A Glocalized EMI Framework

During my time teaching in Taiwan, almost all of the curriculum materials I used came from either England or the United States.

While the materials were certainly very high quality, there was a certain disconnect between the experiences of my students and the materials’ content.

With this in mind, I would like to propose a different approach to English Medium Instruction (EMI)*–a Glocalized EMI Framework.


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

APA CITATION: Graham, K. M. (2018). A glocalized EMI framework. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Retrieved from https://keithmgraham.com/a-glocalized-emi-framework

*I use the term "EMI" as an all-encompassing term for any content-based language program in countries where English is not the local language.

Framework Explained

Let’s start with what “glocal” means. It’s simply the combining of global and local.

In my framework, you will notice the local takes up the majority of the space. This is because I believe education should be drive by local needs, not the needs of some far away place that makes textbooks.

However, global surrounds the figure because in today’s world, you cannot ignore the needs of a global community.

Both global and local matter.

As for the three dimensions of professional development, curriculum, and instruction, all three inform each other.

The way I imagine it beginning is that during professional development, teachers will discuss what the needs of their students are and, from that discussion, develop or compile curriculum materials and instructional strategies to meet those goals.

After a year of implementation, the results of the curriculum and instruction outcomes would be examined in professional development. If the curriculum worked but perhaps the instructional strategies were not as successful, then professional development would focus on improving instructional practices. If the curriculum had issues, professional development may focus on a re-design.

In summation, my Glocalized EMI Framework considers both local and global needs, driving  professional development, curriculum, and instruction, all which inform each other.

What do you think about this framework? Let me know in the comments!

[AsiaTEFL 2018] Attitudes Toward EMI in East Asia and the Gulf: A Systematic Review

This presentation is on a systematic review on attitudes toward English-Medium Instruction in East Asia and the Gulf by Keith M. Graham and Zohreh R. Eslami.

Presentation Slides: AsiaTEFL 2018 – EMI Attitudes – Keith Graham

Would Ideo's Annual Review Re-Design Work in Education?

Teachers often speak very poorly of administrator observations for a variety of reasons.
And by speak poorly I mean they loathe them, usually with a few expletives.
As teachers we know feedback is valuable, but often times we find the observation process either as “a waste of time” or worse, demoralizing.
I recently read about how the design company Ideo came into the Hogan Lovells Law Firm and re-designed their annual review for lawyers.
Here’s how the annual review worked after the re-design:

Within every four-month period, associates are supposed to actively solicit feedback from three different people they’ve worked with, including partners, assistants, and peers. Each of these feedback sessions is supposed to take the form of a 10-minute-long conversation, using a card with guided questions to keep the dialogue focused on what the person can do to improve. Once the associate has had all three conversations, he or she has another with a peer to talk through the feedback–almost like you’d do with a friend–help them process it, and think about how to incorporate it into their lives. (Article)

Naturally I couldn’t help but wonder what this might look like in a school.
I imagine it would involve observations still, probably by fellow teachers (or admin if the teacher so chooses). I suppose this brings the first problem – Would teachers be willing to give up their time to do this? Maybe for a more equitable and valuable evaluation, perhaps, but I could see this needing to be preceded by a lot of “selling” to the teachers.
But let’s say we get past that. The part I am really interested in is What would the guided questions on the card say?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

NYT: Iran Bans English in Primary Schools to Block 'Cultural Invasion'

Ooo…spicy headline New York Times! (I totally clicked it!)
According to this article, a senior education official in Iran told state television that the teaching of English in primary schools as part of the official curriculum in both government and nongovernment schools is against the law.
I would love to get a focus group of Americans together to elicit their reactions to this. Iran is often played as the villain in U.S. politics and media, and I am sure many would have strong opinions on the issue.
I would equally be interested to hear from Iranians and their thoughts. I have some classmates from Iran, so I plan to ask them their perspectives (Hopefully, they will comment below).
Where do I stand? I agree to a certain extent with the Iranian government, but with some caveats.

Continue reading “NYT: Iran Bans English in Primary Schools to Block 'Cultural Invasion'”

Too Much or Too Little Grammar

Do you feel like you teach enough grammar in the classroom – too much or too little?
One of my concerns about the current state of EFL, particularly in schools that implement content-based language instruction is that grammar has taken a back seat and sometimes is even left at the curb.
Having taught in a content-based school while also tutoring students from a more traditional program, I noticed something interesting. The students from my school were more familiar and comfortable with academic concepts in English, but my tutoring students had “cleaner” English.
I shared this observation with a friend who owns a language school near where I live. The students in her school represent students from two different systems, one traditional and one content-based, and she seemed to notice the same thing.
Michael Swan, a well-known ELT author famous for his books on teaching grammar, asks us to reflect on the question:

Am I teaching enough grammar?

Watch his video where he discusses his thoughts on teaching too much or too little grammar and let me know what you think below in the comments.
I am curious to know where my readers stand.

3 Things I Learned About EFL Education from 'B' Group

The school year has ended. Summer is here. And all the teachers are rejoicing and singing for the new beginning.
Now that the dust has settled from the school year and I have rejuvenated myself on my Icelandic adventure (yes, you should definitely go), I thought now would be a good time to reflect on the school year that has passed.
I am not ashamed to say publicly that this has been the most difficult year of teaching in my career. I never thought anything could beat my year teaching on the east side of Austin, but it seems my students this year certainly achieved something (less hair on my head and a higher blood pressure that even daily meditation could not prevent).
Despite the challenges and frustrations, this experience has taught me a lot about EFL education, and I would like to share with you 3 things I have learned.
Continue reading “3 Things I Learned About EFL Education from 'B' Group”

Why Arizona (and Other States) Are Wrong About Teacher Hiring

Arizona is the latest state to sign into law that people with 5 years of “relevant” field experience may enter the teaching profession without teaching training and credentials. (Washington Post)
Why would they do this?
Teacher shortage is a problem in many states and this allows a fast track to fill vacancies.
While many may see this as a solution to the problem, I feel this policy is faulty and may result in causing more problems than it fixes.
Here are three reasons why this is a bad idea.
Continue reading “Why Arizona (and Other States) Are Wrong About Teacher Hiring”