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Understanding Disciplinary Differences in Content and Language Integrated Learning: A Disciplinary Literacy Approach.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education Research)
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
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 data have meant that relatively little is known about what happens to disciplinary teaching and learning when the medium of instruction changes in this way.


In this presentation I have been asked to give a brief overview of the research background in the area of teaching and learning in English, and to present some of the results from my PhD and Post-doc. work. These results are divided into two types:


  • Research into student learning experiences when taught in English
  • Research into lecturer behaviour when changing teaching language to English


A number of pedagogical issues will be raised and recommendations made.



Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2006). Language and the experience of learning university physics in Sweden. European Journal of Physics, 27(3), 553-560.

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2007). Disciplinary learning in a second language: A case study from university physics. In R. Wilkinson & V. Zegers (Eds.), Researching Content and Language Integration in Higher Education (pp. 161-171). Maastricht: Maastricht University Language Centre.

Airey, J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala  Available from http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547

Airey, J. (2010). The ability of students to explain science concepts in two languages. Hermes - Journal of Language and Communication Studies, 45, 35-49.

Airey, J. (2011). The Disciplinary Literacy Discussion Matrix: A Heuristic Tool for Initiating Collaboration in Higher Education. Across the disciplines, 8(3).

Airey, J. (2011). Talking about Teaching in English. Swedish university lecturers' experiences of changing their teaching language. Ibérica, 22(Fall), 35-54.

Thøgersen, J., & Airey, J. (2011). Lecturing undergraduate science in Danish and in English: A comparison of speaking rate and rhetorical style. English for Specific Purposes, 30(3), 209-221.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-218090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-218090DiVA: diva2:694795
Keynote speaker: CLIL day, Europahuset Stockholm: Sponsored by: Stockholm University, Lärarnas Riksförbund, The Swiss Embassy, Goethe Institute, EU Commission. 12 March.
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2014-03-21

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