- Academic Trans- and Multiliteracy and the Challenges of English-Medium Instruction (EMI)
The PORTT research group at the Department of English and the Centre for Competence Development (ZfbK) of Justus Liebig University, Giessen/Germany, investigates the development of academic literacy, transliteracy and multiliteracy in different educational contexts. Whereas the term ‘literacy’ refers to the ability to read texts, to compose texts and to learn from textual material in one language, the concept of ‘transliteracy’ (Gentil 2005) takes into account that, in academic writing, which is always a material-based process, the language(s) of the material drawn on may differ from that of texts to be composed. Transliteracy requires translation competence in a functionalist sense. ‘Multiliteracy’ encompasses transliteracy and refers to (full) literacy in more than one language. To gain insight into the development of these forms of literacy, the members of the PORTT research group investigate cognitive processes of text reception, text production and translation using empirical methods such as think aloud, keystroke logging, screen recording and eye tracking. Its research focuses on the development of L1 (German) and L2 (English) academic writing skills and their interdependence, as well as translation competence development from the novice stage up to expert performance. Findings are being used to continuously optimize the teaching of these competences in various disciplines and degree programs and to develop best-practice approaches to be adopted in forms of English-medium instruction which make full use of students’ entire language resources.
Gentil, Guillaume (2005): “Commitments to academic biliteracy: Case studies of anglophone university writers.” Written Communication 22.4 (2005): 421–471.