February 25 is my talk at the Languages Canada conference, entitled “Beyond ‘English-Only’: Creating Effective and Equitable Program Language Policy”.
Here’s a description of the talk:
“English-only” policies—where use of students’ first language (L1) in the classroom is associated with a punitive response—are common in many English language programs. Received wisdom has long framed a monolingual “English-only” environment in many contexts as the most effective way to maximize English language use, and thereby promote the development of fluency, confidence, and communicative and strategic competence that may come with it. However, increasing research shows the advantage of moving away from a monolingual approach to a multi- or plurilingual approach, which gives space to all the languages in a student’s linguistic repertoire along with English, including their L1. Research shows well-implemented policies of this nature can contribute to more effective and deeper language learning via increased target language use, motivation, and agency.
In this presentation, participants will discover some of the latest research findings showing the increased learning outcomes, motivation and equity associated with plurilingual classroom and course policies in different ELT settings. We will also explore some of the challenges in developing and implementing such policies with teachers and students through a case study from a Canadian English language school.
I cite a few articles in the talk; links are below. Here is a link to the CEFR 2017 Companion volume. Both the selection of very recent research on plurilingual approaches in Canadian HE and EAP are great reads, as is Hall and Cook’s (2012) state of the art articles on own-language use in ELT.
- Galante, A., Okubo, K., Cole, C., Elkader, N.A., Carozza, N., Wilkinson, C., Wotton, C. and Vasic, J. (2019). Plurilingualism in higher education: A collaborative initiative for the implementation of plurilingual pedagogy in an English for academic purposes program at a Canadian university. TESL Canada Journal, 36(1), pp.121-133.
- Marshall, S., Moore, D., James, C. L., Ning, X., & Dos Santos, P. (2019). Plurilingual Students’ Practices in a Canadian University: Chinese Language, Academic English, and Discursive Ambivalence. TESL Canada Journal, 36(1), 1-20.
- Chen, L. (2019). Problematising the English-only policy in EAP: a mixed-methods investigation of Chinese international students’ perspectives of academic language policy. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-18.
- Hall, G. and Cook, G. (2012) Own-language use in language teaching and learning:state of the art. Language Teaching, 45 (3). pp. 271-308.