Teaching Content in Multilingual Classrooms

Report
Teaching Content in EFL
Classrooms
WORK HISTORY
RESEARCH HISTORY
16 years of language teaching
-10 at universities in Australia, Japan
& Europe
-8 teaching content in EFL settings
PhD in Education
(Second language teaching and
Learning)
(Global Englishes)
Heath Rose
School of Linguistic, Speech &
Communication Sciences,
Trinity College, The University of Dublin,
Ireland
Workshop outline
The global context of English
medium instruction
The bilingual and multilingual
student
The curriculum of content-driven
programs in EFL settings
Understanding the future usage
of language by our students
Opening questions…
• In what department do you teach (or study)?
• If you are engaged in the teaching of content
through English:
– Why do students choose to learn this content through
English?
– Why did the department decide to offer courses
taught in English?
• If you are engaged in language teaching:
– What ways can you/do you incorporate content into
the curriculum?
Part 1
THE GLOBAL CONTEXT OF ENGLISH
MEDIUM INSTRUCTION
Key terms
•
•
•
•
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)
Content-based language teaching (CBLT)
Content and Language Integrated Learning
(CLIL)
• English Medium Instruction (EMI)
What is CLIL?
CLIL: Content and Language Integrated
Learning
• ‘CLIL is an approach in which a foreign
language is used as a tool in the learning of a
non-language subject in which both language
and the subject have a joint role.’ (Marsh in
Coyle, 2006).
• CLIL is teaching content with language
sensitivity.
Global Context
• “English medium instruction has become
commonplace in many institutes of higher
education where English is not the native
language” (Wilkinson, 2013: 3)
– Economic, social, political & educational drivers
• Half of the world’s international students are
learning through English (Ball & Lindsay, 2013)
• Internationalisation and English Medium
Instruction are intertwined (Kirkpatrick, 2011)
European Context
• In 2007, there were 2400 programs taught in
English at 400 mainland European universities
and colleges.
• This is a 340% increase in just 5 years
– (In 2002 only 700 such programs)
(Source: Wachter & Waiworm, 2008)
• This trend in happening worldwide (Doiz et al.,
2013)
The Japanese context
• Economic and political drivers are playing a vital
role in recent years, and will continue to have a
huge impact on English content programs in the
future in Japanese higher education.
• However, the initial movement toward content
was more driven by educational needs, rather
than political or economic drivers.
– Need for education of an international population
– Need for further development of high-proficiency
students in universities known for language
specialization.
Changing approaches to education
Universities
(General)
High School
20-30
years ago
Grammar
CLT
Centered
Grammar
Now
Centered
Future
CLT
CLT
CBLT
CBLT
CBLT
Universities
(Specialists)
EMI
?
(CLIL)
EMI (CLIL)
This movement is just the beginning in
Japan
Domestic firms require English proficiency
(TOEIC)
Globalization is causing greater use of English as
Lingua Franca in business and society
International firms require use of English in
some capacity (e.g. Maersk)
Domestic firms are pushing to use English as a
Lingua Franca (e.g. Uniqlo, Rakuten)
Universities are attempting to tap into the
international student market
Part 2
STUDENTS ENGAGED IN EMI IN THE
GLOBAL CONTEXT
Defining Bilingualism
Language 1
Language 2
100
75
50
25
0
Monolingual
Balanced
bilingual
Dominant
bilingual
Subtractive
bilingual
Semilingual
Q1 What is the background of the
students in your typical classroom?
Balanced
bilingual
(L1 ≈ L2)
Dominant
bilingual
(Highly
proficient)
Dominant
bilingual
(Less
proficient)
Monolingual
Subtractive
bilingual
Dominant
Bilingual
Balanced
Bilingual /
monolingual
NES
Highly
proficient
Bilingual
Less
proficient
Bilingual
Native-English
Native English as a yardstick
What does this mean for the
classroom?
• Many teachers see the multilingual mixedlanguage-ability classroom as a balancing act
between between higher & lower proficiency
students.
• If you focus on language, higher proficiency
students gets bored. If you teach at a high level,
the lower proficiency students are at a
disadvantage.
• A move toward content shifts focus away from
language.
– In the language classroom shift to academic skills
Ways to minimize language differences
in a content classroom
1. Do not use Native English as a yardstick
2. Teach with language sensitivity / support
3. Shift the focus of assessment on knowledge
of content rather than language ability.
4. For lower proficiency classes, follow a
standard text, or compilation of readings.
5. Adapt teaching methods to incorporate more
student-centered approaches
1. Don’t use the Native English as a
yardstick for comparison
I teach like I would back home. If the
students can’t handle my class, it’s their
problem. They shouldn’t be in the class.
Content
teacher
If your students are not native English
speakers, do not expect them to perform
like one in terms of language ability. They
ARE in your class, and NE should not be the
yardstick for their performance.
This point of view is quite antiquated, and
not in line with current trends of how
English is used as an international language
2. Teach with language sensitivity
I don’t want to “dumb-down” content.
Content
teacher
Being sensitive to language used in the
classroom and in lectures DOES NOT mean
you have to “dumb-down” the content.
Being sensitive to language can merely
involve adapting your vocabulary choices,
clarity of speech and organization of ideas.
Airey (2011)
• Airey did her doctoral research on student and
teacher attitudes in a Swedish university
where students learned through English.
• Students thought there was no difference in
their ability to learn content in their L1 and L2.
• However, her study discovered important
differences in learning and understanding of
key concepts in the L2.
3. Shift the focus on assessment of
knowledge of content rather than
language use.
• Use a grading rubric rather than assigning an
arbitrary score to written assignments and
presentations. This way you minimize your
evaluation of language as part of the final score.
• Don’t grade content papers for grammar (or
don’t make this the focus of your feedback)
• Content, support for ideas, and successful
communication of this content should be the
focus of assessment, rather than grammar.
How can I justify giving an “A” to a paper full
of grammatical errors?
Teacher
If you are a content lecturer, it is the students’
demonstration of and application of content
that should be of primary interest.
If you are a language teacher, it is the
communicative effectiveness of the
assignment which should be valued over
grammatical accuracy. Over-correcting
grammar detracts from a communicative
focus.
Should students be treated
differently?
• In mixed ability classroom, assessment is a point
of contention for many engaged in CLIL.
• Ball & Linsay (2013) note that many teachers are
torn between the unfairness to lower-proficiency
students when students are treated the same,
and the unfairness to higher proficiency students
if a distinction in assessment is made.
• Ultimately, this decision is a matter of classroom
policy (BUT lower proficiency students CAN
outperform even the NES)
4. Follow a standard text, or
compilation of readings
• Following a standard text allows students to
take advantage of their different strengths and
weaknesses.
– If a student has had difficulty following a lecture,
they can find the information in the text.
– Following a standard text can give your course
structure, which can improve understanding of
course content.
– Ask students to read before the lecture (Airey,
2011)
5. Adapt approaches to teaching
• Try to employ more student-centered approaches to
your classes.
• Studies in education show that students learn more
through discussion and discovery than through lectures
alone.
– This is also true in NE environments
– In NNES environments, different approaches can elicit
more participation from students (e.g. engage in group
discussions, before class discussion or student Q & A)
• Airey (2011) found EMI courses to have less interaction in lectures
and students were more hesitant to ask and answer questions).
What the literature says…
• “Students may find that listening to lectures does not
enhance their own productive competencies (writing
and speaking) in the subjects of study. For this reason a
student-centered approach has been argued as
important for helping both academic staff and
students” (Wilkinson, 2013: 15)
• Swain argues for increased language production for
students.
• “A learner is unconvinced that he/she has assimilated a
concept until he/she has ‘expressed it’.” (Ball & Lindsay,
2013)
Part 3
THE CURRICULUM OF CONTENTDRIVEN PROGRAMS IN EFL SETTINGS
Typical course structures of bilingual
education programs
Y1
Y4
Language
Support
Content-based courses
Skills-based courses (e.g. English
for Academic purposes)
Content-based courses
Content-based courses
Skillsbased
courses
Courses taught in L1
Importance of skill training in a
content-driven curriculum
• CALP (Cognitive Academic Language
Proficiency) is MORE vital than general
language ability when undertaking content
classes in a foreign language (Doiz,
Lasagabaster, & Sierra, 2013)
• Thus, academic skills courses are essential for
NNES [and NES for that matter] before
engaging in the learning of content in a
foreign language.
Academic English is NOT the same as
Native English
Academic language is no one’s mother tongue,
and especially not so to international students if
it is the alien version called academic English.
(Klitgard, 2011: 186)
Introductory EAP:
Overseas EAP: First content courses Advanced EAP:
Training to use EIL for study
Experience using
EILlanguage support
First business
with
(ESP) projects in English
purposes
Overseas exchange
programs further
use of EIL
Using English for
academic study of
business content
Career-focused courses
and internships using EIL
Question 2
• How is the program organized in the
department where you teach?
Draw a simple diagram on your handout …
Learning outcomes
Outcomes should be created from
student needs.
Curriculum design is a backward
process it starts at analyzing
students’ FUTURE needs.
Q3 Your Learning Outcomes
• On the handout, think of learning outcomes
for a course that you teach.
• Write two outcomes that you expect students
to have already achieved BEFORE they take
your course.
• Write two outcomes that students should
have achieved AFTER completion of your
course.
Improving coordination between
courses within a program
• Outcomes need to be established for each
course
• Outcomes need to be consistent for all
courses sharing the same subject name.
• Outcomes for previous courses MUST match
up with expectations of later courses if not,
the curriculum is failing to meet student
needs.
Part 4
UNDERSTANDING YOUR STUDENTS’
FUTURE ENGLISH USAGE
Task 3
The changing sociolinguistic landscape
of English
Over 1 billion English learners worldwide (McKay, 2012, p. 28).
750 million - EFL speakers
375 million - ESL speakers (Beare, 2010).
1/5
1/4
1/3
(CRYSTAL, 2008:5)
Native
Non-native
Despite movements toward English as
an International Language (Not NL)
The ELT industry continues to view the English language
as a static, monolithic entity and Native English (NE), or
‘native-like’ proficiency is the desired goal.
Matsuda and Friedrich (2012) point out, “the linguistic,
cultural and functional diversity associated with English
today challenges some of the fundamental assumptions
of English language teaching (ELT) and requires that we
revisit our pedagogical practices, especially in classrooms
where English is taught as an international language” (p.
17).
What is needed in the future of ELT—
especially in content-based courses
• Respect for multilingualism
– Students’ first language is a resource, not a hindrance
• Value of “non-standard” varieties of English
– Eradicate stereotypes about “standard” English
– Exposure to a variety of English in classes
– Hiring of non-native English speaking teachers
• Emphasis on communication strategies and
intelligibility over adherence to “native English
norms”
Listening Journal
Discussions
Thank you
Heath Rose
School of Linguistic, Speech & Communication
Sciences,
Trinity College, The University of Dublin, Ireland
[email protected]

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