WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE LEARNER-CENTERED EMI CLASSROOM IN HIGHER EDUCATION? A QUALITATIVE SYSTEMATIC EXAMINATION OF STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS USING THEMATIC SYNTHESIS APPROACH
University of Tsukuba (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:English Medium of Instruction (EMI) is becoming universal in many academic disciplines, and internationalization is being realized via ‘Englishization’ of the curriculum within many higher education institutions. While many studies of EMI tend to focus on macro- (institutional implementation) and meso- (teacher training and qualification) levels, there is a paucity of research on micro-level processes related to pedagogical effectiveness from students’ experiences. By drawing on several influential theoretical perspectives on effective teaching and learner-centered pedagogy (Chickering & Gamson, 1987; Merrill, 2002; Ramsden, 2003) this study aims to synthesize qualitative evidence exploring the university students’ perceptions and experiences of learner-centered teaching.
A pre-specified search strategy was applied to Web of Science (SSCI, ESCI), ERIC, Scopus, ProQUEST and Google Scholar from starting dates. Two independent reviewers sifted articles and assessed study quality. The quality of reports was assessed by using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) tool. Qualitative data coding and indexing were assisted by MAXQDA software. Principles of directed content analysis and systematic thematic synthesis were applied to extract the findings from included studies.
Of 1,789 unique articles identified, 63 articles met inclusion criteria. The results identified two main categories of themes that explain learner-centered pedagogy from students’ perspective:
(1) EMI-specific learner-centered pedagogy (EMI-LCP) supported by such themes as quality interaction, positive translanguaging and codeswitching, negotiation of meaning, effective scaffolding, teacher questioning, teacher’s rhetorical style.
(2) Generic learner-centered pedagogy (G-LCP) explained by such themes as student engagement and motivation, student-student interaction, learner autonomy, participatory learning environment, focus on meaning and real-world application, thinking skills, effective assessment, and rapport.
These are important considerations for intervention development. Strategies to enhance learner-centeredness of EMI pedagogy and their implication for the slowly emerging theory of EMI are discussed.
Keywords: English medium instruction, learner-centered pedagogy, systematic thematic synthesis, higher education, student perspectives.