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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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Differences in content presentation and learning outcomes in English-medium instruction (EMI) vs. Italian-medium instruction (IMI) contexts (Francesca Costa / Cristina Mariotti)


Francesca Costa Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Cristina MariottiUniversità degli Studi di Pavia, Italy

Differences in content presentation and learning outcomes in English-medium instruction (EMI) vs. Italian-medium instruction (IMI) contexts

Abstract: This paper will focus on the acquisition and the presentation of content in ICLHE (Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education) classes. The learning of content is indeed one of the most debated but least researched topics in ICLHE settings. In order to investigate it, this initial study takes into consideration two comparable classes in the field of Economics taught by the same lecturer throughout one academic year. The first group is represented by an L1 (Italian) medium instruction class, and the second group by an L2 (English) medium instruction class. Students’ (n. 214) outcomes in terms of marks obtained in two identically comparable written exams are analysed in order to ascertain whether there are any differences in learning outcomes between the two groups. Data triangulation is obtained by an interview with the lecturers and by the comparative analysis of the input presentation strategies of the lecturers in the two groups, collected by means of observations and transcriptions of the lectures. The results show that, based on students’ marks, the two groups do not differ significantly as regards learning outcomes. Some differences are to be found in the lecturer’s input as regards the number of interactions, the use of synonyms, the use of paraphrases and the use of examples in the two groups. Concerning the...

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