EMI Trainers’ Reflections on a Taiwanese EFL University Teacher Learning Community: Challenges and Recommendations

Li-Tang Yu; Ming-i Lydia Tseng; Sherri Yi-Chun Wei; Wen-Ling Su

Special Issue 11卷2期 (2020/12/01); p71-88

DOI: 10.6706/TIESPJ.202012_11(2).0005


In higher education, English-medium instruction (EMI) is considered to be a crucial approach to internationalization, equipping students with professional specialties and language skills for their future professions. Thus, universities in Taiwan have been strongly encouraging faculty to offer EMI courses. To facilitate more collaboration between EFL education professionals, and EMI teachers as part of the university’s policy of internationalization, an EMI teacher learning community was formed and implemented in the Spring semester of 2020. Unlike the majority of previous EMI studies, which have tended to focus on EMI teachers and students, this study investigated four EMI trainers’ critical reflections on the process of initiating, establishing, and sustaining a particular EMI learning community. The EMI trainers’ reflections and survey responses of community participants were collected. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the questionnaire data. Drawing upon a specific theoretical framework of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), ethnographic content analysis was performed to examine the trainers’ reflections. The discussion focused on three constructs of PLCs: professionalism, learning capacity, and sense of community. Participating teachers showed overall satisfaction with the implementation of the community, particularly the collaborative, engaging, and democratic atmosphere conducive to professional development. However, several challenges were encountered that triggered the EMI trainers’ reflection, including the participating teachers’ different experience, English proficiency levels, self-efficacy, actions to improve EMI pedagogic practices, attendance rate of community meetings, and lack of follow-up examination and an official advising mechanism. To conclude the study, pedagogical suggestions about EMI training will be provided.

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