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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre

This event is part of the Multilingualism and Language Education Seminar Series 2023-2024.

Seminar 1:  A plea for critical reflection on English medium instruction research

Speaker: Professor Jim McKinley (University College London, IOE)    

Abstract: In this talk, I raise two key issues concerning research in the rapidly expanding field of English medium instruction (EMI). The first is the need for more critical reflection on researching multilingually in EMI, as multilingual research approaches are crucial to carrying out effective and ethically responsible research. Reflecting on my own EMI research along with a group of fellow EMI researchers (see McKinley et al., 2023), I will show how multilingual approaches can be utilised throughout the research process, from team formation, research design, data collection, data analysis, and presentation of findings in research reports. The second is the need for more critical reflection on basing EMI research on systematic reviews, such as the oft cited one by Macaro et al. (2018), and other secondary research. I argue that there is cause for concern in the quick expansion of EMI research that this systematic review may be cited as a source of research agenda or methodological advice without explicit criticality. I conclude the talk with suggestions for future EMI research, particularly that researchers take a holistic view of what EMI research is in terms of methodology (including multilingual aspects), researcher identity, and which questions are important. 

For further information please contact Dr Phung Dao, Assistant Professor in Second Language Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Monday, 16 October, 2023 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event location: 
Room 1S3 DMB, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.