Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier



Hu, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5232-913X

Zhang, https://orcid.org/0009-0009-9608-044X


Objectives: The purpose of this article is to delineate and substantiate the adoption of multilingualism within an intensive English programme (IEP) conducted at a public Malaysian university. The target audience comprises international students categorised as English as a Foreign Language learners.

Innovation: A model encompassing multilingualism was formulated and applied in the specific context, involving various stakeholders. While acknowledging the primary purpose of IEPs is to develop English language proficiency, this model transitions from monolingualism to multilingualism by raising participant awareness of multilingualism, adopting translanguaging strategies, encouraging comparisons of different languages, and facilitating target language production that acknowledges the role of other languages in the process.

Conclusion: Recognising the prevalent characteristics of traditional IEPs, which typically exhibit monolingualism with respect to the English language, we advocate for a more inclusive approach that embraces linguistic diversity and supports multilingual learners. Implementation of the model yielded initially positive outcomes. However, challenges related to institutional support and resistance to change from students, educators, and programme leaders exerted pressure on instructors in their innovation of the studied IEP.

Implication for Practice: IEPs should persist in embracing multilingualism to align with the diverse linguistic landscape and enrich the student learning experiences. This endeavour necessitates consistent professional training for teachers and collaborative efforts among teachers, administrators, and students.