(By Pei-wei Cheng, Tamkang Campus)
On November 2, TKU’s Center for Teacher Professional Development invited Assistant Professor Tzu-Shan Chang from the Department of English to share on her experience of teaching EMI courses across three different departments since 2017. The session, entitled “Management of EMI teaching and courses”
was held from noon in I1501, with over 30 faculty members in attendance.
Assistant Professor first talked about experiences and challenges. Using large classes as an example to explain the biggest roadblock in English teaching is how to let students easily comprehend the content being taught? This problem is even more likely to arise when the number of student approaches 50-60 people, and when there are overseas student mixed among local students. “I’ll usually separate them into groups during the course, and use the iClass system, the audio files provided in the textbook and reading in
conjunction. This not only decrease the distance between the lecturer and the students, but also allow the students to more actively participate and practice their English speaking. When there are interactive activities during class, the overseas student are usually more likely to speak up, so she suggest that more teaching activities that allows students to voice their opinion can be designed in order to encourage each and every student to speak.
Next, when it comes to course management, Assistant Professor Chang uses reading the content of the textbook as an example. Through scanning, explaining the structure of the article, leading the class to recite the text, reading the paragraph, group discussion and sharing, the students are led to gradually understand the content of the text, and allows students to subconsciously start using English through the constant practice. Aside from diving students into groups, Ass. Prof. Chang will also call on students to make a presentation during class, and after the students have read the articles, help organize the content and provided practices related to the practical use of the text. She also remind the teaching staff in attendance that they could move among the students more during class, which not only remind the students to be focused on the class, but also allow the lecturer to be aware of the state of learning at any time. In addition, listening more to the students’ suggestion on the teaching approach and making appropriate adjustments and also help to enhance the students’ interest toward the course.
During the exchange of opinions with the faculty present, the question of “if the student’s English level has not reached the point when EMI is possible, what do you do?” Ass. Prof. Chang suggest that powerpoint presentations could be used to generate relevant charts and diagrams, or list the specialized vocabulary, and provide sample sentences so as to clarify the concepts for the students.