‘I can’t find the words now…’: Teacher Discourse Strategies and their Communicative Potential in Spanish- and English-Medium Instruction in Higher Education



English-medium instruction is rapidly becoming a common practice at university worldwide. Despite the necessity of supporting teachers in this context, programs for their continuing professional development are few and far between. This study examines the discourse strategies (DSs) that two university lecturers deploy in the teaching of the same disciplinary content through both their L1 and their L2 to examine the extent to which these DSs help teachers achieve their communicative goal. The study unveils the impact of the language of instruction on teachers’ DSs and sheds light on teachers’ pressing linguistic needs. Finally, key findings suggest the need to incorporate of DSs in teacher education programs.


discourse strategies, EMI, classroom discourse, higher education, teacher education


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Author Biography

Davinia Sánchez-García, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Davinia Sánchez-García is an assistant professor in the English Studies Department at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Her research interests include English-medium education, CLIL, discourse analysis, and classroom discourse. 




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