(De)Legitimising plurilingual teaching practices in an ESP course at university: a discourse analysis approach to teacher’s and students’ argumentative strategies

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Submission Summary

This study presents a qualitative study on the argumentative strategies that both students and the teacher employ to justify, legitimise or contest the use of plurilingual teaching and learning practices during the implementation of a course in English for Specific Purposes (ESP).

Submission ID :
AILA2494
Submission Type
Abstract :

This study presents a qualitative study on the argumentative strategies that both students and the teacher employ to justify, legitimise or contest the use of plurilingual teaching and learning practices during the implementation of a course in English for Specific Purposes (ESP). The project is inspired by the theoretical works that call for the need to implement new methodologies that depart from the traditional conception of English teaching based on a monolingual native model (Cenoz and Gorter, 2011, 2013; Kramsch, 2012; Kramsch and Huffmaster, 2015; Corcoll-López and González-Davies, 2016). The data come from a wider ethnographic and action-research project (FFI2015-67769-P) which tracks the linguistic, intercultural and attitudinal evolution of two groups of university students, one group follows a traditional monolingual native-speaker methodology and the other one, a plurilingual methodology which presents the speaker of English as lingua franca (ELF) as the role model. The analysis of the data show that the teacher employs a persuasive discourse to make students believe that plurilingual learning is positive for scaffoling learning and achieve greater understanding of the contents. The students, on the other side, react negatively towards to the use of plurilingualism as it appears as a factor that destabilises the natural level of the course: learning English becomes either too easy because the activities are not challenging enough or too complicated, as students cannot manage switching between languages within the same activity and was illogical for most of the time. However, in a second implementation a year later where the student’s feedback was incorporated (the changes that we added to the course materials will be presented as part of our talk), the students’ perception of the plurilingual ESP teaching practices was that it was highly focused towards problem-solving tasks and that it led them to greater learning than in a monolingual course.

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Serra Hunter Lecturer
,
Rovira i Virgili University
University of Lleida

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