Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Does Bilingual Instruction Impact Students' Academic Performance in Content-Based Learning? - Evidence from Business School Students Attending Bilingual and L1 Courses

Version 1 : Received: 11 October 2018 / Approved: 12 October 2018 / Online: 12 October 2018 (14:51:07 CEST)

How to cite: Lin, P.; He, S. Does Bilingual Instruction Impact Students' Academic Performance in Content-Based Learning? - Evidence from Business School Students Attending Bilingual and L1 Courses. Preprints 2018, 2018100274 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201810.0274.v1). Lin, P.; He, S. Does Bilingual Instruction Impact Students' Academic Performance in Content-Based Learning? - Evidence from Business School Students Attending Bilingual and L1 Courses. Preprints 2018, 2018100274 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201810.0274.v1).

Abstract

Despite the rapid adoption of bilingual programs (English-Chinese) in China's higher education institutions (HEIs), concerns have been raised on perceived language hindrance to students’ academic comprehension and then performance. In response to this, this paper investigates the effects of bilingual instruction on content-based learning and provides empirical evidence after testing related influential factors in bilingual environment. Analyzing a sample of 498 undergraduate students enrolling in a fundamental business course in a sample university in China, we find insignificant statistical difference in students' academic performance between bilingual and L1 classes. We attribute this to the English language support provided by the university and show that learning competence can help students to minimize language barrier and furthermore solve the common learning problems confronted by both bilingual and L1 students. Overall, our paper aims to identify key determinants of students' academic performance in bilingual instruction and provide policy implication for developing desirable bilingual programs in HEIs.

Subject Areas

Bilingual program; Academic performance; Learning competence; English proficiency; Student workload

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Comment 1
Received: 25 October 2018
Commenter: María Napal (Click to see Publons profile: )
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: This paper compares the performance differences between bilingual and L1 classes to examine the language impacts in a non-native English setting. The authors evaluate the fit to a model which considers academic performance as a function not only of English performance but also of learning competence, student workload etc.
They propose standardized methods to measure all the variables involved (English competence, learning competence, etc.), which enhances reliability and repeatability.
The results are not extremely original but contribute to the growing knowledge of bilingual instruction or EMI, and can help guide public policies.
My sole concern is whether a quantitative measure of academic performance (the grade) captures all the dimensions of learning or should be complemented by other qualitative measures.
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