Internationalisation, Higher Education and the growing demand for English: an investigation into the global English Medium of Instruction (EMI) movement and the use of academic English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in non-Anglophone Higher Education Institutes (HEI)
(2016-2018, university of edinburgh, university of bath, sophia university)
This study, led by Dr. Nicola Galloway (University of Edinburgh), and funded by The British Council, aims to explore:
(1) differing conceptualisations of internationalisation in higher education through policy analysis and observations;
(2) how English, and EMI, is both used and viewed by staff and students’ via questionnaires, interviews and focus groups;
The study focuses on the East Asian context, but includes a global questionnaire survey of 30 countries. It is hoped that the comparison of staff and students’ perceptions will reveal important insights into the use of academic ELF and the impact of the growth of EMI on teacher identity and teaching practice. This study also serves as a large-scale needs analysis of both staff and students’ needs in relation to EMI. The results will have practical application and will be of interest to a range of audiences beyond The British Council.
The pilot study was conducted in Japan in early January, 2016. It involved administering 30 online questionnaires (15 for students and 15 for staff) and conducting 2 interviews (with a student and 1 with a member of staff). One focus group was piloted with 6 students and also 1 lecture and 1 workshop observed. The main study will be conducted in mid April 2016, which will involve 60 questionnaires (30 for students and 30 for staff), 6 interviews (3 with students and 3 with staff), 2 focus groups ( one with students and one with staff) and 8 hours of observation (4 hours of lectures and 4 hours of workshops).
The data will be disseminated in an article to be published as part of the British Council Research Papers series online. The appendices will consist of teaching materials based on the findings of the study. The target audience will be education policy makers and content-specialists. The report will address questions such as, What does the spread of EMI mean for university teaching staff? Do staff and students feel enfranchised by the use of EMI? Are there any particular training needs? What does the spread of EMI mean for educational policy? These questions are a particular focus of the study and the report will also draw on the results from the larger global survey to address the challenge of EMI on a global level to extend the reach beyond East Asia.
The findings of the study will also be disseminated through the establishment of an online international EMI network, aimed at providing support to education policy makers and content specialists. It is hoped that the online network will also provide a forum for education policy makers, content specialists and ELT practitioners to share good practice in relation to EMI.
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