Special Issue "Applied Linguistics and Language Education for Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lawrence Jun Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
Interests: applied linguistics; second language writing, reading and writing development in children and adults of second/foreign languages; language teaching; language teacher education; teacher identity and change; teaching English as a foreign/second language (TESOL/TEFL); language policy and planning
Dr. Vincent T. Greenier
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, The University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, UK
Interests: applied linguistics; creativity in language learning; individual differences and learner variables (particularly creativity); critical pedagogy; teacher identity; EFL/ESL curriculum and materials development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As a discipline and a field of inquiry, applied linguistics was born to help improve people’s lives, support social change, and solve social problems through examinations of issues relating to how languages are used in daily events as well as in academic and workplace contexts at the micro- and meso-levels. At the macro-level, how language policy making and planning are determined and how such policies are enacted in practice are also of significance to this research endeavour. As an effective means for sustainable development, this Special Issue is interested in topics that investigate a range of issues in applied linguistics, especially in relation to TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages), teaching languages other than English that can be broadly categorised as second/foreign languages, bilingualism/multilingualism and bilingual/multilingual education, motivations for language learning, teacher identity, and English for specific and/or academic purposes. Specific topics can include race and class, language policy and planning, language-in-education policy making, and linguistic and pedagogical issues around the use of socially inclusive languages, especially in academic and workplace contexts that are of particular interest to applied linguists, language teachers and language teacher educators.

The overall purpose of this Special Issue is to bring to the fore the significant role of applied linguistics in promoting sustainable development through languages and language education. There are topics that have been published on sustainable language teaching and learning, but the fields of applied linguistics and language education need to be given salient attention. The Special Issue will be able to strengthen what has been conducted so far so that the contribution of applied linguistics and language education, which are related, but not limited, to language learning and teaching, will be valued at a level that helps promote the sustainable development of education and society through investigations into issues pertaining to language use at various levels.

Prof. Dr. Lawrence Jun Zhang
Dr. Vincent T. Greenier
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • applied linguistics
  • TESOL
  • learning English for academic purposes (EAP)
  • English for specific purposes (ESP)
  • language teaching and learning
  • creativity in language learning
  • feedback and interaction for learning
  • motivation for learning languages
  • teaching of languages
  • language teacher education
  • learner identity
  • teacher identity
  • social justice and inclusion
  • social change through applied linguistics
  • language policy and planning

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Article
Source-Based Argumentation as a Form of Sustainable Academic Skill: An Exploratory Study Comparing Secondary School Students’ L1 and L2 Writing
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212869 - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Argumentative writing is the most commonly used genre in writing classroom practices and assessments. To draft an argumentative essay in authentic settings, writers are usually required to evaluate and use content knowledge from outside sources. Although source-based argumentation is a sustainable skill that [...] Read more.
Argumentative writing is the most commonly used genre in writing classroom practices and assessments. To draft an argumentative essay in authentic settings, writers are usually required to evaluate and use content knowledge from outside sources. Although source-based argumentation is a sustainable skill that is crucial for students’ academic career, this area remains under-researched. Hence, this paper presents a within-subject study that investigated Hong Kong secondary school students’ argumentation construction in L1 and L2 source-based writing from both product-oriented and process-oriented perspectives. Multiple sources of data were collected, including L1 and L2 source-based argumentative texts, eye-tracking metrics and recorded videos, and stimulated recall interviews. Findings of our study show that the L1 source-based argumentative compositions of the Hong Kong secondary student writers differed greatly from their L2 ones in terms of the argument structure, source use, and reasoning quality. Analyses on four cases further revealed a multitude of factors such as self-regulation and cultural orientations coming into play in similar and different argumentation performance between L1 and L2 source-based writing tasks. This study contributes new knowledge to better understand the argumentation in L1 and L2 source-based writing, yielding meaningful implications on pedagogy and assessment in this field. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Development of University EFL Learners’ Engagement, Satisfaction, and Self-Efficacy in Online Learning Environments: Chinese Experiences
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111655 - 21 Oct 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
This study investigated the sustainable development of university EFL learners regarding their engagement, satisfaction, and self-efficacy in online learning environments during the outbreak of COVID-19. In a questionnaire survey with a sample of 428 Chinese undergraduate EFL learners, the students reported a favorable [...] Read more.
This study investigated the sustainable development of university EFL learners regarding their engagement, satisfaction, and self-efficacy in online learning environments during the outbreak of COVID-19. In a questionnaire survey with a sample of 428 Chinese undergraduate EFL learners, the students reported a favorable view of online learning environments and subjective learning outcomes. Behavioral engagement was positively related to involvement. Emotional engagement was positively related to student cohesiveness and negatively related to teacher support. Satisfaction was not related to any of the learning environment factors. Self-efficacy mediated the effect of student cohesiveness and student involvement on behavioral engagement, emotional engagement, and satisfaction. These results of the study have implications for creating a sustainable online learning environment and promoting EFL learners’ sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Taking Stock of a Genre-Based Pedagogy: Sustaining the Development of EFL Students’ Knowledge of the Elements in Argumentation and Writing Improvement
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11616; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111616 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
The capacity to make effective argumentation in English writing is considered as a crucial ability in the field of second language writing. Currently, Chinese teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) adopt the product approach to teach argumentative writing, in which they [...] Read more.
The capacity to make effective argumentation in English writing is considered as a crucial ability in the field of second language writing. Currently, Chinese teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) adopt the product approach to teach argumentative writing, in which they stress the mode of learners’ written production and show little concern with cognition. For students’ sustainable development in argumentation skills, teachers are encouraged to employ a genre-based approach to cultivate students’ knowledge about different elements in argumentation. However, few empirical studies have investigated the efficacy of such classroom-based instruction on learners’ comprehensive development in EFL writing, including their knowledge about writing and performance in producing argumentation. This is particularly the case with reference to Chinese students learning to write argumentative texts in EFL. To fill the research gap, this quasi-experimental study was conducted with 74 EFL sophomores, who were randomly allocated to either an experimental group or a comparison group. The experimental group received a genre-based writing approach, while the comparison group experienced their conventional writing instruction. Students’ changes were analysed using pre- and post-writing test measures, open-ended questionnaires, and stimulated recall interviews. Our findings revealed more changes in the experimental groups’ knowledge about argumentation following the genre-based writing treatment than the comparison group. Specifically, the experimental group’s progress was obvious in the way they displayed their knowledge of the structure of discourse moves and of language features specific to the argumentative genre. They began to express their knowledge of the content, process, intended purposes, and audience awareness towards producing more genre appropriate texts in argumentation. They also showed enhanced self-reflection on their knowledge of argumentation. In addition, the genre-based approach had a positive effect on the experimental group’s argumentative writing development, as evidenced in their use of discourse move structures and their overall writing quality improvement. The conventional writing approach was not as effective in helping students to write an argumentation. Writing proficiency effects were observed in terms of the extent to which the students were developed. Pedagogical implications and limitations are also discussed. Full article
Article
Sustainable Development of EFL Learners’ Research Writing Competence and Their Identity Construction: Chinese Novice Writer-Researchers’ Metadiscourse Use in English Research Articles
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9523; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179523 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
English for foreign language (EFL) novice writer-researchers are faced with an increasing pressure for international publication as a prerequisite for sustainable career development in academia. The use of metadiscourse, as a key indicator for their discourse competence, has been a subject of research [...] Read more.
English for foreign language (EFL) novice writer-researchers are faced with an increasing pressure for international publication as a prerequisite for sustainable career development in academia. The use of metadiscourse, as a key indicator for their discourse competence, has been a subject of research for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and/or English for Specific Purposes (ESP) scholars. This study investigates metadiscourse features of research articles’ (RA) results and discussion (R&D) sections written by Chinese PhD students and their writer identities reflected through metadiscourse choice. A corpus was built, consisting of a subcorpus of R&D of unpublished research articles (RAs) written by Chinese PhD students (CNWs) and one of the same part-genre by English-speaking expert writers (EEWs). Metadiscourse used by the two groups were identified based on Hyland’s interpersonal model of metadiscourse. Quantitative analyses on the frequency and variety of metadiscourse markers found a significant difference not only in interactional metadiscourse but also in some subcategories of interactive and interactional metadiscourse, indicating that CNWs attach more importance to organisation of ideas than to the persuasiveness of arguments. A questionnaire survey was conducted to explore the influence of the CNWs’ perception of RA writing on their metadiscourse choice. It revealed that knowledge of generic conventions and metadiscourse functions, awareness of the writer–reader relationship, and confidence in language competence may influence metadiscourse choice. The paper concludes with the view that the CNWs generally view themselves as a recounter and reporter of their research, remaining conservative when presenting an authoritative voice and a confident identity as a knowledge creator. Full article
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Article
A Qualitative Analysis of Students’ Reflections on the Current Use of Digital Media in Foreign Language Classes
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9082; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169082 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Teaching and learning have radically changed in the COVID-19 era and highlighted many novel aspects of online teaching and learning. Based on a qualitative content analysis of central European university students’ responses, the aim of this study is to discuss their reflections on [...] Read more.
Teaching and learning have radically changed in the COVID-19 era and highlighted many novel aspects of online teaching and learning. Based on a qualitative content analysis of central European university students’ responses, the aim of this study is to discuss their reflections on the use of digital media in foreign language classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The key method of this qualitative study includes focus group interviews. The results reveal both advantages and disadvantages of online foreign language teaching and their impact on students’ second language (L2) acquisition. The positive aspects involve satisfaction with being able to study a foreign language from the comfort from their homes, avoidance of commuting to school, ample opportunities to review the learning material, or improvement of listening skills. On the contrary, the negative aspects included a striking lack of social contact in the form of face-to-face classes, absence of collaboration between the teacher and students and between the students themselves in order to share and build on their knowledge and experience, health issues associated with a frequent exposure to technologies, or a lack of possibility to develop speaking skills. In conclusion, the authors of this study provide several implications for teaching practice, technology experts, and other stakeholders, which must be considered very seriously, as they represent the opinion of the users of online learning. Full article
Article
Sustainability of Professional Development: A Longitudinal Case Study of an Early Career ESL Teacher’s Agency and Identity
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169025 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 596
Abstract
This paper reports on a longitudinal case study of a Hong Kong early career ESL (English as a second language) secondary teacher, Joyce (pseudonym), who experienced different stages of personal–professional development over seven–eight years (August 2013–December 2020), as follows: (1) entering, and engaging, [...] Read more.
This paper reports on a longitudinal case study of a Hong Kong early career ESL (English as a second language) secondary teacher, Joyce (pseudonym), who experienced different stages of personal–professional development over seven–eight years (August 2013–December 2020), as follows: (1) entering, and engaging, in teaching for five–six years, upon graduation from a local teacher education BA degree program in summer 2013; (2) resigning from her full-time teaching position and leaving the teaching profession, in response to an “insulting” classroom revisit in her third school; (3) working in an NGO for a short time, after “recovery” from the “insulting” event; and (4) weighing possibilities for resuming teaching, after leaving the NGO in 2019. Drawing on multiple data that were collected over seven–eight years, including interviews, informal communications, and autobiography, this study aimed to examine the issues of teacher attrition and sustainable professional development, in relation to teacher agency and teacher identity, in Hong Kong secondary school contexts. The findings revealed that school and social contexts intertwined with personal experiences, culminating in Joyce’s leaving or staying in the teaching profession. Through focusing on Joyce’s long-term experiences of becoming and being an ESL teacher, the findings shed light on the affordances for, and constraints upon, teacher agency and teacher identity in school contexts. Full article
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Article
Sustaining University English as a Foreign Language Learners’ Writing Performance through Provision of Comprehensive Written Corrective Feedback
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8192; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158192 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Writing is regarded as a crucial skill in English language curricula at the secondary and tertiary levels in the Chinese education system. Currently, Chinese teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) often adopt a product approach to teaching EFL writing, in which [...] Read more.
Writing is regarded as a crucial skill in English language curricula at the secondary and tertiary levels in the Chinese education system. Currently, Chinese teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) often adopt a product approach to teaching EFL writing, in which they emphasize the quality of their students’ written products and show little concern with the writing process. To help L2 learners achieve sustainable development of their writing proficiency, teachers employ a comprehensive approach to correct their students’ language errors as a common practice. However, empirical studies regarding its efficacy on different dimensions of L2 writing are insufficient. This study intended to fill this lacuna in a Chinese EFL context, which investigated the effects of sustained comprehensive written corrective feedback (WCF) on accuracy, complexity, fluency, and content and organization quality of EFL students’ writing. Quasi-experimental in design, it involved a comparison group and a treatment group receiving four sessions of direct comprehensive WCF. Results show that such WCF contributed to writing accuracy and fluency over time. Our textual analysis further reveals that it particularly benefited students’ grammatical accuracy, reducing some rule-based grammatical error types. However, it showed limited effects on complexity, content, or organization of students’ writing. Interestingly, the comparison group did not improve any dimensions of their writing. Possible implications are also discussed. Full article
Article
Sustaining the Effective Use of Materials in Language Classrooms: A Conceptual Understanding of Teacher Knowledge for Materials Use
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8115; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13148115 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Materials use is a critical yet understudied domain of language teaching across jurisdictions and educational contexts. This study explored what knowledge constituents that English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) teachers mobilize in their use of materials. Based on the social theory of human cognition in tool use [...] Read more.
Materials use is a critical yet understudied domain of language teaching across jurisdictions and educational contexts. This study explored what knowledge constituents that English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) teachers mobilize in their use of materials. Based on the social theory of human cognition in tool use and the conception of foreign language teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, a qualitative multi-case study involving eight EFL teachers at one university in China was conducted. Data from interviews, lesson observations, and documents across three consecutive semesters revealed that teacher knowledge for materials use is multi-dimensional and developmental. The constituents of this professional knowledge are manifested in four domains, i.e., subject matter, pedagogical, curricular, and contextual domains. The study concluded that the professional knowledge needed for materials use is not merely an individual trait, but mediated by both human and nonhuman elements. Therefore, new forms of agency from both teachers and materials are required to foster the growth of this professional knowledge. Based on the findings, suggestions were made for teacher learning through materials use in language classrooms. Full article
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Article
Teaching and Learning Multiple Varieties of a Foreign Language for Sustainable Multilingual Education
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8004; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13148004 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 920
Abstract
In multilingual education for sustainable personal development, compared with that of multiple languages, the teaching and learning of multiple varieties of a language has been underexplored as a special and important form of multilingualism. In this article, we examine the linguistic, psychological, and [...] Read more.
In multilingual education for sustainable personal development, compared with that of multiple languages, the teaching and learning of multiple varieties of a language has been underexplored as a special and important form of multilingualism. In this article, we examine the linguistic, psychological, and social characteristics of multiple variety learning, as compared with multiple language learning. Linguistically, acquisition of language varieties is a process of assimilating variants from a new variety into an earlier variety, which serves as a prototype system. Such assimilation is a psychological project of form-meaning interface development, which may follow the patterns of structural multiplication, conceptual involution, conceptual evolution, or/and conceptual transfer. When multiple language varieties are actually used in social contexts, multilingual individuals’ selected language practices may be supported by their combined linguistic resources from multiple varieties rather than depend on a single variety despite its dominance in a given situation. These characteristics carry pedagogical implications for sustainable multilingual education, particularly for the teaching and learning of foreign languages that have multiple varieties. Full article
Article
Towards the Sustainable Development of Digital Educational Games for Primary School Students in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7919; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147919 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Despite considerable discussion on the benefits of digital educational games, empirical research on their effectiveness in primary schools in China is limited. This case study aimed to promote the sustainable development of digital educational games in primary schools in China by examining the [...] Read more.
Despite considerable discussion on the benefits of digital educational games, empirical research on their effectiveness in primary schools in China is limited. This case study aimed to promote the sustainable development of digital educational games in primary schools in China by examining the effect of digital educational games on primary school students’ vocabulary acquisition and ascertaining their perceptions and attitudes toward this approach. Given the purposes of this study, an embedded mixed methods research design was employed. Two Grade 4 classes at a Chinese primary school were recruited in this study. During the quasi-experiment, the experimental class (n = 50) was provided with educational game software, Quizlet, while the control class (n = 50) was taught through a traditional teaching method. The results show that integrating educational games into language education in the primary schools was effective in improving students’ vocabulary acquisition. This study makes a case for further research of digital educational games in language classrooms at a primary level in China. Implications are made regarding the future sustainable implementation of digital educational games in primary schools in China. Full article
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Article
Language Ideologies, Practices, and Kindergarteners’ Narrative Macrostructure Development: Crucial Factors for Sustainable Development of Early Language Education
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 6985; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13136985 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
This paper explored crucial factors to achieve sustainable development of early language education by examining the relationship between two dimensions of family language policy—language ideologies and language practices—as well as the relationship between family language policy and the development of children’s narrative macrostructure. [...] Read more.
This paper explored crucial factors to achieve sustainable development of early language education by examining the relationship between two dimensions of family language policy—language ideologies and language practices—as well as the relationship between family language policy and the development of children’s narrative macrostructure. Data were collected via a language performance test and a questionnaire survey of 131 kindergartners from 10 kindergartens in a Chinese city. Structural equation modeling corroborated the relationship between family language ideologies and family language practices proposed by family language policy theorists. Results showed that family language policy significantly predicted kindergarteners’ development of narrative macrostructure. In addition, age was shown to be a significant predictor of narrative macrostructure development, whereas gender was not. Implications for early intervention of children’s narrative macrostructure development were discussed. Full article
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Article
A Tale of Three Excellent Chinese EFL Teachers: Unpacking Teacher Professional Qualities for Their Sustainable Career Trajectories from an Ecological Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6721; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126721 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Teachers’ quality has long been researched in the field of general education. However, little attention has been paid to the professional qualities of excellent English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers in the context of English curriculum reform, especially from an ecological perspective. [...] Read more.
Teachers’ quality has long been researched in the field of general education. However, little attention has been paid to the professional qualities of excellent English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers in the context of English curriculum reform, especially from an ecological perspective. To address this gap, this study adopted a qualitative approach to characterise the qualities of excellent senior high school EFL teachers in China and the development of their professional qualities using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model. Four interconnected dimensions of excellent EFL teachers’ professional qualities were confirmed: English language pedagogical content competence, beliefs about the foreign language teaching profession and professional ethics, beliefs about foreign language teaching and learning, and beliefs about language teacher learning and development. Meanwhile, the EFL teachers constructed and developed their professional qualities in their dynamic interaction with the complex ecological systems where they lived. The paper considers these various teacher-related factors in the ecological systems and provides some suggestions for sustaining EFL teachers’ professional development. Full article
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Article
Understanding the Sustainable Growth of EFL Students’ Writing Skills: Differences between Novice and Expert Writers in Their Use of Lexical Bundles in Academic Writing
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5553; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105553 - 16 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2138
Abstract
Lexical bundles, as building blocks of discourse, play vital roles in helping members from the same academic community achieve successful communication and disseminate sustainable disciplinary knowledge. However, little attention has been paid to lexical bundles in postgraduate writing. Drawing on Biber et al.’s [...] Read more.
Lexical bundles, as building blocks of discourse, play vital roles in helping members from the same academic community achieve successful communication and disseminate sustainable disciplinary knowledge. However, little attention has been paid to lexical bundles in postgraduate writing. Drawing on Biber et al.’s (1999) structural taxonomy and Hyland’s (2008a) functional taxonomy, we identified and compared lexical bundles in two self-built corpora, an EFL student writing corpus and an expert writing corpus. The results indicate considerable structural differences between the two groups: the student writers used verb phrase-based bundles more frequently and prepositional phrase-based and noun phrase-based bundles less frequently. In terms of function, although the two academic groups showed similar distributions of the three main functional categories, as student writers they exhibited insufficient reader-awareness and incomplete knowledge of stance expressions. It is hoped that the findings will shed light on future pedagogical practices to help novice writers improve their academic writing competence as a sustainable goal in enhancing their academic scholarship. Full article
Article
Understanding the Sustainable Development of L2 Chinese Teachers in New Zealand: A Case Study of Teaching Assistants’ Motivational Engagement in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5521; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105521 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 1046
Abstract
Informed by the expectancy–value theory and the motivational factors influencing teaching model choices, this case study explored three Chinese-as-a-foreign-language teaching assistants’ (L2 Chinese TAs’) motivational engagement in teaching L2 Chinese as a sustainable and lifelong career in New Zealand. Each TA participated in [...] Read more.
Informed by the expectancy–value theory and the motivational factors influencing teaching model choices, this case study explored three Chinese-as-a-foreign-language teaching assistants’ (L2 Chinese TAs’) motivational engagement in teaching L2 Chinese as a sustainable and lifelong career in New Zealand. Each TA participated in three rounds of semi-structured interviews in the process of data collection. The findings revealed that (1) the TAs’ expectancy was all student oriented, regardless of their different backgrounds; (2) the different values of L2 Chinese teaching contributed to the TAs’ teaching performance and career choices; and (3) the impact of teaching self-efficacy on the TAs’ profession retention was pivotal, but controversial, when taking their previous majors into account. Implications for the sustainable development of L2 Chinese teachers were discussed. Full article

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Systematic Review
Challenges to Internationalisation of University Programmes: A Systematic Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research on Learner-Centred English Medium Instruction (EMI) Pedagogy
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12642; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212642 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
As many universities in non-Anglophone countries have committed to internationalising their academic programmes, more content courses in Arts and Sciences are being taught in English. When content courses are taught in English in a country where English is not the first language, this [...] Read more.
As many universities in non-Anglophone countries have committed to internationalising their academic programmes, more content courses in Arts and Sciences are being taught in English. When content courses are taught in English in a country where English is not the first language, this is called English Medium Instruction (EMI). Using specific country cases, previous studies have confirmed that an EMI course can pose many challenges to the learning of course content by students. To date, there have been few attempts to examine these challenges through a large-scale qualitative prism, which would be useful for gaining new insights in order to inform policy as well as classroom interventions. In this systematic thematic synthesis we have aimed to identify the obstacles to implementing learner-centred pedagogy in EMI tertiary programmes, focusing on student perspectives. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Studies (COREQ) were used to appraise and synthesise 40 empirical articles. The articles included 1769 participants in 20 non-Anglophone countries and jurisdictions. The participants were both local and international non-native English-speaking students enrolled in EMI courses. The synthesis yielded 46 descriptive themes stratified into six analytical domains. The suggested domains are meta/linguistic, instructional, meta/cognitive, socio-cultural, affective, and institutional obstacles. They suggest that students in different regions faced quite similar challenges in their EMI courses. The challenges consist of inadequate use of English by students and lecturers, and a lack of student-centred pedagogy, particularly in teacher–student and student–student interactions. The findings of most learner-centred EMI studies revealed that the main challenges came from English comprehension (the first three suggested domains); fewer studies included factors related to the learning environment (the last three domains). This review can inform university administrators, teaching staff and researchers engaged in internationalising higher education and aid in designing appropriate EMI programmes that offer better learner-centred educational experiences. Full article
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Systematic Review
English-Medium Instruction as a Pedagogical Strategy for the Sustainable Development of EFL Learners in the Chinese Context: A Meta-Analysis of Its Effectiveness
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5637; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105637 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
With English-medium instruction (EMI) as a pedagogical strategy being practiced worldwide in higher education (HE), extensive research has explored stakeholders’ attitudes toward, and perceived benefits and challenges of EMI based on self-report data. However, the actual effectiveness of EMI on students’ subject content [...] Read more.
With English-medium instruction (EMI) as a pedagogical strategy being practiced worldwide in higher education (HE), extensive research has explored stakeholders’ attitudes toward, and perceived benefits and challenges of EMI based on self-report data. However, the actual effectiveness of EMI on students’ subject content and English language learning achievements tested with objective measures has accrued little evidence. This meta-analysis synthesized 44 independent samples (32 in medical disciplines) from 36 studies. The results show that EMI students performed significantly better in both subject content and English learning than students in Chinese-medium courses, but it should be noted that the difference in content learning was found only with students from medical disciplines. Discipline was the only significant factor moderating content learning, while disciplines, research design, and instruction time in English significantly moderated English learning. The findings provide implications for implementing EMI in similar contexts and highlight the importance of rigorous future research to examine the benefits of EMI. Full article
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