EMI in Anglophone Nations: Contradiction in Terms or Cause for Consideration?

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Humphreys, Pamela
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Ben Fenton-Smith, Pamela Humphreys, Ian Walkinshaw

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2017
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The EMI literature has predominantly focused on non-Anglophone countries, leading to the implicit assumption that the use of English as the medium of instruction in traditional English-speaking contexts is relatively unproblematic. Yet the linguistic outcomes of EAL students with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in Australia, for example, have come under considerable scrutiny in recent years and been shown to warrant consideration. For this reason, this chapter problematizes the current definition of EMI, proposing a broader view. From this standpoint, this chapter first describes the policy discourse in the Australian context, and then summarises three areas of research evidence from Australian higher education in relation to (1) EAL students’ linguistic outcomes, (2) the impact of such outcomes on employability, and (3) EAL students’ views of English language proficiency. The chapter provides evidence that language improvement is not guaranteed over the course of an undergraduate degree program even in Anglophone contexts, and cautions higher education institutions (HEIs) against complacency. It concludes with implications and suggestions, particularly for HEIs in Anglophone EMI contexts, including the recommendation that English language proficiency be explicitly attended to as part of a University’s core business.

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English Medium Instruction in Higher Education in Asia-Pacific: From Policy to Pedagogy

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Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified

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