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Title: English language proficiency and overall academic performance : a question of inclusive practice in Maltese vocational education
Authors: Zammit, Nadya
Muscat-Inglott, Matthew
Keywords: Vocational education -- Malta
English language -- Study and teaching -- Malta
English language -- Ability testing -- Malta
Academic achievement -- Malta
Issue Date: 2021-06
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Education
Citation: Zammit, N., & Muscat-Inglott, M. (2021). English language proficiency and overall academic performance : a question of inclusive practice in Maltese vocational education. Malta Review of Educational Research, 15(1), 41-58.
Abstract: In this paper, we explore the effects of English as a medium of instruction in Maltese further vocational education settings, in the context of inclusive educational practice. Given the existing heterogeneity of English proficiency among students in Malta, our study aimed to investigate the association between English language proficiency and overall academic performance in a local vocational education and training institution. Using a generally postpositivist approach, quantitative survey design incorporating a standardised English proficiency assessment, followed by a descriptive and inferential statistical analysis of the data, we found little evidence to support the notion that English proficiency and overall academic achievement were correlated. While students reportedly perceived certain difficulties in their studies as a result of English-medium instruction, this had no adverse effect on their grades. While our findings do suggest a proclivity for inclusive practice, we also suspect that grading practices may be favouring content knowledge over language proficiency, possibly at the expense of field-specific and general English language mastery. Further research is needed to understand the interrelationships between English proficiency and inclusive educational practices in local vocational settings.
Appears in Collections:MRER, Volume 15, Issue 1

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