EDM180-Teaching Multilingual Learners in a Global Context

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Jeanine Treffers-Daller

Email: j.c.treffers-daller@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

In this module we explore the issues for multilingual learners in the UK and abroad. It takes into account the learning of English as an additional language (EAL) and the learning of English as a foreign language. Furthermore it has a focus on the issues related to teaching in English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in international settings. In some non-English speaking countries in Europe, Asia and Africa there is a trend towards the use of English as the medium of instruction in education, often alongside national or regional languages. In many cases EMI is offered alongside English language classes which focus on explicit learning of English as a Foreign Language. While some stakeholders mainly see advantages of the use of international language such as English in schools, others doubt it is beneficial for children or young people to be educated in a language other than their first language. These issues are also key to the educational context of the UK where many children with English as an Additional Language are taught through the medium of English even though their levels of ability in English vary considerably. In the module we will look at different models of English Medium Instruction as found in different parts of the world, and will discuss issues that are common to many institutions that have opted for this type of schooling, such as the levels of English of teachers, the academic outcome of programmes, subject-specific pedagogies for English, science, maths and geography, as well as teacher training.


This module aims to develop students’ understanding of English Medium Instruction and teaching multilingual learners within a wide range of educational settings, making reference to theories of second language learning and multilingualism as appropriate. It also aims at providing students with examples of research projects in this field to prepare students for their MA dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • identify and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of English Medium Instruction, and teaching of multilingual  learners in the UK and abroad

  • analyse different models of English Medium Instruction across a range of contexts and study examples of implementations of these models in settings in Europe, Africa and Asia.

  • explore at which educational levels and for which subjects EMI is offered, and discuss the rationale for the choices made in the context of national legislation.

  • analyse the advantages and the disadvantages of EMI in relation to academic outcomes (English and content subjects, e.g. maths, science and geography). identify and discuss best practice in teaching and assessing bilingual/multilingual learners in the UK and worldwide

  • compare models of EMI with Content-Language-Integrated-Learning initiatives in MFL contexts in the UK, as well as teaching of EAL learners in UK schools

  • identify forms of teacher training that can be implemented to support EMI, EAL learners

  • evaluate how insights gained in this module can be applied in students’ own contexts.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

  • theoretical models of second language acquisition, and literacy development

  • history of English Medium Instruction

  • overview of EMI in Europe, Asia and Africa: challenges and opportunities

  • comparison between CLIL and EMI

  • the role of the L1 in EMI and in teaching multilingual  learners in the UK and abroad

  • Appropriate teaching approaches that reflect learners' level of English proficiency and take account of curriculum content and any subject-specific pedagogies

  • assessing bilingual learners: issues and solutions

  • teacher training for EMI and EAL learners: examples of best practice

Global context:

This module has a strong global context in its exploration of teaching across different continents.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, discussion groups and small group tasks. Students will familiarise themselves with tools used to evaluate the performance of multilingual learners in the UK (e.g. self-assessment grids, proficiency descriptors and tests) and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each in small groups.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Seminars 15
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Guided independent study 166
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment of 4500 words

Formative assessment methods:

Written critical analysis of an article on teaching and learning in multilingual contexts (800 words)

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmissions must be submitted within one calendar month of the notification of failure.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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