Special Issue "Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Xuesong (Andy) Gao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Education, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: language learning; language education policy; language teacher education
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Yawen Han
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Foreign Languages, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, 210096, China
Interests: language-in-education policy; minority education; internationalization in higher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is motivated by our concern that multilingualism in higher education is at risk globally, for a variety of reasons. The rise of English as a de facto global lingua franca has facilitated the global flow of ideas, people, and goods, but it has also undermined the existence of regional and national languages in many contexts. In the context of higher education, academic researchers have been disseminating their research findings through publishing in the medium of English, limiting the use of regional or national languages as the media for academic communication. The adoption of English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in contexts where English is not commonly used (e.g., China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam) further causes regional and national languages to be less valued. In many universities, funding support for language programs, especially those to do with languages other than English, has been cut, causing many language programs to be closed down. In contrast, language learning researchers have become increasingly critical about the monolingual bias in second language acquisition research, and problematized the assumption that the monolingual native speaker variety of the target language should be idealized as the norm for language learners to attain. Some researchers contend that language learning should be conceptualized as a dynamic process for language learners to learn additional languages and transform them into their expanding linguistic repertoire, in which languages are all considered as resources. As higher education institutions attract students with diverse linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds, higher education plays a vital role in promoting the learning and use of multiple languages, as well as sustaining the vitality of these languages as important resources for the communities in different contexts. Therefore, we need concerted efforts to address these critical issues in the pursuit of sustainable multilingualism in higher education, so that students may have opportunities to develop multilingual competence, and use their linguistic resources to enhance their educational experience in the medium of a language other than their own. To achieve these ends, we invite the following types of submissions to the Special Issue:

  1. Rigorous scope reviews and analyses of conceptual and empirical studies on multilingualism to derive well-informed, evidence-driven guidance for promoting sustainable multilingualism in higher education.
  2. Critical examinations of relevant policy and curriculum development to inform and refine policy and curriculum initiatives for promoting sustainable multilingualism in higher education. Conceptualizations of policy and curriculum as something other than texts (i.e., as process) are welcomed.
  3. Studies on university students’ learning and use of multiple languages, including those on student-related factors, that help reveal insights into their sustainable efforts for learning and using multiple languages.
  4. Studies on pedagogical strategies in promoting the learning and use of university students’ diverse linguistic resources (e.g., the use of L1 in EMI contexts) to enhance their learning.
  5. Research on the professional development of teachers who play a critical role in promoting sustainable multilingualism in higher education.

We hope that the Special Issue will become an intellectual platform for colleagues to explore and identify informed strategies to promote the learning and use of multiple languages in higher education institutions, so that they can be transformed into sites where multilingualism can be sustained.

Prof. Dr. Xuesong (Andy) Gao
Prof. Dr. Yawen Han
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • higher education
  • language learning
  • multilingualism
  • pedagogy
  • language policy

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Sustaining Multilingualism in Chinese Universities: Uzbekistani Students’ Demotivation While Learning Chinese
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187570 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 451
Abstract
This paper reports on a mixed method study exploring demotivation among Uzbekistani students while they are learning Chinese in a Chinese university. In the study, we conducted a survey among 67 Uzbekistani students, and interviewed 30 of them about their experiences of learning [...] Read more.
This paper reports on a mixed method study exploring demotivation among Uzbekistani students while they are learning Chinese in a Chinese university. In the study, we conducted a survey among 67 Uzbekistani students, and interviewed 30 of them about their experiences of learning Chinese. The analysis of the data revealed that a lack of self-confidence, insufficient learning opportunities, a lack of learning support, and teacher qualities were the most salient factors affecting Uzbekistani students’ demotivation while learning Chinese. In light of the findings, we put forward suggestions for language educators and educational administrators in order to enable them to enhance language learners’ interest in and enthusiasm for learning Chinese, so that they will sustain their learning efforts and Chinese universities can achieve sustainable multilingualism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Professional Practice of Teachers of Chinese as an Additional Language through the Lens of Teacher Agency
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187493 - 11 Sep 2020
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Teacher agency plays a key role in sustaining the professional practice of language teachers, including teachers of Chinese as an additional language (CAL), to ensure sustainable multilingualism in universities. This paper reports on an exploratory study that examined five CAL teachers’ experiences of [...] Read more.
Teacher agency plays a key role in sustaining the professional practice of language teachers, including teachers of Chinese as an additional language (CAL), to ensure sustainable multilingualism in universities. This paper reports on an exploratory study that examined five CAL teachers’ experiences of using teaching materials in a leading Belarussian university. Drawing on theorization about teacher agency, the analysis of the participants’ experiences helped to reveal the manifestations of teacher agency in their engagement with teaching materials in their teaching, which emerged from interactions between individual aspirations and contextual conditions. In particular, the findings highlight that three factors, namely teachers’ beliefs, teacher identity, and relationships within their community, play significant roles in mediating the participants’ exercise of agency in using teaching materials. The findings not only contribute to the conceptualization of teacher agency, but suggest that pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and materials development of CAL teachers should be emphasized in supporting effective teaching, so that they can achieve sustainable professional practice to ensure sustainable multilingualism in universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
An Ecological Perspective on University Students’ Sustainable Language Learning during the Transition from High School to University in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7359; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187359 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 491
Abstract
Transitioning from high school to university presents a significant challenge for many students on multiple fronts, including language learning. This mixed-method study draws on an ecological perspective to investigate students’ English learning experiences during the transition from high school to university in China, [...] Read more.
Transitioning from high school to university presents a significant challenge for many students on multiple fronts, including language learning. This mixed-method study draws on an ecological perspective to investigate students’ English learning experiences during the transition from high school to university in China, focusing on teaching content, teaching approach, assessment and feedback, and self-regulated learning. Data is collected from six universities at three different academic levels in China, and analyzed using both statistical and thematic analysis. The research finds that there are differences between high school and university English language education in the above-mentioned four areas, and students’ ecopotentials are of critical importance for their adaptation to university English learning. These findings suggest the necessity of the continuity of teaching content, the promotion of individualized curricula, and the cultivation of self-regulated learning capacities to support students’ sustainable English learning during the transition from high school to university. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
The Commodification of Chinese in Thailand’s Linguistic Market: A Case Study of How Language Education Promotes Social Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7344; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187344 - 08 Sep 2020
Viewed by 461
Abstract
In recent decades, the commodification of the English language has aroused intensive research interest in the sociolinguistics on a global scale, but studies on the commodification of the Chinese language are relatively rare. Most studies take a critical approach in relation to its [...] Read more.
In recent decades, the commodification of the English language has aroused intensive research interest in the sociolinguistics on a global scale, but studies on the commodification of the Chinese language are relatively rare. Most studies take a critical approach in relation to its adverse impacts on minority rights and social justice. This study examined the language landscape in Chiangmai, Thailand, and the linguistic beliefs of local Thai Chinese language learners. Based on their feedback, this study investigated the commodification of Chinese language education in the community of Chinese language learners in Chiangmai. We found that from a less critical perspective, the commodification of a second language provides more accessible and affordable educational opportunities for learners, especially those from low-income families, and at the same time language proficiency can broaden learners’ career choices and provide employees with additional value in industries, such as tourism, commerce, and services. This finding implies that language commodification, rather than typically being associated with linguistic imperialism and unbalanced socio-economic status, can be a contributing factor in promoting higher-education availability and social sustainability in certain circumstances. There may be some mediating factors between the commodification of language and changes in the sustainable balance of language, opening up space for future research to explore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
The Educational Interrelation of Narrative Creativity and Written Expression Dimensions as an Innovative and Didactic Process in Learning a Foreign Language
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187274 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 423
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to analyze the impact of narrative creativity on the subject of written foreign languages in secondary school students. A quasi-experimental longitudinal study was conducted with 117 students of 14–15 years of age in two secondary schools [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to analyze the impact of narrative creativity on the subject of written foreign languages in secondary school students. A quasi-experimental longitudinal study was conducted with 117 students of 14–15 years of age in two secondary schools in Andalusia (Spain) with experimental and control groups. The tools used were a writing expression analysis tool designed by the authors and the Creative Imagination for Youngsters Test (Prueba de Imaginación Creativa para Jóvenes, PIC-J). The results showed that the participants of the experimental groups improved in terms of the originality and usage of variables of imaginary elements. We also found gender differences—in favor of female students—in the experimental groups in terms of foreign language improvement during the study. Finally, there was a slight interrelation of students with higher narrative creativity showing greater improvements in their written expression skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Sustainable Multilingual Language Policy in Minority Higher Education in China: A Case Study of the Tibetan Language
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187267 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 554
Abstract
This paper explores sustainable multilingual education policy for minority languages in one of the higher education institutions (HEI) in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in China. Following Spolsky’s theory of language policy ecology, this study conducted a survey of 276 students, examining the [...] Read more.
This paper explores sustainable multilingual education policy for minority languages in one of the higher education institutions (HEI) in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in China. Following Spolsky’s theory of language policy ecology, this study conducted a survey of 276 students, examining the language education policy implemented inside and outside the classroom in their campus lives. The data were analyzed from the perspective of policy orientation, management issues and actual linguistic practice. The results showed that Chinese, Tibetan and English were all valued and respected in the current policy; however, the academic function of language was mainly undertaken by Chinese, while the social function was equally shouldered by Chinese and Tibetan. The findings gave us an insight into the present status of language education in this specific HEI in Tibet, and further offered valuable information for the design of sustainable multilingual policies for minority education at the higher education level in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
National Research Funding for Sustainable Growth in Translation Studies as an Academic Discipline in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7241; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187241 - 04 Sep 2020
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Global changes in both the current economic climate and political priorities have posed significant challenges concerning government spending on research, which undermines the survival and development of a number of academic disciplines, especially those in arts and humanities. This article reports on an [...] Read more.
Global changes in both the current economic climate and political priorities have posed significant challenges concerning government spending on research, which undermines the survival and development of a number of academic disciplines, especially those in arts and humanities. This article reports on an inquiry that examines whether and how national research funding has supported the development of translation studies as an academic discipline in China, employing the example of the National Social Science Fund of China (NSSFC) subsidy, as allocated to the field of translation studies. Firstly, we accessed the NSSFC database for all programs featuring translation and translation studies between 2010 and 2019. Secondly, we coded, categorized, and processed the data in a quantitative manner. Our examination of the number of grants, research focuses, and frequently examined issues of these programs has led us to conclude the fact that NSSFC has facilitated the increase in translation studies as an academic discipline in China. Further investigation into the positive relationship between NSSFC funding policies and mechanism and the growth in academic translation studies has also identified the ways NSSFC boosts translation studies as an academic discipline in China: to promote and increase the market, interdisciplinary, and multimodal applicability of the research output. The findings also suggest that revisions may be needed to further refine the NSSFC mechanism so that translation studies will develop into a balanced, continuously innovative discipline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Validating a Motivational Self-Guide Scale for Language Learners
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166468 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
The aim of the current study was to develop and validate a new instrument that taps into learners’ self-image as a means of exploring language motivation, which plays a pivotal role in sustaining language learners’ efforts. A critical review of the literature revealed [...] Read more.
The aim of the current study was to develop and validate a new instrument that taps into learners’ self-image as a means of exploring language motivation, which plays a pivotal role in sustaining language learners’ efforts. A critical review of the literature revealed that the current measures of the second language (L2) self-guide instruments in language learning motivation research suffered from either under-representativeness of the ought-to L2 selfothers or weak validity of the ideal L2 selfown. Since multilingualism has become more salient in foreign language education, it was necessary to develop a measurement that could better reflect self-imagery which was both plausible and relevant in foreign language contexts. This study utilized four scales in total that tapped into the targeted latent constructs: ideal L2 selfown, ideal L2 selfothers, ought-to L2 selfown, and ought-to L2 selfothers. Two independent samples recruited from Taiwanese college students were employed in the study. After an item-pool was developed through interviewing and piloting, each subscale was comprised of 4 items, totaling 16 items for formal model testing. The formal model testing involved three phases. Phase I conducted an exploratory factor analysis to explore the possible dimensions using the first sample. Phase II proceeded with a series of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on the eight hypothesized models using the second sample. Phase III also relied on the second sample and further examined the item fit performance by using the multidimensional Rasch model. The results of formal model testing confirmed the validity and reliability of a 4-factor correlated model, as well as the fit performance of the finalized scale items, and thus lent strong empirical support to Higgins’s theory regarding the inner structure of future self-guides. It is suggested that the new L2 self-guide scale can be adopted and applied to future L2 and languages other than English motivational research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation of the Experiences of Working with Multilingual International Students among Local Students and Faculty Members in Chinese Universities
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6419; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166419 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 463
Abstract
In recent years, as a response to the internationalization of higher education worldwide, China has begun to enroll international students to study at the tertiary level on an increasingly large scale. While the majority of the programs and courses are open to international [...] Read more.
In recent years, as a response to the internationalization of higher education worldwide, China has begun to enroll international students to study at the tertiary level on an increasingly large scale. While the majority of the programs and courses are open to international students via Chinese as Chinese-medium instruction (CMI), there are also an increasing number of programs and courses delivered through English-medium instruction (EMI). In order to understand higher education multilingual contexts, this qualitative study examines how local students and faculty members make sense of their engagement with international students in three Chinese universities. In the study, we conducted in-depth interviews with 11 academics who worked with international students as project supervisors and 25 Chinese university students regarding their experiences of working with international students. The findings that emerged from the thematic analysis revealed that international students’ learning engagement was profoundly mediated by language barriers, cultural assumptions and the academic conventions in host institutions. The study revealed that Chinese academics are concerned about international students’ learning attitudes, their academic progress and a lack of participation due to their language ability. Local Chinese students also reported a lack of satisfaction in working with international students. Some of the local students felt that some international students may have been enabled to enroll in the academic programs as a result of national and university policies, which has led to a ‘dumbing down’ of the curriculum offered in English. The findings indicate that more needs to be done to promote mutual exchanges and better understanding among international students, Chinese faculty members and local students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Careers of Teachers of Languages Other than English (LOTEs) for Sustainable Multilingualism in Chinese Universities
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6396; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166396 - 08 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 682
Abstract
This paper explores Chinese universities’ policies related to the research performance review of language other than English (LOTE) teachers with respect to promotion. Drawing on a variety of data including policy documents and interviews with 32 individual LOTE teachers from 16 universities, we [...] Read more.
This paper explores Chinese universities’ policies related to the research performance review of language other than English (LOTE) teachers with respect to promotion. Drawing on a variety of data including policy documents and interviews with 32 individual LOTE teachers from 16 universities, we identified that Chinese universities have unreasonable expectations in terms of research publications and research funding for language teachers, including LOTE teachers, which make their career prospects unsustainable. We also evaluated the contextual realities for LOTE teachers regarding academic publication and research funding, and identified a widespread feeling of anxiety and stress among LOTE teachers. Though LOTE teachers are committed to undertaking various efforts to overcome challenges in their research performance review for promotion, we call on university management and policy makers to provide additional support to LOTE teachers, so that they can develop sustainable careers and universities, including Chinese universities, will be able to rely on sustainable multilingualism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Sustaining International Students’ Learning of Chinese in China: Shifting Motivations among New Zealand Students during Study Abroad
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156289 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
This paper reports on an inquiry that examined groups of New Zealand students’ motivational shifts related to learning Chinese before and after relocation to China. In the inquiry, we encouraged 15 participants to write reflective journals and conducted two rounds of interviews before [...] Read more.
This paper reports on an inquiry that examined groups of New Zealand students’ motivational shifts related to learning Chinese before and after relocation to China. In the inquiry, we encouraged 15 participants to write reflective journals and conducted two rounds of interviews before and after their study abroad trip to China. The analysis revealed that most participants had their motivation enhanced by the trip, and expected to sustain their heightened motivation for learning Chinese in the future. The findings suggest that the participants’ motivational shifts happened during their period of study abroad in China, and were prompted by their new pedagogical environment and individual learning experiences. In other words, the motivational enhancement emerged from ongoing interactions between the participants’ L2 self-concepts (e.g., ideal L2 selves) and learning and sociocultural contexts in China. These findings offer fresh insights into the dynamic nature of Chinese language learning motivation and the role of formal and informal settings in the participants’ learning of Chinese. They imply that educational stakeholders need to provide authentic communication opportunities and resources to enhance international students’ motivation for the sustainable learning of Chinese. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
The Research Trends of Multilingualism in Applied Linguistics and Education (2000–2019): A Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6058; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156058 - 28 Jul 2020
Viewed by 771
Abstract
This study explored the state of the arts of bilingualism or multilingualism research in the past two decades. In particular, it employed a bibliometric method to examine the publication trend, the main publication venues, the most influential articles, and the important themes in [...] Read more.
This study explored the state of the arts of bilingualism or multilingualism research in the past two decades. In particular, it employed a bibliometric method to examine the publication trend, the main publication venues, the most influential articles, and the important themes in the area of bilingualism or multilingualism. The main findings are summarised as follows. First, a significant increase of publications in the area was found in the past two decades. Second, the main publication venues and the most influential articles were reported. The results seemingly indicated that the research in the area focused largely on two broad categories, that is, (1) bilingualism or multilingualism from the perspective of psycholinguistics and cognition research and (2) how second/additional languages are learned and taught. Last, the important themes, including the hot and cold themes, were identified. Results showed that researchers prefer to study bilingualism or multilingualism more from deeper cognition levels such as metalinguistic awareness, phonological awareness, and executive control. Also, they may become more interested in the issue from multilingual perspectives rather than from the traditional bilingual view. In addition, the theme emergent bilinguals, a term closely related to translanguaging, has recently gained its popularity, which seemingly indicates a recent advocate for heteroglossic language ideologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring and Sustaining Language Teacher Motivation for Being a Visiting Scholar in Higher Education: An Empirical Study in the Chinese Context
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6040; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156040 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 585
Abstract
Language teacher motivation has been explored through various contexts in recent decades. However, less attention has been paid to teachers’ motivations for furthering their professional development in multilingual academic environments, such as by becoming visiting scholars at top universities at home or abroad. [...] Read more.
Language teacher motivation has been explored through various contexts in recent decades. However, less attention has been paid to teachers’ motivations for furthering their professional development in multilingual academic environments, such as by becoming visiting scholars at top universities at home or abroad. This study adopts a mixed-method approach to investigate language teachers’ motivations for being visiting scholars. First, a questionnaire was conducted on 169 teachers who spoke both English and languages other than English (LOTEs). Following an exploratory factor analysis, six separate motivational sources were identified: internal needs, stress relief, academic positioning, academic contact, academic symbolism, and policy support. For triangulation purposes, further interviews were conducted with three visiting scholars and one supervisor for in-depth qualitative data analysis. Interview findings reveal an imbalance between high demand for visiting scholarship funding and the financial allowances granted by governments and universities. Visiting scholars also experience inadequate academic guidance from their supervisors and few opportunities to participate in supervisors’ projects. Based on the research findings, this study proposes ways to sustain teacher motivation at the macro (policy) level, the meso (tutor system) level, and the micro (individual supervision) level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
An Investigation of Lecturers’ Teaching through English Medium of Instruction—A Case of Higher Education in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4046; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104046 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Teaching through English Medium of Instruction (EMI) is a theory-based pedagogy that has been adopted in many European and Asian countries as a strategic initiative in educational internationalization. To date, there has been little research into EMI in-class teaching and learning. In effect, [...] Read more.
Teaching through English Medium of Instruction (EMI) is a theory-based pedagogy that has been adopted in many European and Asian countries as a strategic initiative in educational internationalization. To date, there has been little research into EMI in-class teaching and learning. In effect, lived experiences in EMI in-class practice have been largely ignored. To address this gap, we reported on a case study that explored the linguistic and pedagogical characteristics of EMI lecturers’ teaching in a university in southern China. Twenty academic staff in the university’s EMI programs were recruited. Their in-class EMI teaching processes were observed and audio-recorded. The data was analyzed by drawing upon multilingualism and instructional design theories. This research found that Chinese EMI lecturers’ bilingual repertoire led to their English instruction featuring Chinese language influences, from pronunciation to syntax and that translanguaging strategies were purposively employed to achieve their goals including students’ cognitive understanding, affiliative bonds and the lecturers’ own survival for teaching. Further, that and the instruction applied in the EMI classes were more topic-centered than problem-centered, focusing on activating new learning and knowledge presentation through demonstration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Language Learning as Investment or Consumption? A Case Study of Chinese University Students’ Beliefs about the Learning of Languages Other than English
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062156 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
This study draws on the notions of investment and consumption to interpret beliefs about learning languages other than English (LOTEs) among learners in Chinese universities. By interviewing 23 Chinese university students learning French or Spanish in a master’s program, we found that most [...] Read more.
This study draws on the notions of investment and consumption to interpret beliefs about learning languages other than English (LOTEs) among learners in Chinese universities. By interviewing 23 Chinese university students learning French or Spanish in a master’s program, we found that most participants questioned the usefulness of LOTEs for their professional career and viewed learning LOTEs as part of leisure and consumption rather than investment. Only a small number of participants related their language skill development to career aspirations and were motivated to continue learning LOTEs after the end of their LOTE classes. To further explain the different language beliefs about LOTE learning, we examined the identities of these LOTE learners. The analysis identified four patterns of ‘imagined identity’, indicating that the difficulty experienced by individual learners in anticipating the usefulness of LOTEs in their ‘imagined identity’ in the future, especially in their professional career, led to their belief about LOTEs as consumption and leisure rather than investment. This paper concludes with some implications for language policy planners in sustaining multilingual learning in Chinese higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Motivation and Second Foreign Language Proficiency: The Mediating Role of Foreign Language Enjoyment
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041302 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
Inadequate research attention has been paid to the learning of a third language. For this reason, this study explores senior English major students’ learning of additional foreign languages in seven universities in Shaanxi Province, China. The study examines the relationship between the participants’ [...] Read more.
Inadequate research attention has been paid to the learning of a third language. For this reason, this study explores senior English major students’ learning of additional foreign languages in seven universities in Shaanxi Province, China. The study examines the relationship between the participants’ motivation and language proficiency through a questionnaire, and the collected data are analyzed using hierarchical linear regression analysis. The results identify that the participants’ instrumental and integrative motivations positively influence their second foreign language proficiency. Further analysis reveals that the connection between the participants’ motivation and language proficiency is mediated by foreign language enjoyment. These findings form the basis of our suggestions for the sustainable learning and teaching of foreign languages in universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Multilingualism in Higher Education)
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