Teaching Language and Content: Instructor Strategies in a Bilingual Science Class at a Chinese University

Xiaoping Liang, Sara W. Smith


This research explores the role of English as a medium of instruction and a focus of learning in a bilingual science class taught in Chinese and English as a foreign language. It examines how the instructor handles meaning and form of new English science vocabulary in concept-focused physics lectures and the strategies he uses in doing so. Analysis of classroom instructional discourse demonstrates that the instructor took an integrative approach in dealing with the meaning-form association of new science vocabulary. He employed a variety of strategies to lighten vocabulary load and to increase comprehensibility of physics lectures. The results indicate that there is a place for language instruction in bilingual science classes. Bilingual science instructors are encouraged to integrate language with the subject matter they teach and provide students opportunities for simultaneous development of content and language.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v1n2p92


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