Discipline-Specific Language Instruction for International Students in Introductory Economics.

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Discipline-Specific Language Instruction for International Students in Introductory Economics.

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Title: Discipline-Specific Language Instruction for International Students in Introductory Economics.
Author: Williams, Julia
Abstract: This paper explores student perceptions of the effects of pairing discipline-specific language instruction with the traditional method of course delivery in economics. Our research involved teaching content-based English as an additional language (EAL) tutorials to a small group of ten international students taking first-year introductory economics courses. These voluntary participants completed pre- and post-treatment assessments with exit interviews at the end of the project. Assessment results and interviews suggest that students perceive that discipline-specific language instruction such as our EAL tutorials assists in the development of increased content and language proficiency. They also believe that vocabulary development is one of the most critical activities to support these goals; reading skills are also important but require more time and commitment than students can afford to give. Despite the students’ interest in the project, their heavy class schedules prevented many from participating; our group was limited to ten students which precludes any assurance of statistical significance. In spite of the limitations, we believe that the project can still contribute valuable qualitative lessons to the literature of content-based language instruction in which the discipline of economics has not been well represented.
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2015.3.7
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11895/299
Date: 2015-12


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