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Lecturing in English: Comparing fluency and content in L1 and L2
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education Research)
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years there has been a noticeable trend in many countries towards teaching university courses in English. However, from a research perspective, difficulties in obtaining comparative data have meant that little is known about what happens when lecturers change teaching language in this way.

 

The work presented here follows eighteen lecturers of various disciplines from two Swedish universities who are in the process of changing their teaching language to English. The lecturers were all participants on a teaching in English training course (7.5 ECTS). As part of the course the lecturers gave ten-minute mini-lectures in their first language in a subject area that they usually teach. The following week, the lecturers gave the same lectures again in English.

 

The lecture transcripts were analysed in terms of the content presented and comparative fluency. The majority of the lecturers present very similar content in both languages. However, all the lecturers speak more slowly and have shorter runs and more hesitations in their English lectures. There are a number of important differences in the ways in which lecturers dealt with this ‘slowing down’ in English, ranging from making changes to their pedagogical approach to running over time or cutting off the whole end of the lecture.

 

In earlier studies lecturers who regularly teach in English suggest they do not notice much difference when teaching in one language or another. However, qualitative analysis of the 18 lecturers’ course reflections (approximately 60 000 words) shows that they were acutely aware of their limitations when teaching in English.

 

This analysis provides further insights into the experiences of lecturers who are in the process of changing teaching language and a number of pedagogical recommendations are made.

 

Keywords

Parallel-language education, university lecturing, ESP, ELF, medium of instruction, fluency, speaking rate, mean length of runs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
Parallel-language education, university lecturing, ESP, ELF, medium of instruction, fluency, speaking rate, mean length of runs.
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-218083OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-218083DiVA: diva2:694781
Conference
ICLHE 2013: Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education. University of Maastricht, Netherlands, 11-13 April
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2014-03-21

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Airey, John

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
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