Section

Developing teaching practice

Abstract

The worldwide proliferation of English-medium instruction (EMI) in the higher education sector has compelled researchers to investigate the implementation challenges faced by teachers and students in such contexts. However, very few studies have focused on changes in pedagogical approaches to enhance EMI teaching and learning. This explanatory mixed-methods study aimed to examine the value of two pedagogical practices, i.e., formative feedback (FF) and experiential learning (EL), used in an entrepreneurship course in a science-and-technology EMI university in South Korea. The findings of a survey of the 352 business and engineering students enrolled in the course revealed that learners who engaged in extensive FF and EL activities (treatment group) had significantly better self-perceived subject comprehension, motivation, and overall satisfaction with the course than their counterparts who were taught in a lecture-type environment (control group). The analysis of the focus group interview data confirmed that learners perceived these pedagogical practices as effective in promoting the simultaneous acquisition of knowledge of the subject and English language skills, which is the most desirable outcome in an EMI class. This study paves the way for more rigorous research on EMI pedagogy.

Practitioner Notes

1. Recent studies have called for a change in EMI pedagogy by suggesting training in English language and EMI classroom discourse; however, studies related to discipline-specific pedagogical competence and practice have been scarce. 2. The current study makes a noteworthy contribution to EMI research by demonstrating the effectiveness of specific pedagogical practices, i.e., extensive formative feedback (FF) and experiential learning (EL), which act as scaffolding techniques to improve students’ content knowledge and language proficiency. 3. EMI teachers must be more open to class experiments with their teaching practices to achieve EMI objectives. 4. EL methodology could be particularly beneficial in educating engineering and business students in the EMI context since it develops their critical-thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills. 5. We recommend that teachers establish meaningful rapport with their students as a source of motivation through the delivery of quality FF.

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