Ernesto Macaro is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics and a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, University of Oxford.
Ernesto was Director of the Department of Education from 2013 to 2016.
Before becoming a teacher educator and researcher Ernesto was a language teacher in secondary schools in the UK for 16 years during which time he obtained an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Warwick. During this time he was asked by Warwickshire Education Authority to design and organise professional development courses for language teachers. This led to an interest in teacher education and he obtained a post at the University of York and subsequently at the University of Reading. It was at the latter that he obtained a PhD whilst teaching on that institution’s PGCE course.
Ernesto joined the Department of Education at Oxford in 1999 and soon after introduced the area of Applied Linguistics by designing the Masters in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. A further, largely online course, aimed at practising language teachers followed a few years Later (Msc. in Applied Linguistics For Language Teaching).
Ernesto’s current research focuses on second language learning strategies and on the interaction between teachers and learners in second language classrooms and in those where English is the medium of instruction (EMI). He has published widely in these areas and is now considered one of the leading experts on EMI. His 2018 book published by Oxford University Press is considered a landmark publication in the field.
Ernesto continues to be highly research active and is frequently called upon to give keynotes, plenary lectures and workshops in many parts of the world as well as providing consultancies on language policy. The following are a selection of research projects that he has recently been involved in or are on-going:
EMI IN TURKEY: A COLLABORATIVE EXPERIMENT
The research investigated the extent to which it is feasible and beneficial for English language specialists in Turkish universities to collaborate with academic subject specialists teaching through the medium of English in the preparation and delivery of content lessons or lectures.
Funding body: part funded by Oxford University Press
EMI IN CHINA: REFLECTING ON THE ANALYSIS OF INTERACTION
This research involved EMI content teachers audio-recording their classes. These were subsequently analysed by a language specialist according to pre-defined language features. The aim was to encourage the content teachers to reflect on their teaching (particularly on their interaction with students) and subsequently modify their pedagogy.
THE CERTIFICATION OF EMI TEACHERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
The study sought to establish the feasibility of certifying the teaching competence of teachers teaching academic subjects through the medium of English in non-anglophone contexts. Specifically, it investigated teacher attitudes towards the kinds of competencies needed and whether it was possible and/or beneficial for the certification to be awarded at an institutional, national, or international level.
Funding Body: Fell Fund (University of Oxford)
TRANSITION FROM SECONDARY CLIL TO TERTIARY EMI IN ITALY
The research investigated the challenges faced by students transitioning from an upper secondary school CLIL classroom to EMI in Universities. Specifically, it measured the lexical knowledge needed to adequately understand lectures in the L2 (English) and the strategies that students might use to compensate for lexical deficiencies.
Funding Body: The British Council