Supporting EFL Science Students Through a Multilingual Approach to Blended Learning

Supporting EFL Science Students Through a Multilingual Approach to Blended Learning

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6940-5.ch006
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Throughout the history of mankind, language has been used as a tool of ascendance and colonisation to consolidate power and create governable subjects. In this way, the coloniser's language became the colonised country's official language. Upon attaining political independence, several of these nation-states embarked on educational reforms by revising their curricula in the name of ‘decolonising education'. A closer look at these countries' curricula shows they are still largely Eurocentric following the monolingual ideology of ‘one nation, one language' with foreign languages being the lingua franca for these multilingual societies despite this approach being singled out as the major cause of academic underachievement in most countries. This chapter investigates the available technological approaches to support the teaching of science to English foreign language (EFL) students who are taught through a language different from their home language.
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Multilingualism As An Instructional Resource In Education

Multilingualism is a worldwide phenomenon, a reality in most science classrooms worldwide, as factors such as the migration of labor and political instability result in a linguistic melting pot. Although the natural simultaneous use of languages by multilinguals has been in practice in most parts of the world since time immemorial, as a focus of research, this concept emerged in the 1980s when Cen Williams and his colleagues were exploring effective strategies for bilingual students to use two languages in the same lesson for efficacious instruction. They coined the term ‘trawsieithu’ (Li, 2018) to describe the process in which students would read or hear in one language and then write or discuss what they would have read or heard in another.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multilingualism: The knowledge and use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a group of speakers.

Translanguaging: The process whereby multilingual speakers use their languages as an integrated communication system.

Synchronous Learning: All types of learning in which students and educators are in the same place, at the same time, in order for learning to take place.

Multi-Competence: The knowledge of more than one language in one person's mind.

Open Educational Resources: These are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes.

Home Language: A language (or the variety of a language) that is most spoken by the members of a family for everyday interactions at home.

Monolingualism: Understanding or having the knowledge to speak or write in only one language.

Asynchronous Learning: Various forms of digital and online learning in which students learn from instruction such as prerecorded video lessons that is not being delivered in person or in real time.

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