About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7110-7116
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1663

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

ENGLISH AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN TECHNICAL COURSES: CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY

L. Seguí1, M. Galiana2

1Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
2Universidad Europea deValencia (SPAIN)
English as a common language has become increasingly important in the Spanish university context. Nowadays, public and private institutions have incorporated English as a learning language, usually by combining both Spanish and English. The so-called Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with two parallel aims: the learning of content coupled with the simultaneous learning of a foreign language. However, in higher education, this term has been adapted or transformed to Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education (ICL or ICLHE) or English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI). The difference relies mainly on the fact that in the latter teaching is assumed to be concentrated in the content, while language is considered a medium of instruction. However, students and teachers language competences do not always meet the requirements needed for the use of English as the vehicular language, this having several consequences or implications.

On the one hand, lack of knowledge or competence in this foreign language represents an opportunity to progress in the learning of the language for both, teachers and students. Nevertheless, if this is the case, several factors should be addressed. First, if is the lecturer who does not meet the required English competences, the appropriateness to use EMI should be reconsidered. In this case, English could be introduced in the course by some specific activities or even using video or multimedia sources, taking into account that learning of content should always prevail, it being the objective of the subject or course. Secondly, if the students lack the sufficient English competence, particular actions so as to improve students’ performance should be encompassed. Actions could include facilitating glossaries, directed teaching activities or bi-lingual guides, among others, in order to avoid misunderstandings. Another issue to be addressed is the reasonable need to reinforce the contents in Spanish since students may not have the equivalent terminology in their own mother tongue, as very specialized vocabulary and concepts are being introduced for the first time in this specific subject.

Therefore, since the use of English as a Mean of Instruction is increasing in the Spanish university, and having observed some particular issues that need to be revised, the present paper focuses on analyzing some experiences taking into account the lecturers’ perspective and the students’ one. Reflections of the lecturers contributing to this paper, as well as some of their colleagues’ opinions will be considered. Students’ perspective and related arising questions will be addressed by means of specifically designed questionnaires. The obtained qualitative and quantitative data will be then analyzed and discussed.
@InProceedings{SEGUI2018ENG,
author = {Segu{\'{i}}, L. and Galiana, M.},
title = {ENGLISH AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN TECHNICAL COURSES: CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1663},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1663},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7110-7116}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Seguí AU - M. Galiana
TI - ENGLISH AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN TECHNICAL COURSES: CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1663
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 7110
EP - 7116
ER -
L. Seguí, M. Galiana (2018) ENGLISH AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN TECHNICAL COURSES: CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 7110-7116.
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