Title of Colloquium:
Multilingual and Multimodal Scaffolding for EMI students
In the era of globalisation, English is the widely used lingua franca in different communicative situations among speakers of different first languages. With the desire for development, modernity and human resource capital for successful participation in the globalised word, many European and Asian societies strive to enhance the English proficiency level of the population. One way to do so is to promote bilingual education programmes, such as English-medium instruction (EMI), where students learn non-language content subjects through English. It is assumed that non-language content subjects provide more authentic and meaningful contexts for learning and using English, thereby enabling students to effectively learn the language, alongside content knowledge. This spread of EMI programmes takes place not only in higher education, where English plays an important role in different academic disciplines and research, but also in secondary and primary schools, where EMI is often regarded as more prestigious. While the potential benefits of EMI are grounded in second language acquisition theories, how to teach abstract content knowledge through English effectively remains a pedagogical concern, especially in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) contexts, where students may not be equipped with sufficient English proficiency to master content knowledge and English simultaneously. It is therefore essential for teachers in these contexts to provide more scaffolding to help students bridge both cognitive and linguistic gaps in content and language learning. These scaffolds include students’ other language(s) and linguistic resources, as well as non-linguistic semiotic resources (e.g., visual aids, gestures, demonstrations). It is argued that teachers should not only use these scaffolds to help students understand the abstract content and unfamiliar academic language (i.e., unpacking), but also to enable students to express their knowledge in appropriate academic language (i.e., repacking). This colloquium seeks to explore how teachers could systematically incorporate different multilingual and multimodal resources in repeated cycles of unpacking and repacking to scaffold their students in EMI classrooms. After a brief introduction of the key issues in EMI classrooms, 4 presenters will share their empirical studies on teachers’ strategic use of multilingual and multimodal scaffolds in different educational contexts, ranging from primary schools to higher education. All the colloquium participants will then discuss some general pedagogical issues and implications for EMI education in EFL contexts.
Dr Yuen Yi LO is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. She is also the Director of the Master of Education programme. She received her doctorate at the University of Oxford and has previously worked at the Hong Kong Education University. Her research interests include bilingual education, Medium of Instruction policy, classroom interaction, cross-curricular collaboration and assessment. Her research has been published in Review of Educational Research, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language Teaching Research and Language and Education.
Title of Presentation: