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Disciplinary Literacy and English-Medium Instruction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Teaching and Learning. Uppsala universitet, Fysikundervisningens didaktik.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Disciplinary Literacy and English-Medium Instruction 

In this keynote, I will discuss the concept of disciplinary literacy (Airey, 2011a; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2012) and its usefulness in highlighting issues for consideration when embarking on English-medium instruction. For the purposes of the presentation, I will be using the following definition of disciplinary literacy:The ability to appropriately participate in the communicative practices of a discipline. (Airey, 2011a) I have earlier suggested that the goal of all university teaching is the production of disciplinary literate graduates (Airey, 2011b), but what specifically does being disciplinary literate entail in an EMI setting? Here, I will propose three distinct aspects of disciplinary literacy that I suggest require consideration when embarking on EMI. The first of these aspects is the particular knowledge structure of the discipline at hand (Bernstein, 1999), which has been shown to affect disciplinary attitudes to language use (Airey, 2012; Kuteeva & Airey, 2014). The second aspect of note is the importance of semiotic resource systems other than language (such as mathematics, sketches, diagrams, graphs, gestures, hands-on work with physical tools, etc) in the creation of disciplinary knowledge (Kress, 2009; Airey & Linder 2009). The degree of reliance on these other resource systems necessarily affects the role played by language in the discipline. Finally, I suggest that disciplinary literacy is developed to function within three specific sites: the academy, society and the workplace. This can be conceptualised in terms of a disciplinary literacy triangle (Airey & Larsson, 2018; Airey, 2020). Different disciplines place different emphasis on these three sites, however, it is highly unlikely that the same emphasis needs to be given to each site across different languages (L1 and English for example). I finish the presentation by proposing a disciplinary literacy discussion matrix (Airey, 2011b; 2020) as heuristic tool for disciplinary needs analysis in EMI. 

References

Airey, J. (2011a). Initiating collaboration in higher education: Disciplinary literacy and the scholarship of teaching and learning 57-65.

Airey, J. (2011b). The disciplinary literacy discussion matrix: A heuristic tool for initiating collaboration in higher education. Across the disciplines, 8(3), 1-9.

Airey, J. (2012). I don’t teach language. The linguistic attitudes of physics lecturers in Sweden. AILA Review, 25(25), 64-79.

Airey, J. (2020). The content lecturer and English-medium instruction (EMI): epilogue to the special issue on EMI in higher education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 23(3), 340-346.

Airey, J., & Larsson, J. (2018). Developing students’ disciplinary literacy? The case of university physics. In Global developments in literacy research for science education (pp. 357-376). Springer, Cham.

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical constellation of modes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

Bernstein, B. (1999). Vertical and horizontal discourse: An essay. In Education and society (pp. 53-73). Routledge.Kress, G. (2009). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. Routledge.

Kuteeva, M., & Airey, J. (2014). Disciplinary differences in the use of English in higher education: Reflections on recent language policy developments. Higher education, 67(5), 533-549.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taipei: National Science and Technology Council , 2023.
Keywords [en]
Disciplinary Literacy, Bilingualism, undergraduate teaching
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Bilingualism
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-216744OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-216744DiVA, id: diva2:1752988
Conference
Language Issues in English-Medium Instruction 22nd-23rd April 2023 Keynote speaker
Available from: 2023-04-25 Created: 2023-04-25 Last updated: 2023-05-04Bibliographically approved

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