract: This article discusses the development of a model of ‘purposeful interaction’, which can be used as a framework of reference when supporting the work of content teachers in ‘international classrooms’ in higher education. This model has been developed during observations of the work of content teachers at faculties of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. The model builds on constructive alignment and is informed by principles developed by experts in Internationalization of the Curriculum (IoC) and English-Medium Instruction (EMI). ‘Purposeful interaction’ focuses on teaching and learning activity in internationalized higher education, in which content teachers require a combination of didactic, linguistic and intercultural skills for the delivery of their disciplinary content. The model is also consistent with the principles produced during the IntlUni project (2012–2015), which proposes leveraging diversity as a resource in international classrooms. This article argues that the model of purposeful interaction can play a guiding role in the design of provision in such international classrooms if it is incorporated into the professional development of content teachers.

Keywords: English-medium instruction (EMI); purposeful interaction; international classroom; diversity; professional development

1. Introduction

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