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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference

Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh

Higher education has seen dramatic changes in the past quarter of a century, notably in the language used for instruction. Universities worldwide are increasingly switching to English enabling them to attract a wide student population. This book presents a new collection of original papers showing how universities apply content and language integrated learning to their instructional contexts. The papers highlight the challenges of theory, policy, programme and course design, integration, and teacher and student competences. The diverse international contexts addressing not just English will be of particular interest to university teachers, educational administrators, linguists and others wishing to understand the instructional landscape of higher education today.
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Support measures for content teaching embedded in a tertiary English-medium degree programme


Abstract This article describes support measures developed by an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) professional to facilitate English-medium instruction (EMI) in a tertiary content department. These initiatives were observed in practice and evaluated from January 2011 to March 2012. Five content lecturers in the academic field of aviation participated in EMI practice and the qualitative evaluation of the support actions through a feedback form. The results showed that the lecturers concerned preferred collaborative group sessions to individual support sessions and appreciated the provision of teaching aids. Furthermore, they favoured joint research and publication activities as well as library orders by the ESP instructor. It may be inferred that these content lecturers prefer brief face-to-face conversations when seeking linguistic advice. The author argues that voluntary participation should be a key principle in any EMI support mechanism and that internal measures at departmental level are easier to accommodate than extended training programmes.

Keywords: English-medium instruction; EMI/ICLHE support; tertiary education; evaluation; ESP

1.  Introduction

English-medium instruction (EMI) or Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education (ICLHE) at universities around the globe is sustained by an increasing mobility of students (Wächter & Maiworm, 2008, p. 32; Smith, 2004, p. 80). Degree programmes fully taught in English enable secondary-level graduates to choose not the universities located closest to their hometown but the ones with the best educational offering. These free-market opportunities for tertiary students may put pressure on higher-education providers in their endeavours to attract dedicated...

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