English Medium Instruction Programmes: Perspectives From South East Asian Universities 9781138226470, 9781315397627

This book is an exploration of the desirability and feasibility of English Medium Instruction (EMI) in specific universi

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Table of contents :
List of contributors
1 Setting the scene: EMI in Asian universities
2 Voices from the field: email interviews with applied linguists in Asia
3 Case study: EMI in a public university in Malaysia
4 Case study: EMI in Universiti Brunei Darussalam
5 Case study: EMI in Indonesia
6 Student perspectives of medium of instruction in Malaysia
7 The spread of English Medium Instruction programmes: educational and research implications
8 Market English as medium of instruction: education in neoliberal times
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English Medium Instruction Programmes

This book is an exploration of the desirability and feasibility of English Medium Instruction (EMI) in specific university settings in South East Asia. There is an increasing trend in many universities in Asia, as elsewhere in the world, to introduce ‘international’ academic programmes taught through the medium of English. Despite the rapidity of this development, there is a dearth of empirical research that investigates the opportunities and challenges across a range of specific contexts. This volume intends to occupy this research space, firstly by reviewing historical and contemporary trends and changes to EMI, and by eliciting the perceptions of a number of applied linguists in a range of Asian universities. These introductory chapters are followed by three case studies exploring the beliefs and practices of EMI lecturers in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, and a survey of Malaysian students’ attitudes to key issues relating to medium of instruction. Based on these empirical studies, implications will be drawn with regard to policy, curricula, pedagogical practice, professional development and further research. This book will provide guidance for decision-makers and practitioners for the effective planning and implementation of EMI programmes where English is an additional language for lecturers and students. Roger Barnard is an associate professor in applied linguistics at The University of Waikato, New Zealand. Zuwati Hasim is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

English Medium Instruction Programmes Perspectives From South East Asian Universities Edited by Roger Barnard and Zuwati Hasim

First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 selection and editorial matter, Roger Barnard and Zuwati Hasim; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Roger Barnard and Zuwati Hasim to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-1-138-22647-0 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-39762-7 (ebk) Typeset in Galliard by Apex CoVantage, LLC








List of contributors 1

Setting the scene: EMI in Asian universities

xvi 1



Voices from the field: email interviews with applied linguists in Asia




Case study: EMI in a public university in Malaysia




Case study: EMI in Universiti Brunei Darussalam




Case study: EMI in Indonesia




Student perspectives of medium of instruction in Malaysia




The spread of English Medium Instruction programmes: educational and research implications AN G E L M . Y. LIN A ND Y U EN Y I L O





Market English as medium of instruction: education in neoliberal times








Preface Roger Barnard and Zuwati Hasim

There is a rapidly increasing trend in many universities in Asia, as elsewhere in the world, to introduce ‘international’ academic programmes taught through the medium of English (EMI). In his Foreword to the present book, Robert Phillipson describes some key issues related to the historical and current situation in university contexts across the European Union. While he discusses the increasingly hegemonic use of English as a medium of instruction, he also emphasises the steps that are being taken in many of the member countries, notably in Scandinavia, to maintain and develop the use of national languages for academic purposes. In particular, he summarises eleven recommendations proposed by a group of Nordic countries to ensure that all the academic functions that the national language currently fulfils are maintained. He concludes that it is too early to gauge whether these recommendations can be successfully implemented in Europe, and wonders if they can be relevant to the very different circumstances in higher education contexts in Asia. As he points out, English medium policies are of major national importance in the countries where they have so rapidly been adopted, but despite this speed, there has been a dearth of empirical research to investigate in depth the opportunities and challenges across a range of specific contexts. This volume intends to occupy this research space. In Chapter 1, Roger Barnard provides a detailed historical overview of the development of programmes of English Medium Instruction (EMI) from their origins in Content Based Instruction (CBI) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). He then considers the current challenges to EMI in Asian universities by reviewing relevant findings from an international survey conducted of policies, practices and perceptions relating to EMI. In conclusion, he looks forward to how these challenges are discussed in the following chapters. Jonathon Ryan in Chapter 2 reports on issues in EMI provision that have arisen in specific university programmes located in Cambodia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The perspectives sought were those of applied linguists closely associated with the programmes in question, and who each participated in a series of email interviews, reporting on their observations and investigations. The key findings are discussed in relation to policy, the challenges faced by teachers, the challenges faced by students, evaluation of programmes, the future of EMI, and sociocultural implications. While the findings


Roger Barnard and Zuwati Hasim

generally concur with those reported elsewhere, they additionally highlight issues relating to the burdens placed on some local lecturers and a perceived threat to English-language majors. Furthermore, the findings may suggest that some of the other early concerns about EMI, such as a lack of appropriate published teaching materials, may be subsiding. Chapter 3 is the first of three case studies exploring the beliefs and practices of university lecturers regarding programmes of English Medium Instruction in their specific contexts. Zuwati Hasim and Roger Barnard begin with an overview of the changing language-in-education policies in Malaysia over the past sixty years, whether English or Bahasa Malaysia should be the primary medium of instruction in schools and universities. There has been little empirical research into the medium of instruction in Malaysian universities, and the study reported here explored the beliefs and practices of a group of lecturers at the oldest public university in Malaysia. The findings from a series of interviews, classroom observations and post-lecture discussions indicate that the lecturers were confident and fluent in their use of English, while the students were perhaps less so regarding their own competence. The findings also suggest that there is a need to provide language support for students and professional development in appropriate pedagogy for the lecturers. There were mixed views on the impact that the dominance of English as the medium of instruction has on the use and development of Bahasa Malaysia. The second case study, located in Brunei, is reported by Noor Azam HajiOthman and James McLellan in Chapter 4. The authors firstly outline the formulation and development of Brunei’s national language policy and language-in-education policies, and the beginnings and growth of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Brunei’s first and premier tertiary institution, founded in 1985. This is followed by a description of the present study, and presentation and discussion of the findings of pre- and post- lesson interviews, classroom observations, and focus group discussions with a group of eight Bruneian lecturers who teach in English at UBD. Their students’ views are also reported, through the findings of a small-scale survey. The lecturers all claim that they are comfortable with the use of English in their classes, rarely if ever resorting to Malay, the default lingua franca among Bruneians. In Chapter 5, Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati report their case study in an Indonesian context. The chapter begins with a brief description of when and how EMI was introduced in the Indonesian education institutions and about the policies at national and institutional levels. How EMI is implemented in a specific university will then be discussed on the basis of findings from relevant documents, a set of interviews with administrators and lecturers, and from a number of classroom observations. It was found that every effort has been made to offer a quality international programme and to maintain its stature as an exemplary programme with international standards. However, teachers’ English proficiency in the EMI programme still needs improvement as it is not only a matter of effective classroom communication during teaching-learning activities, but also with efficient transfer of knowledge as covered by each of the subjects



taught in the programme as well as to provide a good role model for the students. Implications for the future improvement of the programme are put forward. Chapter 6 is written by Murad Saeed, Mary Varghese, Mark Holst and Kamila Ghazali. They report the findings of a survey of 400 Malaysian undergraduates’ perceptions of the medium of instruction at four universities. Results showed that classes were perceived positively whatever the medium of instruction: using only English; using only the students’ first language and mixing English and L1. However, students reported challenges and issues whatever the medium of instruction they experienced. Despite the role of L1 in facilitating the students’ understanding of the lectures, the results highlight the students’ high level of awareness of English as a medium of instruction. The results point to an underlying pragmatism among students about the importance of English in their future prospects, which supersedes their perception of their L1 as a symbol of identity in the multicultural context of Malaysia. In Chapter 7, Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo point to the many educational challenges that ensue from the lack of clear institutional policies to ensure the effective implementation of EMI programmes in South East Asian universities. They outline three key areas in which further research and intervention is urgently needed: the integration of language support into content teaching; the pedagogical content knowledge of EMI teachers; and the role of local languages and resources in EMI classrooms. They conclude by calling for the deconstruction of the myth of the prestige of EMI and argue the need for the cautious re-examination of what is at risk if EMI is adopted without adequate teacher preparation and institutional staffing resources. In Chapter 8, Ruanni Tupas considers EMI in terms of ‘Market English.’ He argues that EMI is essentially a neoliberal construction, and that EMI agendas are anchored in the neoliberal logic of the global market – in the search for new capital both in national and institutional levels, English serves as a commodifiable product. Thus, ‘English’ is more appropriately ‘Market English’ in such contexts of instruction. While much has been said critically about EMI in terms of its impact on local linguistic ecologies and its potentially affirmative stances towards social inequalities, with Market English we see more complications emerging: how EMI abets the production of human bodies for the highly stratified global market. Andy Kirkpatrick begins his Afterword by contrasting the complex cultural diversity and heteroglossia of most East and South East Asian nations with the more homogenous linguistic situation that prevails in many European countries. He then points out that the typological differences between the region’s languages and English make the adoption and use of EMI considerably more problematic than in European settings where the local languages are typologically closer to English. He then highlights some of the challenges to the implementation of EMI programmes raised by the various authors of the preceding chapters and, based on three recent studies, relates them to the current state of EMI in Myanmar. On the assumption that the trend towards EMI programmes in Asian university contexts is irreversible, Kirkpatrick offers five criteria for their implementation: firstly, the necessity of a coherent and consistent university


Roger Barnard and Zuwati Hasim

language education policy formulated in consultation with all those involved in the enterprise – students as well as staff; secondly, the acknowledgement of the educational value of the students’ first languages of the students; thirdly, a clarification of which model(s) of English used in EMI; fourthly, the provision of systematic and specific professional development for staff; finally, the specification of linguistic benchmarks for students prior to enrolling in EMI programmes.

Foreword Robert Phillipson

It is encouraging that English-medium issues in higher education are being subjected to rigorous critical analysis. The policies at stake are of major national importance. Of equal importance is the experience of all those personally involved, as students and university staff, and their right to quality and to the significant values that a university education stands for. Among the key variables for clarification are the linguistic and cultural characteristics of each national and institutional context, types of academic competence in specific languages, how assessment is conducted, and how university autonomy and academic freedom are guaranteed. My Foreword will mainly draw on European experience and aims at drawing out its relevance for Asian contexts. English-medium education should not be confused with employing native speakers of English. If they have been educated throughout their school and university experience entirely in their mother tongue, and have never gone through the experience of learning a foreign language to a very high level, it is unlikely that they are qualified to provide linguistically, culturally and educationally appropriate teaching in an Asian context. This happened in the colonial past, and should be avoided in the neo-imperial, neoliberal present. Seeing the language policy challenges in a historical perspective is necessary. The monolingualism in English of the university worlds of the United Kingdom and the USA is a recent, modern phenomenon. Scientific activity has always been international, and many languages have served international purposes. In Asia there was interaction between Sanskrit, Chinese, and Arabic over many centuries. (See Sen, 2005.) German was the dominant international language of the natural sciences and philosophy until 1945. Latin was widely used throughout Europe as the language of scholarship until the 19th century. For example, John Milton (1608–1674) and Isaac Newton (1643–1727) wrote in Latin and English. French was used in many countries for centuries. Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1869) makes extensive use of French as well as Russian. European national languages were consolidated as a key dimension of state formation and national education systems between the 17th and 20th centuries. The European Union (EU) currently consists of 28 member countries, and uses 24 national languages as the official and working languages of the EU’s institutions, their publications and legislation. These languages are also the primary


Robert Phillipson

languages of schooling and higher education in each European country, ranging from demographically small countries (e.g. Denmark, Estonia, Latvia) to large countries (Germany, France, Italy). For many of the internal functions of the European Commission, English has acquired a hegemonic position, but multilingualism is managed through extensive use of interpretation and translation, in an attempt to ensure democratic participation in the EU system and in member states. ASEAN by contrast has English as the sole official and working language. This policy strikes me as extremely unfortunate if the goal is to copy the EU through establishing a common market and unifying many economic, social and political functions. It is unlikely either to promote equality between the member countries or to trigger much local participation in ASEAN affairs. The EU is an immensely complex supranational system and is notorious for its ‘democratic deficit’, which does not merit emulation. (For its language policies, see Phillipson, 2003; Kjær & Adamo, 2011; Phillipson, 2016a.) In much of continental Europe, research that is produced in national languages (Danish, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, etc.) has often presupposed reading proficiency in three widely used foreign languages, French, German, and English, and a grounding in Latin. Since 1945 English has acquired a dominant role in research activity and research publications, but a vast amount of research is still produced and published in many other languages. A recent study from Cambridge University documents this, and convincingly argues that researchers who work exclusively in English are missing out if they ignore research published in other languages. I am stressing this point because any switch into Englishmedium higher education should not be at the expense of national languages. Many continental European and Latin American scholars are convinced that they are more creative when using and thinking in their mother tongue, whereas academic dissemination can take place in other languages. There is also increasing evidence that multilingualism is conducive to creativity. In continental Europe virtually all foreign language teaching is performed by well-qualified local teachers of English. They have had the entirety of their education through the medium of a national language, French, Greek, Norwegian etc. Native speakers of English have no place in state education either at school or university level. If they apply for a position in competition with local people, their qualifications are assessed in relation to local relevance. My own case reveals this system in practice. When I emigrated from the UK to Denmark in 1973, my scholarly qualifications for a university post were considered appropriate (degrees from Cambridge and Leeds Universities). On appointment it was understood that I had to be able to function in Danish within a few months. I had experience of teaching English in three countries. I had near-native competence in French and German, and some proficiency in Spanish and Serbocroat (yes, even the British can learn languages!). My Danish was somewhat limited for at least a year but fully functional and near-native in speech and writing within 2–3 years. It is important to note that the learning task for Danish – a Germanic language in the same family as German and my mother tongue, English, all of which are strongly influenced by Latin, Greek and French – is far smaller than it would



have been for learning an Asian language. In Denmark all education, including higher education, was then through the medium of Danish. University staff generally had a high level of reading proficiency in at least two foreign languages. Foreign language learning in school was relatively successful, which it is in much of northern Europe, meaning that university students could be required to read academic books and articles in English without additional language training. This has become increasingly the case, especially in the natural sciences but also more generally. This was the context within which the very gradual transition to an increased use of English as a medium of instruction in higher education has taken place over the past 30 years. This is mainly at the graduate or masters level, which it is in several other European countries. What is currently under way in the Nordic countries (Scandinavia and Finland) and to a lesser extent in Germany in higher education is the acquisition of bilingual academic proficiency, to meet a combination of local and international needs. English as a medium of instruction of English in continental European countries was not widespread before the 1990’s. It has been studied intensively in the past two decades, particularly in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. In Finland, the scene differs since both Finnish and Swedish are strong national languages, also in academia. In Spain in the Basque and Catalonian regions, a major effort has gone into establishing these as regional languages alongside a dominant national language, Spanish. There is considerable variety in the regions of multilingual Switzerland. Vastly more has been published in languages other than English. There is now an extensive body of description and analysis of the complexity of this field (see Haberland & Mortensen, 2012; Hultgren, Gregersen & Thøgersen, 2014; Dimova, Hultgren & Jensen, 2015; Doiz, Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2013) including criticism of the ambivalence of the British Council and its advisers when invalidly endorsing English-medium education and the use of monolingual native speakers of English, while ignoring the reality of this para-statal organisation being increasingly run as a multi-million pound business in English teaching, testing, and consultancy. (See Phillipson, 2015, 2016b, 2016c.) The Swedish government commissioned an in-depth study of whether the expansion of English constituted any threat to the Swedish language as a unifying force in the country, and legislated to ensure that Swedish should maintain its many key roles, including its use as a medium of higher education and of research publication. There have been comparable studies in Denmark and Norway. A key document, a Nordic Declaration on Language Policy (Nordic Council of Ministers, 2006) signed by Ministers from five countries in 2005, was published in eight Nordic languages and English. It aims at ensuring that Nordic languages and English develop in parallel, that all residents can maintain their languages, and that language policy issues should be widely understood. A Report on parallel language competence in the Nordic countries was published in 2017 in Danish: ‘More parallel, please! Sprogbrug i internationaliseringsprocesser: Final Report of the Nordic Parallel language Group with 11 recommendations for universities on ideal arrangements for the use of international and local languages (my translation, RP). The recommendations build


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on years of experience in analysing the evolution of English-medium instruction while ensuring that all functions that the national language has fulfilled in academia are maintained (in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish), and ensuring that ‘international’ staff and students develop academic competence in this language alongside English. It is a recipe for raising language awareness, and ensuring a reciprocal dialectic between the national language and English. The Recommendations for universities in the five Nordic countries can be summarised. 1 All universities should have a language policy integrated with its internationalisation policy and that relates to national language policy parameters and the role of the university locally. 2 All universities should have a language policy committee that follows developments continually. 3 A language centre should, on the basis of research criteria, elaborate courses in the local language of relevance for ‘international’ staff and students, and should ensure the quality of such courses; it should also offer translation and language revision services; it should develop digital resources. 4 International teaching and research staff should be instructed in forms of parallel academic language use, and features of local students’ dialogue; they should also be familiarised with the local language of university administration; and progressively acquire competence to function fully in the local language; this should be stipulated in their employment contract. 5 There should be needs analysis in relation to study disciplines and future employment for guest students and for foreign students doing an entire degree; local students should be instructed in the discourse of their academic field in their language and in English, and ideally in additional languages. 6 A specialised needs analysis so as to achieve full parallel competence should be elaborated. 7 Criteria for choice of the language(s) of instruction, for lecturers’ language proficiency, reading material, and specification of achievement in each language are needed. 8 Principles for the language of university administration. 9 Strategies for languages of publication. 10 Policies for research dissemination and popularisation nationally and internationally. 11 Elaboration of relevant digital tools for staff and students. It is too early to be able to assess how far these recommendations will be implemented effectively. It is significant that they aim to ensure that English will not be seen as superior to national languages, and that these will be used by all staff, including ‘international’ staff. What is absent is any consideration of the need in each country to have high-level research and teaching in a range of other languages, from Europe and elsewhere.



Hopefully the principles specified here may be of relevance in Asia. Is it too much to hope that the focus will shift away from monolingual English-medium higher education to bilingual higher education? Or preferably multilingual higher education, so that the language rights of minorities worldwide can also be strengthened? (See Skutnabb-Kangas & Phillipson, 2017).

References Dimova, S., Hultgren, A. K., & Jensen, C. (Eds.). (2015). English-medium instruction in higher education in Europe. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter. Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (Eds.). (2013). English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Haberland, H., & Mortensen, J. (Eds.). (2012). Language and the international university. Special issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 216, 1–214. Hultgren, A. K., Gregersen, F., & Thøgersen, J. (Eds.). (2014). English in Nordic universities: Ideologies and practices. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing. Kjær, A. L., & Adamo, S. (Eds.). (2011). Linguistic diversity and European democracy. Farnham, England: Ashgate. Nordic Council of Ministers. (2006). Deklaration om Nordisk Språkpolitik. Retrieved from: www.norden.org/en/publications/publications_results_view?SearchablePu blicationsText=Declaration+Nordic+language Phillipson, R. (2003). English-only Europe? Challenging language policy. London, England: Routledge. Phillipson, R. (2015). English as threat or opportunity in European higher education. In S. Dimova, A. K. Hultgren & C. Jensen (Eds.), English-medium instruction in higher education in Europe (pp. 19–42). Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter. Phillipson, R. (2016a). Linguistic imperialism of and in the European Union. In H. Behr & J. Stivachtis (Eds.), Revisiting the European Union as an empire (pp. 134– 163). London, England: Routledge. Phillipson, R. (2016b). Promoting English: Hydras old and new. In P. Bunce, R. Phillipson, V. Rapatahana, & R. Tupas (Eds.), Why English? Confronting the Hydra (pp. 35–46). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Phillipson, R. (2016c). Native speakers in linguistic imperialism. Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies, 14(3), 80–96. Retrieved from: www.jceps.com/archives/3209 Sen, A. (2005). The argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian culture, history and identity. London, England: Penguin. Skutnabb-Kangas, T., & Phillipson, R. (Eds.). (2017). Language Rights. London and New York: Routledge. Volume 1. Language rights: Principles, enactment, application. Volume 2. Language policy in education: Violations or rights for all? Volume 3. Language endangerment and revitalisation; language rights charters and declarations. Volume 4. Language rights: Challenges in theory and implementation.


Roger Barnard is an honorary associate professor in applied linguistics at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Before taking up his present post in New Zealand in 1995, he worked in England, Europe and the Middle East as teacher, teacher educator, manager and advisor to ministries of education. He has recently accepted visiting professorships in several Asian universities, where he has taught postgraduate courses and undertaken joint research projects. His most recent co-edited books are Language Learner Autonomy: Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices in Asian Contexts (2016) with Jinrui Li and Reflective Practice: Voices from the Field (2017) with Jonathon Ryan. He is currently working on a volume of ethical issues in educational research with Rosemary De Luca. Kamila Ghazali (PhD) is professor of linguistics at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, Malaysia. Her areas of research interest are critical discourse analysis and sociolinguistics with research on political discourse, media discourse, English as a medium of instruction and ethnolinguistics where she delves into the language and culture of the orang asli (indigenous peoples). Her interest in indigenous languages has brought her from the longhouses in Sarawak to the jungles of Endau, Johor, and Gerik, Perak, to research the indigenous communities living there. One of her current projects is on the folktales of the Bajau Laut in Sabah and the Bidayuh in Kuching, Sarawak. She has supervised more than 50 masters and PhD students, mostly from Malaysia but also from various other countries including Iran, Bangladesh, Thailand, Libya and the USA. Noor Azam Haji-Othman is an associate professor at the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei. Having been Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Director of the Language Centre and Director of the Centre for Advanced Research, he has just taken up a new position as Director of the FPT- UBD Global Centre in Da Nang, Vietnam. His research interests include the interactions between the languages of Brunei, and bilingualism in relation to and as a result of state policy on language, education and society. Fuad Abdul Hamied is professor of language education at Indonesia University of Education at Bandung, Indonesia. He obtained his MA degree in EFL



(1980) from Southern Illinois University, USA, and his PhD in Education (1982) from the same university. Serving as Vice Rector at IKIP Bandung (1996–2003), TEFLIN President (2009–2015) and currently Presidentelect of Asia TEFL, he served for five years (2005–2010) as Deputy Minister for Education at the Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare. His latest publication includes Research Methods: A Guide for First-time Researchers, a book published by UPI Press, 2017; Developing Indigenous Models of English Language Teaching and Assessment, 2015, with I.B.P. Yadnya & I.G.A.G. Sosiowati, Udayana University Press; “ELT Intricacies Within the Indonesian Language Policy,” in Terance W. Bigalke and Salbrina Sharbawi (Editors), English for ASEAN Integration: Policies and Practices in the Region, published by University Brunei Darussalam, 2015; other book entries include Codeswitching in Universities in Vietnam and Indonesia, 2014, Multilingual Matters and English in Multicultural and Multilingual Indonesian Education, 2012, Springer. Zuwati Hasim is a senior lecturer at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has more than 15 years of experience in language teaching and teacher education, particularly in the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). Her research interests are in the areas of language assessment, ESL, action research and teacher education. Currently, she is leading a research project on school-based assessment with researchers from New Zealand and Malaysia, a project funded by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. To date, she has contributed her research works in journal, chapter and book publications. Her most recent book was Pedagogical Research Practices in Higher Learning Institutions in Malaysia (University of Malaya Press), co-edited with Roger Barnard. Mark Holst is a professor at the Center for Language Studies at Otaru University of Commerce in Japan, where he teaches English language education and sociolinguistics. He has pursued two main areas of research: discourse and identity as it relates to intercultural communication, and EFL teaching methodology in the Japanese education system. His doctoral research was an analysis of power asymmetry and the discourse of Japanese doctor-patient consultations, examining the influence of Japanese norms of interpersonal communication in this specific institutional setting. He has studied EFL teaching methodology in secondary and tertiary education in Japan and Laos, and is currently investigating language learning, language use and linguistic identity in Malaysian schools and universities. Andy Kirkpatrick is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and professor in the Department of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. He has lived and worked in many countries in East and South East Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore. He is the author of World Englishes: Implications for ELT and International Communication (CUP) and English as a Lingua Franca



in ASEAN: A Multilingual Model (Hong Kong University Press). He is the editor of the Routledge Handbook of World Englishes. His most recent books are English as an Asian Language: Implications for Language Education, coedited with Roland Sussex and published by Springer, and Chinese Rhetoric and Writing, co-authored with Xu Zhichang and published by Parlor Press. He is founding and chief editor of the book series Multilingual Education, published by Springer. He is co-editing two new handbooks, namely, Asian Englishes (Wiley-Blackwell, as co-editor) and Language Education Policy in Asia (Routledge, with Tony Liddicoat as co-editor). Nenden Sri Lengkanawati is professor of EFL Teaching Methodology at Indonesia University of Education. She has served as Head of the Language Center, Chairperson of the Department of English Education, and Dean of the Faculty of Language and Art Education. Currently the Coordinator of TEFLIN for West Java Region, she has published papers and book chapters such as “Contributions of Language Learning Strategies to Language Proficiency,” “EFL Learning Strategies,” “Second and Foreign Language Strategies: Basic Concepts and Realities,” “Language Learning Strategies and the Improvement of EFL Students’ Proficiency,” and “Good EFL Learners’ Language Learning Strategies.” Her latest publication includes “Teachers’ Beliefs in Learner Autonomy and their Feasibility for Implementation in Indonesian EFL Settings,” in Barnard, R. & Li, J. (Eds.), Language Learner Autonomy: Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices in East Asian Context and “Learner Autonomy in the Indonesia EFL Settings” (2017), in Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics. Angel M. Y. Lin is a full professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. She received her PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada, in 1996. Since then her research and teaching have focused on classroom discourse analysis, bilingual and multilingual education, academic literacies, language across the curriculum, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), and language policy and planning in postcolonial contexts. She serves on the editorial boards of leading international research journals including Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Language and Education, and Pragmatics and Society. Yuen Yi Lo is an assistant professor in the Division of English Language Education of the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. She received her doctorate at the University of Oxford and previously worked at the Hong Kong Institute of Education prior to joining the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include bilingual education, Medium of Instruction policy, code-switching and assessment. In recent years, she has been investigating how to enhance the effectiveness of English-medium education through promoting professional development and cross-curricular collaboration. Her work has been published in Review of Educational Research, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, and Language and Education.



James McLellan is a senior lecturer at the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei. He has previously taught at secondary and tertiary levels in Brunei, the UK, France, Malaysia, Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand). His research interests include South East Asian Englishes, Borneo indigenous language maintenance, and Language-in-Education Policy and Planning. His recent publications include a co-edited book (with Noor Azam Haji-Othman and David Deterding), The Use and Status of Language in Brunei Darussalam: A Kingdom of Unexpected Linguistic Diversity, 2016 (Springer). Robert Phillipson has degrees from Cambridge, Leeds and Amsterdam universities. He is a professor emeritus at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. He worked for the British Council in Algeria, Yugoslavia and the UK from 1964 to 1973. His books on language learning, linguistic imperialism, multilingual education, linguistic human rights and language policy have been published in twelve countries. He was awarded the UNESCO Linguapax Prize in 2010. Jonathon Ryan is a principal academic staff member at the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he teaches English and is leader of the Hub for International Vocational Education (HIVE) research cluster, and a supervisor and researcher in the Centre for Transdisciplinary Research and Innovation. He has previously taught in Ireland and Mexico, and was for six years a Director of Studies at a private language school. He completed his PhD at the University of Waikato in 2012 and a post-doctoral writing project in 2013. His research interests focus particularly on reference, miscommunication, teacher cognition, international education, and applying insights from conversation analysis to language teaching. His research has appeared in journals such as Language Learning, Journal of Pragmatics and ELT Journal, and he was co-editor with Roger Barnard of Reflective Practice: Voices from the Field (Routledge, 2017). Murad Saeed was a lecturer of English at Hodeidah University, Yemen, and currently, he is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Languages & Linguistics, University of Malaya. His research interests are online peer review in writing and use of social networks among EFL learners beyond the university classroom context as online learning communities and English as a medium of instruction. Ruanni Tupas is an applied sociolinguist at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His works have appeared in several journals, including Sociolinguistics, International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, Language Teaching, World Englishes, Multilingual and Multicultural Development, and Language and Education. He is sole editor of Unequal Englishes: The Politics of Englishes Today (Palgrave, 2015), and co-editor of Language, Education and Nation-Building: Assimilation and Shift in Southeast Asia (Palgrave, 2014, with Sercombe) and Why English? Confronting the Hydra (Multilingual Matters, 2016, with Bunce, Rapatahana and Phillipson).



Mary Varghese is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Taylor’s University, Malaysia. She obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Malaya. Her broad research interests include the links between policy, discourse and identity. Specific research interests have focused on discourse examinations in the context of media, culture, politics and identity.


Setting the scene EMI in Asian universities Roger Barnard

Introduction This chapter begins by reviewing the trajectory of English Medium Instruction as it has emerged from two other approaches to teaching academic subjects through the medium of a second language: Content Based Teaching and Content and Language Integrated Learning. These two approaches originated in schoolbased education, as did the early projects of specifically English-Medium Instruction in (Dutch) high schools. The chapter then discusses how, in the 1980s and 1990s, EMI programmes spread among European universities, and how such programmes were adopted in many higher institutions in Asia by the early years of the millennium. Such has been the rapid spread and speed of this development that Ernesto Macaro (2018) has likened it to an unstoppable train running off the rails. Using a different metaphor, Robert Phillipson (2009) described it as a pandemic. In his Foreword to this book, Phillipson has raised a number of problematic issues in implementing EMI programmes in European universities, and this chapter illustrates that many of these difficulties have also occurred across their Asian counterparts. The chapter concludes by reviewing the current situation as reflected in a world-wide survey carried out under the auspices of the British Council (Dearden, 2014). Respondents to her questionnaire indicated that there are a number of challenges facing the implementation of EMI programmes in the Asian region: a extend of clarity in EMI policies; the readiness of teachers and students to teach and learn through EMI programmes; the use of first languages in EMI-designated programmes, and the potential threat that these programmes pose to local languages and cultures. By its nature, a survey can only capture a snapshot of attitudes, and the issues raised in Dearden’s report clearly indicate that further research is needed to explore them in more depth. To date, there has been very little other research into the growth of EMI programmes across Asia, and the challenges faced by those involved in implementing them. This book is intended to occupy that research space in several ways. Firstly, some of the questions raised by Dearden were elaborated into a series of email interviews over several weeks with a number of applied linguists in various Asian contexts (Chapter 2). Secondly, three case studies investigated in some depth the beliefs and practices of EMI lecturers at universities in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia (Chapters 3, 4 and 5). The book then reports a


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survey of the attitudes of Malaysian students towards EMI (Chapter 6) before presenting detailed commentaries from applied linguists in Hong Kong and Singapore from educational and economic-political perspectives (Chapters 7 and 8, respectively). The book concludes with a reflective Afterword by Andy Kirkpatrick.

Background to English Medium Instruction Content Based Teaching in schools The contemporary origins of Content Based Teaching of which English Medium Instruction programmes are a current manifestation, can be traced to educational innovations in Europe and Canada in the early 1960s. The then-recent establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC) gave rise to the founding of European Schools for the children of expatriate EEC functionaries and the international business community (Baetens Beardmore, 1993). In these schools, the curriculum was initially to be delivered, where possible, in the students’ first languages, and in the upper grades as many as half of the subjects could be taught in a second language – one of the major working languages of the EEC: French, German or, increasingly, English. In the same period, immersion programmes were gaining popularity in Canada, where some children of Francophone parents engaged in a curriculum mostly delivered in English, and children of Anglophone parents were taught in French. The age at which children were enrolled, and the extent of immersion itself, varied from one context to another, but it was assumed that the earlier start the better, and that there should be an increase over the years of the proportion of the curriculum delivered in the target language should be upwards of 50%. The Canadian experiments were given some theoretical justification by the work of Stephen Krashen, whose Input Hypothesis (1985) argued that second language acquisition would be inevitable if the input were comprehensible, and the students were relaxed, rather than under stress. It may be noted at this point that students in both the European and Canadian programmes tended to come from homes with rich cultural, intellectual and financial capital. According to a 2005 report by the Government of New Brunswick “immersion does not respond well to the needs of all students; approximately 20% of students drop the program before Grade 5, and very few students with learning challenges or learning problems participate” (cited by Netten & Germain, 2004, p. 779).

Content and Language Integrated Learning in schools Initial reports of the success of the Canadian immersion programmes (e.g., Genesee, 1976; Lambert & Tucker, 1972; Swain & Lapkin, 1982) influenced the development of immersion programmes in many other countries, from Finland and Spain to Colombia and Japan (reported by Baker, 2006, pp. 249ff), It also became evident that while many immersion students developed a reasonably high degree of knowledge of the curriculum content, as well as oral and written fluency

Setting the scene 3 in the target language, there were also weaknesses in the linguistic accuracy of their academic work (Swain, 1993). As a consequence, it began to be felt that attention needed to be paid to the explicit teaching of grammatical features of the target language (Netten & Germain, 2004) so that students would consciously learn the language, rather than implicitly acquire or merely unconsciously absorb it while focussing on the content of the curriculum. From this emerged, particularly in Europe, a movement towards Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), which, as the name suggests, has a dual focus on developing both curricula content knowledge and target language competence (Barwell, 2005; Coyle, Hood & Marsh, 2010). It is argued (e.g., by Lorenzo, Casal & Moore, 2010) that focussing on content and language gives more purpose to second language learning than conventional foreign language programmes. Unlike immersion programmes, CLIL has tended to be restricted to specific curriculum subjects (e.g., mathematics, social studies) at secondary level, and students would continue to receive most of their instruction in their first language. Also unlike many immersion programmes, CLIL programmes have generally been introduced within the normal state provision of education; however, as was the case with the initial Canadian programmes, students tend to be selected from above-average cohorts. This issue is illustrated in studies from Germany (Rumlich, 2013; Königer, 2015) and Spain: it is reported that Andalusian students who chose to follow a CLIL programme in Andalusia were more motivated, demonstrated higher levels of L2 proficiency, often took additional private lessons, and had parental support for the programme (Lopez & Bruton, 2013, p. 258). However, even in these circumstances, the claimed outcomes of CLIL programmes have yet to be fully validated. For example, in the Spanish context, several studies (Alonso, Griselena & Campo, 2008; Naves & Victori, 2010; San Isidro, 2010) have reported that, even though CLIL students started the programme with higher average foreign language proficiency compared to their non-CLIL peers, at best they merely maintain the difference rather than extend it. Similarly, an extensive comparative study in Hong Kong (Marsh, Hau & Kong, 2000) concluded that students who received curriculum content in geography, history, science and mathematics in English scored lower in these subjects than their peers who were taught them in their first language. Such studies, therefore, indicate that CLIL is by no means an educational panacea, and that there is no simple answer as to how, and for whom, second language learning can best be integrated into school curricula.

English Medium Instruction in schools in Europe In the early 1980s, the Dutch government approved the introduction of English medium streams in the senior classes of three selected state high schools. The reason for this decision was that, at that time, a number of Dutch workers employed overseas were repatriating to the Netherlands with their children. For the most part, these children had been educated through the medium of English in international schools in the countries where their parents lived. On their return, therefore,


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they were unaccustomed to the Dutch education system, the local learning culture, and the type of examinations they would have to take in their senior years. Also, their cognitive academic proficiency in Dutch would most likely have been less than that that in English. Thus, it seemed appropriate that their education on their return to the Netherlands should continue through the medium of English. In those years, the author was employed by the British Council in the Netherlands, and, as part of his duties, he designed and implemented a language analysis and professional development programme for the teachers at two of these schools. The analysis (of classroom interaction) revealed that the high school teachers had a very high standard of communicative English, and knew much of the English terminology relating to their specific subject – mathematics economics, etc. However, they often lacked the ability to use English effectively for pedagogic purposes; in particular, they found it difficult to accurately reformulate (both linguistically and cognitively), a statement or an explanation in English which some students had failed to understand. Moreover, they often failed to understand the varieties of English spoken by their students, who were not infrequently more communicatively competent than their teachers; sometimes this led to difficulties in classroom management. The language development programme was based on individual teachers observing video recordings of their own lessons alongside an English language specialist and discussing their (oral and aural) strengths and weaknesses. These sessions were followed by systematic reflection on language issues before, during and after teaching subsequent classes with a view to developing their pedagogic strategies to enhance the academic and linguistic competence of their students to fit them for subsequent university study. Students who followed these pilot programmes, and later ones, would expect to pursue university programmes in the various disciplines through the medium of English.

English Medium Instruction in European universities Universities in the Netherlands were among the first, also in the 1980s, to introduce EMI programmes for Dutch students to prepare them for the increasingly English-dominant world of business, technology and communication. (At this time, for instance, the entire banking system in the Netherlands switched the working language from Dutch to English.) Soon, however, university authorities realized that such programmes would appeal to students in other European countries, who would be more easily cope with studying through English than in programmes taught in Dutch, and they began to market them accordingly. The popularity of EMI programmes spread rapidly across the continent, stimulated by the Erasmus scheme which promoted international student exchanges across what eventually became the European Union. In 2002, there were over 800 EMI programmes in Europe (Doiz, Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2013) and by 2008 the number had risen to some 2400, mostly in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia (Wächter & Maiworm, 2008). The introduction of Erasmus Mundi, which was targeted at students from outside Europe, and particularly those from third world countries, further stimulated this growth. Over the years, further

Setting the scene 5 reasons for this spread of EMI programmes were adduced (van der Walt, 2013): many universities sought to attract overseas students in order to enhance their international connections – and their academic profile and competitiveness – by establishing innovative and attractive outward-looking programmes. It also soon came to be realised that universities could supplement their income by charging overseas students different, and higher, fees. These fees derived not only from academic programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, but also from the burgeoning of programmes of English for Academic Purposes, which many overseas students needed before or during their academic study in English. The income from these ‘clients’ increasingly became an important source of revenue to universities, especially when many governments severely reduced their financial contributions to institutions of higher education.

English Medium Instruction in universities in Asia By the turn of the present century, EMI programmes began to be widely introduced in universities in Asia, as elsewhere across the world. In the past, schools and other institutions of learning in countries colonised by European empires used the language of the dominant power as the medium of instruction until independence. Subsequently, a national language was usually chosen “both for integrating the state on the basis of the politically dominant ethnic group, and for creating a symbol of national unity and identity” (Mead, 1988, p. 3). Malaysia presents an interesting example. English was the medium of instruction in schools until independence in 1957, after which the policy changed to Bahasa Melayu (BM) during the period of nation-building. However, until 1970 English continued to be the medium of instruction both in schools and at the University of Malaya (founded in Singapore in 1949), largely because there was a lack of local BM-speaking academics (Ali, 2013). By 1980, the five public universities that then existed in Malaysia were mandated to adopt BM as the medium of instruction by 1983 (Ali, 2013, p. 77). Ten years later, the Malaysian Government considered it necessary, in order to promote the nation’s economic and technological development, to reinstate EMI for university courses in science, engineering and medical courses (Mohini, 2008). Private universities were allowed, and then encouraged, to develop EMI programmes across the curriculum (Tham & Kam, 2008). Some of these programmes derived from partnership arrangements with universities in English-speaking countries; students spent one or more semester in a partner university in USA, Canada, Australia or Britain, and/or were taught through English in their home institution, with academic moderation by the partner. According to Gill (2004), Malaysia soon had over a hundred partnerships with universities from Anglophone countries, making it one of the first Asian countries to rigorously internationalise its higher education (Gill & Kirkpatrick, 2014). Universities in neighbouring countries were not slow to follow suit. (For more details, see Chapters 3 and 6 in this volume). While there were often sound academic reasons for setting up these partnership schemes, it also began to be felt that some of the western universities were


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“capitalising on the hard currency of higher degrees earned in English institutions” (van der Walt, 2013, p. 63). Perhaps in the light of this view, but also for sound financial reasons – for the costs of partnership arrangements were necessarily high – an increasing number of Asian universities began to develop autonomous EMI programmes, encouraged to do so by their governments. For example, in 2001, all universities controlled by Ministry of Education in China “were instructed to use English as the main teaching language in the following subjects: information technology, biotechnology, new-material technology, finance, foreign trade, economics, and the law” (Nunan, 2003, pp. 595–96). As a longer-term goal, it was planned to have at least 20% of undergraduate courses conducted through EMI. This led to fierce competition among top-ranking universities: within three years, Fudan University offered 48 EMI courses, Zhejiang University 164, and Wuhan University 216 ( Hu & Mackay, 2012, p. 347). At much the same time, “about ten of the most famous universities in China decided to buy and use almost all of the textbooks being used in Harvard University, Stanford University and MIT” (Liu, 2009). Another example was the Vietnamese Ministry of Education’s requirement for its universities to make plans “to use English as a medium in their training programs. Priority should go . . . to science, economics, business administration, finance and banking” (MOET, 2005; objective 3, output 2). Consequently, “multiple EMI programs have been offered in both public and private universities since 2008” (Vu & Burns, 2014, p. 9). In 2009, the Japanese Ministry of Education launched its ‘Global 30’ project with the intention of “developing degree programmes in English to internationalise academic systems and campuses” (www. mext.go.jp). By 2013, thirteen universities – six of which were private – offered EMI programmes at graduate or undergraduate level. Interestingly, six of the seven public universities specifically excluded Japanese nationals from enrolling, while the private universities had no such restriction (Hashimoto, 2013, p. 28). In Korea, according to Sharma (2011), “between a fifth and two fifths of all courses at most Korean universities are taught via the English medium, with universities vying with each other to announce more courses taught in English to attract students in a market where demographic decline is making it harder to fill seats.” While there is a determined drive to recruit international students to these EMI programmes (www.10mag.com/top-korean-universities-to-study-programs-in-english/), the pressures on domestic students may be considerable: “It is hard to tell whether the requirement to conduct most classes in English at [a highly prestigious private university] has something to do with the recent suicides of four students at the school” (Cho, 2011). Even though such personal tragedies are rare, there are other vitally important concerns which should be critically considered as EMI continues to be recommended and adopted in Korea and elsewhere.

The current situation EMI in schools and universities Attention will now be paid to a recent study commissioned by the British Council (Dearden, 2014) on the spread of EMI programmes in schools and universities

Setting the scene 7 in 55 countries across the world, including more than a dozen in Asia. “Surveys were completed by British Council staff in the offices of the above countries and territories. In some cases, experts from those countries were also consulted” (Dearden, 2014, p. 1). Thus, the data cannot be considered entirely valid or statistically reliable, and the statistical information does not always clearly differentiate between EMI programmes in schools and those in universities. Nevertheless, the report does provide a snapshot of EMI provision across the world. The reasons put forward by respondents for the introduction of EMI programmes included: a desire or intention to develop English language learning skills; improving knowledge of a target culture; opening up possibilities for students to work and study abroad as well as spreading the country’s own culture throughout the world; political reasons of nation-building and aligning a country with English-speaking neighbours. (Dearden, 2014, p. 12) With particular regard to EMI in universities, some of Dearden’s respondents pointed out that EMI meant that universities could produce high quality research papers in English as well as attract high fee-paying international students. These comments are in line with those suggested by van der Walt (2013). Half (49%) of the 2014 respondents reported that official statements concerning EMI had been made publicly available, and almost two-thirds (62%) reported that the country they represented had experienced EMI policy changes over the past ten years. Not all such changes had been in the same direction: some of these policies had further promoted EMI, while others saw them reversed for various reasons, such as teacher protests, differences between public and private sectors, or fears that students were performing badly (p. 19). However, two-thirds (67%) of the respondents believed that the trend towards EMI would continue in their respective contexts (p. 31).

Current challenges to EMI in Asian universities A number of controversial issues – challenges – raised by the respondents to Dearden’s (2014) report will now be discussed with particular regard to university contexts in East Asia. They will be taken up in further detail in Chapter 2, which will present and discuss the findings of a series of email interviews conducted in 2016 with a number of applied linguists in Asian universities.

EMI policies One issue highlighted in Dearden’s survey is a lack of detailed curricular advice; she comments: “For example one might have expected some guidelines or policy on a phased introduction, or a recognition that schools or universities had to reach a certain level of proficiency before they could adopt an EMI course” (p. 24). The only East Asian countries reported by Dearden’s respondents where


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some written guidelines about how to teach through EMI were reported were Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan. Even here it is not clear what level of advice was being provided (p. 24). Dearden’s respondents also report a lack of relevant support and professional development programmes for EMI lecturers.

EMI teachers A second issue concerns the quantity and quality of teachers required to deliver EMI programmes: asked “Are there enough qualified teachers in your country to teach through EMI?” 83% responded negatively (p. 24), although it is not clear how many of the respondents were referring to school teachers or to university lecturers. With regard to quality, “one would imagine that a minimum requirement would be a sufficiently high level of English proficiency to be able to operate in that language” (p. 22). In addition, Dearden noted that they needed to know: how to modify their input, assure comprehension via student-initiated interactional modifications and create an atmosphere where students operating in an L2 are not afraid to speak; all this whilst taking into account the many cultural differences present in the room and the potentially different language levels of individuals. (Dearden, 2014, p. 22) However, “it is as yet unclear what the requirements are with regard to English language competence . . . respondents in the 55 countries study were unaware of a language level, test or qualification for EMI teachers . . . sometimes the [their] level of English was thought to be very basic, and inadequate for teaching an academic subject” (p. 27). Typically, in Asian universities, the lecturers are native-speakers of the home language and some of them may have completed graduate or doctoral programmes in English-speaking universities; thus they would probably have attained a high standard of (written) academic competence. For example, Dearden’s respondent in Taiwan reported that the majority of university professors there spoke English since most of them had a PhD degree. However, that did not mean they are well trained to deliver courses in English (p. 31). Therefore, like the Dutch high school teachers mentioned previously, they may lack the pedagogic ability to teach the disciplinary content effectively by modifying their input to cater for students of potentially different levels of language competence (p. 23). Many other lecturers will not have had an opportunity to study, or even live, in an English-speaking environment, and so their English competence, whether communicative or academic, might well be insufficient to deliver input or interact with students. If these are required to teach programmes in English, there is a danger of watering-down the academic content of the courses. According to one of Dearden’s respondents, some university teachers “might hand over their teaching to younger teachers if it had to be done through EMI, as they felt

Setting the scene 9 incapable of delivering lectures in English” (p. 25). For example, in Taiwan, an EMI lecturer may have a Teaching Assistant assigned to help students understand the course content in return for which the latter may receive sponsorship for overseas training (p. 30).

EMI students Another issue is the selection of students to follow EMI programmes. It is increasingly normal for Asian universities to stipulate that all undergraduates should pass school-leaving English examinations. However, the standard of competence required for these examinations is both variable and uncertain. School leaving examinations should be reasonably based on what students might have achieved as a result of tuition during their school years. Most Asian study English for five or six years in high schools, and many may have started in primary schools; in all, they are unlikely to have received more than about 1000 hours of tuition. This would have been extensively spaced during the school years: perhaps three or four hours a week for forty weeks a year, interspersed during the day with heavy workloads from other subjects, and interrupted during the year by school holidays and other closures. In the light of these factors, it is unlikely that they would achieve a proficiency level sufficient to be able to benefit from instruction through the medium of English. For example, Dearden’s Taiwanese respondent commented that “a general controversy usually focuses on the comprehension of students on an EMI course” (p. 22). The report did not mention the extent to which universities offer preparatory English courses, or ongoing English language support for students of EMI programmes. One response to the issue of students’ lack of English proficiency, noted by Dearden (p. 21), is for parents to send their children to after-school classes in profit-making institutions, or to lessons taught privately by their school teachers. Some parents prefer to send their children to private English-medium schools. Other parents go to the extent of sending their children overseas to spend some time in English-speaking countries, often to attend language schools or mainstream schools where the medium of instruction is English. For example, by 2007 there were 7000 Korean students in New Zealand’s schools (Takeshita, 2010, p. 274). This raises a number of questions relating to the socio-cultural and economic implications of EMI programmes. Parents who can afford to take these options evidently have the financial capital to pay the necessary fees and other expenses, and this widens the educational gap between what the middle classes can afford and what the working classes have to put up with. Thus, medium of instruction policies determine which social groups have access to economic and political opportunities (Tsui & Tollefson, 2004, p. 2). As noted previously, many universities seek to enrol international students in their EMI programmes: “The ability to teach a class of mixed nationalities through the medium of English means that universities can attract high fee-paying international students” (p. 16). Almost three-quarters (72%) of


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Dearden’s respondents reported that universities in their countries enrolled international students. “However, in many cases the numbers were said to be not substantial or even negligible” (p. 29) although countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are fiercely competing for their universities to become hubs of international education. For example, the University Malaya Portal website claims that: International students should not have any problems studying in Malaysia as English is the primary medium of communication for all courses and study programs conducted at the private educational institutions [and] For those less proficient in the language, there are numerous schools and institutions offering basic English courses. (www.um.edu.my – emphasis added) It might be thought that more than a ‘basic’ knowledge of English would be required to follow EMI programmes. Few universities seem to consider the linguistic impact in classes of students from different language backgrounds as well as differing levels of English competence.

First language use in EMI Essentially, EMI implies a monolingual approach to teaching and learning, but 76% of Dearden’s respondents reported their country as having no written guidelines specifying whether or not English should be the only language used in the EMI classroom or whether code-switching was forbidden, allowed or encouraged. Recent research (e.g., Barnard & McLellan, 2014) indicates that many Asian universities either forbade or discouraged the use of the students’ first language in English classes, but that all of the teachers in the case studies code-switched to a greater or lesser extent and for a variety of reasons. Dearden posed the question: “If English-only is being used, and a teacher is not proficient, what kind of English are the students going to be exposed to?” (p. 25). Actually, irrespective of the teacher’s linguistic competence or whether the programme is strictly monolingual, the issue of the variety of English used in EMI is extremely pertinent (Barnard, 2015; Macaro, 2018). While many local lecturers may use a form of standard (whatever that means!) British or American English, it is most likely that their spoken and perhaps written production will be influenced by their first language and the variety of lingua franca English used in their environment. Similar will be the English spoken and written by the EMI students, whether domestic or international. Thus, classroom input, interaction and output in every EMI context will be a mixture of English (and first language) varieties. Perhaps this matter becomes most acute when it comes to the question of assessing students’ learning. Dearden’s respondents described examinations and assessment as being problematic: “What language should exams be in? What form should they take? Do

Setting the scene 11 teachers have a sufficiently high level of English to write and mark exams? What is being assessed, the English or the subject content?” (p. 26). Dearden reports that in some cases, courses taught in English were examined in the students’ first language because of university policy, pressure from students, or legal requirements. This may give rise to some linguistic and/or conceptual confusion. When assignments, tests and examinations are to be completed in English, again the issue arises of which variety of English is acceptable. This is not merely a question of sentence-level grammar but – especially so far as essay-type assignments are concerned – of the discourse structure appropriate to specific disciplinary genres. Argumentation, for example, is presented in culturally specific ways; so should students write an essay in English according to local generic conventions or attempt to do so following norms associated with internationalised English for Academic Purposes?

Threats to local language and educational culture While Dearden’s respondents considered that EMI might be a passport to a global world (p. 16), 50.9% pointed out that EMI was a sensitive and controversial issue in their countries. In particular, concerns were raised about the effect on the students’ first language when learning occurs through EMI: “In countries wanting to protect their home language, it was also thought that students graduating from university to work in business, engineering and medicine should have a deep knowledge of the language in the country where they live (p. 18). Some even considered that EMI presented a threat to the home language, which might continue to be used only for everyday communication while its academic use would be lost. It was also feared that pedagogic methods appropriate to EMI might conflict with the local educational culture. As Philipson rhetorically asked, “How can one go along with the use of English without exposing oneself to the risk of being anglicized in one’s mental structures, without being brainwashed by the linguistic routines?’ (2006, pp. 68–9). These issues are discussed in more detail in the following chapters.

References Ali, N. R. (2013). A changing paradigm in language planning: English-medium instruction policy at the tertiary level in Malaysia. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 73–92. Alonso, E., Griselena, J., & Campo, A. (2008). Bilingual education in secondary schools: Analysis of results. International CLIL Journal, 1, 36–49. Baetens Beardmore, H. (Ed.). (1993). European models of bilingual education. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters. Baker, C. (2006). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (4th ed.). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.


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Barnard, R. (2015). EMI in Asian universities: Which model of English? Paper presented at the colloquium English medium instruction: Researching a fast developing phenomenon at the international conference ‘Faces of English’, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 11–13 June, 2015. Barnard, R., & McLellan, J. (Eds.). (2014). Codeswitching in university Englishmedium Classes: Asian perspectives. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Barwell, R. (2005). Critical issues for language and content English in classrooms: Introduction. Linguistics and Education, 16, 143–150. Cho, J-H. (2011). English bubble. Retrieved from: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/ opinion/2011/05/164_86423.html Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). CLIL: Content and language integrated learning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: A growing global phenomenon. London, England: The British Council. Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (Eds.). (2013). English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Genesee, F. (1976). Comparative evaluation of the early French immersion, grade 7 French immersion and FSL program: A follow-up study. Report submitted to the Instructional Services Department, Protestant School Board of Greater Montréal, Québec. Gill, S. K. (2004). Medium-of-instruction policy in higher education in Malaysia: Nationalism versus internationalisation. In J. Tollefson & A. Tsui (Eds.), Medium of instruction policies: Which agenda? Whose agenda? (pp. 135–52). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gill, S. K., & Kirkpatrick, A. (2014). English in Asian and European higher education. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Malden, MA: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781405198431. Hashimoto, K. (2013). ‘English-only’, but not a medium-of-instruction policy: The Japanese way of internationalising education for both domestic and overseas students. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 16–33. Hu, G., & Mackay, S. L. (2012). English language education in East Asia: Some recent developments. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(4), 345–62. Königer, S. (2015). Lesson quality in German-English bilingual history teaching in grammar Schools in South-West-Germany. Invited presentation to the Applied Linguistics Research Group, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 4 September. Krashen, S. (1985). The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. London, England: Longman. Lambert, W. E., & Tucker, G. R. (1972). The bilingual education of children: The St. Lambert experiment. Powley, MA: Newbury House. Liu, S. (2009). Globalization, higher education, and the nation state. In Proceedings of the China Postgraduate Network Conference 23–24 April 2009, Luther King House, Manchester (pp. 91–100). Retrieved from: www.bacsuk.org.uk/cpn/wpcontent/uploads/2012/01/Proceedings20091.pdf#page=91 Lopez, M. G., & Bruton, A. (2013). Potential drawbacks and actual benefits of CLIL initiatives in public secondary schools. In C. Abello-Contesse, P. M. Chandler, M. D. Lopez-Jimenez, & R. Chacon-Beltran (Eds.), Bilingual and multicultural education in the 21st century: Building on experience (pp. 256–72). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters.

Setting the scene 13 Lorenzo, F., Casal, S., & Moore, P. (2010). The effects of content and language integrated learning in Europe in education to key findings from the Andalusian sections evaluation project. Applied Linguistics, 31, 418–42. Macaro, E. (2018). English Medium Instruction: Content and language in policy and practice. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Marsh, H. W., Hau. K. T., & Kong, C. K. (2000). Late immersion and language of instruction in Hong Kong high schools: Achievement growth in language and non-language subjects. Harvard Educational Review, 70, 302–46. Mead, R. (1988). Malaysia’s national language policy and the legal system. New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies. MOET. (2005). Vietnam higher education renovation agenda: Period 2006–2020. Hanoi, Vietnam: Ministry of Education and Training. Mohini, M. (2008). Globalisation and its impact on the medium of instruction in higher education in Malaysia. International Education Studies, 1(1), 89–94. Naves, T., & Victori, M. (2010). CLIL in Catalonia: An overview of research studies. In D. Lasagabaster & Y. Ruiz de Zarobe (Eds.), CLIL in Spain: Implementation, results and teacher training (pp. 30–54). Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Netten, J., & Germain, C. (2004). Theoretical and research foundations of intensive French. The Canadian Modern Languages Review, 60(3), 275–94. Nunan, D. (2003). The impact of English as a global language on educational policies and practices in the Asia Pacific region. TESOL Quarterly, 37(4), 589–613. Phillipson, R. (2006). Figuring out the Englishisation of Europe. In C. Leung & J. Jenkins (Eds.), Reconfiguring Europe (pp. 65–86). London, England: Equinox. Phillipson, R. (2009). Linguistic imperialism continued. London, England: Routledge. Rumlich, D. (2013). Students’ general English proficiency prior to CLIL: Empirical evidence for substantial differences between prospective CLIL and non-CLIL students in Germany. In S. Breidbach & B. Viebrock (Eds.), Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in Europe: Research perspectives on policy and practice (pp. 181–201). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Lang. San Isidro, X. (2010). An insight into Galician CLIL. In D. Lasagabaster & Y. Ruiz de Zarobe (Eds.), CLIL in Spain: Implementation, results and teacher training (pp. 55–78). Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Sharma, Y. (2011). South Korea: Degrees taught in English to continue. University World News, Issue 00468, 26 July, 2011. Retrieved from: www.universityworldnews. com/. Swain, M. (1993). The output hypothesis: Just speaking and writing aren’t enough. Canadian Modern Language Review, 50(1), 158–64. Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1982). Evaluating bilingual education: A Canadian case study. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters. Takeshita, Y. (2010). East Asian Englishes. In A. Kirkpatrick (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of world Englishes (pp. 265–81). London, England: Routledge. Tham, S. Y., & Kam, A. J. Y. (2008). Internationalising higher education: Comparing the challenges of different higher education institutions in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28(4), 353–67. Tsui, A. B. M., & Tollefson, J. W. (2004). The centrality of medium of instruction policy in sociopolitical processes. In J. W. Tollefson & A. B. M. Tsui (Eds.),


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Medium of instruction policies: Which agenda? Whose agenda? (pp. 1–18). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. van der Walt, C. (2013). Multilingual higher education: Beyond English medium orientations. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Vu, T. T. N., & Burns, A. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: Challenges for Vietnamese tertiary lecturers. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 11(3), 1–31. Wächter, B., & Maiworm, F. (2008). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal for Studies in International Education, 11(4), 290–305.


Voices from the field Email interviews with applied linguists in Asia Jonathon Ryan

This chapter presents the findings of a research collaboration involving a series of email interviews conducted with applied linguists in seven locations across Asia: Cambodia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The interviews explored issues in the provision of English Medium Instruction (EMI) that were evidenced at a specific institution in each of the locations. The focus was EMI policy, practices and perceptions of the future. The interviewees acted both as informants in supplying previously gained knowledge, and co-researchers in reporting perspectives gleaned from EMI instructors at the selected institution. The present study therefore presents issues in EMI provision across a small number of East- and South East Asian universities, and in so doing complements Dearden’s (2014) global survey and the individual case study approach of the other contributions to this volume and elsewhere.

Methodology Data was collected for the present study through a series of themed email interviews. This approach provides obvious practical advantages for international collaborations such as this, where time, distance and expense prohibit face-to-face encounters. Their asynchronous nature also facilitates reflection, providing time for both the interviewer and interviewee to ask and respond to follow-up questions. This latter feature proved particularly useful in the present study as themes that emerged in the responses from one context could then be explored further and confirmed or disconfirmed as applying in others. All but two of the interviewees were previously unknown to me, and were introduced via an intermediary on the basis of being applied linguists with an interest in EMI, and having close connections to a university (public or private) that provides EMI programmes. Their responses have been anonymised in the reporting. After establishing some background information about their institutional contexts, three sets of interview questions were prepared, each comprising six questions. The first set was emailed to the interviewees with an approximate timeframe of ten days for responses. As responses were collected, clarifying questions were posed as necessary. Once all of the responses had been received, the


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next set of questions was sent and, in due course, the third. The first set focused on EMI policy, the second on actual practices, and the third on perceptions of the future; these were framed to pinpoint issues arising for domestic (non-native English-speaking) students and lecturers, both in undergraduate and graduate programmes. Analyses of the responses were initially conducted question by question. For each, themes were identified across the range of responses, and these were summarised into an initial draft of preliminary findings. This was further informed by an iterative process of considering themes that were grounded in responses across two or more sets of questions. From this process, a number of further queries emerged, particularly in relation to whether the reports from one site resonated with those in other sites; also to be queried were certain ambiguities in some of the responses and the inferences that I had made. These notes thus informed a further round of (interviewee-specific) questions, prompting revisions to the findings. In the final stage, a full draft of the manuscript was returned to the respondents for validation and for further commentary.

Policy The first interview related to matters of policy. In the institutions examined, the move to EMI has been relatively recent, with much of it initiated since 2010 and with the earliest cases in this sample stretching back to the early 2000s. Respondents reported transitional phases in which universities began by offering a small range of elective courses in English before embracing EMI more comprehensively, and the strategy of initially offering dual-language modes of delivery and then phasing out use of the local language. One such strategy involves contracting teachers to use a certain percentage of English (i.e., 25%, 50%, or 75%), with salary incentives applying for those who opt for higher rates of English use. In general, EMI appears to reflect neo-liberal market-oriented discourse that assumes a key role in using English to promote outward-looking, internationalisation perspectives (see Kubota, 2011 and Tupas, Chapter 9 in this book). International trade and communication are key motivating factors, along with the goals of expanding enrolments of international students and engaging with international scholarship. In these respects, the aim of adopting EMI in these particular universities is similar to that reported for their counterparts in Europe (van der Walt, 2013; Phillipson, this volume), and is reflected in the selection of programmes offered through EMI, particularly in institutions that offer a mix of EMI and non-EMI options, where business and economics are the most frequently taught through English. It is also the case that EMI is associated with some of the more elite academic programmes in some scientific and medical disciplines, where it appears that access to and participation in international scholarship is considered a priority, and English language journals and academic monographs are considered an important entry point. Overall, then, the adoption of EMI appears to reflect a strategic vision of key social and economic aspirations, in which a growing proportion of university graduates have both the

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academic background and bilingual or multilingual competence to engage with broader international communities. While this vision of eventual outcomes seems clear, what have been less consistently well-articulated are the actual policies that shape the local practice of EMI provision. Specifically, in most of these particular universities, respondents indicated that policy remained rather light in terms of EMI pedagogy, assessment, student support and staff recruitment. Presumably, there would be institutional assumptions about what EMI should look like in practice, but it appears that these assumptions were often not well-documented in ways that are accessible for staff. In relation to staff recruitment, few specific policies were identified and it appears that criteria for English competency are often somewhat flexible if candidates are evaluated as having relevant strengths in other areas. Nevertheless, respondents reported that teaching staff had generally sufficient language competency to adequately teach through English, at least when discussing material that they knew well (although also see Teacher Competency that follows). However, it was also noted that strong language competency appears to be particularly associated with younger staff members (typically those who obtained their postgraduate qualifications offshore), and that the role of English has sometimes meant that the expertise of more senior experts in the subject field was felt to be undervalued. In some cases this had led to discontentment and conflict, with subsequent resignations and redundancies targeting otherwise skilled and experienced older staff. In relation to student admission, a variety of policies were found regarding English proficiency requirements. Most typically, it was reported that student admission to undergraduate programmes was based on high school exam results, with general expectations of having achieved a ‘pass’ grade in English. In practice, in some contexts this meant levels of English competence as low as an IELTS equivalence of 4.0, although in other institutions entry levels equivalent to 5.0 and 5.5 were mentioned for undergraduate study and 6.0–6.5 required for postgraduate study. Student applications may also be assessed more holistically, with leniency granted over lower English scores if other aspects of the application are strong. A discussion of some of the implications of lower admission criteria follows. One crucial area in which there was considerable variation in explicit policy was in relation to the use of the local language. In what appears to be the standard case, there was shared understanding among staff, students and the governing body of the institution that courses would be ‘taught’ – or at least mostly taught – in English, yet the role and extent of the use of students’ and lecturers’ shared mother tongue typically remains unstated: the indicative guideline percentages mentioned previously were very much the exception. Rather, in many of the contexts there were few if any terms of reference as to how much of the local language can be used and by whom and for what purposes. It may be that this represents planned provision for the considerable contextual variation that may occur in the interplay between the complexity of subject matter, the availability and nature


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of relevant materials, and the English competency of lecturers and of particular groups of students. This seems an appropriate measure, and rather refreshing in an age where policy in western education has sometimes become overly regulated and standardised. This is especially so given that EMI represents a radical departure from the past and has often (and perhaps typically) been adopted enthusiastically by decision-makers without the benefit of reference to thorough research in the local context. In practice, what this means is that there is likely to be considerable variation between what occurs in individual classrooms even within a single institution (as found in a study of EMI in Macau; Botha, 2013). Beyond the standard case, some interesting variations were reported. In one case worth noting, an expectation to use English in the classroom was later followed by faculty decision-makers actively encouraging the use of English between faculty members and students outside of classroom time, when in the part of the campus where the department was located. This policy was challenged and resisted by a small minority of non-native-English-speaking senior staff who objected on the grounds of human rights (see also Dearden, 2014, p. 18), and as a result, a policy for using English outside of the classroom was never formalised (see also Toh, 2016, for a similarly failed attempted at Anglicisation of a campus). In some cases, disciplinary action has been brought against staff who resisted the move to EMI or what they perceived to be overly rigid interpretations of EMI (such as strict prohibitions on the use of the local language). Elsewhere, in some cases a much more tolerant attitude has been taken towards use of the local language. For instance, a respondent described one setting in which “there seems to be an unwritten rule in practice in classrooms where the L1 is definitely a resource in teaching and learning,” while another discussed this as naturally occurring during the process of negotiating meaning. Interestingly, the move to EMI appears to have largely taken place with little formal input from applied linguists, and consequently a strong theme running through some responses was frustration at the lack of policy informed by and responsive to the knowledge and concerns of specialists in second language teaching and learning. As an example of this, it is worth considering that applied linguists have drawn attention to the value of using the students’ first language (e.g. Cook, 2010; Levine, 2011; Macaro, 2009), and the ways in which skilled and experienced educators make principled use of code switching to manage classrooms and explain essential information (e.g. Barnard & McLellan, 2014); however, as discussed previously, this seemingly central issue in EMI provision appeared to be largely absent from policy statements in most of the contexts that were reported on. In many (though certainly not all) contexts reviewed, respondents indicated little role for applied linguists in terms of policy-shaping or evidence of their previous input into existing policy. One consequence of the widespread adoption of EMI have been moves apparently designed to phase out specialised English majors in some universities. This seems to be based on the assumption that EMI provides the equivalent of a double degree in the content subject and English, thereby representing a more effective use of resources and producing more highly skilled graduates. In this

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scenario, high functioning bilingualism is taken to be the new norm. It is unclear from the present data to what extent this is a policy-driven strategy or a marketdriven response, but it should be noted that the underlying assumptions are under-researched. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one respondent reported that lecturers on English majors are among the most resistant to EMI, as “it will result in a lot of them needing to retrain or lose their jobs.”

Teacher competency Some of the questions in the second set of email interviews focused on the key issue of to what extent teachers found EMI instruction challenging, and identifying the major contributing factors. To these questions, a range of context-specific responses were given, but a number of common themes also emerged. In several contexts, one substantial source of trouble related to the teachers’ own English proficiency. In most contexts, many of the lecturers had completed Masters and/or doctoral study in an English-speaking country and typically reported feeling confident in articulating content knowledge in English. However, while such overseas experience undoubtedly hones the linguistic skills required to precisely articulate complex abstract ideas for an academic research community, this does not necessarily transfer into the ability to simplify complex ideas for an undergraduate audience, and therefore, as one respondent noted, “we still find it hard to communicate ideas in a way that students can understand.” Put this way, it becomes clear that the relevant linguistic challenge goes much further than traditional concerns of subject-specific vocabulary and accurate grammatical expression; what is required is a sufficiently creative and audience-responsive command of English to render sophisticated hearer-new concepts in a manner appropriate to the language and knowledge levels of the students. Meeting such a challenge is by no means assured even in the L1, and the challenges in some EMI contexts appear to be formidable. (See also the list of student factors that follows.) Predictably, it is also the case that in many contexts English proficiency levels among staff appeared to be rather variable, and for some staff in some contexts, the requirement to use English represented a weighty burden. It should be emphasized that this was not always the case, and may relate to staff recruitment practices, ongoing support, and the extent to which lecturers are expected to teach outside their areas of specialist expertise. Nevertheless, it does represent a challenge for many lecturers, and respondents reported the use of a number of compensatory strategies. In particular, some lecturers were reported to employ the strategies of translating entire lesson scripts from their mother tongue, memorising long sequences of talk, and using presentation tools such as PowerPoint which provide text for the teachers and students to read. The use of such strategies requires much greater preparation time, and it was reported that many EMI teachers were felt to be encumbered with a substantially greater workload than their non-EMI colleagues. In addition to difficulties articulating content-related ideas in English, several respondents drew attention to the challenge of using English for pedagogical


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purposes. One respondent indicated that this was particularly so when the teaching was based on a non-traditional approach to pedagogy that required greater classroom interaction, for instance task-based lessons. It may be that many teachers are less aware of the language of teacher-talk than they are of the discourse conventions of their discipline, which they may be more readily exposed to in textbooks and journals. As a number of researchers have suggested, it is likely that much archetypal teacher-talk includes sequential patterns that are much less frequently paralleled in ordinary conversation (i.e. non-institutional forms of talk) and written texts (see for example Seedhouse, 2004; Sinclair & Coulthard, 1975; Waring, 2016.) Overall, while English does pose a substantial challenge for many lecturers, the overall impression from respondents was of a positive outlook for the future: current staff would become more adept at using coping strategies and newer faculty increasingly have the benefit of overseas experience which is expected to enhance their linguistic and pedagogic competence and confidence. A more widespread and challenging problem for lecturers is working with the limited English competency of some learners. Again, this is to some extent context-specific. Some respondents outlined ways in which students are streamed into different programmes, and reported highly contrasting experiences of lecturers working with stronger and weaker streams: those working in more elite programmes with more academically able and English-proficient students generally “do not find it difficult teaching through EMI,” yet considerable problems arose for those teaching non-elite streams. The same respondent reported that many teachers resorted to the students’ native tongue as they considered the students “unable to comprehend the subject content if English is used.” Indeed, there was widespread consensus that code-switching was primarily motivated by limitations in the English of students rather than that of their lecturers. The value of being able to code-switch was illustrated in the contrasting experience of foreign staff members who lacked proficiency in the local language, with such staff “find[ing] it very challenging due to the behaviour and language levels of the students.” Another respondent cited a lack of English proficiency among students as being the main reason that “teachers complain a lot about EMI courses.” Again, a crucial issue here appears to be policies and practices regarding student recruitment and enrolment. The varying challenges faced by lecturers raises the question of to what extent institutional support is made available, particularly in terms of professional development (PD) opportunities and the provision of appropriate English-language academic resources. In relation to the latter, all respondents reported having ready access to well-equipped resource centres and libraries and no substantial problems or deficiencies were reported. In relation to PD, however, and with some exceptions, the overall consensus was that relatively little ongoing professional development was focused on EMI-specific issues, and this was so even when there were generous PD opportunities relating to subject knowledge. The most comprehensive PD assistance appeared to occur at an institution where each year relatively large groups of lecturers attended a one-month training

Voices from the field


course at an overseas university and “on their return they are expected to apply the principles and procedures learnt there in their EMI courses.” This considerable investment was supported by more explicit and detailed EMI policies and institutional support than reported for the other institutions. Elsewhere, however, respondents tended to report a combination of limited institutional support through PD and reluctance by staff to participate. For instance, at one institution, workshops and presentations on EMI were held on occasion “yet, most of the time, even presenters complained about the negative outcome of EMI courses at the end of the presentation.” Another respondent noted that local staff members seemed more resistant to participating in professional development when it was conducted in English (as it usually was), and felt that there would be greater engagement among lecturers if sessions took place in the local language. Another respondent indicated that because the principles of EMI were assumed to have been embedded during postgraduate study abroad, the institution did not consider there to be further need for an ongoing institutional role in PD. On the basis of the small sample reported here, it seems that PD is a key area in which institutions tend to fall short in supporting their EMI staff. A question for future research may be to explore in much greater depth the reasons for lecturer apathy about what is currently provided. As a starting point, it would be worth identifying the types of PD opportunity that lecturers regard as most valuable. It would also be worth considering whether the current workloads of lecturers allow adequate space for PD; lecturers who are already under time pressure are less likely to appreciate receiving additional tasks into busy schedules, particularly if these fail to provide immediate solutions to current problems.

Student competence Another major focus of the interviews were issues of student competence and success in EMI programmes, with key questions centred on students’ ability to understand input in EMI, their ability to interact with lecturers and other students in English, and the quality of their written output in English. In general, despite the challenge that EMI represents, respondents tended to agree that students of average and above-average English competence coped reasonably well with the presentation of content, particularly given the efforts of conscientious lecturers who closely monitored and modified their own language production, and adopted time-consuming strategies such as editing key texts to simplify the language. Students supported themselves through adopting strategies such as participating in informal study groups and other peer support mechanisms, accessing study support materials in their first language, and by generally working harder than they might in a non-EMI course. However, there was also agreement that EMI presented a substantial obstacle to learning for students with weaker English (see also, for example, Lei & Hu, 2014). For instance, one respondent reported “major comprehension issues in both reading and listening” that prevented lower-level students progressing in their studies. Another respondent guessed that 25% of new enrolments struggle to understand input through


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EMI. A further respondent noted that because of these difficulties, and in spite of “agreeing that it’s important to improve their English skills,” students “think it’s really a waste of time to learn/teach content courses through EMI” due to the difficulties of processing new input. As noted previously, dealing with this issue and the direct consequences of it (e.g. low student involvement) was the major challenge reported by many lecturers. In terms of students’ ability to interact in the classroom, there appeared to be broad agreement among respondents that the more successful English learners did possess adequate interactional skills to engage with their studies, particularly those students who had been selected to study in more elite programmes. Depending on the context, such skills may include discussing content and other issues with the teacher, participating in small group and whole class discussions, and engaging in ordinary conversation out of class. Again, however, most respondents indicated that weaker students (perhaps 25%) lacked the interactional skills to adequately participate in their academic programme. As to be expected, many students (and perhaps the majority) regularly encounter occasions of major communicative difficulty. Justifiably, many adopt the strategy of switching to their mother tongue to deal with such issues as they arise; however, as noted previously, there were some institutions in which use of the local language was frowned upon or even prohibited by university authorities. A further issue explored was the extent to which students could adequately express their ideas in writing. Respondents tended to agree that limitations in writing skills were of greater concern than limitations in speaking, perhaps because most assessments are written and because they usually required the construction of an extended, coherent argument. While there were diverging responses, some reported that the proportion of students unable to write adequately in English was substantial. By way of illustration, one respondent estimated that on some courses (streamed for less academically successful students) only 20–30% of learners “are able to use writing to convey their understanding through essays, reports and written exams” and even these stronger students displayed limited command of academic writing conventions; the remaining 70–80% of students “struggle even with writing a simple essay. In exams where a full essay of five to six paragraphs is required, those students may write one paragraph only. In some instances, it appears they do not comprehend what is required of them and in addition to this are unable to express themselves in a clear way through their writing.” In another university, one respondent reported that even Masters students lack the ability to write academic assignments in English, and are given the option of writing in their first language.

Evaluation of EMI programmes The respondents and interviewees identified a number of successful outcomes arising from the EMI programmes. In particular, successful graduates of strong EMI programmes gained an academic degree and skills in their primary major, alongside a well-regarded English qualification; this was felt to give them a

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substantial advantage in the job market over those doing the same major in the local language and over those majoring in English alone. One respondent also reported on a context in which the EMI programmes were based on successful Western educational models, “where students are required to develop critical thinking skills rather than just relying on rote learning,” and that compared to other students, they experienced a range of effective instructional styles and exposure to a greater range of high-quality academic materials. Several respondents highlighted the opportunities for students to be exposed to and to interact with international lecturers, and in some cases to have study abroad opportunities. One respondent noted that study abroad experience led to “a significant increase in the level of confidence of students,” with noticeably positive impacts on their maturity, outlook, life skills and language abilities. It should also be acknowledged that two respondents were rather more guarded in identifying specific successes. One felt that the programme in question had faced teething problems and was still too new to adequately evaluate; the other indicated that many graduates were not attaining the hoped-for levels of competency in English, and that problems, particularly those arising from the students’ levels of language competency, depended greatly on the “teachers’ devotion” and positive attitude. A number of factors were identified as giving rise to the more successful elements of EMI programmes. Many of these appear to be matters of general good practice in both EMI and non-EMI contexts, such as the provision of a wellplanned syllabus, aspects of teacher competency, teacher enthusiasm and professional development. There were, however, some factors that appear to be more specific to EMI programmes. One respondent reported that EMI programmes were “only successful if there is a clearly integrated EAP [English for Academic Purposes] programme or other English related classes which assist students in developing academic language skills,” and identified the single most successful programme as one that provided academic reading, writing, listening and speaking classes “integrated with the subject content.” For instance, the English speaking class might instruct on how to give a presentation, and then an assessed project in the Business or Marketing class would involve doing such a presentation. Importantly, the “EAP teachers are also required to meet with the subject teachers to identify any areas of weakness”; if, for instance, students were struggling with specific topic-related vocabulary, then the EAP teacher would plan a separate class to deal with this. “This integration of EAP and subject modules results in students making fast progress in English language.” Questions were also posed as to which elements of EMI programmes were unsuccessful. Several respondents noted that some EMI programmes (particularly those streamed for less academically able or English-proficient students) had disappointing outcomes in terms of the English fluency of graduates. One respondent, citing pre- and post-testing via IELTS-style oral proficiency tests found that there was no discernible improvement in speaking ability after one semester. Two other respondents reported that many graduates were unable to communicate fluently in English. Among the factors reported to give rise to these issues were a number that are associated with poor practice generally, including


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the enrolment of students with insufficient (English) literacy and/or academic ability, poorly structured curriculums, and poor pedagogical practices such as an overreliance on rote learning. Perhaps more specific to these being EMI-related problems are issues such as – in some contexts – lecturers being selected on the basis of the content knowledge but having no training in how to teach (or teach in) English. Further problems included students struggling to adapt to EMI classes due to unfamiliarity with the associated pedagogical styles and the high academic demands placed on students. Consequently, one respondent noted that “first year students often have emotional difficulties in the first semester of study.” In one location, a further type of trouble that was noted was “constant disagreement among faculty members related to the English medium or bilingual nature of the programme.” This was attributed particularly to the process of establishing and expanding the programme, whereby some faculty members were transferred to the EMI programmes yet they “never bought in to the idea of a completely English medium programme, and because of their seniority, can exercise significant influence, which can create discord among the faculty.”

The future of EMI and its sociocultural implications There was strong consensus that EMI programmes would continue to expand, spurred by financial incentives for both students and institutions. For students, the main incentive was felt to be future employment, with English-bilingualism being associated with working internationally and in higher positions; also attractive to students were opportunities for study abroad experiences and perhaps studying with foreign teachers, all of which could be advantageous to a future career. For many institutions, meeting this student demand not only means higher student enrolments, but also the ability to charge higher course fees and to compete for a greater share of the international student market. As evidence, one respondent noted that an increasing number of individual courses within non-EMI programmes were now being taught in English, with the rationale being that many graduates of courses such as Business or Journalism would need to use English at work. It was noted by another that this has often been a step in the transition towards full EMI. Several respondents also noted that an on-going commitment to expanding EMI programmes was a strategic priority of the institution they examined and/or the Ministry of Education, and that this was incentivised in various ways such as through grants and training. The only respondent who was unsure about the future of EMI cited a recent decrease in government funding resulting in substantially increased tuition costs for students, and uncertainty about the effect this would have on enrolments. In the final stage of the email interviews, respondents were asked to comment on the sociocultural implications of EMI in their context. Given the broad nature of this question, it is perhaps unsurprising that it elicited the most wide-ranging and perhaps context-specific responses. Most focused particularly on the impact on graduates and their families, with several mentioning the potential for social mobility among graduates with a strong command of English. One noted that

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having strong English skills is widely considered to be indicative of being more highly educated (associated particularly with studying higher degrees in the U.S.) and of being ‘westernised’ (associated positively with U.S. pop-culture). Another respondent discussed at length the influence of pedagogical practices in EMI classes, noting that research projects and class discussions were seldom found elsewhere in the institution, and that they “resulted in students questioning what they have been taught in the past, particularly political ideology and worldviews . . . it is an inevitable process which occurs through the way students are taught.” This resonated with several further comments that expressed concerns about the sociocultural impact of EMI. For instance, one emphasized that there was a feeling among some practitioners that care ought to be taken to use English “to promote local culture and values” rather than as merely a gateway to (mainly) Anglo-American cultural influence, while another mentioned that a small number of senior faculty viewed EMI as “as a neo-colonial burden, [and felt] that they should not have to function in a different language . . . in their own country.” However, according to other respondents, there was little public discourse and perhaps little awareness of such concerns outside of faculty members, and in contrast to many of the responses reported by Dearden (2014; see also Phillipson, this volume), there was little indication from the interviews that EMI was a controversial or politically sensitive issue, nor indications that proponents faced a hostile reaction from the public or from the media.

Conclusion In the early- to mid-2000s, EMI was strongly advocated by a number of researchers and in the years since has been increasingly adopted in Asia, Europe and beyond. The present findings, however, are generally aligned with the more guarded evaluations of more recent studies, including those that take into account the experiences and perspectives of students (e.g. Joe & Lee, 2013; Keuk & Tith, 2013; Lei & Hu, 2014), teachers (e.g. Dearden, 2014) or both (e.g. Botha, 2013), and largely reiterate points made in previous case studies and particularly in Dearden’s (2014) broader survey. These include the difficulties that arise from learners and teachers having insufficient English, institutions typically lacking explicit EMI policies, and often a lack of professional development opportunities. What we may tentatively conclude is that implementation of EMI programmes involves a core set of challenges that may be relevant to more or less all contexts. It is probably not a stretch to further conclude that the two weightiest of these issues may be (1) ensuring that EMI lecturers and tutors have sufficient and relevant language and academic skills, and (2) ensuring that students have an adequate level of English to succeed in their EMI programme. How these challenges are met are likely to go a long way towards determining the overall success of the initiative. Undoubtedly, the burdens arising from these challenges can be somewhat mitigated with the provision of professional support for teachers (PD, resources, mentors, etc.) and students (additional academic support services, etc.), but such services represent a partial solution at best. The


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following three case studies in the present volume provide more in-depth reportage on how such issues can be managed. Two issues raised in the interviews but which appear to have received relatively little attention in previous literature are threats to the future of English language majors and the additional demands that EMI places on non-native English-speaking staff. As outlined previously, some English language departments have experienced substantial down-sizing and are at risk of future closure, as students are drawn to EMI courses with their promise of achieving a high standard of English alongside expertise in another area. One response to this may be that English language departments must adapt to the changing market, perhaps catering to new niches alongside EMI programmes or contributing to these programmes, with for example higher-end oral communication and technical or business writing skills. However, it should also be emphasised that it is not yet clear whether EMI programmes consistently produce graduates with both the hoped-for English and subject skills, and there may still remain plenty of room for specialist English-language graduates, and also non-EMI programmes with specialised English components. In addition, despite greater understanding of the role and nature of English as a lingua franca, the frequency and consequences of miscommunication in non-native English (e.g. Cui, 2014; Deterding, 2013; Roberts, 2009) suggest that specialised English language majors could continue to have an important role to play in facilitating cross-cultural communication. The second issue is the burdens placed on EMI teachers, particularly those teachers with lower competence in English, and also those who teach students with insufficient English. It seems likely that the worst of this will occur during the initial years of EMI implementation as staff and student recruitment issues are ironed out, and it is incumbent upon institutional management to ensure that adequate support and recompense is provided. As discussed previously, one strategy in use is incentivising EMI through a graded pay system depending on what percentage of English a teacher undertakes to use, while elsewhere Hu, Li and Lei (2014, p. 13) report the use of “a favorable formula for workload calculation, material rewards (e.g., subsidies), and symbolic distinction (e.g., institutional recognition) for undertaking EMI.” Also of interest are issues which have been raised in previous literature but which were evidently of less concern at the seven sites reported on here. Most notably, all of the respondents reported the EMI programmes being reasonably well-resourced in terms of teaching and support materials. This stands in rather stark contrast to what has been reported elsewhere among both teachers (Dearden, 2014) and students (Fung & Yip, 2014; Keuk & Tith, 2013). It may be that these seven sites have benefited from greater investment in teaching and learning resources, and/or that there are now substantially more such resources available than there were 4–5 years ago, either commercially or through in-house development. Also worth reflecting on are issues previously raised in the literature but not raised by the respondents in this study. One such issue is the risk of EMI exasperating existing inequalities through being available only to a relatively privileged minority (e.g. Lueg & Lueg, 2015; Manh, 2012). It was anticipated

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that this issue might arise in responses to the question regarding sociocultural impact; when it did not, although there was the opportunity to use a more targeted follow-up question, it seemed that this would topicalise the issue in such a way that the finding may then have been an artefact of the study rather than a reflection of what the respondents found to be relevant. The non-raising of an issue can in itself be telling, and can suggest that the issue was not particularly topical among staff in the sites reported on, despite its wider social significance. Finally, as a phenomenon, EMI is fairly clearly defined, easily identified and readily located within a historical context. However, as Dearden (2014, p. 14) notes, “[o]n the surface, reasons for the introduction and use of EMI may look very similar, but when we dig deeper, there are a myriad of contextual, geographical, historical and political reasons which make each country’s adoption of EMI different in nature and extent.” Once EMI was established as a viable proposition in the 2000s, it came to be seen as a strategy to achieve a range of socioeconomic aspirations. More specifically, it seems to have been widely seen as a partial solution to tackling a range of ‘wicked problems’: seemingly intractable real-world problems of a multifaceted and dynamic nature (Head, 2008). For instance, EMI has been instigated to address institutional- and national-level demands such as increasing the revenue and raising the international prestige of universities, increasing a country’s international trade and GDP, and preparing workers with skills to match current and future needs. Wicked problems such as these defy easy resolution, and it is quite in keeping with their nature that EMI – as one aspect of a solution – should in itself become something of a problem in need of examination, reframing, and addressing through redesign. The case studies which follow in this volume contribute to an important body of (still relatively early) work that does so.

Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge the generous assistance of those who participated in the email interviews: Joella Allott, Sayaka Ishida, Chan Narith Keuk, Nguyen Van Loi, Richmond Stroupe, Banchakarn Sameephet, Ching-Yi Tien, Ryo Umeda, Paolo Niño Valdez, and Hongwei Wang.

References Barnard, R., & McLellan, J. (Eds.). (2014). Codeswitching in English medium classes: Asian perspectives. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Botha, W. (2013). English-medium instruction at a university in Macau: Policy and realities. World Englishes, 32(4), 461–475. Cook, G. (2010). Translation in language teaching. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Cui, X. (2014). Getting to the source: An instrument for examining the dynamics of problematic interactions. RELC Journal, 45(2), 197–210. Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: A growing global phenomenon. Retrieved from: www.britishcouncil.org/education/ihe/knowledge-centre/ english-language-higher-education/report-english-medium-instruction


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Deterding, D. (2013). Misunderstandings in English as a lingua franca: An analysis of ELF interactions in South-East Asia. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. Fung, D., & Yip, V. (2014). The effects of the medium of instruction in certificate-level physics on achievement and motivation to learn. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(10), 1219–1245. Head, B. W. (2008). Wicked problems in public policy. Public Policy, 3(2), 101–118. Hu, G., Li, L., & Lei, J. (2014). English-medium instruction at a Chinese University: Rhetoric and reality. Language Policy, 13(1), 21–40. Joe, Y. -J., & Lee, H. -K. (2013). Does English-medium instruction benefit students in EFL contexts? A case study of medical students in Korea. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 22(2), 201–207. Keuk, C. N., & Tith, M. (2013). The enactment of English-medium instruction (EMI) undergraduate program in Cambodia: Students’ voices. International Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching and Research, 2(2), 159–175. Kubota, R. (2011). Questioning linguistic instrumentalism: English, neoliberalism, and language tests in Japan. Linguistics and Education, 22(3), 248–260. Lei, J., & Hu, G. (2014). Is English-medium instruction effective in improving Chinese undergraduate students’ English competence? IRAL: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 52(2), 99–126. Levine, G. S. (2011). Code-choice in the language classroom. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Lueg, K., & Lueg, R. (2015). Why do students choose English as a medium of instruction? A Bourdieusian perspective on the study strategies of non-native English speakers. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(1), 5–30. Macaro, E. (2009). Teacher use of codeswitching in the L2 classroom: Exploring ‘optimal’ use. In M. Turnbull & J. Dailey-O’Cain (Eds.), First language use in second and foreign language learning (pp. 35–49). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Manh, L. D. (2012). English as a medium of instruction in Asian universities: The case of Vietnam. Language Education in Asia, 3(2), 263–267. Roberts, C. (2009). Mince or mice? Misunderstanding and patient safety in a linguistically diverse community. In B. Hurwitz & A. Sheikh (Eds.), Health care errors and patient safety (pp. 112–128). Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell. Seedhouse, P. (2004). The interactional architecture of the language classroom: A conversation analysis perspective. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Sinclair, J. M., & Coulthard, R. M. (1975). Towards an analysis of discourse. London, England: Oxford University Press. Toh, G. (2016). English as medium of instruction in Japanese higher education: Presumption, mirage or bluff? Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan. van der Walt, C. (2013). Multilingual higher education: Beyond English medium orientations. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Waring, H. Z. (2016). Theorizing pedagogical interaction: Insights from conversation analysis. New York, NY: Routledge.


Case study EMI in a public university in Malaysia Zuwati Hasim and Roger Barnard

Introduction In Malaysia, the medium of instruction has always been a controversial matter of reversal and re-reversal (Gill, 2012) both in schools and institutions of higher learning. In colonial times, the curriculum was taught through English, but after independence in 1957, as in other newly formed or reformed countries (Rubin, 1971), the new national government saw language as a symbol of identity and allegiance. Thus it was felt necessary to unite the nation in this culturally plural society by replacing English as the language of administration and the medium of instruction with Malay language or Bahasa Melayu (BM), the lingua franca for the Malay Archipelago (Taib, 2016). Malay has its status as the national and official language as stated in the Malaysian Constitution (Omar, 2016). Nevertheless, it is also stated in the Constitution that “no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official purposes), or from teaching or learning, any other language” (International Labour Organization, 2006, p. 141). Thus, the use of other languages as medium of instruction was allowed at school types other than the national schools and “the national language policy accords the rights of other languages to exist and develop as part of the speakers’ heritage” (Omar, 2016, p. 6). English was thus regarded as a second language and taught as a subject at primary, secondary and tertiary education. Maintaining the English language was deemed necessary for the pursuit of globalisation (Puteh, 2006). It was acknowledged that “the reason for teaching English is that we desire that no secondary school pupil shall be at a disadvantage in the matter either of employment or of higher education in Malaya or overseas as long as it is necessary to use the English language for these purposes” (MOE, 1956, p. 12). The shift from English as the medium of instruction (EMI) to BM and other languages was first proposed by the 1956 National Education Committee, which laid out a strategic plan known as the Razak Report (Omar, 2016). This report aimed at reviewing the education policy and developing a national education system which could fulfil the needs of the culturally diverse people of the then federation in maintaining and developing the society, culture, economics, and politics of a united nation. It did so by emphasising BM as the national language while at the same time preserving and acknowledging the development of languages and


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cultural values of the other 80 or so language groups (Sufean, 2004) as defined in the Eduction Ordinance 1957 (MOE, 1960, p. 5) The educational policy of the Federation is to establish a national system of education acceptable to the people as a whole which will satisfy their needs and promote their cultural, social, economic and political development as a nation, with the intention of making the Malay language the national language of the country whilst preserving and sustaining the growth of the language and culture of peoples other than Malays living in the country. It is clearly stated in the report that “we consider that there should be some flexibility in our secondary school: We see no educational objection to the learning of three languages or to the use of more than one language in the same school as the medium of instruction” (Razak Report, 1956, p. 12). There existed, and continue to exist, two types of primary schools: the national and the national type: BM is used as a medium of instruction in the national schools and Mandarin or Tamil in the national type schools. In the Razak Report (1956, p. 10) it is suggested that “English shall be a compulsory subject [and] that instruction in Kuo Yu and Tamil shall be made available in all primary schools when the parents of fifteen children from any one schools request that instruction should be given in either of these languages.” The Razak Report was endorsed by the 1960 Talib Report, which in addition proposed the use of BM as the medium to be extended to secondary level and, based on the 1970 New Economic Policy recommendation, the phasing out of English schools started and were fully converted to Malay medium schools in 1982 (Taib, 2016). The Talib Report supported the idea that all schools will be taught English acknowledging that in considering this extension of the knowledge of English from the privileged few to all school children we regard it as important that there shall be no lowering of standards in the learning and teaching of English, as a second language, especially at the secondary level. Hitherto the minority of Malayan students have had no difficulty in pursuing courses in Universities outside the country as well as in the University of Malaya, as they have acquired a high standard of English learnt in Malayan schools. This high standard must be maintained at the same time as the knowledge of English is being extended throughout the entire school population. (MOE, 1960, p. 56) An extension of the national language policy was that the University of Malaya, the first national university in Malaysia, was to be made a bilingual university. Thus BM and English were both to be used as the media of instruction (Selvaratnam, 1989; Sato, 2005) and the university managed to gradually to fully implement the national language policy by 1983 (Taib, 2016). However, to facilitate the students who came from the mainstream schools where BM was used as the

Case study: EMI in Malaysia 31 medium of instruction, the University and University Colleges Act (AUKU) of 1971 extended the use of the national language as the medium of instruction to the tertiary sector (Rappa & Wee, 2006). Over the next ten years, five public universities were established in which BM was intended to be the medium of instruction. In 1983, all public universities used BM for the medium of instruction (Gill, 2004, p. 142). During this period, “enormous effort and resources were spent in cultivating Bahasa Melayu and establishing it as a language able to cope with the demands of the field of science and technology” (Gill, 2006, p. 84), although the progress in this respect was “slower than envisaged” (Ali, 2013, p. 76). In 1993, the government proposed to reinstate EMI for the teaching of mathematics, science and medical studies at tertiary level, but this was strongly resisted by academics and BM was, for the time being, retained (Ali, 2013, p. 78). However, in response to the perceived challenges to the Malaysian economy of the increasing Anglicisation of global commerce, technology and communication, the 1996 Education Act allowed these subjects to be taught through English. At the same time, the government encouraged the establishment of an increasing number of private institutions of higher learning, and the Private Higher Education Act of 1996 permitted them to use English as the medium of instruction. The emphasis was on Malaysia developing a world class education and becoming a centre of excellence (Alhabshi & Hakim, 2001). In 2002, English was re-introduced as the medium of instruction for maths and science in primary and secondary schools (Gomez & Kaur, 2002). This decision was reversed in 2009 after two nation-wide studies found that many students were not coping and too few teachers were able to teach maths and science in English (Gill, 2012, p. 49). In 2005, the Ministry apparently directed public universities to teach freshmen courses of science and technology through English (Abu et al., 2008). Although, like the decision to re-introduce the medium of English in schools, this was an important change in language-in-education policy, it was not actually explicitly stated or documented by the Ministry, but rather announced in newspapers. Gill (2005) reported that the then prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said in an unpublished interview “We do not want to be involved in an academic exercise . . . so we minimise reasoning and polemic as much as possible.” The reason for this evasiveness about discounting the role of the national language in education, Gill (2006) suggests, was that it would, “had it been done, seem to signify an act of betrayal” (p. 89) of BM as the major symbol of nationalism. There was some public confusion about the implications of this change of policy, especially as regards the lack of cohesion between school programmes of maths and science taught in English and those in universities where some courses were still taught in BM. Gill (2006, p. 91) reported that in a survey of 630 academics from nine public universities, 63% agreed with the change. This did mean, of course, that a significant minority did not agree, and there was sometimes fierce opposition (Hassan & Borhan, 2016) and a continued absence of clear direction from the Ministry. However, in 2010, a language policy ‘To Uphold Malay and Strengthen English’ (Memartabatkan Bahasa Melayu dan Memperkukuh Bahasa Inggeris known as MBMMBI) was introduced and further promoted in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013–2025, in 2013 (MOE, 2013).


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This lack of clarity led Ali (2013) to conduct a case study of EMI at a public university; this considered the issue from three perspectives: those of the Ministry of Higher Education, the specific institution, and the staff involved in delivering the programmes. At the government level, his analysis of such official documentation as existed at the time led him to conclude that “language-in-education policy in Malaysia is driven by the ideology of globalisation” (p. 81), rather than educational principles. At the university level, there was no specific acknowledgement of the status of English itself as the medium of instruction; rather, the matter was “hidden behind the provision for ‘languages other than Bahasa Malaysia’ as the language of instruction” (p. 84). In the absence of an explicit university policy, interviews with the academic staff revealed that they interpreted the implications of the various national and institutional statements in quite different ways.

The present study The present study took its lead from Ali’s (2013) study by considering EMI at the two lower levels: the institutional policy and the perceptions (and practices) of staff involved in teaching EMI programmes. Our main intention was to explore the language policy adopted by the selected institution, to find out the extent to which, and how, English was used as a medium of instruction, and to gather insights from the academics on their EMI beliefs and practices. The questions which guided our study were as follows: • •

What were the beliefs of the participating teachers regarding EMI? How did they practise EMI in their classes?

Hence, this chapter presents the findings of a case study of EMI in a public university in Malaysia. A total of seven academics who were teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate courses volunteered to participate in the study. They worked in different faculties: Physics, Engineering, Business & Accountancy, Computing & Information Technology (IT), Law, and Education. These participants were native speakers of BM, all of whom had undertaken their higher education through the medium of English locally and/or abroad. Over the course of a month in 2016, the two authors of this chapter collected the following data. Firstly, face-to face interviews were conducted with individual participants; each lasted between 30 and 40 minutes. Secondly, four of the participants were observed (for approximately an hour) while teaching one of their regular lectures, and each of these was followed by a post-lesson discussion. The number of students present in each observed lecture varied: approximately 20 in Physics; 21 in Engineering; 21 in Information Technology (IT), and 40 in Accountancy. There were very few international students present: two in Engineering; two in Accountancy, and three or four in IT. Three of the lecturers (two from Law and one from Education) were only interviewed; time constraints prevented observation of their classes. All the data were audio-recorded and supplemented with field notes. Interviews and post-lesson discussions were conducted

Case study: EMI in Malaysia 33 in English and a summary of each was sent to individuals for participant validation. We also collected samples of the written work of some students in different faculties. It is a limitation of this study that no tutorials run by the participating lecturers were observed; in these classes, the number of students would likely be fewer, and the atmosphere perhaps more relaxed; more interaction between students and lecturer and among themselves; and it is likely that more BM would be used by the lecturers than in their lectures.

Findings There does not seem to be an explicit policy about the medium of instruction across the university’s curriculum, and decisions about this are devolved to the faculties, which have various policies of their own. The Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, for example, currently run courses in both English and Malay, depending on the particular subject. One of the Law lecturers reported that there used to be a specific bilingual policy in her faculty: that the lectures should be in BM and tutorials in English – because it was felt that it was important that BM should be maintained. But over the past ten years or so this bilingual policy had quietly been forgotten, and most lecturers conducted both lectures and tutorials in English. However, she herself felt that tutorial discussions in English tended to be rather slow and, in an attempt to be empathetic, had “recently posted a message on [the university’s intranet] that they should feel free to use BM in tutorials.” Otherwise, the lecturers in the faculties represented in the present study used EMI across all their programmes. The Physics lecturer said that staff in his faculty were following the national policy that science subjects at graduate and undergraduate levels should be taught exclusively in English. In the Faculties of IT and Engineering, all staff and students (graduate and undergraduate) understood that the courses were taught entirely in English. However, it was common policy that, at least so far as examinations are concerned, the instructions should be provided in both English and BM, and the students were allowed to write their answers in whichever language they preferred, although code-switching within any one answer was generally prohibited: as the Education lecturer said, “it is disrespectful to the language.” All participants reported that the majority of students (70%, according to one Law lecturer) preferred to write in English; there was agreement among them that it was easier for the students than writing in BM because they have learned the terminology of the subject in English. All of the lecturers we spoke to felt confident about using English to deliver the content of their lectures, largely because they had completed their (higher) degrees in English in Malaysia, North America or the United Kingdom; some had also worked as teaching assistants in EMI during their PhD study. They also said that they were better able to express disciplinary concepts more precisely in English than in BM, which they felt lacked exact equivalences for many key concepts. This was despite the work of various committees such as the Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka that draws up glossaries and dictionaries of technical terms in


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BM. The IT lecturer said that “in any event, students might find such technical explanations in Malay more difficult than in English.” Most of our participants considered it entirely appropriate for their subjects to be taught through English – not least because in almost all cases their graduates would work in environments where the working language was English, and employers expected a sound competence in the language. However, as noted below, the Accountancy and Law lecturers had reservations about the exclusive use of English. Although we observed nothing to suggest that there might be any ‘watering down’ of the content because it is delivered through English, one participant (Accountancy) admitted that she adjusted assignment marks upwards to take into account the students’ effort, rather than the intrinsic academic quality of the assignment. The IT lecturer said that he sometimes switched to BM in his lectures, especially when students came up with questions. However, he always explained threshold concepts in English: “When I judge that there are comprehension problems when I explain in English, I try to illustrate the meaning – such as by making sketches on the whiteboard – so that they have a visual explanation of the concept.” On the other hand, the Engineering lecturer said “I sometimes find it necessary to use [Bahasa Malaysia] to explain concept subjects” and the same point was made by the Physics and Accountancy lecturers. However, in all the classes that we observed, the English used by the lecturers was fluent, accurate and in a form they believed comprehensible to most of the students. The only BM spoken by the lecturers were very short phrases; for example, to elicit responses, to socialize, or to encourage the students to make more effort: words and phrases such as betul tak? (Is it true?), okay cepat buat! (okay, do it quickly), kenapa? (why?), kenapa lama sangat? (why did it take you so long?), dah siap? (have you completed?). With the exception of those courses taught through BM in the Faculty of Education, all our participants reported that teaching/learning materials, including textbooks, were in English, and most lecturers – in advance of the relevant classes – posted lecture notes, PowerPoint slides and other materials (e.g. discussion points) on the university-wide intranet learning management system called SPeCTRUM. The lecturers reported that most, but not all, students read and downloaded these materials and referred to them in class. One of the Law lecturers, however, said that she did not expect the students to read these materials in advance of the lecture, but they should do so subsequently after she had explained the core concepts in class. The university authorities were keen for the academic staff to use this online facility on a regular basis, and the IT lecturer reported that, a few weeks before, he and other staff in his faculty were required to take part in a week-long trial of the interactive possibilities offered by the intranet: “It was a useful exercise for me to gain some new insights into managing asynchronous interaction with my students”, but neither he nor the other lecturers referred to using the intranet for any other purpose than straightforward information transmission. In the four lectures that we observed, most of the students seemed to be paying attention, looking at the lecturer or whiteboard or PowerPoint slides and apparently listening attentively; some made notes and/or referred to their smartphones on which they had downloaded the relevant lecture notes. However, there was

Case study: EMI in Malaysia 35 evidence to suggest that some of the students might not have understood the concepts explained by the lecturer; these were observed to have blank expressions, or talk quietly to their neighbours, or surreptitiously send text messages. This was especially the case when the lecture was an uninterrupted monologue. For example, one of the lecturers talked almost uninterruptedly for the whole fifty minutes of the class, and did not seek to interact with the students, other than asking if they understood and then not allowing any wait time for a response before he provided the answers to his own questions. Interaction in this class might also have been inhibited by the fact that the twenty or so students were seated in fixed rows in a lecture hall intended for 100+ students. Another lecturer, as another example, did occasionally interact, but only with a few nearby students at the front of the room. Interaction in this lecture was also made difficult because it took place in a computer laboratory, with the students sitting in pairs with large computer screens in front of them, making it difficult for eye contact between them and the lecturer, but providing opportunities for students to quietly chat with their immediate neighbour, or to send text messages through their cellphones. With the exception of the Education lecturer, the participants reported that they had not had any formal training in teaching through the medium of English, and very little, if any, professional development in pedagogy. The IT lecturer said that about ten years earlier a two-day English workshop was held for a selected number of lecturers, but there had been no other such workshops recently. The Accountancy lecturer said she attended a week-long course held for new lecturers as part of the completion of their probationary period and reported one technique she had learned during course: she would put students in self-selected groups of five, each group to discuss a different issue; then one member from each group would travel to other groups to report on what their own group had discussed. She said she noticed that the students “like doing this activity especially when the topic is not particularly interesting.” Otherwise, “Lecturers are expected to know how to teach their courses in English” (IT) and “You just get on and do it” (Law). Thus, with the exception of the Engineering lecturer mentioned in the following, and the unobserved technique reported by the Accountancy lecturer, the pedagogic practice adopted by the participants in their lectures tended to be transmission-oriented, presumably based on how they themselves had been taught as students On the whole, therefore, we observed very little interaction between the students and the lecturer in the four lectures, although the participants reported that there was more interaction in their tutorial sessions (which we were unable to observe). In most of the observed classes, students responded monosyllabically when asked if they understood; in another class, the lecturer elicited points from the textbook to which the students responded in chorus. All the participants said that most students were too shy to ask questions openly in class, and only occasionally did students do this; when they did ask questions, they did in BM – and usually outside the class. English was rarely spoken by the students: in one lecture (Accountancy), two international students each asked a question in English, and in another (Engineering) one Malay student asked several questions, again in English. Students were rarely


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given opportunities to interact in groups in the observed lectures, although this did occur in the Engineering class, where the lecturer alternated between explaining key concepts for a few minutes, and then setting problems for the students to deal with in groups. In this case, it was noticed that the students freely asked questions of the lecturer as he monitored their activity. Invariably, with the sole exception of the Malay student mentioned previously, the questions were asked in BM, and the lecturer tended to reply first in English and then if he perceived a lack of understanding, he replied in BM. The lecturers said that they were comfortable for students to talk among themselves in whichever language they preferred, but they also reported that when they did set their students to work in groups, they were expected to report back their discussions to the class in English. With regard to the quality of the students’ written work, the participants had mixed views. In Physics, Engineering and Accountancy, the focus of assessment was on students’ ability to compute and calculate accurately, and rarely needed to write more than half a page in prose. Similarly, according to the Accountancy lecturer, “70–80% of the whole examination paper is taken up with computation, with only 20–30% for short written answers in English.” Even then, she reported that the English they used was often simply memorised: “as there are predictable problems to solve and only a few correct explanations, they remember and reproduce them line by line”, and she produced examination scripts that demonstrated precisely this. One of the Law lecturers referred to a preliminary study of students’ language competence conducted the year before. This reported that 85% of the first year law students were good or competent users of English on entry, having achieved IELTS scores between 6 and 8, while the other 15% scored between bands 4 and 5.5. Despite these generally positive results, there was a perception among a sample of the legal profession surveyed in the study that the university’s “law graduates do not have the necessary communication skills.” By contrast, samples of group projects by second-year IT students demonstrated that these students had a reasonably firm control of written academic English at sentence, paragraph and discourse levels over reports as long as 17 pages. The following extract from the abstract of one such report indicates this: The study used a questionnaire-based survey to gather responses from students on their perception of the effectiveness of the [university’s intranet]. Interview method for data collection is also been used to affirm the result collected from the survey. While focus group study is done after the prototype has been developed. There are minor inaccuracies of tense and syntax in the previous extract, and of course the writing team had access to dictionaries etc., but the meaning is clearly conveyed. It is worth noting that this report, like others, contained tabulated data and clear prose explanations, and references to up to forty in-text citations were reasonably accurately listed. The lecturers said that they rarely corrected language errors because they had no time, and anyway lacked the skills to do so effectively. They relied upon

Case study: EMI in Malaysia 37 academic English language courses, such as the three-credit English for Law, taught by staff in the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, to deal with improving the students’ English competence. The Physics lecturer reported that there was a remedial English course for weaker students which ran concurrently with the Physics programme, and the Engineering lecturer said that “all students across the university have to take a semester-long course of three credits in Critical Thinking which requires presentations and discussions in English.” However, there was little, if any, liaison between these teachers and the academics, and none of the language teachers actually attended classes in the specific disciplines of these lecturers. On the whole, the lecturers we interviewed considered that their students would benefit from other courses and more practice in oral English. There were mixed views about students’ literacy competence in BM. According to the Education lecturer, their writing is better done in English than in BM, which is “atrocious because when students do write in Malay they tend to write the first thing that comes into their heads, and too often use a colloquial rather than an academic style.” The Science and IT lecturers were not particularly concerned about any negative effects on BM as a result of the pedagogical emphasis on English; they seemed to be content that BM would remain a language of (spoken) communication, rather than one used to express higher academic concepts. However, the Accountancy lecturer felt that, while many of her graduates might use English as the working language in their places of employment, a number of them would need to be able to explain key issues in BM to their clients – for example, when explaining tax forms written in English where “there is no exact translation of ‘tax return’ in BM”: some clients might take this to mean a tax refund. Taking this point further, one of the Law lecturers reported that she was now taking steps to introduce more BM into her classes because she felt that it should be used not only as a medium of wider communication in the community but also for professional and academic purposes. This is particularly the case in the legal field because – more perhaps than in other disciplines – language is the key tool for lawyers. She pointed out that BM is used in all the lower courts, and a number of senior judges have argued that BM should be used also in higher courts; therefore, law graduates should be professionally bilingual, which at the moment they were not. The other Law lecturer said that a course in legal BM “might be useful in the second semester of Year 2 or in Year 3, after they have got comfortable using English and were more familiar with their legal studies.”

Implications A number of implications can be drawn from the study which concern the policy, curriculum, pedagogy, and educational infrastructure. The first implication is with regard to the national language-in-education policy. The use of BM and English in education has long been debated in the context of Malaysian education system and the issue of which language should be the medium of instruction has yet to be resolved. The back and forth decisions between the use of BM and English has not helped the majority of stakeholders – the teachers/lecturers,


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students, and parents – leaving them in confusion and with insufficient time to adjust to the changes. The educational policy should be consistent ranging from primary, secondary, to tertiary level of education. It would be difficult for those students taught Maths and Science in BM at school level to learn the subjects in English at the tertiary level, and vice versa. If it is decided to implement the use of English as a medium for teaching the content subjects, there needs to be a consensus as at what stage should it be implemented bearing in mind that, for many students, English would be their second or third language with only a minority using English as a first language. Some of our participants stressed the need for their graduates to be professionally and socially competent in BM as well as English. Thus, offering both languages as either a medium of instruction or as a subject is seen a viable measure to maintain relevant language knowledge and practice. This is in line with the MBMMBI policy recommended in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013–2025 (MOE, 2013). The curriculum development for a particular programme should take into consideration of the prospects not just on the marketability of the graduates but also on the applicability of the language skills needed to serve the local communities and for professional practice. At the same time, university authorities need to consider, or reconsider, the language-in-education practices regarding the increasing desire for Malaysia to become an educational hub for international students who wish to study through the medium of English, in which they are very likely to be at least as competent in English as their Malaysian peers. This would indicate that bilingual programmes as suggested previously would require international students to learn and use BM in many of the dual medium courses. While this would be technically feasible, the acquisition of BM would put a great strain on the effort, time and financial resources of many international students. One response could be for some courses, specifically designed for domestic students such as Law in Malaysia, or Malaysia Taxation Principles, to be taught in BM, with other courses taught in English for both domestic and international students. Another solution could be for lectures delivered in BM, at least in part, to have contemporaneous visual support in English (through PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc) as well as textbooks and online English language materials. Malaysian students would be encouraged to interact with their international peers in English, or in any other common language (e.g., Chinese) to co-construct meaning of the input and prepare any required output tasks or tests, At the present time, the number of international students in the programmes taught by the participants in the present study was very few – less than 10%. Thus, it would be opportune to trial appropriate procedures to facilitate all students – domestic and international – to fully engage in the content and pedagogy of academic programmes. Another implication of EMI or Dual Language Programme is the need for educational and linguistic support for both lecturers and students. Just as school teachers of maths, science and ICT need support and training for teaching the content in either BM or English, so too do the lecturers at the universities. The findings of our study suggest that as most lecturers were academically trained abroad, they feel comfortable in using English for communication and for teaching. Nevertheless, it is apparent that training and support for professional development,

Case study: EMI in Malaysia 39 particularly in regard to pedagogical strategies, should be offered to the lecturers who do not have a background in teaching and education. The lack of awareness about teaching approaches and strategies tends to contribute to a one-way transmission of knowledge in the classrooms, and passivity among the students. Training for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) would be useful to expose the lecturers to the teaching approaches as well as assessment methods appropriate to CLIL. There is a dearth of useful relevant guidance published for university lecturers, but the very practical suggestions in recent books for school teachers such as Ball, Kelly and Clegg (2015) could usefully be adapted for university contexts. There is also a clear need for pedagogic and academic language support for most students. Finally, students need to be sensitised to, and trained for, a more participatory role for themselves as learners in an EMI or bilingual academic environment. Exposing the students to alternative learning approaches would assist them to experience different modes of learning and communicating with others. In this regard, too, Ball et al. (2015) provide useful suggestions. There may also be a need to provide (perhaps compulsory) courses to develop students’ academic competence in BM as well as English. Further support could be given by establishing well-resourced language support centres. These could be set up at the faculty or even departmental level to help students to address language issues pertaining to assignments or examinations, such as by clarifying rubrics, and providing guidance as to relevant reference materials. In both direct instruction and language support centres, provision needs to be made for close liaison between language teachers and the academic staff in the content areas.

Acknowledgement This study was conducted under the aegis of the Centre for Civilisational Dialogue of the University of Malaya, and the authors wish to express their gratitude for the support provided by its staff.

References Abu, M. S., Abdullah, K., Wan Fakhruddin, W. F. W., Saidavi, A., Deris, F. D., Tan, H. K., & Puteh, F. (2008). Laporan kajian prestasi akademik pelajar berbanding dengan kemahiran Bahasa Inggeris di Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. [A report on students’ academic performance in relation to students’ English proficiency at University Technology Malaysia]. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Alhabshi, S. O., & Hakim, H. (2001). Dasar pelaksanaan sistem pendidikan kebangsaan. Paper presented at the Malay Education Congress, Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1–2 September. Ali, N. A. (2013). A changing paradigm in language planning: English medium instruction policy at tertiary level in Malaysia. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 73–92. Ball, P., Kelly, K., & Clegg, J. (2015). Putting CLIL into practice. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Gill, S. K. (2004). Medium of instruction policy in higher education in Malaysia: Nationalism versus internationalization. In J. W. Tollefson & A. B. M. Tsui (Eds.),


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Medium of instruction policies: Which agenda? Whose agenda? (pp. 135–152). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gill, S. K. (2005, 16th June). Interview with Tun Mahathir, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Gill, S. K. (2006). Change in language policy in Malaysia: The reality of implementation in public universities. Current Issues in Language Planning, 7(1), 82–94. Gill, S. K. (2012). The complexities of re-reversal of language-in-education policy in Malaysia. In A. Kirkpatrick & R. Sussex (Eds.), English as an international language in Asia: Implications for language education (pp. 45–61). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Gomez, G., & Kaur, S. (2002). English from next year: National schools to go ahead with language use. Sunday Star, 21 July. Hassan, A., & Borhan, Z. A. (2016). Kami bantah DLP [Translation: Opposing Dual Language Programmes]. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: GAPENA. International Labour Organization. (2006). Federal constitution. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad. Retrieved from: www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/ groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/ wcms_125966.pdf MOE. (1956). The education committee report. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Federation of Malaya Ministry of Education. MOE. (1960). Education review committee report (Rahman Talib report). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Federation of Malaya Ministry of Education. MOE. (2013). Malaysia education blueprint 2013–2025. Putrajaya, Malaysia: Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. Omar, A. H. (Ed.). (2016). Languages in the Malaysian education system. New York, NY: Routledge. Puteh, A. (2006). Language and nation building. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre. Rappa, A. L., & Wee, L. (2006). Language policy and modernity in Southeast Asia. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. Razak Report (1956). Report of the Education Committee 1956. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Government Press. Rubin, J. (1971). A view towards the future. In J. Rubin & B. Jernudd (Eds.), Can language be planned? Sociolinguistic theory and practice for developing nations (pp. 307–310). Honolulu, HA: The University Press of Hawaii. Sato, M. (2005). Education, ethnicity and economics: Higher education reforms in Malaysia 1957–2003. NUCB Journal of Language, Culture and Communication, 7(1), 73–88. Selvaratnam, V. (1989). Change amidst continuity: University development in Malaysia. In P. G. Altbach & V. Selvaratnam (Eds.), From independence to autonomy: The development of Asian universities (pp. 187–205). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic. Sufean, H. (2004). Pendidikan di Malaysia: sejarah, sistem dan falsafah (2nd ed.). Selangor, Malaysia: Dawama. Taib, F. (2016). Implementing the national language policy in educational institutions. In A. H. Omar (Ed.), Languages in the Malaysian education system: Monolingual strands in multilingual settings (pp. 31–45). New York, NY: Routledge.


Case study EMI in Universiti Brunei Darussalam Noor Azam Haji-Othman and James McLellan

Introduction Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) is the oldest university in Brunei, established in 1985, one year after the nation regained independence from Great Britain. This connection to Britain, that lasted for 96 years following the 1888 protectorate treaty, provides the context for the friendly relations between Brunei and Britain that continue to this day, the national education policies that were established as Brunei modernised, and in particular, the establishment of UBD itself in association with British universities in its early days. This has direct implications on the findings that we present on the use of English as medium of instruction in UBD in this chapter. Brunei is officially known as Negara Brunei Darussalam, and declares itself to be a Malay Muslim Monarchy. The population is mainly Malay Muslim, although there are non-Malay minority communities, most notably the Chinese who make up around 20% of the 434,556 population (Worldometers, 2017). The Malay language is the official language of Brunei, and it is regarded as the language of cultural and spiritual identity (Ishamina & Deterding, 2017). While English is learnt as second language by a majority of Bruneians these days, a sizeable minority have been brought up speaking English as their first language. All students attending government schools experience the use of both English and Malay within the education system.

The education system of Brunei According to Ishamina and Deterding (2017), there have been substantial shifts in the use of EMI over time in Brunei, stretching from the 1970s when dual stream (Malay and English) schools were in place, through the bilingual education system (‘Dwibahasa’) of the 1980s and the 1990s, to the current English-dominant Sistem Pendidikan Negara Abad ke-21 (SPN21) which was introduced in 2009. Prior to 1985, Bruneian students went to either a Malay stream school or an English stream school (with exception of Mandarin stream schools, exclusively for Chinese students). But upon achieving independence from Britain in 1984, a new integrated education system was formulated (Gunn, 1997, p. 155), which was designated ‘Dwibahasa’ (lit. ‘two languages’, ‘bilingual’). It had been found that Malay-stream graduates who were seeking jobs tended to be overlooked by employers who preferred more fluent English-speaking graduates. Thus there were


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‘unequal opportunities’ being perpetuated by the old dual-stream system. The new bilingual system sought to address this inequality, as it required all students to enter school to learn through Malay as medium of instruction for the first three years, and then to switch to English from Year 4 onwards. Malay language skills, Civics and Islamic religious subjects continued to be taught in Malay up to Form 5 or Year 11; but other content subjects were predominantly taught in English, with the aim of preparing students for the British-set GCE ‘Ordinary’ Level public examination. Successful candidates then proceeded to a two-year GCE ‘Advanced’ Level course, which was entirely taught and examined in English (except for Malay language and literature, and Islamic studies). So in effect, Bruneian students have traditionally sat for GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations for entry into higher education or employment, even in the pre-Dwibahasa era. Due to a lack of trained teachers among Bruneians, international teachers were flown in to Brunei from Britain, Australia, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and the Philippines, and these teachers could only teach in English. But given that the Dwibahasa system was prominently taught in English, this did not pose any financial problem for Brunei, which by now was one of the richest countries in the world thanks to its oil and gas revenues. Thus, the dominance of English in secondary education in Brunei was a given. Poedjosoedarmo (2004, p. 363) states that the Dwibahasa appeared to be successful because Bruneians became proficient in speaking, reading and writing Standard English, yet they retained their Malay identity. According to Jones (2007, p. 253), two decades after its implementation “many of the original concerns about it were unfounded, particularly that it would result in Malay being marginalised and western culture dominating.” Kirkpatrick (2010, p. 35), praised Brunei’s bilingual education policy as “probably the most successful . . . in terms of developing good competence in English while at the same time maintaining use of the first language” in the South East Asian region. In 2009 the Dwibahasa was officially replaced by the SPN21, which has been described as English-heavy by Noor Azam (2012) based on his assessment of the system having more English-medium content subjects than its predecessor. More significant is that, despite the change of name of the education system, the examinations have remained the same for the school population: the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations. And this is the crucial link to UBD, the premier university in Brunei. Hopeful students wishing to study in UBD must meet the default requirements based on accumulation of sufficient credits in the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ level subjects (although equivalent qualifications are acceptable). Therefore, what we have is a pre-independence legacy of British public examinations and qualifications that is still very much in use in schools today.

University-level education in Brunei In relation to this, the history of ‘higher education’ in Brunei is also of considerable importance within the context of this chapter. Prior to the opening of UBD in 1985, Bruneian students would be sent mainly to the United Kingdom to study for degrees, obviously taught in English. Malay-stream students who could

Case study: Universiti Brunei Darussalam 43 not follow English-medium degrees would mainly be sent to Malaysia, where Malay-medium university instruction was more readily available. Entry into British universities required recognised qualifications, and the Cambridge GCE ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level examinations were thought to be the best public examination for Bruneian students. Hence Brunei has ended up with generations of students who know they must achieve a good credit in English language (Credit C6) as well as a good credit in Malay language (C6) in order to secure full sponsorship from the Brunei government to make their dreams of obtaining degrees from the UK and/or Malaysia. From the government’s perspective, good English language skills means increased chances of profitable returns for their investment in the form of either English-speaking British graduates who are still proficient in Malay language, or Malay-proficient Malaysian graduates who also have good English communication skills, all of whom can contribute to national development. But perhaps in the spirit of post-independence nationalistic pride, it was felt necessary, or perhaps more cost-effective, that Brunei should have its own institution of higher learning. When UBD opened in 1985 in close cooperation with University College, Cardiff and the University of Leeds (for English-medium programmes) and Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (for Malay-medium programmes), only two degrees were available: Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts. These degrees were offered both in Malay and English, but English-medium degrees became more highly-regarded over the years. The fact that students could now take up degrees in the English language in Brunei was not a problem at all for UBD: these students would have taken up further studies in a British university afterwards as they would have possessed the required English language and Malay language requirements of the Brunei government scholarship system, as well as those required by potential universities. Pedagogically, new UBD students would have had no problem studying for their degree in English under the tutelage of international lecturers as they already had strong English language proficiency. Today UBD still has a high percentage of international academic staff. According to Zulkarnain and Tong (2017, p. 357), “UBD seeks to maintain a 60/40 split: 60% Bruneian and 40% expatriate” in its academic staffing. However, as they point out, there is pressure from the world university ranking systems to increase the percentage of international faculty, as this is one important measure contributing to the ranking. A curriculum update was conducted in 2009 with the introduction of ‘GenNext’, an American-style liberal arts degree programme in which students take 50–60% of module credits in their major modules, and are required to complete the remaining percentage from electives outside of their area of major study. In this new programme, students are also required to take a gap year (in their third year) to leave UBD for experiential learning to either study in another university, set up a business, undergo internship or be involved in a community project. The most significant impact of this change is that all new applicants to UBD are now required to obtain a credit (C6) in both English and Malay language at ‘O’ Level. This was not the case in the pre-GenNext degrees: Malay-medium programmes only required students to be in possession of a credit in Malay at ‘O’ Level, without any English credit. The reason for this was because the structure of the GenNext degree requires students to study outside of their fields: Malay-medium


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students must take English-medium modules to complete their degree; while English-medium students can also choose to take Malay-medium programmes as their electives. Even Malay-medium students are allowed and expected to go on student exchange programmes at international partner universities where English may be required. So, in terms of language, all students entering UBD since 2009 are technically bilingual and have equal proficiency in English and Malay language.

The present study Aim Given the developments outlined previously, the question remains, of course, whether their varying levels of individual proficiency would impact in many ways on their study of their English-medium major subjects. This study on EMI in UBD seeks to explore the views of eight Bruneian lecturers from various disciplines ranging from Social Sciences and Humanities to Natural Sciences.

Participants All of the lecturers confirmed that they were able to speak both Malay and English, while some also speak Chinese. All the lecturers involved had also obtained a Master’s degree or a PhD in their respective fields, all from British universities. In terms of age, most were in their 30s. The most experienced lecturers in the sample had been teaching in UBD for more than 15 years, while the least experienced lecturer had been teaching for less than five years. All of them had spent and lived at least three years in the UK. Therefore, it is no surprise that they all considered their own English proficiency to be ‘High’ or ‘Very high’, and that by their own admission, English was the language that they consider to be their professional language. The lecturers have been given codes (L1–L8 in Table 4.1) and are given only general areas of study in order to protect their anonymity. The participants’ multi-disciplinary backgrounds provide valuable data and insights that cut across the range of academic disciplines offered within UBD.

Table 4.1 UBD lecturer participants Lecturer Code



L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8

Natural sciences Natural sciences Humanities Social sciences Natural sciences Humanities Social sciences Social sciences


Case study: Universiti Brunei Darussalam 45 Data collection The actual process of data collection involved two semi-structured interviews (pre-lesson and post-lesson) with each lecturer, a class observation (50 minutes) and student survey (see Appendix), as well as a focus group discussion. The semi-structured interviews had the advantage of providing the lecturers’ insights on the use of English in UBD in general, as well as in their own teaching, and on the policies and support system for EMI in UBD. The first interview preceded the classroom observation, which allowed the researchers to see the lecturer in action during class and observe their linguistic behaviour and that of students in their interactions. The classes observed ranged in size from a very personal one-on-one tutorial, to a lecture involving 40 students. This range can provide some interesting dimensions for comparison in terms of communication patterns. The second interview was conducted post-lesson, which gave the researchers a chance to highlight certain episodes and recurring patterns that were observed and noted, and to seek the lecturers’ thoughts and explanations about those episodes and patterns. At the same time, it gave the opportunity to the lecturers involved to justify their own actions in the observed classes. A simple survey was conducted among students in some of the classes observed to canvas students’ views on EMI, and to give some comparisons against the lecturers’ perspectives. The general patterns observed in the various classes and the general views of the lecturers obtained during the interviews were raised during the focus group discussion. All except one lecturer attended this. The one-hour session allowed the lecturers involved to discuss among themselves why they or their students behaved in particular ways during their lessons, and they also were able to share experiences, views and feelings about the matters covered in this chapter. The diversity of views about EMI is presented according to themes in the sections that follow.

Findings and discussion Policy As outlined previously, the national education system of Brunei has since 1985 produced generations of English-Malay bilingual students, many of whom have taken up higher learning in UBD, or other institutions in the country. Also, specifically in terms of UBD’s history, the university was meant to absorb and cater to English-medium and Malay-medium undergraduates. This in a way exemplifies UBD’s policy in terms of EMI. Seen within the context of Brunei’s national education system, it would seem that EMI at university was a logical move. The lecturers in this study were asked if they were aware of any explicit policy regarding the use of English in their programmes. Some responded that they were indeed aware (L3, L4, L5), while some others were not (L2, L8). For instance, L1 mentioned a certain “expectation to teach in English” without any specific


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reference to such a policy. Likewise, L2 also stated “I assumed that the medium of instruction will be in English as the main mode of communication is English at the university. I did expect to teach in English myself.” This ‘expectation’ or ‘assumption’ can be taken to mean that teaching in English seemed like a natural occurrence, because the programme titles are in English and the majority of staff are either international or internationally trained in English. This was certainly the case for L8, who believed the title of the degree or module dictated the medium of instruction for it, but at the same time she also expected to teach in English (“not because anyone expects me to”), but because “it seems natural . . . since all the resources I have for the module are in English.” L4 was firm about UBD’s EMI policy, “I do this because UBD is an English-speaking institution.” It would appear from these views that most of the lecturers presume that there is a language policy, either explicit or implicit, regarding EMI in the university. However, as Ishamina and Deterding (2017, p. 285) state, “there is no explicit policy on the medium of instruction for universities set by the Ministry of Education, so each institute determines its own system.” UBD’s policy is to offer programmes in English and in Malay, as well as Arabic but it does not dictate the medium of instruction. When faculties or institutes within UBD propose a new programme or module, the medium of instruction has to be approved by the academic planning committee (GenNext Forum), before it is discussed again and forwarded for approval by UBD Senate. Throughout this process, it is the lecturers who develop the programme who determine the choice of which language is to be used. An example of this flexibility is the Drama & Theatre programme under GenNext 1, which allowed students to take modules in both English and Malay in order to obtain a Minor degree. The most recent example as reported by L6 was the case of a module on Bruneian literature in the current semester where students are required to be able to use both English and Malay to read and review texts.

Personal beliefs Given their disparate beliefs about the existence of an explicit policy on EMI in UBD, it is useful to explore the lecturers’ personal views about the use of English in teaching. L1, who believed there was indeed an EMI policy in UBD, mentioned the pervasiveness of technical terms in the sciences, which he felt more comfortable to use and teach in English: “it is better to keep it in English because scientific terms are mainly in English, and because of the education system.” L8, from the social sciences, supported this idea, as “many of the concepts in my course are easily explained in English . . . It is easier than conveying the lesson in Malay.” This sense of ease with teaching in English was also expressed by L4 and by L5, who have “no issues teaching in English.” For L5, it is in fact easier, believing that “any discussion on mathematical concepts should be done in English as the language very robust and conducive for the learning of mathematics.” L6 echoed L1’s and L8’s views with regards to the “preciseness of technical terms,” which seems to apply across academic disciplines.

Case study: Universiti Brunei Darussalam 47 L2 said “it is the correct medium of instruction,” emphasising his preference for English. He did not elaborate on what ‘correct’ meant to him, but perhaps L8’s explanation that “since students have to produce their assessments in English, it is only practical that I deliver in English as well” can help us understand that ‘correct’ equates to ‘pragmatic.’

Issues in some of the observed classes L7, in a pre-lesson observation interview, stated that she herself shares and analyses Malay data examples in her teaching, and encourages her students to do likewise. During her observed lesson, she told students that it was fine for them to include Malay examples in their answers in the forthcoming examination. Whilst students’ questions addressed to L7 in this class were entirely in English, it was noticeable that student-student interaction, both on- and offtopic, was largely in Malay. Thus, there no was no overt mixing or switching of language in L7’s class, but the lecturer’s and students’ shared L1, Malay, certainly had a role in this particular discourse context which was both overt and subversive. In the questionnaire survey which they completed at the end of the class, 28 out of the 29 students who attended this class (96.5%) agreed with the statements “I’m comfortable using English” and “English is easy for me.” But only one of them partially agreed with the statement “I wish my lecturers would use more Malay in class,” qualifying it by adding “. . . if this helps to explain then yes.” The class taught by L8 was observed by both researchers. It included student presentations, so it was not a typical ‘lecture.’ However, it did involve interaction as students were encouraged to ask questions following the presentations. Consistent with her stated beliefs (reported in the following section) there was no use of Malay, either by herself or by any of the students. In this class, 26 out of the 28 students agreed with statement “I’m comfortable using English”; slightly fewer (22 out of 28), agreed with the statement “English is easy for me.” Six out of 28 agreed with “I wish my lecturers would use more Malay in class.” In the English literature class taught by L6, no Malay was used by the lecturer or by the students. Her frequent comprehension checks (“Any questions so far?,” “Anyone familiar with Defoe‘s Moll Flanders?”) were all in English and did not provoke any confessions of incomprehension. Seven out of the eight students present in the class agreed with the statements “I’m comfortable using English” and “English is easy for me.” None of them supported the statement “I wish my lecturers would use more Malay in class.”

Code-switching Brunei’s active promotion of bilingualism through the schools, as outlined previously, has given rise to younger Bruneians becoming more and more adept at using English and “making the language their own” (Rosnah, Noor


Noor Azam Haji-Othman and James McLellan

Azam & McLellan, 2002, p. 108). L7 stated that “parents are using both languages at home,” which can be related to L6’s contention that “English is no longer a second language for most of us.” L4’s own teachers had been mainly British, and that “may have influenced my comfort in using English as a medium of instruction.” This is congruent with the lecturers’ regarding themselves as being bilingual or multilingual, a description that also applies to most UBD students. It is to be expected that, within this multilingual setting, students would make full use of both or all the languages they have at their disposal. As observed in all the classes, students do tend to speak in Malay or Chinese among themselves, but always in English when speaking to their lecturers. This is confirmed by L8 who said that “students do use English in class, but Malay outside the class.” She also said that she did try to use English as much as possible with students, “but the setting does make a change.” This point about different settings can be a determinant in students’ language choices. Outside of the classroom, L2 recounted being approached by students speaking in Mandarin, but these were usually non-Bruneian students (Malaysian Chinese or PRC Chinese). He did not respond to them in Chinese, but in English. L3 also recalled a similar situation where he too was approached by Mandarin-speaking students, but he responded in English as well. L4 on the other hand was more accommodating: “it depends if they ask questions in Malay or English, I will respond accordingly.” L7 had a similar attitude, as she would normally code-switch and use both Malay and English. L4 stated that she would do the same in future situations, as “I believe education or knowledge is a right for every individual” and the dissemination of knowledge should not be hindered by language. L7 noted that apart from the “discipline of study,” age is often a factor in code-switching patterns. Within UBD, ‘in-service students’ is the label given to mature students who join UBD later in life, and often have been working for several years. The opposite to this would be ‘pre-service students’, who are the students who have come straight from ‘A’-level colleges without any work experience. Invariably, pre-service students tend to be much younger than the in-service ones. L7 reported that in-service students are more prone to codeswitching, and pre-service tend not to speak Malay to the lecturer. L4 qualified L7’s account by stating that her institute received a number of senior government officers, some of whom had specifically requested that discussion in class be conducted in Malay so they could follow and contribute. The special programme which L4 referred to also gives the course participants the option of submitting their reports in Malay or English because of their non-Englishmedium background. As these ‘senior officers’ are not mainstream fulltime UBD students, this to some extent supports L6’s observation that the younger students have become much better in English over the years. These observations have been made based on interactions on campus, yet it would appear unlikely that the choice of language between the student and the lecturer would be different in situations off-campus.

Case study: Universiti Brunei Darussalam 49 Students’ English proficiency Having assessed their own levels of English proficiency as ‘High’ or ‘Very high’, what did the lecturers think of their student’s proficiency? Some lecturers felt that their students were fairly proficient and competent in the use of English (e.g. L2). In her pre-lesson interview, L5 expressed the opinion that UBD students only fail for lack of understanding or lack of effort, not on account of language issues concerning their level of English. L1 commented that students generally “communicate well, but can be improved.” L4 believed that “some students are excellent” in all four macro-skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), but cautions that there are “some who have poor communication skills” and some were “terrible in essays.” Indeed, all the lecturers agreed that one aspect students need to improve on is writing. L5 did not think too highly of the students’ linguistic abilities, “their language proficiency is generally weak despite them meeting the language proficiency requirement. Writing skills are particularly weak.” L1 alluded to a certain ‘poshness’ among students who are good in English, perhaps associated to wealth and access to good education. But L6 observed that all is not what it may seem: for instance, “literature students are super-snooty about their English, while in fact their quality of writing is bad too.” L7 supported this view, and stated that in the case of social sciences students “they think they’re good, but they’re not that good! They may sound fluent, but they’re not actually grammatical in speaking and writing.” L6 cited examples of subject-verb concord issues. L8 shared her experience of students presenting an initial draft of their writing in English, which is often of low quality and inexpressive language, then discussing this with them bilingually in one-on-one meetings. This, she reported, leads to their ‘producing a second draft which has both better level of academic English and of academic thinking and reflection.” When this quotation was discussed with her as part of our respondent validation process, she added this further comment which we cite in full (with permission), “because I think what happens is that students limit their thinking and drafting in English – resulting in not so critical draft, and quite low level of English accuracy.” During consultation, they will have a chance to express what they really mean by the different points presented in the draft – most of the time in a bilingual manner, and this leads to not only deeper and more critical analyses (which is not a problem it seems for Professional Communication students as they normally do have a very creative outlook) but better expression of ideas as well. This ‘expression’ was missing in drafts, normally. At this juncture, it would be appropriate to distinguish between ‘proficiency’ (fluency, good knowledge of the language) and ‘competence’ (knowing when to use the appropriate language for the appropriate setting). It would seem that the general view of lecturers about UBD students “having good English but being weak in some aspects” might be based on the students’ lack of English competence in the academic setting. In other words, while most students are proficient


Noor Azam Haji-Othman and James McLellan

in English, they sometimes do not use or apply the language appropriately: for instance, failing to use the right register, discourse and lexis in an academic essay or a presentation. L3 commented that students tend to be halting and hesitant during oral presentations in class, but he let this pass if they were first-year students who might not be used to speaking in public. L6 showed some optimism and said that these first-year students developed their English over their four years in UBD, and they tended to overcome the academic register issues by the time they reached their fourth year. L6 further added that in comparison to other universities in Brunei, the level of academic English among UBD students was actually very good. However, L6 had also noticed that the students’ quality of fictional writing “has become more natural, less forced, less stilted,” suggesting a general improvement over their time in UBD. L7 thought that this might depend on the students’ actual degree major, giving the example of linguistics and literature students being better in English than media studies students, on the whole. In relation to these perceived improvements, L8 mentioned some learning strategies that students employed in her class. She reported that some weaker students had submitted or presented their “drafts in Malay and English mixed . . . after consultation their final work tend to be better.” This confirms that, despite entering UBD with GCE ‘O’ Level credits, students’ linguistic abilities in using higher-level academic discourse vary across the board. It needs to be stated here that the UBD Language Centre, formally established in 2001, offers various ESP and EAP courses to address students’ English language needs. The decision by UBD in 2012 to remove ESP according to discipline, and replace it with two semesters of generic EAP to coincide with the broad-based GenNext degree may have had a role to play here. It is also worth noting here that prior to the creation of the Language Centre, university-wide English language support was provided by the English Language & Applied Linguistics staff in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. From its beginnings UBD has always recognised the need for fresh students to be supported to adapt to university-level discourse for both oral and written presentation of their work.

The other language(s) Having established the predominance of English in the classroom, this discussion cannot ignore the extent and roles of other languages, in particular, Malay. As mentioned previously, the lecturers differed in their attitudes to code-switching to Malay, with most indicating a preference or tendency to use mostly if not entirely English. L1 believed that Malay is more suited to “an informal setting” implying that the university setting to him is a “professional setting” so he maintained the use of English at the workplace. L6, on the other hand, said “Malay is not an informal language” and argued that in class “students speak English mainly, and occasionally in Malay among themselves as they are multilinguals by nature.” This was indeed observed during the classes: teacher-student and

Case study: Universiti Brunei Darussalam 51 student-teacher interactions were in English; student-student interactions mostly in Malay or Chinese, depending on the group make-up.

Professional development and support In relation to the task of helping students improve their English, the lecturers were asked whether they received and/or made use of professional development and support programmes in UBD. L2, L4 and L5 all claimed that had never received professional support in terms of teaching their subjects in English. However, L4 and L5 thought very highly of the teaching and learning resources available in UBD, describing them as “excellent.” L1 believed the IT learning management systems such as Canvas and Blackboard are “quite good” in supporting EMI in UBD.

The future of EMI in UBD L2 rated the success of EMI in his programme as “very high – [English] is the natural medium of instruction for the courses” he teaches. He added that “most high-impact academic publications related to [his] courses are published in English”, suggesting that academic discourse within his discipline will remain in English for the foreseeable future. L5 also thought EMI in his discipline had been “quite successful” and students are quite comfortable, except for the odd cases of “some students [having] difficulty in visualising mathematical concepts.” He added that “English should continue to be the medium of instruction for science and science-related subjects.” L4’s students have told her that they enjoyed their English courses, and she believed that EMI should be continued as most of the literature on the subject areas is in English. L1 “definitely” thought EMI should be continued as “it’s better to use English as there are no substitute terms for many of the technical words” and references and books are more readily available in English. Likewise, L8 believed that EMI should be retained.

Conclusion The Bruneian lecturers involved in this study can be described as members of an academic elite who have gone to some of the best universities in the world to obtain their Masters and PhD degree qualifications. In order to do this, they have had to excel in their secondary-level education and in the public examinations at GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels, including in the English language – a common experience they share with their students. As a consequence, teaching, and interacting and negotiating with their bilingual students in English, is largely unproblematic for them. We feel that our study complements that of Ishamina and Deterding (2017), beginning from a similar stance, but using a different set of research data, as our focus is on interaction within UBD classrooms and on the beliefs and practices of the group of Bruneian lecturers who graciously allowed us to observe their teaching and agreed to be interviewed and to take part in the focus group discussion.


Noor Azam Haji-Othman and James McLellan

As authors of a case study contribution, we would like to end this chapter by reiterating the adage about case studies being relatable, although not generalisable. We find both consistencies and variations between our Bruneian participants’ beliefs and practices concerning EMI in UBD and EMI contexts elsewhere.

References Gunn, G. C. (1997). Language, power and ideology in Brunei Darussalam. Athens, OH: Ohio University Center for International Studies. Ishamina, A., & Deterding, D. (2017). English-medium education in a university in Brunei Darussalam: Code-switching and intelligibility. In B. Fenton-Smith, P. Humphreys, & I. Walkinshaw (Eds.), English medium instruction in higher education in Asia-Pacific: From policy to pedagogy (pp. 281–298). Singapore: Springer. Jones, G. M. (2007). 20 years of bilingual education: Then and now. In D. L. Prescott, T. A. Kirkpatrick, I. P. Martin, & A. Hashim (Eds.), English in Southeast Asia: Varieties, literacies and literatures (pp. 246–258). Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Press. Kirkpatrick, T. A. (2010). English as a lingua franca in ASEAN: A multilingual model. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Noor Azam Haji-Othman. (2012). It’s not always English: Duelling aunties in Brunei Darussalam. In V. Rapatahana & P. Bunce (Eds.), English language as hydra: Its impacts on non-English language cultures (pp. 175–190). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Poedjosoedarmo, G. (2004). English in Brunei Darussalam: Portrait of a vital language with an elusive role. RELC Journal, 35(3), 359–370. Rosnah Haji Ramly, Noor Azam Haji-Othman, & McLellan, J. (2002). Englishization and nativization processes in the context of Brunei Darussalam: Evidence for and against. In T. A. Kirkpatrick (Ed.), Englishes in Asia: Communication, identity, power & education (pp. 95–112). Melbourne, Australia: Language Australia. Worldometers. (2017). Brunei population 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017 from: www. worldometers.info/world-population/brunei-darussalam-population/ Zulkarnain Hanafi, & Tong Chee Kiong. (2017). Rising up the ranks: A university’s journey of change. In K. Downing & F. Ganotice (Eds.), World university rankings and the future of higher education (pp. 345–367). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


Student survey (form distributed to students in four of the observed classes)

English as medium of instruction (EMI) in UBD project Dear participant, we are conducting a study to understand better the linguistic behaviour of UBD staff and students so we may improve our contents and delivery in future. Your responses here will help us create a profile for your class, and give us a clearer understanding of student-teacher interaction in UBD. Thank you. 1

Are you aware of any explicit policy regarding the use of English in your programmes? a.




How many per cent of your university modules are conducted in English? a. b. c. d.



90–100% 70–80% 50% less than 50%

How do you feel about using English as a medium of instruction at University (Tick as many statements you consider TRUE)

a. I’m comfortable using English b. English is easy for me c. I expected to use English in UBD anyway d. It is acceptable if the lecturers mixed some Malay (other languages) during class e. It is acceptable if the lecturer/s taught my modules entirely Malay f. Given the choice, I wouldn’t take a module if it was offered in Malay g. I would only take a module if it was offered in English


Noor Azam Haji-Othman and James McLellan h. I speak Malay and English only i. I speak Malay, English, and other languages j. I would be more comfortable using English with a Bruneian lecturer than with an expatriate lecturer k. I would be more comfortable using English with an expatriate lecturer than with a Bruneian lecturer l. I am comfortable using English with both Bruneian or expatriate lecturers, it doesn’t matter where they are from m. I wish my lecturers would use more Malay in class n. I wish my lecturers would use more of my first language in class o. University education should only be conducted in English p. Good university education is only conducted in English


What do you think about the availability and effectiveness of print, audio, visual teaching/ learning resources/ online support for your subject in UBD? (Pick one) Excellent – Good – Average – Not good – Very bad


How would you rate the success of modules conducted in English that you have taken in UBD so far? Excellent – Good – Average – Not good – Very bad


How would you rate the future of English-medium programmes in your subject? Excellent – Good – Average – Not good – Very bad


On the following EPI scale, how would you rate your English language proficiency? Very high – High – Moderate – Low – Very Low


My behaviour in class today was: a. b.

as normal as on any other day not typical because we were being observed


Case study EMI in Indonesia Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati

Introduction The role of Indonesia in international transactions has been increasingly salient as the country is the world’s fourth most populous country and third largest democracy. The country’s statistics have been very impressive from many angles – geography, population, and economy: “the archipelago of over 18,000 islands is home to more than a quarter of a million people, the economy of which is the biggest in South East Asia and has been enjoying strong GDP growth of between 5.0 and 6.5 percent for over a decade” (Clark, 2014). With such demographic and financial capital, Indonesia has become of particular strategic importance to regional neighbours, in addition to global partners in the West, making English a ‘must’ to learn by a good portion of the country’s citizens in order to become effective communicators in the increasingly competitive global environment of the 21st century. Despite its rapid economic growth and compelling demographic advantages, Indonesia is currently facing a demanding challenge in accommodating the education system to its gigantic population, and the current stage of the country’s development. The transnational companies, in most of which English has become the most important working language, play a vital role in enhancing the country’s economy. However, “Indonesian companies will struggle to fill half of their entry-level positions with fully qualified candidates by the end of the decade due to low upper secondary and tertiary enrolment rates and substandard quality standards” (Clark, 2014). In addition to the burdensome challenges in educational provision for its gigantic population, the country with such ethnic diversity faces a serious problem of establishing a national language that promotes unity among all its citizens. The 1928 Youth Pledge declared that “Firstly, we the sons and daughters of Indonesia acknowledge one motherland, Indonesia. Secondly, we the sons and daughters of Indonesia acknowledge one nation, the nation of Indonesia. Thirdly, we the sons and daughters of indonesia uphold the language of unity, Indonesian” (Sebastian, Chen & Syailendra, 2014, p. 65). On the basis of this declaration, the problem of which language everyone should learn was settled by legally establishing Bahasa Indonesia (the national Indonesian language), a variant of the Malay language which is established as a lingua franca throughout the archipelago. Thus, all


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educational institutions, from primary to tertiary levels, have adopted the national language as the medium of instruction (Soedijarto et al., 1980). This legal requirement could to a certain extent become a stumbling block for the adoption and proliferation of EMI in Indonesian educational settings. On the one hand, the global competitiveness of the country could be enhanced by the implementation of EMI in school or university settings; on the other, the growing passion to promote indigenous languages needs to be taken into consideration. Hence, in the light of this linguistic and socio-political complexity, it is both relevant and urgent to conduct research on EMI in the Indonesian context. The chapter will begin by establishing some background information about the history of EMI in the Indonesian context, especially with regard to use of English as a medium of instruction in higher education institutions. Afterwards, literature on EMI relevant to Indonesia is briefly reviewed, followed by a description of the present study covering the setting, research questions, participants, and the procedures used for data collection and analysis. The findings will cover EMI policy in the institution being investigated, student admission, lecturer qualifications and confidence in EMI teaching, student competence, classroom interaction, and the future of EMI. A discussion on the findings is followed by a number of key implications.

Brief history of EMI in Indonesia Dutch was the first foreign language used as the medium of instruction in Indonesian higher education, when the first tertiary institution was established in Jakarta as a precursor to the University of Indonesia. A school to train medical assistants was founded in 1851 with a two-year programme, from which the graduates could get a certificate to practice as basic medical assistants in the Dutch East Indies. By the year 1875, this had developed into a seven-year degree programme from which the graduates were conferred the degree of medical doctor. Individual subjects, rather than entire programmes, have been taught at tertiary level in Indonesia since the first modern higher education institution, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), was established in 1920. It was noted for the excellent English proficiency of its first graduates, such as the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno (ITB, n.d.). It has been specifically mentioned in a document uploaded by ITB School of Pharmacy that “The language used in delivering the lecture was Dutch or English” (ITB School of Pharmacy: History, n.d.). Many universities have since developed international programmes (Tamtam, Gallagher, Naher & Olabi, 2010). Bilingual competence seems to be their main goal, with English being used as the second medium of instruction in their classes. According to Tamtam et al., the reasons for the implementation of EMI are as follows: • •

bilingualism provides communicative and societal advantages; the medium of English plays an important role in helping to motivate students and teachers in learning the language;

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 57 • •

EMI would help students as well the teachers in exploring English and having more chances to learn it well; literacy skills and strategies learned in the native language, Indonesian, is transferred to a second language, namely, English.

According to Ibrahim (2006, p. 122), “in Indonesia EMI is no longer a new phenomenon today. It sprouted especially among business schools offering MBA programs in the 1990s and has now spread into bachelor programs and disciplines other than international business.”

Review of literature relevant to EMI in Indonesia Many Indonesians need adequate proficiency in foreign languages, especially English, the role of which is both fundamental and strategic in the present era when information technology has become so advanced and socially penetrating: “it is fundamental, as information is commonly disseminated in English; it is strategic, as English is also used to introduce our own marketable strengths and capacities to the global community” (Hamied, 2012, pp. 71–72). The growth of EMI cannot be separated from the overall context of the teaching of English in the country concerned. How soon English is introduced at the schooling system could be seen as a valid indicator of the success of EMI implementation at the tertiary level. As to when English is introduced in schools, unlike in almost all the other countries of Asia, “Indonesia is an exception, where English remains an optional subject at primary level” (Kirkpatrick, 2011, p. 100). Kirkpatrick recommends that “the primary school [should] focus on local languages,” and that “the tertiary sector implement bilingual policies for teaching and publishing” (2011, p. 115). On the other hand, Dearden (2014, p. 10) has reported that Indonesia is one of the few countries among the 55 countries in her survey which allow EMI at all levels of education, from primary to tertiary provided that the institution meets all the national standards and takes into account the standards of education in an OECD country or another advanced nation. When carried out within such a framework of quality education, then EMI from primary schooling onwards could contribute to one of UNESCO’s sustainable goals: “to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (UNESCO, 2016). The Indonesian government plans to expand access to technical and vocational education by having more vocational schools in industrial areas. This will certainly entail the need to have more teachers in the fields of science and technology. And since the ASEAN Economic Community has now determined “to achieve higher levels of economic dynamism, sustained prosperity, inclusive growth and integrated development” (ASEAN, 2008, p. 2), open access of employment in its member countries will consequently take place. This means that science, technical and vocational graduates will need to be proficient in the lingua franca for the region, which is obviously English. Hence, EMI becomes at the forefront of educational policy in this respect.


Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati

There have been only a few studies investigating the implementation of EMI programmes in Indonesian education. After implementing EMI for an academic semester at a university through class observations involving 13 teachers with 400 students, Floris (2014) came to the conclusion that despite the fact that the teachers and students recognise the importance of English, they acknowledge that the majority of the students have insufficient English proficiency to cope with the subjects taught fully in English. Insufficiency of English proficiency among teachers has also been identified in a study at a public university, involving school teachers teaching English, Maths, and Science, as reported by Haryanto (2013) who has found that “teachers could not fully use English as medium of instruction because they may not be proficient in the language.” By contrast, the lecturer in Statistics for Language Studies in Hamied’s (2016) case study was entirely proficient in English, but often resorted to using Bahasa Indonesia in his classes “to make sure that students get what I really want them to have in their minds” (p. 138), and the students appreciated this way of explaining difficult concepts. (p. 140).

The present study Setting The study was carried out within an International Programme of Science Education (IPSE) at a teacher education college in Indonesia, in which all subjects are taught through EMI (IPSE, 2009). The programme, launched in 2009, was aimed at fulfilling the need for globally competitive and competent science teachers. The vision of IPSE is to become a leading and outstanding science education programme in the region. The vision is to be materialised by way of the following missions (IPSE, 2009): • • • • • •

to conduct an educational programme in order to prepare competent and globally competitive science teachers; to develop innovative theories and practices in science education; to be actively involved in professional community services; to solve problems relevant to issues in national as well as global science education; to build networks and partnerships with international agencies and institutions; to promote international recognition through research and publications.

On the basis of the vision and missions mentioned previously, IPSE graduates are expected to gain the following competencies: • • • • •

knowledgeability about international science education; mastery of science subjects, pedagogy, and pedagogic content knowledge for junior high schools; skill in teaching sciences in an integrated fashion; skill in teaching science using the English language; ability to do research and develop innovation in science teaching.

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 59 The IPSE curriculum is developed on the framework of the higher education curriculum, “commonly conceived as a set of plans and arrangements of the study materials and delivery as well as the assessment used to guide the implementation of relevant learning activities in the tertiary education institution” (IPSE, 2009). The IPSE Curriculum is designed as a competency-based curriculum, which covers English writing and communication developed in the framework of English for Academic Purposes, integrated science, plus project-based teaching, ICT specifically covering web-based learning and computer in science education. Instructional activities in this programme may vary depending upon each subject’s characteristics (IPSE, 2009). Teaching-learning activities could include lecturers’ presentation, students’ presentation, discussion, laboratory activities, and field trips; the latter are usually restricted to certain courses like Ecology and Environment Science and Plant and Animal Diversity. In addition, a professional training course is offered to the students in their last semester. It is a programme where students are deployed in schools, in which classes are bilingually taught. The programme is taught by two professors, nine doctorate degree holders, six master’s degree holders, and one English lecturer from the English Education Department. They are helped by a laboratory assistant and two administrative staff members. As at other state-run higher education institutions, student admission is conducted in three different ways: national selection, state-university joint-selection, and independent selection. Data for the 2016 admission to IPSE were elicited from the following interviews.

Research questions • • •

What policies were adopted as regards EMI in the programme investigated? How competent and confident were the teachers in the science education EMI programme as regards their English proficiency to carry out the programme? Were the students enrolled in the programme adequately proficient in English to fulfill all the requirements for programme completion?

Participants Participants in the study consisted of: a representative from the university management, the Dean of the Faculty of Maths and Science Education, the Chair of the International Programme of Science Education, four representatives of the teaching staff in the programme (L1, L2, L3 and L4), and three representative students (S1, S2 and S3). It is worth mentioning here that all participants showed consistent enthusiasm in being involved in all activities conducted by the researchers, providing information as regards programme development and its day-to-day implementation, and willingly providing all the programme documents the researchers requested.


Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati

Data collection methods This was an interpretive study intended to respond to the research questions put forward above. We chose a multi-method design as we wanted to “uncover many layers of truth, or different perceptions of a situation by different individuals or group members” (Hamied, 2017, p. 193). The data were collected through oral interviews involving the above participants, and observations in different EMI science education classes. In addition, data were also collected from the selected syllabi (IPSE, n.d.), and also from the lecturers’ lesson plans. Post-lesson discussions were carried out with the teachers and the selected students to gain their perceptions of what had taken place in the classrooms.

Data analysis procedures Documents were analysed to find specific answers to the questions regarding policy, teacher qualification, student competence, and overall management and assessment of the programme. Documents regarding information on IPSE available on hard copies and downloadable from the website of the programme have provided adequate answers as regards the development of the programme, the curriculum coverage, and teaching-learning activities as planned by the programme. Classroom teaching-learning observations and interviews, in addition to triangulating data collected through documents, have provided the researchers with the data on teachers’ qualification and students’ competence in English as required by the programme’s exit requirements. The English language as used by the teachers in developing their syllabi would be used as an instrument to assess their written language proficiency, and transcripts of class observations were used to judge the oral English language adequacy of both teachers and students.

Findings Policy Interviews with three senior staff gave a strong signal that EMI could be expanded to other study programmes, and that the university management would provide administrative as well as financial support when a study programme in the university wished to adopt EMI. One of the interviewees, a representative of the university management, emphasised that “EMI implementation is an inseparable part of the university’s internationalisation programme.” Interviews with Dean of the Faculty and the Chairperson of the programme revealed that in addition to the IPSE, every department of education in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science (biology education, chemistry education, physical education and mathematics education) should have at least two bilingual classes. Each programme has to select the two subjects which should be bilingually taught. The two selected courses are expected to be conducted almost entirely in English. Lecturers could revert to the Indonesian language only when there is a need for better

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 61 understanding of the subject content being delivered. The selected courses are offered in each of the seven semesters in the undergraduate programme.

Student admission All student applicants should attend and pass one of the three regular admission tests: national selection, state-university joint-selection, and independent selection. It was confirmed through interviews with both the Chairperson and all the teachers that admission to the IPSE programme constitutes 40% of the recruited students admitted through the national selection, based on the students’ secondary school academic achievement; 30% were admitted through state-university joint selection, in which each region consisting of several state universities conducted a joint selection by administering paper-based and computer-based tests on Maths, Science, and English; and another 30% were selected through an admission test on Science and English conducted independently by the university. According to the Chairperson, the last two types of admission procedures are more accurate in the selection process because interviews could be conducted as part of the selection process. The number of admitted students to IPSE remains consistent each year; the programme is charged with a limited capacity of maximum 25 students, and on the average filled with 18–22 students. So overall the total student population at the time was 80, covering four batches of students.

EMI teachers’ qualifications Interview data from both the Dean and the Chairperson indicated university lecturers with English as their specialisation are needed, not least because the students’ final research projects should be written in English, and expertise is needed to proofread the reports of the students’final projects. According to the management representative, only one in five applications to teach the programme are successful, and that many applicants withdrew after realising that they lacked confidence in their ability to fully use English as a medium of instruction. Although printed guidelines on this matter were not available, the three interviewees said that all lecturers, especially the younger ones, were obliged to attend English language courses. The Dean and Chairperson both stated that the required minimum English proficiency of the teachers is equivalent to a TOEFL score of at least 500, with a strong preference for teachers to be orally fluent as it would make a major contribution to effective teaching. In the interviews with the teachers, L1 and L4 also mentioned a TOEFL score of 500, but L2 thought the requirement was 550. L3 had no idea about the TOEFL score requirement, but he himself had a score of 600.

Teachers’ confidence and competence to teach EMI L1, a female instructor, reported that she experienced difficulty in teaching as she had no English education background herself. The difficulty was especially felt in


Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati

her first two years, but experience helped – especially when adequate preparation for teaching had been done, so that the teaching activity could run smoothly. L1 said that all the teachers in the EMI programme are offered the opportunity to take an English course to uplift their English proficiency. Resources for teaching were said to be sufficiently available and when they are not available then what was needed could be downloaded from reliable websites in the internet. According to her, the students had serious difficulty in understanding materials covered, especially when they came across terms which were not familiar to them. With regard to assessing the students’ final competencies, according to L1, research-based papers and teaching practices at international schools could be considered as valid, effective and reliable tools for assessing the EMI programme outputs, as the students’ achievements on both the subjects and the English language could be simultaneously assessed. Unlike L1, another female instructor (L2) found teaching in the EMI programme easy as she had liked English very much since she was in secondary school. She considered the English club, organised by the study programme for all IPSE teachers, had been very beneficial for professional development, specifically for improving the teachers’ English proficiency. The gathering was held once a week, in which teaching-learning related matters were discussed fully in English. According to her, students who were newcomers to EMI classes tended to have difficulty at the beginning in acquiring the teaching materials presented in English. L2 assessed students’ achievement by prioritising the English language and the contents followed. Like L1, L3 felt it was difficult to teach new students fully in English, but availability of resources greatly helped the students in understanding the substance of the materials taught. When students’ difficulty was identified, the Indonesian language was used. L4 claimed that all subjects were easy to teach in English and the students had no serious difficulty in understanding the subjects. Despite the English requirement and the teachers’ level of confidence, their written English demonstrated weaknesses in constructing grammatically correct structures in various documents reviewed during the study. One type of document we reviewed was the formal syllabus, on which each lecturer is required to work and write before embarking on the teaching-learning activities in their classes. The following are phrases and sentences identified from selected syllabi of the study programme which contain such grammatical problems or inappropriate lexical choices as capitalisation, verb forms, prepositions, S-V agreement, pluralisation, parts of speech, run-on sentences, and missing articles, as can be seen in the following: 1 . . . a major effort to enhance english competency . . . (Syllabus 1) 2 The course is design aiming at enhancing student competency . . . (Syllabus 1) 3 This course discusses about the basic of mathematics, . . . (Syllabus 2)

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 63 4 The main course are the theory of set . . . (Syllabus 2) 5 Fundamental of biology is one of general science course, . . . (Syllabus 3) 6 The assignments are consisted of inquiry . . . (Syllabus 3) 7 Fundamental of Physics is a compulsory course . . . (Syllabus 4) 8 . . . able to understand fundamental on physics both are concepts and basic practices . . . (Syllabus 4) 9 The course content consist of . . . (Syllabus 4) 10 . . . such as modern physics as optional one (Syllabus 4) 11 The course objectives is to offer . . . (Syllabus 5) 12 The elements of gas theory covers Ideal gas equitions; (Syllabus 5) 13 Elements of thermodynamics discusses concepts . . . (Syllabus 5)

Students’ competence From interactions taking place in the observed classrooms, it was evident that the students’ oral English was often inaccurate. The following illustrative examples are phrases and sentences taken from the transcripts of the selected students recorded during their peer-teaching practice in their classes:

Errors identified from Observation 1 Are you to make satay? What animal do you cut in your home? Anyone cut the beef? What actually done in the process of eating . . . I think you are still confusing, . . . People can eaten by eagle and another can eaten by people


Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati Errors identified from Observation 2 So I hope you are in good condition and high spiritual. Because you are read the book . . . and the purpose of respiration is tend to the chemical

Classroom interaction Despite the fact that the overall students’ proficiency in English was not particularly accurate, the observed classroom interactions and other comunicative transactions were run in an impressive, smooth flow of pedagogical steps and teaching-learning engagement. So, based on the classroom observations, we had an overall impression that classes were full of lively, interactive teaching-learning activities. In each class we observed, students shared reports on a project assigned to individuals and would display different kinds of teaching aids such charts, tables, and realia. These tools helped create meaningful interaction among the students in spite of their relatively limited proficiency in English, as indicated by common errors made in the previous section.

The future of EMI The future of EMI seems to be bright enough, especially the EMI programme in the present case. Briefly put, the university management has full commitment to both providing administrative and financial support to develop EMI study programmes on campus. The commitment of the teaching staff members has been quite convincing, as “internationalization of (the) academic programme is one of the target achievements . . . supported by internal competitive grant(s) (to) run international class(es)” (Setiabudhi, Widodo & Rochintaniawati, 2011). L1 believed that the EMI programme would become stronger in the future as markets, i.e. international schools and domestic schools with international standards would need more and more teachers. L2, L3 and L4 echoed the belief that markets would further be developed more.

Other findings Interviews with selected EMI students, representing three levels of students in terms of their learning capacity as reported by their teachers in the programme, indicated that they had been attracted to the programme because of its claim to be international with the possible opportunity for them to study or work overseas afterwards. Most of them felt comfortable with their competence in, and use of, English in the programme, although one mentioned having the difficulty in understanding a lecture “due to strong Sundanese accent of the teacher.” In his interview, the Dean observed that “IPSE students tended to have lower mastery in the field of study, which could be due to the use of English as a medium of instruction.” However, when the same question was addressed to the interviewed

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 65 students, they unanimously responded by saying “there is no influence from use of English on the mastery of the subject taught.” The students reported that they improved their English through such efforts as practising the TOEFL test and reading books, and two of the interviewees admitted that reading was the worst skill they had, whereas another said speaking was her weakest skill. Post-lesson discussions were also conducted with selected teachers. As to the question of their own experience in teaching whether they had difficulty in the process, out of the four interviewed teachers, only one of the female teachers admitted that she still had difficulty teaching especially during her first two years in the profession. The reason for the difficulty was her lack of English education background. When asked whether the students had difficulty grasping the content of the course through English, they said the students tended to have difficulty, especially during their first year of study. They had to grapple with new terminologies, which were very often misunderstood even when used in the Indonesian language. Therefore, they admitted that they frequently had to switch into the Indonesian language.

Discussion EMI study programmes in the Indonesian tertiary education context have been around as early as the 1920 with first graduates being very proficient in English. The current policy of EMI in the Indonesian context would need to take into account the multicultural and multilingual characteristics of the country, in reference to both using English as a medium of instruction and the teaching of the language itself. In this respect, Hamied (2015) has summarised the issue by saying “language policies in the Indonesian context, as always, have naturally reflected the multicultural and multilingual setting of Indonesia with various political and linguistic issues entailing” (p. 39). With preference of most policy makers at the national level to maintaining the national language and the existing ethnic languages, questions over how much of a foreign language to be accommodated in the classroom and at what level of education it could be offered have been asked in various meetings and conferences, including how much a foreign language could be accommodated in the curriculum and what second or foreign language proficiency levels to attain at particular educational layers in the national education system in the country. As a multilingual setting, Indonesia is likely to have English learners with varieties of English characterised by linguistic features influenced by the hundreds of local languages. For an Indonesian learner of English as a lingua franca in global transactions, the key issue is how to get things across, how to understand and how to be understood; the issue is not primarily native-like English. In addition, arguments against and for the teaching of English at the primary school have been put forward by certain government officials and TEFL experts and practitioners; so have pros and cons regarding the number of hours to be allocated for English at junior and senior secondary schooling. One issue that seems to be supported by all sides is the significance of English for maintaining and improving


Fuad Abdul Hamied and Nenden Sri Lengkanawati

young Indonesians’ competitiveness on the global stage. However, there have been conflicting arguments concerning how much English should be covered in the curriculum and what mechanism should be adopted in the implementation of instructional practices at the classroom level. The latter certainly has something to do with teacher capacity and capability, which the teacher education programmes at tertiary institutions have a significant part to play in addressing. Two very frequently mentioned goals of implementing EMI programme in tertiary institutions were improving domestic students’ English, and attracting overseas students to enroll in the programme. Article 33 of the Law on the National Education System (Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia, 2003) stipulates that the Indonesian language as the state language shall be used as a language of instruction in the national education and that “a foreign language could be used as a language of instruction in a certain educational setting to support the ability of a student in the foreign language.” Constitutionally speaking, improving domestic students’ English proficiency should become the prioritised goal in establishing an EMI programme. As has been delineated in the previous section, the teachers’ linguistic competency in an EMI setting needs improvement as it has not only to do with contributing to effective classroom communication during teaching-learning activities, but also with efficient transfer of knowledge as covered by each of the subjects taught in the programme and also to provide a good role model for the students. The situation in secondary school is similar to the tertiary programme, in which qualified and dedicated teachers are looked for. “Offering any language programme, whether it involves the national language, local languages or foreign languages, requires qualified language teachers” (Hamied, 2012, p. 71). Therefore, improvement of the teachers’ English proficiency is critical, not only for better acquisition of the sience subjects taught but also for improvement of English competence amongs the teachers-to-be. Otherwise, the initial goal of the program as put forward in the establishment of IPSE would not be achieved, “to prepare international standard science teacher especially for secondary schools” (Setiabudhi et al., 2011).

Implications EMI programmes in Indonesian higher education are characterised by a strategic and critical posture in that it is hoped that the programme could fulfil what is expected in the syllabus; and comments have been made as to whether the programmes have to do with enhancing the global competitiveness of higher education institutions or simply as income generating units in the university. It is also crucial to review whether all supporting factors, both human resources and needed facilities, are available in the institution offering this international programme. The multilingual context of Indonesia has entailing problems, including the issue of mantaining the national and ethnic languages. Our concern echos the ironic point made by Kirkpatrick (2014, p. 16) that “the increased use of English as a medium of instruction has the potential of further advantaging speakers of English and disadvantaging speakers of other languages. It also reduces the role

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 67 that Asian languages are playing in higher education and research.” This particular concern has been raised by advocates of the significance of the mother tongue, i.e., regional, ethnic languages, as well as the Indonesian language as an official and lingua-franca language at the national landscape in the archipelago. The management of the programme being investigated clearly felt that EMI within IPSE had to be safeguarded against reaping solely financial gains but should aim for quality education and seek to achieve global standards found in similar programmes overseas. This should be seen as a positive indicator to guard against Kirkpatrick’s conclusion that there could be a financial motivation involved in holding EMI programmes in Asian universities, “. . . it is not simply the fees the international students bring, but the fees that local students bring who otherwise might have spent this money overseas as international students in Anglophone countries” (Kirkpatrick, 2014, p. 24). The goals for establishing a EMI programme vary between catering for international students and promoting internationalisation among domestic students. In this respect, arguments put forward by Coleman in a panel discussion held by the British Council (Ross & Coleman, n.d.) in Jakarta need to be taken into account: “realistically, how many Indonesian universities can be attractive to international students,” and if what is meant by international is using English, “we have found that 22 of the 75 best universities in the world don’t use English as medium of instruction . . .” (Ross & Coleman, n.d.). Improving English means improvement of other things. “To improve our current political and economic standing, intensive communication and relevant support is required from other countries. Bilateral and multilateral interactions with other countries necessitate that many Indonesians need adequate proficiency in foreign languages, especially English” (Hamied, 2012, pp. 71–72). There should also be an exit requirement, specifically on English proficiency level, using what has been adopted in neighboring countries, or by having Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Council of Europe, 2001) as a benchmark in the assessment of the programme graduates’ qualification. The focus of the programme should be geared towards students’ achievement, in their capacity as regards both the English language and the substantive content of the subject. Recruitment of international students should become an upcoming goal of the study programme, to meet the expectation of the study programme, which specifically names itself as an international programme.

References ASEAN. (2008). ASEAN economic community blueprint. Retrieved from: http://asean. org/wp-content/uploads/archive/5187-10.pdf Clark, N. (2014). Education in Indonesia. Retrieved from: http://wenr.wes.org/2014/04/ education-in-indonesia/ Council of Europe. (2001). The common European framework of reference for languages : Learning, teaching, assessment. Council of Europe, 1–273. http://doi.org/10.1017/ S0267190514000221


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Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: A growing global phenomenon. London, England: The British Council. Floris, F. D. (2014). Learning subject matter through the medium of English: Perspectives from the field – Indonesia. Asian Englishes, 16(1), 1–13. Hamied, F. A. (2012). English in multicultural and multilingual Indonesian education. In A. Kirkpatrick & R. Sussex (Eds.), English as an international language in Asia: Implications for language education (pp. 63–78). Dordrecht, Heidelberg, New York and London: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4578-0 Hamied, F. A. (2015). ELT intricacies within the Indonesian language policy. In T. W. Bigalke & S. Sharbawi (Eds.), English for ASEAN integration: Policies and practices in the Region (pp. 32–40). Brunei: Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Hamied, F. A. (2016). Commentary. In R. Barnard & J. McLellan (Eds.), Codeswitching in English-medium classes: Asian perspectives (pp. 131–143) Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Hamied, F. A. (2017). Research methods: A guide for first-time researchers. Bandung: UPI Press. Haryanto, E. (2013). Language policy: Administrators and teachers’ view on English as medium of instruction implementation in Indonesia. Journal of Education and Practice, 4(2), 48–57. Ibrahim, J. (2006). The implementation of EMI (English Medium Instruction) in Indonesian universities: Its opportunities, its threats, its problems, and its possible solutions. K@ Ta, 3(2), 121–137. Retrieved from: http://kata.petra.ac.id/index. php/ing/article/view/15479 IPSE. (n.d.). IPSE syllabi on UPI website. Retrieved from: http://silabus.upi.edu/index. php?dir=FPMIPA/International_Program_on_Science_Education_(IPSE)/ IPSE. (2009). International program on science education at UPI. Retrieved from: http://ipse.upi.edu/profile/profile/ ITB. (n.d.). Sejarah ITB (History of ITB). Retrieved from: www.itb.ac.id/sejarah-danmasa-depan ITB School of Pharmacy: History. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://english.fa.itb.ac.id/ history/ Kirkpatrick, A. (2011). English as a medium of instruction in Asian education (from primary to tertiary): Implications for local languages and local scholarship. Applied Linguistics Review, 2, 99–120. http://doi.org/10.1515/9783110239331 Kirkpatrick, A. (2014). English as a medium of instruction in East and Southeast Asian universities. In N. Murray & A. Scarino (Eds.), Dynamic ecologies, multilingual education (Vol. 9). Dordrecht: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7972-3 Ross, D., & Coleman, H. (n.d.). English Medium Instruction and content and language integrated learning. Jakarta, Indonesia: British Council. Retrieved from: www.britishcouncil.id/sites/default/files/parallel_session_2-_english_medium_ instruction_and_language_integrated_learning.pdf Sebastian, L. C., Chen, J., & Syailendra, E. A. (2014). Pemuda rising: Why Indonesia should pay attention to its youth. Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. Retrieved from: www.rsis.edu.sg/wpcontent/uploads/2000/01/Monograph29.pdf Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia (2003). Undang-Undang Tentang Sistem Pendidikan Nasional, Law on the national education system. Jarkarta, Indonesia: Government of Indonesia. Setiabudhi, A., Widodo, A., & Rochintaniawati, D. (2011). International standard teacher preparation: A proposal. Bandung: FPMIPA UPI Bandung.

Case study: EMI in Indonesia 69 Soedijarto, H., Moleong, L., Suryadi, A., Machmud, D., Pangemanan, F., Tangyong, A. F., . . . Thomas, R. M. (1980). Indonesia. In E. N. Postlethwaite & R. M. Thomas (Eds.), Schooling in the ASEAN region: Primary and secondary education in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Oxford, England: Pergamon Press. Tamtam, A., Gallagher, F., Naher, S., & Olabi, A. G. (2010). EMI for engineering education in Arab world and twenty first century challenges. In International symposium for engineering education. Eire: University College Cork. UNESCO. (2016). Unesco 2015 (a). Paris, France: The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from: unesco.org


Student perspectives of medium of instruction in Malaysia Murad Saeed, Mary Varghese, Mark Holst and Kamila Ghazali

Introduction This chapter examines the attitudes and preferences of English as a medium of instruction (EMI) from the perspective of Malaysian university students, as well as the effects of medium of instruction (MI) on their learning experiences. Between 1970 and 2012 there were three significant policy shifts regarding the MI in Malaysian schools and universities, from Bahasa Melayu (BM) to English and then back to BM. The 2003 shift to teaching maths and science in English was the Prime Minister’s response to the need for English to access knowledge in science and technology, and the high graduate unemployment, especially among the ethnic Malays, which was attributed to their low English proficiency (Omar, 2016). The policy was beset with problems: the low English competence of maths and science teachers in Malay-dominated rural areas meant that English communication in the classroom was ultimately ineffective and the policy was reversed in 2009 (Gill, 2012; Hashim & Leitner, 2016). However, while appeasing the concerns about education in rural areas, the reversal was highly unpopular with educated middle-class urban dwellers who valued English as a crucial skill for social advancement (Hashim & Leitner, 2016). The most recent development has been the Dual Language Programme (DLP), which was rolled out in 2016 and is currently being piloted in 300 national primary and secondary schools across the country. It aims to strengthen English proficiency by using EMI for maths and science subjects while upholding the national language through using BM for other, non-language-oriented subjects. The DLP is the tangible outcome of the government’s aim to promote bilingual proficiency as stated in the Malaysia Educational Blueprint 2013–2025 (Ministry of Education, 2012), after the vociferous response from various pressure groups inspired by the Blueprint’s promise of bilingual education (Hashim & Leitner, 2016). The policy shifts have reflected contemporary concerns on the one hand to promote national unity through the national language as the medium of instruction and on the other hand to advance Malaysian economic development in response to globalisation through EMI. However, the academic implications of these policies should not be overlooked. One implication has been highlighted by Gill (2004) noting the negative impact of BM medium policy in higher education by placing constraints on students’ reading in English, a skill central to university

Student perspectives in Malaysia 71 education. According to Gill (2004), this has led to a situation where students may pass their courses but are not ready for the world of work. Additionally, she highlights concerns regarding the internationalisation of education adopted in Malaysia both in the public and the private sector, one aspect of which is student transfers from Malaysian universities to overseas universities; another being the recruitment of foreign students to local universities. As she states, language policy changes are necessary to accommodate these changing situations. Within the context of a multilingual society, theoretically, the establishment of a national language and official implementation of its use in education is instrumental for the purposes of integration, unity and national identity. Additionally, enshrined within the constitution, all other languages and cultures in Malaysia are equally protected. Therefore, apart from the national schools where subjects are taught in BM, the existence of vernacular schools – i.e., schools with Chinese and Tamil as the mediums of instruction – is protected and preserved. In 2011, 96 per cent of Chinese students were enrolled in Chinese (National Type) primary schools, compared to 56 per cent of Indian students who were enrolled in the Tamil (National Type) primary schools. (Tan & Sezali, 2015). The Malaysian schooling system is quite complex, and students may pursue a number of possible educational routes in the public or private sector, with choices being more limited in rural areas. Ong et al. (2013) have provided a comprehensive overview of the system and the possible pathways that students may follow from kindergarten to university (See Appendix). This means that students arrive at university after having studied under a wide variety of language environments and this diversity provides a valuable approach to investigating attitudes towards the various mediums of instruction in the country overall. The present study considers how the medium of instruction is viewed by university students, who during their school career have experienced education through the medium of at least two languages, BM and English, and in some cases three, if they had attended a Tamil or Chinese medium National Type Primary School (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan, SJK) and a BM medium National Secondary School (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan, SMK). As a proportion of the national school population as a whole, in 2016 20% of Malaysian children attended a Chinese primary school and 4% attended a Tamil primary school (Ministry of Education, 2016). We targeted first and second year students as being able to comment not only on their current experiences of and attitudes towards MI in their university classes, but also to reflect on their recent experiences at secondary school. In all, we surveyed 400 students from four universities in the Kuala Lumpur area, with different approaches to MI.

The present study Aim and participants The study is part of an on-going research project that aims to investigate Malaysian university undergraduates’ reported attitudes and challenges in the MI used


Murad Saeed, et al.

at four Malaysian universities. To obtain a clear picture of participants’ voices of the MI current practices at universities, a quantitative method research design was used (Creswell, 2003; Dörnyei, 2007). This consisted of a survey of undergraduates’ attitudes towards the MI and challenges encountered by them as a result of instructors’ use of MI. The study was conducted at three national and one private university in the Klang Valley. The participants were 400 Malaysian undergraduates on various non-English major programmes; 303 of these students were female and 97 were male. Table 6.1 shows the breakdown of the participating students by university attended.

Data collection and analysis The survey used in the study was developed based on reviewing several studies on university students’ attitudes towards and challenges in the use of medium of instruction in different contexts (e.g., Ariffin & Husin, 2011; Belhiah, & Elhami, 2015; Ellili-Cherif & Alkhateeb, 2015; Sultana, 2014). However, modifications to the items of the survey were made to suit the context of the current study and its purpose. The survey was administered to the participants both electronically through Survey Monkey and via hard copy in order to accommodate respondents with limited or no technological access. The first part of the survey comprising independent variables focused on the following: age, gender, university, secondary school, the language(s) used at home and the most comfortably spoken or used language(s). Table 6.2 shows Table 6.1 Participants (by university) University




University 1 University 2 University 3 University 4

National National National Private

119 154 84 43

29.8% 38.5% 21% 10.8%

Table 6.2 Participants (by self-declared first language) Language


At home

Most comfortable

Bahasa Malaysia Chinese Tamil English Bahasa Malaysia and English Tamil and English Chinese and English Other Total

274 92 22 8

243 89 15 11 26 8 6 2 400

206 77 7 26 55 13 14 2 400

4 400

Student perspectives in Malaysia 73 participants’ responses to the three questions about their self-declared first language (L1); What is your L1?; What is the language you usually speak at home?; What language(s) are you most comfortable using? The rationale for asking all three questions was that, given the multilingual backgrounds of many Malaysian students, we wanted to allow them to distinguish between the language they grew up with and the languages they use currently and felt themselves to be most fluent in. For example, a Chinese child may have been born into a family where the father’s family were of Hokkien heritage and the mother’s family were of Cantonese heritage, so they would use different languages to different relatives. The same child might have attended a ‘National Type’ Chinese vernacular primary school, where he or she would have learned through Mandarin medium, but then transferred to a National secondary school where the MI was either BM or English, depending on the subject. So potentially, the student could describe her L1 as Mandarin, her home language as Hokkien or Cantonese but her most comfortable language as BM or even English. Our three questions were designed to tease out these complexities. Only eight participants put English as their L1, however a total of 51 put English as their home language, either solely English (11) or in a combination with another language (40), and a total of 108 put English as the language they were most comfortable with either solely English (26) or in a combination with another language (82). These data raise a question as to the perceptions of some students of what they understand by ‘first language’ (L1). For example, those who put BM as the L1 but English or BM & English as their most comfortable language may be using L1 as an indicator of national identity, even though they may not regard it as the language in which they are most fluent. Nevertheless, in the second part of the survey, we used L1 to refer to the language they most closely identified with as their mother tongue. By extension we used the term L1MI when asking about the medium of instruction being the language students had nominated as their L1. The five main variables in the second part of the survey were: attitudes towards EMI; attitudes towards L1MI; attitudes towards mixing both English and L1 as the MI; challenges resulting from EMI vs. L1MI; and challenges resulting from mixing English and L1 as the MI. For the data analysis, first we analysed the participants’ responses to the MI survey in order to test reliability. The result of the reliability test on the survey (.081) indicates that the survey is a reliable instrument for data collection. To analyse the data obtained from the MI survey, we used descriptive statistics, including frequencies, percentages, mean values and standard deviations. The mean values were also computed for each item and for each variable. Other statistical analyses were paired sample t-tests to compare the overall mean values of each two independent variables (pair of variables), and a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare the learners’ three patterns of attitudes towards the MI and the challenges according to their university, secondary school and home-spoken language(s) and the language(s) most comfortably used by them.


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Results Attitudes towards EMI As shown in Table 6.3, the learners’ attitudes towards EMI are represented by seven statements in the survey. The results show that the learners’ overall attitudes towards EMI in the Malaysian universities were highly positive as indicated by the overall mean value (M = 2.9089), which falls in the high range of 2.50–3.49. Table 6.3 Learners’ attitudes towards EMI Statements

Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree


1. I would prefer my instructor to use only English in his/her lectures. 2. Using EMI in the lectures will increase my chances of passing the exams. 3. I feel more motivated when the instructor uses only English in the lectures. 4. I feel that I can save a lot of time understanding the content when the instructor explains only in English. 5. When the instructor uses EMI in the class, I feel encouraged to communicate in English outside the class. 6. I feel that using EMI will help raise the standard of my English. 7. I think that English should be the MI for courses in all university majors. Overall Mean Value

78 (19.5)

140 (35%)

164 (41%)

18 (4.5%)


8 (17%)

213 (53.5%)

99 (25%)

18 (4.5%)


76 (19%)

164 (41%)

131 (33%)

26 (7%)


51 (13%)

152 (38%)

171 (42%)

27 (7%)


121 (30%)

196 (49%)

68 (17%)

16 (4%)


186 (46.5%)

174 (43.5%)

29 (7%)

12 (3%)


161 (40%)

172 (43%)

51 (13%)

17 (4%)



Student perspectives in Malaysia 75 The results in the form of the highest means recorded point to three significant factors motivating this positive response: (1) EMI was necessary to raise their level of proficiency in the language; (2) EMI was important for all university majors; (3) EMI was useful in encouraging them to use English for communication outside of classes. These findings are parallel with Gill’s (2004) concern about the need for English so that students can cope with the needs of higher education. As shown in Table 6.4, the second part of the survey focused on learners’ attitudes towards L1MI. According to these results, respondents’ attitudes towards L1MI were moderately positive (M = 2.4831). This result indicates that the learners’ responses to the four statements underlying their attitudes towards L1MI did not show high levels of agreement. The survey showed higher positive responses to L1MI for achieving success in exams (M = 2.6350) as well as in saving time on the comprehension of course content. However, moderate values were recorded on statement 9 regarding student motivation when L1 is used in lectures. Statistically, 57.6% of the respondents disagreed with this statement while a lower rate of 42.3% agreed with it. Similarly, those who disagreed with statement 11 scored a higher number (n = 88 & 197 = 285) and a higher percentage (22% & 49.1% = 71.1%) than those who agreed with it (n = 30 & 86 = 116), thus scoring a lower percentage (7.5% & 21.4 = 28.9%). Such a result is indicative of learners’ moderately positive Table 6.4 Learners’ attitudes towards L1MI Statements

Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree


8. Using L1 in the lectures will increase my chances of passing the exams. 9. I feel more motivated when the instructor uses only my L1 in the lectures. 10. I feel that I can save a lot of time understanding the content when the instructor explains only in my L1. 11. I think that BM should be the MI for courses in all university majors. Overall Mean Value

80 (20%)

140 (35%)

137 (34%)

43 (11%)


53 (13.3%)

117 (29%)

193 (48.3%)

37 (9.3%)


71 (18%)

164 (41%)

136 (34%)

30 (7%)


30 (7.5%)

86 (21.4%)

197 (49.1%)

88 (22%)




Murad Saeed, et al.

perception of the benefits of L1MI for their learning motivation and for teaching and learning university courses in all majors. Statements 8, 9 and 10 refer to the language the respondent designated as their L1 in the first part of the survey, while statement 11 refers specifically to Bahasa Melayu (BM). The L1 of the students may not necessarily be BM, which is the reason for the variance. In the next section (see Table 6.5), students responded to a list of eight statements to indicate their attitudes to classes, which combined English and L1. In Table 6.5 Learners’ attitudes towards mixing English and L1 as MI Statements

Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree


12. I would like the instructor to use both my L1 and English to better understand the lectures. 13. The lecturer’s use of both my L1 and English in the lecture is desirable to me. 14. The lecturer’s use of both my L1 and English in the lecture makes it easy for me to understand the content. 15. Mixing of my LI and English strengthens my English. 16. Using both my L1 and EMI in the lectures will increase my chances of passing the exams. 17. The instructor’s mixing of English and my L1 is not a problem to me. 18. I feel more motivated when the instructor uses both my L1 and English in the lectures. 19. I feel that I can save a lot of time understanding the content when the instructor explains in both my L1 and English. Overall Mean Value

109 (27%)

191 (48%)

79 (20%)

22 (5%)


119 (30%)

204 (51%)

60 (15%)

17 (4%)


163 (41%)

176 (44%)

43 (11%)

16 (4%)


68 (17%)

186 (47%)

114 (29%)

31 (7%)


102 (25%)

195 (49%)

83 (21%)

21 (5%)


133 (33%)

199 (50%)

53 (13%)

15 (4%)


97 (24%)

205 (51%)

83 (21%)

14 (4%)


109 (27.2%)

193 (48.3%)

84 (21%)

14 (3.5%)



Student perspectives in Malaysia 77 this case, the overall attitudes of learners were highly positive (M = 2.9891). Looking at each statement in this part of the survey, the results suggest that the learners’ attitudes towards mixing English and their L1 as the MI for university courses were more positive than their attitudes towards L1MI. This is supported by the three statements (14, 17 & 13), recording the highest mean values in this section of the survey (M = 3.1950, 3.1175 & 3.0525, respectively). It is evident that the learners’ high appreciation of combining English and L1 as the MI is due to the perceived benefits of such mixing of both languages in enabling them to save much time comprehending what they learn (M = 2.9825), facilitating learners’ understanding of the lectures (M = 2.9625), motivating them in learning (M = 2.9475), increasing the possibility of passing the university examinations (M = 2.9400) and finally, strengthening their English (M = 2.7150). All these statements show that the learners’ responses in the strongly agree-agree scale are higher than those in the strongly disagree-disagree scale. On the other hand, students with limited prior exposure to English indicated a strong preference for classes where a mixture of English and L1 was made available. However, as one student noted, it was difficult to decide which language it should be, given the diversity of school backgrounds of students, both local and international. At the same time, code-mixing is not a new phenomenon to students as this appears to have been the norm in all the schools represented. The difference arose in the degrees of exposure to the different languages, where in some schools there seemed to be greater reliance on L1, while in others there were specific initiatives to include the use of English. In Chinese-medium schools, an equal number of hours were given to three languages: Mandarin, BM and English. In general, based on the results of learners’ attitudes towards EMI, L1MI and mixing English and L1 as the MI, the learners’ attitudes towards the three types of MI were positive. The only difference was that while the learners showed highly positive attitudes towards EMI and mixing both English and L1 as the MI, they displayed only moderately positive attitudes towards L1MI. The overall mean values of the three categories of attitudes towards the MI are different with the highest mean value (M = 2.9891) for the learners’ attitudes towards EMI. In determining whether such differences in the three overall mean values of the three types of attitudes towards the MI were significant, we used paired sample t-tests (Table 6.6). The results show that in the three pairs, the mean differences in the overall mean values are significant (P = .000), and in pairs 1 and 3, the differences were highly significant (P < .050). Table 6.6 Paired samples test Pair

Paired Samples


Sig. (2-tailed)

1 2

Attitudes towards EMI  Attitudes towards L1MI Attitudes towards EMI  Attitudes towards mixing English and L1 Attitudes towards L1MI  Attitudes towards mixing English and L1

399 399

.000 .031





Murad Saeed, et al.

Challenges of EMI The fourth part of the online survey consisted of five statements that addressed the challenges faced by Malaysian university learners when the instructors use EMI vs. L1MI. As shown in Table 6.7, the first three statements (20–22) focus on the challenges faced by the learners in EMI-based lectures. However, the last two statements (23–24) focus on the challenges in L1MI-based lectures. The results indicate that, overall, Malaysian learners found it challenging to be taught university courses in only EMI or only L1MI. This is evidenced by the overall mean value of the five statements (M = 2.4420), as it falls in the moderate range (1.50–2.49). The results in Table 6.7 also show that some feeling of embarrassment over their English mistakes in EMI-based lectures was perceived by the respondents as the highest challenge since item 22 scored the second highest mean value (M = 2.6925) with a higher percentage of agreement (18.5% & 42.2%, for strongly agree and agree, respectively), while only 121 respondents (30.3%) stated their disagreement and 36 (9%) showed their strong disagreement with this statement. Statement 24 concerns minimising the use of L1 at universities (M = 2.7175). Regarding this, a higher percentage of responses varied from strongly agreeing (n = 70/17.5%) to agreeing (n = 177/44.2%) with this statement. This means

Table 6.7 Learners’ challenges resulting from EMI vs. L1MI Statements

Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree


20. I feel challenged if/ when the instructor uses English in his/her lectures. 21. I find it difficult to participate in class discussions about the course content in English. 22. I feel embarrassed when I make grammatical mistakes in English discussions in front of my classmates. 23. I find it difficult to participate in any discussions about the course content in my L1. 24. I would like the instructor to minimize the use of my L1 in his/ her lectures. Overall Mean Value

56 (14%)

133 (33%)

144 (36%)

67 (17%)


38 (9.5%)

125 (31.3%)

168 (42.2%)

67 (17%)


74 (18.5%)

169 (42.2%)

121 (30.3%)

36 (9%)


24 (6%)

68 (17%)

211 (53%)

98 (24%)


70 (17.5%)

177 (44.2%)

125 (31.3%)

28 (7%)



Student perspectives in Malaysia 79 that while the use of L1 in lectures may facilitate learners’ understanding of the contents, it is important that its use should be minimised. Yet, using only English as the MI in the lectures represents another challenge for the learners (M = 2.4375) as reported by the 47% of learners (n = 56 & 133 = 189) who said they agreed with this statement. This also supports the learners’ need for mixing English and L1 as the MI in the lectures as previously discussed. With regard to statement 21, the learners also perceived participation in EMIbased lectures more challenging (M = 2.3175) than statement 23, participation in L1MI-based lectures (M = 2.0450). This could be due to the use of English in classroom discussions that poses more challenges for them.

Challenges resulting from mixing English and L1 as the MI The last part of the survey consisted of the six statements (25–30) presented in Table 6.7, which addressed the challenges and issues arising from instructors’ mixing of both English and learners’ L1 as the MI in university lectures. Regarding this, in general, these results support the previous results of the learners’ most positive attitudes towards mixing English and L1 in delivering the lectures. This is because the overall mean value (M = 2.1971), though within the moderate range, is lower than the overall mean value of the challenges resulting from using only EMI or only L1MI. This implies that mixing both English and L1 is less challenging than using only one of them as the MI. Based on these results, one of the most challenging issues arising from mixing English and L1 is the learners’ preference for the instructors’ use of only one language as the MI (M = 2.8500). This is because those whose responses were in the scale of strongly agree – agree represent a higher percentage (23% & 44%) than those whose responses were in the scale of disagree-strongly disagree (28% & 19%). Although these results indicate that the Malaysian learners mostly preferred mixing English and L1, they nevertheless perceived limitations in combining the two languages (M = 2.2125). Another concern regarding mixing English and L1 was the learners’ feeling of confusion (M = 2.1525) and frustration (M = 2.0625). The lowest mean values (M = 1.9775 & 1.9275) were scored by statements (27 & 30) regarding the learners’ perception of mixing both English and L1 as the MI. It can be seen that the learners perceive mixing English and L1 as a challenging issue that weakens their English and at the same time their L1. It makes them somewhat confused and frustrated because it distracts their attention from the instructors’ explanation of the lectures. Nevertheless, mixing English and L1 is less challenging than using only one language. This can be seen from the lower mean values of most of the previous statements as well as the higher percentages of disagreement among learners.

Results of the ANOVA tests We also performed a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) (see Table 6.8) to compare the learners’ three patterns of attitudes towards the MI and the challenges


Murad Saeed, et al.

Table 6.8 Challenges resulting from mixing English and L1 as the MI Statements

Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree


25. The lecturer’s use of only one language in the lecture is beneficial to me. 26. It confuses me when the course instructor teaches in my L1 and English in the same class. 27. Mixing of my L1 and English leads to the weakness of my L1. 28. Mixing of my L1 and English leads to the weakness of my English. 29. I feel frustrated when the instructor uses both my L1 and English during his/her lectures. 30. When the instructor uses my L1 and English in his/ her lectures, I stop paying attention to his/her explanation. Overall Mean Value

92 (23%)

176 (44%)

114 (28%)

19 (5%)


32 (8%)

68 (17%)

230 (57%)

71 (18%)


22 (5.5%)

53 (13%)

220 (55%)

106 (26.5%)


35 (9%)

91 (23%)

200 (50%)

74 (18%)


24 (6%)

63 (16%)

228 (57%)

86 (21%)


27 (7%)

45 (11%)

202 (50.5%)

126 (31.5%)


2. 1971

discussed previously according to their university, secondary school, language(s) used home and the language(s) most comfortably spoken by them. From the results, only two of these independent variables show significant effect on learners’ attitudes and challenges on MI: the learners’ home-spoken languages and most comfortably spoken languages. The eight home-spoken language-based groups’ mean values of the MI attitudes and challenges were not only different, but also statistically significant except for the challenges resulted from mixing English and L1 (P > .050). This implies that the language(s) used at home significantly affects learners’ MI attitudes and challenges. Moreover, those groups speaking only English and English in combination with their L1 had more positive attitudes towards EMI than those groups with only their L1 as a home-spoken language (BM, Tamil or Chinese). For the second significant variable, which is their most comfortably used or

Student perspectives in Malaysia 81 spoken language(s), the results indicate that there are statistically significant differences among the eight groups in terms of their attitudes and challenges in the MI. However, the differences in the mean values of the eight groups’ challenges resulted from mixing English and L1 are not statistically significant (P = .417).

Summary Our investigation revealed that learners’ overall attitudes towards EMI in these four Malaysian universities are highly positive for courses in all majors. Students were keen to raise their standard of English in order to handle readings and research, and EMI classes were also seen as a positive factor in encouraging them to use English outside class. However, the degree of positivity varied according to the language they habitually used outside class. Those who used English as their main language at home or in social situations with their peers had more positive attitudes towards EMI than those who habitually used their L1 outside class. A significant challenge for many students was their embarrassment in making English mistakes in EMI-based lectures, but this was also related to the language spoken outside class, being less of a concern for those students who were accustomed to using English at home or with their peers. Overall, respondents recognised some benefits of using L1MI for their university courses: firstly for the practical reason that it saved much time in understanding course material and it increased their chances of success in university examinations, and secondly because it increased their motivation for learning. Students from BM-medium secondary schools displayed the most positive attitudes towards L1MI. However, all students indicated that while a certain amount of L1 in lectures may facilitate understanding, they thought that L1 use should be minimised. The question of which L1 should be used was problematic. Given the diversity of languages in schools in Malaysia, those from BM-medium schools felt that the L1 should be BM, while those from Chinese medium schools thought that it should be Mandarin. This poses a dilemma for the teacher with a class of students from mixed L1 backgrounds; using EMI would disadvantage a fewer number of students, whereas using BM or Chinese to re-explain information might facilitate understanding for some but be of little use or even further confuse the others. Respondents were highly positive about instructors mixing English and L1 in lectures; mixing was seen as less challenging than using only one language as the MI. They wanted to have their lectures delivered in a mixture of both languages to make the contents of the courses easier to understand and enable them to save time. Again, attitudes differed according to the language habitually used outside class. Those with greater exposure to English appeared ambivalent about the need for mixed medium classes, while students with limited prior exposure to English indicated a strong preference for classes where the teacher used a mixture of EMI and L1. On the other hand, one of the most challenging issues arising from mixing English and L1 is the learners’ preference for the instructors’ use of only one language as the MI. Learners perceived that mixing English and L1 tended to weaken both English and L1, and led to some confusion, frustration, and


Murad Saeed, et al.

distraction. Nevertheless, the results showed that mixing English and L1 was less challenging than using only one language as MI.

Implications This study is a small step in understanding how university students perceive key issues relating to the medium of instruction. They are the most important stakeholders in language planning policy, yet policy makers too often overlook their voices. Students recognise the value of English as an asset in pursuing a successful career, and they are pragmatic in their attitudes towards English in the education system; EMI classes at university are regarded positively, even among those who have low proficiency in the language. The purpose of EMI is well understood and supported by students, and there is little desire by them to have L1 as MI. On the other hand, our data show that all students feel some use of L1 can aid comprehension and speed up learning. Students with poor English skills have a big disadvantage when they begin their undergraduate studies, but despite this, they are motivated to improve their skills and their academic instructors have to think on their feet in adapting to each new cohort. Concerns about the growing dominance of English within universities in nonnative English speaking countries, such as those expressed by Robert Phillipson in his Foreword to this volume, position English as a creeping threat to the vitality of the national language. As he pointed out, The Nordic Parallel Group addresses this concern by explicitly targeting the medium of education in their universities through a list of eleven recommendations, aimed at developing academic competence in the Scandinavian national languages alongside English. It will be interesting to see what effect such proposals have on the use of those national languages in university teaching and research. However, the outcomes may have more potential for success in countries where one national language is indisputable and held as a symbol of national identity by the population as a whole. Conversely, our findings hint at how problematic such an approach may be in a country as linguistically and culturally diverse as Malaysia. Malaysia is dependent on international markets, and so the country is not in a position to downgrade English. The reversal from BM as MI to EMI in 2002 and the 2016 implementation of the Dual Language Programme after the 2011 re-reversal of BM as the MI for all subjects were both due to pressure from employers and academics for pragmatic economic reasons (Omar, 2016; Hasim & Barnard, this volume). Similarly in our study, pragmatism has emerged as the key impulse by the current generation of students to support EMI, which is not seen as a threat to the national language. The difference in attitudes towards EMI depends on the students’ English proficiency, which is largely the result of the MI they experienced during secondary school. EMI may be largely unproblematic for university students on science-based courses arriving from secondary schools where they have already experienced five or more years of English medium instruction but it might well be an issue for students from BM medium secondary schools who have weaker English skills. The latter group felt they could benefit from a more mixed medium approach, but they

Student perspectives in Malaysia 83 still preferred English as the main MI, recognising its value for their future careers, while among the former group there was a recognition of the merits of occasional mixing to speed up the class. Teachers are left to decide how best to deal with these students, but clearly, what is not desirable would be a watering down of the English content of the lessons, since whatever their background, students clearly recognise the need to develop their ability in the language through EMI lessons. A clear implication of this is that appropriate steps need to be taken, once students enter the university, to provide English language tuition to those needing improvement to bring them up to a level where they can follow EMI programmes more easily. Another issue is the mixed linguistic background of students in university classes in Malaysia. Given students’ varying levels of proficiency in BM, it may not always be helpful for BM speaking lecturers to switch languages during class as they would disadvantage students coming from English or Chinese medium schools where BM is taught as a second language. Also, since not all lecturers are L1 BM speakers, their level of proficiency in that language could be a restricting factor in deciding whether to code-switch or not. Conversely, there may also be classes where the majority L1 is not BM, which is more likely to be the case at the private university we investigated. If a Mandarin L1 lecturer were teaching a class of mainly L1 Mandarin students, switching to Mandarin would be of little benefit to the rest of the class. The data also revealed that ‘L1’ is a problematic or slippery term. L1 was defined in the questionnaire as ‘the language you acquired and used at home when you were a child (which is not English).’ A number of respondents made a distinction between this definition of L1, the languages they used at home and the languages they feel most comfortable using. The strongest trend was by students who identify L1 as BM but felt most comfortable using only English or who felt as comfortable in English as they did in BM. This suggests a shift by some Malay families away from BM as the main means of communication and towards English. University students represent the most educated and aspirational sector of society, so these data may be evidence of a trend by Malaysian students away from the national language, which raises a question about the interplay between language and a sense of national identity. As pointed out at the start of this chapter, one aspect of language policy in Malaysia has been to promote social cohesion through the use of BM in the educational system. Any attrition of BM among aspirational middle class Malay families will undermine this policy aim and a further more detailed investigation of this is surely warranted. If students regard English as the language of social and career advancement, how important is L1 to a student’s identity? Do they even think in terms of linguistic identity? Pragmatism again seems to reign regarding utilising a particular language to suit a particular situation. On subsequently questioning some of the participants about this point, there appeared to be little sentimentality about the language of their heritage whatever their background; there seemed to be an attitude that the mother tongue can take care of itself. The preponderance of foundation courses preparing Malaysian students to study at foreign universities, such as the one at the private university we investigated, shows that not only do they recognise the importance of English as an advantage in Malaysia but many have aspirations to study overseas, and


Murad Saeed, et al.

English medium instruction is a crucial element in their achieving this end. This again suggests that they are more concerned about their future than the linguistic health of their mother tongue. In order to find out more about students’ attitudes towards language, identity and their aspirations we are currently conducting interviews and surveys with students at primary and secondary schools and interviews with university students. We hope these will shed more light on young people’s perceptions of themselves and the languages they use inside and outside their classes. While this has been a small study comprising 400 undergraduates at four Malaysian universities, it throws up important points for consideration: firstly, policymakers can ill afford to overlook the voices of young people when deciding on matters that affect their destiny and the future of this country. A recent development plan, the National Transformation Programme 2050, addresses the need for development plans to be inclusive of youth voices. Education and language policies should be crucial sites where youth voices need to be engaged to decide on matters that affect their future. Secondly, and concomitant with that, even as policymakers continue to talk about cultural and national identity, young people are articulating an urgency regarding a third and more pressing identity as global citizens. The increasing presence of global nomads and transnational identities are becoming realities for Malaysia’s youth. The question is whether universities are adequately prepared to help young Malaysians attain the necessary skills to negotiate such future hurdles.

References Ariffin, K., & Husin, S. M. (2011). Code-switching and code-mixing of English and Bahasa Malaysia in content-based classrooms: Frequency and attitudes. Linguistics Journal, 5(1), 220–247. Belhiah, H., & Elhami, M. (2015). English as a medium of instruction in the Gulf: When students and teachers speak. Language Policy, 14(1), 3–23. Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Ellili-Cherif, M., & Alkhateeb, H. (2015). College students’ attitude toward the medium of instruction: Arabic versus English dilemma. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(3), 207–213. Gill, S. K. (2004). Medium-of-instruction policy in higher education in Malaysia: Nationalism versus internationalization. In J. W. Tollefson & A. B. M. Tsui (Eds.), Medium of instruction policies: Which agenda? Whose agenda? (pp. 135–152). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gill, S. K. (2012). The complexities of re-reversal of language-in-education policy in Malaysia. In A. Kirkpatrick & R. Sussex (Eds.), English as an international language in Asia: Implications for language education (pp. 45–61). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Hashim, A., & Leitner, G. (2016). English in language education policies and planning in Malaysia. In A. H. Omar (Ed.), Languages in the Malaysian education system: Monolingual strands in multilingual settings (pp. 46–62). New York, NY: Routledge.

Student perspectives in Malaysia 85 Ministry of Education. (2012). Malaysia education blueprint 2013–2025: Preliminary report – executive summary. Putrajaya, Malaysia: Educational Data Sector Educational Planning and Research Division Ministry of Education Malaysia. Ministry of Education. (2016). Malaysia educational statistics July 2016. Putrajaya, Malaysia: Educational Data Sector Educational Planning and Research Division Ministry of Education Malaysia. National Transformation Policy 2050. Retrieved from: https://mytn50.com/?language=eng Omar, A. H. (2016). Positioning languages in the Malaysian education system. In A. H. Omar (Ed.), Languages in the Malaysian education system: Monolingual strands in multilingual settings (pp. 1–31). New York, NY: Routledge. Ong, P. L., Sivapalan, S., Badariah, S., Marsitah, M. R., Shazlin, A. H., & Ong, P. H. (2013). Tracking the pathways of education in Malaysia: Roots and routes. Asian Social Science, 9(10), 93–104. Sultana, S. (2014). English as a medium of instruction in Bangladesh’s higher education: Empowering or disadvantaging students? Asian EFL Journal, 16(1), 11–52. Tan, Y. S., & Sezali, M. D. (2015). The emergence and widening of ethnic divide in the Malaysian educational system. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre.

Appendix Schooling systems in Malaysia

Reprinted by kind permission of Ong et al. (2013)


The spread of English Medium Instruction programmes Educational and research implications Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo

Introduction The spread of EMI programmes in South East Asian (SEA) universities as witnessed and documented by the authors in this volume has led to a whole array of challenges and dilemmas. Frequently a higher education institute adopts English medium instruction (EMI) mainly for the symbolic prestige associated with the hegemonic discourses of internationalisation, globalisation and market forces or financial need. The decision of adopting EMI in many higher education programmes is thus based on the myth that EMI will bring about greater prestige to the higher education institute rather than on educational principles informed by applied linguistics and educational research. The result is a lack of clear institutional policies for ensuring that the institutional conditions for the successful implementation of EMI are in place. Of great concern are the widely observed challenges across different South East Asian university contexts where EMI has been adopted. These challenges include lack of adequate preparation of teachers, lack of language support to students, and lack of a set of research-informed principles regarding how EMI curricula, pedagogy and assessment can be designed in locally and culturally sensitive ways. In this chapter, we shall outline the key areas in which further research and intervention is urgently needed. We shall conclude with a call for deconstructing the myth of the prestige of EMI and for the cautious re-examination of what is at risk if EMI is adopted without adequate teacher preparation and institutional staffing resources.

Key areas that need urgent research and intervention In this section, we shall outline the key areas where what is at stake is high if research and intervention does not catch up with the rapid spread of EMI in South East Asian university contexts. We shall focus on three main areas: the integration of language support into content teaching; the pedagogical content knowledge of EMI teachers; and the role of familiar local languages and resources in EMI classrooms. The main challenges and research directions are discussed in each area.


Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo

How to integrate language support into EMI content teaching While there has been a long tradition of research and scholarship in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and a rich literature on the analysis of research writing; e.g., how to do hedging, how to do citations, how to indicate one’s stance in research writing/dissertations (Hyland, 2000, 2016; Kwan, 2006; Kwan, Chan & Lam, 2012), the issue of how to integrate language support into content teaching at the undergraduate programme and curriculum implementation level has not featured prominently in the EAP research literature. This is perhaps due to the general institutional arrangement in many universities, where a Language Centre or English Centre is set up to specially provide EAP courses for university students from different disciplines. These EAP courses are usually general academic English courses (e.g., writing academic papers) or academic English courses linked to a cluster of cognate disciplines (e.g., English for Science and Engineering students; English for Arts and Humanities students). The teaching staff of the Language/English Centre are usually applied/educational linguists or TESOL professionals. Housed in the Language Centre/English Centre, the language teaching staff are often not seen as academic professorial staff and are usually not housed in any academic Faculties (with some exceptions, e.g., at the University of Hong Kong, the Centre for Applied English Studies is part of the Faculty of Arts, and the Centre can offer master’s and doctoral programmes). This separation makes it difficult for language specialists to collaborate with content specialists in concerted efforts to integrate language support into content teaching in disciplinary major courses. Also, the hierarchical power relations (e.g., professorial staff usually rank higher in status and salary than Language Centre teaching staff) can inhibit the egalitarian collaboration which is needed for designing curriculums that have a strong integration of language learning and content learning. Another issue has to do with student attitudes towards Language Centre courses. Usually these courses do not count towards their Major Subject GPA, and they are not taken seriously by students in general (Lin, 2016). All these institutional hierarchical arrangements have made it difficult for language specialists and content specialists to collaborate to promote writing in the disciplines or disciplinary academic literacies. However, close collaboration between content specialists and language specialists is possible, if only rarely – e.g., in the adjunct course or linked course model, as Lin (2016) delineates: The Adjunct/Linked Course Model . . . seems to approximate my ideal of a fully integrated programme model but the dual focus is dealt with in separate courses linked closely together. Under this model, students take a content course taught by a subject content teacher (similar to the arrangement in submersion or immersion programmes) but at the same time they also take an adjunct/linked language course which provides explicit instruction on the subject-specific language genres and features that are required to do the readings, write the assignments, participate in the discussions and do the presentations in the linked content course. The content teacher and

The spread of EMI programmes 89 the language teacher work closely together and the language course is tailored to prepare students for meeting the language demands of the content course. The adjunct/linked course is sometimes called a parallel or companion course in some institutions. The adjunct model is usually found in postsecondary (i.e. tertiary level) institutions, where a language teacher (usually in the Language Centre of the institution) works closely with a content teacher (usually a content specialist in an academic department) in developing the curriculum of the adjunct course. (Lin, 2016, p. 150) The adjunct/linked course model first received attention in the TESOL and EAP literature in the late 1980s (Snow & Brinton, 1988; Benesch, 1988). However, in the recent EAP literature, this research topic has not received much attention. A search using ‘linked course’ or ‘adjunct course’ as keywords in the Journal of English for Academic Purposes (JEAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) journal in the past fifteen years has yielded only four entries (Johns & Swales, 2002; Bruce, 2002; Arnó-Macià & Mancho-Barés, 2015; Cai, 2016). This might be due to the difficulty in setting up linked/adjunct courses in traditional institutional arrangements (see previous discussion). In South East Asian contexts, attention to how to implement integration of language support into EMI content course teaching at the undergraduate level is especially important as many undergraduate students are new to EMI and they are still struggling at the level of understanding disciplinary content. In face of these challenges, we propose urgent attention to the following research directions: 1


Intensive research on possible ways of facilitating collaboration between content teachers and language teachers in EMI programmes in South East Asian universities is called for. This research will need to examine and connect institutional policy and staffing hierarchy issues with curriculum and pedagogical design issues. Different possible programme and curriculum models can be tried out and designed with reference to the specificities of different contexts; e.g. linked/adjunct course (Cai, 2016; Lai, 2018), shadow course (Bruce, 2002), on-line companion course (Mahboob & Dutcher, 2014; Mahboob, Chan & Webster, 2013), with the overall aim to generate principles regarding how to design feasible programmes and curriculums to cater for different configurations of contextual features and needs. Since many universities in South East Asia are newcomers in EMI, they might be more amenable to trying out new programme models and curriculum designs that are conducive to the integration of content and language learning (c.f. recent CLIL and ESP studies in Spain – see Arnó-Macià & Mancho-Barés, 2015). The implementation level must move up from the level of individual course or ad-hoc partnership to departmental and institutional level (Anson, 2006) for it to have a sustainable impact on student learning. Transdisciplinary collaborative research is needed between researchers from different traditions of applied linguistics, educational linguistics and textual/


Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo genre analysis and researchers from different traditions of learning environment design, curriculum planning and development and assessment design. This is needed to translate the rich linguistic and genre analysis (Coffin & Donohue, 2012) into teacher-usable content-and-language-integrated curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and feedback designs (Anson, 2006; Byrnes, 2008; Mahboob & Dutcher, 2014; Mahboob, 2015; Flowerdew & Costley, 2016; Lin, 2016).

The challenges witnessed in the EMI programmes in many South East Asian universities point to the compounding difficulty created by lack of wellprepared EMI content teachers. Both the quantity and quality of EMI teachers is an issue as many South East Asian universities are rushing to start some EMI programmes (see Chapter 3 by Barnard and Zuwati, this volume). Often the universities offering EMI programmes just request existing faculty members to offer courses in EMI, or hire expatriate staff to teach these courses, without any systematic policy and institutional approach to ensuring that these teachers are well-prepared and well-supported for teaching in EMI programmes and classes. In the next section, we shall look at the challenges and research directions in this area.

The pedagogical content knowledge required of EMI content teachers Many of the contributors to this volume have spoken to the fact that not all content teachers who can speak English will be competent EMI teachers. The pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for EMI content teaching involves much more than the simple addition of content knowledge and English language proficiency (Lin, 2016). This has, however, been an area seldom touched upon in the EAP and ESP research literature so far, perhaps due to the fact that EAP and ESP researchers in many English-speaking countries are usually located in the English Centre or Language Centre outside of academic Faculties in the university, and find it difficult to influence the teaching of academic professors (see the discussion in the previous section). However, in many South East Asian universities, as they are starting to introduce EMI programmes and courses, there arises a golden opportunity to introduce the concept of the required PCK for EMI teaching – i.e., not every professor/lecturer can do EMI content teaching; a university teacher needs to go through professional preparation to equip him/ herself with the necessary teacher knowledge base for EMI teaching. This begs the questions of what constitutes a teacher’s knowledge base. Based on Shulman’s (1986) research, the teacher knowledge base consists of the following categories: • • • •

content knowledge, general pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, curriculum knowledge,

The spread of EMI programmes 91 • • •

knowledge of educational contexts, knowledge of learners, as well as knowledge of educational ends, purposes, and values, and their philosophical and historical grounds.

Of central importance is pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which refers to “ways of representing and formulating the subject that make it comprehensible to others” (Shulman, 1986, p. 9). In EMI contexts in South East Asian universities, where a discipline’s content is taught in English, which is usually the foreign or additional language of the students, how to represent and co-construct the discipline’s content with students in ways that make the content learning and co-construction processes comprehensible and meaningful to students becomes the most important research question. To address this research question, we can draw on the recent literature developed on teacher language awareness (TLA) for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in school contexts (Andrews & Lin, 2018): From SFL [systemic functional linguistics] perspectives, language and content are always already integrated, as language is the primary semiotic (meaningmaking) resource to construe (i.e. to construct and understand) content (Halliday & Martin, 1993). In light of this and in the specific CLIL context, what do we mean when we talk about integrating content and language learning? The key to understanding this is to differentiate between using subject-specific language to teach content on the one hand, and teaching subject-specific language to talk about content on the other. That is, when we ask the question: how can teachers integrate content learning with language learning, the focus is a pedagogical one (Dalton-Puffer, 2013). TLA thus encompasses both using and teaching the language of content areas. (Andrews & Lin, 2018, p. 16) Lindahl and Watkins (2015) have proposed three domains of TLA: User, Analyst and Teacher. The User domain consists of language proficiency and implicit and procedural knowledge of how to use language in discipline-specific ways. The Analyst domain consists of knowledge about language (forms and functions) and explicit, metalinguistic knowledge about the languages and literacies of the disciplines. The Teacher domain consists of pedagogical content knowledge, general pedagogical knowledge, and second/foreign/additional language (L2) education knowledge as well as empathy with L2 learner experience. EMI teacher preparation thus needs to enable EMI teachers to develop TLA in all these three domains: to become competent users, analysts and teachers of discipline-specific language. So far, we cannot find published research on these issues in the higher education EAP/ESP literature; there is thus an urgent need for the following research directions: 1

What is the nature of the teacher knowledge base required in EMI teaching in South East Asian university contexts?

92 2

3 4

Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo How does the content teacher’s knowledge base (e.g., TLA) and teacher beliefs shape, and are also shaped by, the transformation of teacher identity (e.g., transforming from the identity of a university professor to the identity of a university professor who teaches both the discipline’s content and the discipline’s special languages and literacies)? What kind of institutional policies and arrangements can provide incentives for such transformation? What role does teacher professional development play and how to develop feasible professional development models that engage university professors in such transformation?

As the teacher’s knowledge base also includes knowledge of learners, effective EMI teachers should have the ability to empathise with their students. It becomes highly important, especially in South East Asian university contexts where many learners are still struggling with English as a foreign language, that universities and teachers are informed by a strong research base about the role of familiar or local languages in EMI classrooms. It is to this topic that we shall turn in the next section.

The role of familiar, local languages and indigenous cultural resources in EMI classrooms The authors in this volume have testified to the need to have a set of researchinformed policies and principles regarding the use of languages/varieties/accents in EMI classrooms and assessments. As Barnard and Zuwati (this volume) put it, classroom input, interaction and output in every EMI context [in South East Asian universities] will be a mélange of English (and first language) varieties. Perhaps this matter becomes more acute when it comes to assessing students’ learning. Dearden’s respondents described exams and assessment as being problematic: “What language should exams be in? What form should they take? Do teachers have a sufficiently high level of English to write and mark exams? What is being assessed, the English or the subject content?” (p. 26). There are also worries that EMI will post threats to local languages and educational cultures; as one of the respondents to Dearden’s survey puts it: In countries wanting to protect their home language, it was also thought that students graduating from university to work in business, engineering and medicine should have a deep knowledge of the language in the country where they live. (Dearden, 2014, p. 18) There are also concerns that EMI presents a threat to the home language, which might lose its academic functions. Pedagogic methods appropriate to EMI might

The spread of EMI programmes 93 also conflict with the local educational cultures. These multifarious contextual specificities speak to the need for a set of educational research-based principles that can help the different parties involved (university authorities, teachers, students, parents) to make well-informed decisions about various pedagogical and assessment designs in ways that can expand students’ linguistic and cultural repertoires without reproducing hegemonic linguistic and cultural hierarchies. In the following paragraphs, we shall first discuss insights from the recent literature on translanguaging and plurilingualism for EMI higher education. Then we shall propose the Multimodalities-Entextualisation Cycle (MEC) (Lin, 2015, 2016) as a set of research-based principles to inform university policy makers, teachers and curriculum designers faced with complex decisions in their specific contexts striving to ensure the healthy development of students’ native languages, cultures, identities as well as giving them access to the target academic content and academic language.

Recent literature on translanguaging and plurilingualism Translanguaging or trawsieithu was a term originally coined in Welsh (Williams, 1994) to refer to a pedagogical practice in bilingual education that deliberately changed the language of input and the language of output. Lewis, Jones and Baker (2012) point out that translanguaging refers to using one language to reinforce the other in order to increase understanding and augment the student’s activity in both languages. Colin Baker, a leading scholar in the field of bilingual education, has documented how translanguaging helped students make meaning and gain understandings and knowledge. ‘To read and discuss a topic in one language, and then to write about it in another language, means that the subject matter has to be processed and “digested” ’ (Baker, 2011, p. 289). Baker (2001) mentions four potential educational advantages to translanguaging: 1 2 3 4

It may promote a deeper and fuller understanding of the subject matter. It may help the development of the weaker language. It may facilitate home-school links and cooperation. It may help the integration of fluent speakers with early learners.

Along with the Welsh scholars who questioned the long-held belief in language separation for language development, recent literature on bilingual education has rejected the view of bilingualism as the addition of two separate languages or the monolingual teaching approach that assumes that bilingualism can best be developed through parallel monolingualisms (Creese & Blackledge, 2010; García & Li, 2014; García & Lin, 2016; Lin & He, 2017). The past two decades have witnessed a plurilingual and dynamic turn in applied linguistics. The notions of plurilingualism and plurilingual competence are starting to change ‘a field that has traditionally been dominated by reified conceptualisations of multilingualism that view bi/multilingualism as balanced and complete competence in discrete


Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo

codes’ (Marshall & Moore, 2013, p. 472). Plurilingualism stresses that a person can become plurilingual without the need to be a balanced bilingual. The Council of Europe (2001) defines plurilingualism not as fixed competencies, but as the ability to mobilise multiple linguistic resources arising from desire or need, and changing over time along the social trajectories that individuals take. Thus, plurilinguals may have partial mastery of the registers, styles and genres of different languages, but still view it as an enriching component of their overall plurilingual repertoire. The plurilingual and dynamic turn in applied linguistics is gaining increasing momentum as poststructuralism is given a new twist by new materiality ontologies and assemblage theories (Clark, 1997; Thibault, 1997; de Landa, 2006; Cowley, 2006) culminating in the recent Distributed Language View (DLV) (Thibault, 2011). DLV focuses the researcher’s attention on distributed and spatial repertoires (Makoni & Pennycook, 2007; Otsuji & Pennycook, 2010; Pennycook, 2016; Canagarajah, 2017). The DLV emphasises distributed, situated repertoires (including both human bodies and non-human objects and artefacts) and disrupts the monolithic view of language as stable, bounded codes (e.g., named languages). Plurilingualism and translanguaging (García & Li, 2014) thus have the potential to disrupt the hierarchy of named languages and the global dominance of English as multilingualism is now often understood as another language or languages plus English – i.e., an ‘English plus’ multilingualism (García & Lin, forthcoming). As a number of contributors to this volume point out, there are rising concerns about the threat that EMI can pose to local languages and educational cultures. A plurilingual and translanguaging approach to EMI will stand a chance of countering the threats arising from the rapid spread of EMI in South East Asian university contexts (c.f. Carroll & Mazak, 2017). The translanguaging and plurilingual view is supported in a recent study by Mazak and Herbas-Donoso (2015), who describe in detail one professor’s translanguaging practices in an undergraduate science course at an officially bilingual university in Puerto Rico. Their analysis shows that translanguaging was strategic, dynamic, and woven through the presentation of academic content. Translanguaging helps to apprentice the Spanish-dominant students into English for scientific purposes. For instance, translanguaging helped students appropriate scientific concepts and terminology, giving them access to the global scientific communities, as they could later do library and web searches that would give more results in English. In one of the examples documented by the researchers, students were given the assignment to read a scientific article written in English about using fish to control aquatic weeds. The professor translanguaged English key terms within Spanish talk-around-text during the classroom discussion; as the researchers delineate: After some discussion in Spanish the professor introduced a key technical term that he kept in English, ‘stocking rates,’ explaining in Spanish what the term meant in reference to the article. Then he explained the methodology used in the paper, that is synthesized with the key term ‘stocking rates.’ He

The spread of EMI programmes 95 mentioned that determining ‘stocking rates’ was exactly what the authors did and he emphasized the importance of knowing how the plants grow for the exam. (Mazak & Herbas-Donoso, 2015, p. 709) The fluid movement between English text and Spanish discussion provides a useful de-briefing of the science content in the English text. In this instance of translanguaging of the key term ‘stocking rates’, students are helped to deepen their understanding of the term while at the same time gaining access to the larger scientific conversation (which is in English) about the content. Another recent study by He, Lai and Lin (2017) analyses how a Chinesespeaking mathematics education professor translanguaged in his PowerPoint presentation in a seminar in an EMI university and successfully communicated with a multilingual audience with diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Below we provide a short excerpt from their analysis (He et al., 2017, pp. 97–104) to illustrate how translanguaging together with use of multimodalities (e.g., visuals, flow charts, gestures) can help achieve academic content communication even though the professor has only a partial mastery of English (i.e., he is stronger in written English than spoken English; while his PowerPoint has both English and Chinese in different slides; his spoken presentation is largely in Mandarin Chinese):

Different variations in math teaching Standard Variation Positive Variation Conceptual Variation 㥩⿜『⎿⻶

Non-standard Variation Negative Variation Variation as scaffold in mathematics teaching

Procedural Variation 微䧲『⎿⻶

Trilogy with variations Variation as step-stone in problem-solving

Figure 7.1 Slide 3 From He et al., 2017, p. 98


Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo

In Slide 3, the Chinese terms for the English mathematics terms ‘conceptual variation’ and ‘procedural variation’ were given in brackets. Thus, Chinese scaffolded English mathematics lexis acquisition. The juxtaposition of Chinese and English on the PowerPoint slide helped develop the audience’s bilingual academic terminology and helped enrich their semantic associations of the key mathematics terms. Because of the abstractness of the theme ‘trilogy with variations’ in the second aspect of procedural variation (Slide 9), Professor Liu provided its Chinese translation, 变式三部曲, to facilitate the understanding of those in the audience who might not be familiar with the discourse of English mathematics. A graphic organiser with arrows formed an animated flowchart indicating the sequence of the procedural variation. This was accompanied by the sequential logical connectors 首先 [first], 然后 [then], 第一步 [Step 1], 第二步 [Step 2], and 最后 [finally], highlighted in Professor Liu’s oral presentation to clarify the logical sequence in the ‘trilogy with variations.’ Although the verbal information in the PowerPoint was basically in English, the speaker labelled the key mathematics problem solving steps using an easy-to-remember 4-character phrase pattern in Chinese, ‘一. . . 多 . . . ,’ (one . . . multiple . . .). These labels were placed beside the corresponding arrow that led to the steps in the graphic organiser. By doing so, the heading ‘Trilogy with variations (变式三部曲)’ was clarified by the logical relationships between the mnemonic 4-character key phrases: 一题多解 (using different methods to solve the problem), 一题多变 (extending the problem to different variations) and 一法多用 (applying the solution to different situations).

Trilogy with variations (变式三部曲) Applying the solutions to different situations

Original problem


一题多变 Figure 7.2 Slide 9 From He et al., 2017, p. 103


Using different methods to solve the problem

Extending the problem to different variations

The spread of EMI programmes 97 To demonstrate how ‘trilogy with variations’ operates in practical mathematics teaching, examples of 一题多解, 一题多变, and 一法多用 were provided in the subsequent slides. (The paragraphs in the previous section are excerpted and summarised from He et al., 2017, pp. 97–103.) The previous examples and other recent studies of translanguaging in higher education collected in Carroll and Mazak (2017) show how we can adopt a plurilingual, pragmatic approach to EMI. We can see that depending on the staffing resources/constraints in a specific university context, policy makers and curriculum designers can adjust their English learning goals; e.g., to enable students to achieve bilingual academic literacy (rather than oracy) as the main learning (and assessment) goal. This adjustment of programme goals (as long as they are made clear and explicit to all parties concerned) is especially suitable in universities where their professors are stronger in academic written English than in spoken English, while they still want to provide their students with some access to bilingual academic literacy in their discipline. In sum, the principle is that monolingualism and full mastery of every aspect of English academic language should not be the only option made available to programme designers in South East Asian contexts. Flexible adjustment of the English learning and assessment goals, provided that these goals are made explicit and clear to all parties concerned, can be one strategy to respond realistically to the specific needs, cultures and constraints of different university contexts. While critics might charge that this is not EMI in its original sense (i.e., monolingual EMI), we can respond with the reply that this flexible, pragmatic approach to EMI can be seen as a kind of ‘EMI with Asian characteristics.’

The Multimodalities-Entextualisation Cycle (MEC) as a curriculum planning resource To help students access target academic content and target language while at the same time building on and validating the familiar linguistic and cultural resources that students bring with them to the EMI classroom, Lin (2015) proposes the Multimodalities-Entextualisation Cycle (MEC) as a curriculum genre to inform curriculum planners and teachers. The MEC involves shifting between different kinds of textual and multimodal mediation of academic content and experience. The core processes involved in the MEC are represented in Figures 7.3–7.4. The MEC can be reiterated until the target LAC/CLIL goals have been achieved; the amount of L1/local languages used can vary depending on the needs of the students. The MEC has been tried out in a recent study by Siu, Tong and Pun (2017),1 who designed and taught a ‘Sociology and Culture’ adjunct course in a community college in Hong Kong. Seventy-one students majoring in the discipline of Sociology and Culture (SC) were provided with a 13-week adjunct course to scaffold their English language skills in using academic genres and texts. In Stage 1 of the MEC, multimodal learning resources such


Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo

Using mainly multimodalities (e.g., visuals, images, YouTube videos, diagrams, demonstrations, actions, inquiry/discovery activities, experiments, etc.)

res en cg mi de n) d ca ) a sig ide de rov es, en p m ritt tal /w imen olds e fra ) s f en ok per caf tenc late (sp ., ex ge s sen emp t , .g a L2 e ( gu cab ing ing lan y vo peak Us e th wi .g., k ting/s (e writ

2. Engage Ss in reading & note-making


3. Engage Ss in entextualizing the experience

ing d L1 iffe /L2 ren t s (e. pok com g., en bi n / b mi iling writ atio nd ua ten ns ma l/n o t ps ote exts f ev , v s, e isu gra and ryd als ph m ay , c ic ult an om org im d a ics an od ca , e ize alit de tc. rs, ies m ic )

1. Create a rich experiential context

Figure 7.3 The Multimodalities-Entextualisation Cycle (MEC) (Key: Ss = students) From Lin, 2015, p. 86; with graphic design improved by Vera Sun

as YouTube videos reporting live social experiments in relation to local social phenomena and TED Talk speeches delivered by native English-speaking Sociologists were used. In Stage 2 of the MEC, students were also exposed to a wide range of semiotic resources in textual forms, still and moving visual images, along with audio-visual messages and other cultural elements embedded in Sociologyrelated multi-modal discourses. For instance, Sociology students were informed about how case studies and seminar presentations are conventionally conducted for sociological inquiries. In Stage 3 of the MEC, students drafted and delivered their presentations in English. In the curriculum design of this adjunct course, the effectiveness and pedagogical value of the Multimodalities-Entextualisation Cycle (MEC) (Lin, 2015) to integrate verbal, written and visual languages was analysed. With a host of L2 Content and Language Integrated Learning strategies, SC students were guided to shuttle between different forms of textual and

The spread of EMI programmes 99

Core Process 1: Create a rich experiential context to arouse students’ interest, and immerse the students in the content topic field using multimodalities (e.g., visuals, images, YouTube videos, diagrams, demonstrations, actions, inquiry/discovery activities, experiments, etc.) Core Process 2 : Engage the students in reading and note-making tasks that require some systematic ‘sorting out’ or re-/presentation of the experience gained from the above using different kinds/combinations of everyday L1/local language/L2 spoken/written texts and multimodalities (e.g., (bilingual) notes, graphic organisers, mind maps, visuals, diagrams, pictures, oral description, story-boards, comics, etc.) Core Process 3: Engage students in entextualising the experience using L1/local language/L2 (spoken/written) academic genres (e.g., experimental design) with language scaffolds provided (e.g., key vocab, sentence-generating tables, writing and speaking templates) Figure 7.4 Core processes involved in the MEC

multimodal mediation of academic literacy to entextualise (Bauman & Briggs, 1990; Iedema, 2003) the meanings embedded in different academic genres and texts. As Siu, Tong and Pun (2017) put it: In the MEC, students are designers of meanings in a three-stage multimodal classroom. First, with the aid of multimodal tools, such as visual graphics, images, YouTube videos and role-play activities, students developed an initial access to sociological issues, like the social and cultural implications of priority seats in Hong Kong. Next, students were engaged with different reading and note-making tasks. The meaning-making processes in sociological inquiries involve “re-presentation of L2 textual meaning using different kinds/ combinations of everyday L1/ L2 spoken/ written genres and multimodalities” (Lin, 2015, p. 26), ranging from the use of bilingual notes, oral descriptions to visual diagrams. Finally, students were exposed to a rich context of entextualisation, using concrete language scaffolding tools, such as discipline-specific vocabulary lists, key sentence frames and writing/ speaking prompts, L2 written/ spoken academic genres, to write up a case analysis and deliver seminar presentations. (Siu, Tong & Pun, 2017, Slide 1)


Angel M. Y. Lin and Yuen Yi Lo

Compared with students without taking this adjunct course, all students taking this adjunct course were found by their content teacher to show better performance in their continuous assessment tasks in their Sociology content course, which involved group presentation and case analysis. In addition, in some seminar presentation assignments in the content course, students were allowed the flexibility to choose whether to use English or Cantonese (their mother tongue) to deliver their presentation orally. Compared with students from other programmes (who had not taken this adjunct course), more SC students were willing to choose English as their medium of delivery in their content seminar presentation assignments. It suggests that SC students taking the adjunct courses have built up better confidence in using English for completing their assignments (Siu, Tong & Pun, 2017). The MEC is meant to be a heuristic tool for teachers to think about how to design systematic scaffolding (Gibbons, 2009) of EMI students and can be flexibly adapted to suit different specific contexts. For example, largely monolingual content teachers (e.g., monolingual in English) can adapt the MEC for use if they can draw on the support of a bilingual teaching assistant or an advanced bilingual student to help them select a range of suitable texts and media related to the content topic in both L1 and L2. As for content teachers who are more confident in their written English than spoken English, they can also adapt the MEC for use by adopting L2 academic presentation video clips/media for use in class. With the growing facilitation of new media and digital technologies, a teacher’s linguistic and cultural repertoire can be considerably extended and augmented with multiple multimodal and plurilingual resources. This resonates with the focus in recent literature on new materiality and assemblage theories of spatial repertoires.

Conclusion In this chapter, we have outlined the educational and research implications of the challenges arising from the rapid spread of EMI in universities in South East Asia. Acknowledging that there are no easy solutions to these challenges, we propose a critical, pragmatic approach (Harwood & Hadley, 2004; Janks, 2004) to EMI. The spread of EMI in South East Asia speaks to the rising hegemony of Englishdominant discourses and global market forces. Increasingly university students in South East Asia find themselves put into a position where they are required to acquire some form of EMI education. From a critical perspective, we need to deconstruct the hierarchy of languages and literacies and raise teachers, students, parents and policy makers’ critical awareness that English is not superior to their local, familiar languages and literacies. From a pragmatic perspective, we also need to continue to explore innovative ways of integrating content learning with language learning through research on curriculum, assessment and teacher preparation designs. Embracing EMI without this critical consciousness will bring about more educational harm than good to students and teachers. We hope that the research directions outlined in this chapter will contribute to this collective effort.

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Note 1 The study of Siu, Tong and Pun (2017) drew on data from a larger research project entitled Supporting Students’ Academic Discourse Development in Sub-degree Programmes: An Adjunct Language-across-the-curriculum Instructional Model led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Esther Tong, and funded by the Language Fund under Research and Development Projects 2015–16 of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR), Hong Kong SAR.

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Cowley, S. J. (2006). Language and biosemiosis: A necessary unity? Semiotica, 162(1/4), 417–444. Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? Modern Language Journal, 94(1), 103–115. Dalton-Puffer, C. (2013). A construct of cognitive discourse functions for conceptualising content-language integration in CLIL and multilingual education. European Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(2), 216–253. Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: A growing global phenomenon. London, England: The British Council. De Landa, M. (2006). A new philosophy of society: Assemblage theory and social complexity. London, England: Continuum. Flowerdew, J., & Costley, T. (Eds.). (2016). Discipline-specific writing: Theory into practice. London, England: Routledge. García, O., & Li, W. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan. García, O., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2016). Translanguaging in bilingual education. In O. García, A. M. Y. Lin, & S. May (Eds.), Bilingual and multilingual education (Encyclopedia of language and education) (pp. 117–130). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. García, O., & Lin, A. M. Y. (forthcoming). English and multilingualism: A contested history. In P. Seargent (Ed.), Routledge handbook of English language studies. London, England: Routledge. Gibbons, P. (2009). English learners, academic literacy, and thinking: Learning in the challenge zone. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Halliday, M. A. K., & Martin, J. R. (1993). Writing science: Literacy and discursive power. London, England: The Falmer Press. Harwood, N., & Hadley, G. (2004). Demystifying institutional practices: Critical pragmatism and the teaching of academic writing. English for Specific Purposes, 23(4), 355–377. He, P., Lai, H., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2017). Translanguaging in a multimodal mathematics presentation. In C. M. Mazak & K. S. Carroll (Eds.), Translanguaging in higher education: Beyond monolingual ideologies (pp. 91–120). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Hyland, K. (2000). Disciplinary discourses: Social interactions in academic writing. Harlow, England: Longman. Hyland, K. (2016). Teaching and researching writing (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. Iedema, R. (2003). Multimodality, resemiotization: Extending the analysis of discourse as multi-semiotic practice. Visual Communication, 2(1), 29–57. Janks, H. (2004). The access paradox. English in Australia, 139(1), 33–42. Johns, A. M., & Swales, J. M. (2002). Literacy and disciplinary practices: Opening and closing perspectives. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 1(1), 13–28. Kwan, B. S. (2006). The schematic structure of literature reviews in doctoral theses of applied linguistics. English for Specific Purposes, 25(1), 30–55. Kwan, B. S., Chan, H., & Lam, C. (2012). Evaluating prior scholarship in literature reviews of research articles: A comparative study of practices in two research paradigms. English for Specific Purposes, 31(3), 188–201. Lai, H. (2018). A genre-based linked course in scaffolding emergent academic writers: Genre awareness, content development, and positive learner identity making. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong.

The spread of EMI programmes 103 Lewis, G., Jones, B., & Baker, C. (2012). Translanguaging: Origins and development from school to street and beyond. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(7), 641–654. Lin, A. M. Y. (2015). Conceptualizing the potential role of L1 in content and language integrated learning (CLIL). Language, Culture and Curriculum, 28(1), 74–89. Lin, A. M. Y. (2016). Language across the curriculum and CLIL in English as an additional language (EAL) contexts: Theory and practice. Singapore: Springer. Lin, A. M. Y., & He, P. (2017). Translanguaging as dynamic activity flows in CLIL classrooms. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 16(4), 228–244. Lindahl, K. M., & Watkins, N. M. (2015). Creating a culture of language awareness in content-based contexts, TESOL Journal, 6(4), 777–789. Mahboob, A. (2015). Understanding and providing ‘cohesive’ and ‘coherent’ feedback on writing. Writing & Pedagogy, 7(2), 401–422. Mahboob, A., Chan, A., & Webster, J. (2013). Evaluating the SLATE project. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 7, 125–139. Mahboob, A., & Dutcher, L. (2014). Dynamic approach to language proficiency: A model. In A. Mahboob & L. Barratt (Eds.), Englishes in multilingual contexts (pp. 117–136). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Makoni, S., & Pennycook, A. (2007). Disinventing and reconstituting languages. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters. Marshall, S., & Moore, D. (2013). 2B or not 2B plurilingual? Navigating languages, literacies, and plurilingual competence in postsecondary education in Canada. TESOL Quarterly, 47(3), 472–499. Mazak, C. M., & Herbas-Donoso, C. (2015). Translanguaging practices at a bilingual university: A case study of a science classroom. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(6), 698–714. Otsuji, E., & Pennycook, A. (2010). Metrolingualism: Fixity, fluidity and language in flux. International Journal of Multilingualism, 7(3), 240–254. Pennycook, A. (2016). Posthumanist applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, amw016. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amw016 Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14. Siu, P. L. Y., Tong, K. E., & Pun, C. F. K. (2017). Genres, texts and MultimodalitiesEntextualisation cycle in an English-in-the discipline adjunct course for social sciences students. Paper 3 in the colloquium on creating a transformed space for disciplinary discourse and knowledge creation through an adjunct instructional model, presented in the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress, University of Wollongong, Australia, 10–14 July, 2017. Snow, M. A., & Brinton, D. M. (1988). Content-based language instruction: Investigating the effectiveness of the adjunct model. TESOL Quarterly, 22(4), 553–574. Thibault, P. J. (1997). Re-reading Saussure: The dynamics of signs in social life. London, England: Routledge. Thibault, P. J. (2011). First-order languaging dynamics and second-order language: The distributed language view. Educational Psychology, 23,1–36. Williams, C. (1994). Arfarniad o Ddulliau Dysgu ac Addysgu yng Nghyd-destun Addysg Uwchradd Ddwyieithog, [An evaluation of teaching and learning methods in the context of bilingual secondary education]. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, University of Wales, Bangor.


Market English as medium of instruction Education in neoliberal times Ruanni Tupas

English as disinterested capital – a form of value, knowledge, or ‘human’ skill that merely responds to the ‘call of the market.’ – Narkunas, 2005, p. 29

Introduction There are many recurring themes that cut across all the chapters in this book. However, this chapter focuses only on two key ones. The first concerns the interrelated reasons provided for the need to institutionalise English as Medium of Instruction (EMI) policies – the need for students to be globally competitive, to make them marketable, for schools (especially universities) to have a ‘global’ outlook. In short, an essentially pragmatic argument rationalises EMI. The second concerns issues with the implementation of EMI – very little strategic planning is involved, lack of resources and teacher training, inadequate understanding of the multilingual embeddedness of EMI. In short, EMI is problematic from the perspective of implementation. I refer to these two clusters of themes as the ontological and pedagogical dimensions of EMI. There are other dimensions as well – the sociopolitical and the ecological dimensions of EMI. The former refers to the uneven impact of EMI on different groups of students (who belong to different socioeconomic classes and who hail from different geopolitical contexts such as rural and urban), while the latter alerts us to the impact of EMI on the multilingual ecologies of communities and societies. However, I focus on the ontological and pedagogical dimensions of EMI because, aside from implicating the other dimensions as well, in the literature these two core dimensions are viewed independently of each other. The aim of this chapter is to draw an explicit link between the ontological and the pedagogical because by doing this I will be able to show how the neoliberal construction of ‘Market English’ serves as the ideological nexus that generates a coherent logic for the desirability of EMI in the world today.

The ontological dimension of EMI: the making of neoliberal English and education The chapters in this book alert us to a range of related reasons for the introduction of EMI across different institutions and social contexts around the world,

Market English as medium of instruction 105 and these reasons collectively tell us something about the unspoken assumptions about the very nature of EMI itself. Chapter 1 – Introduction – highlights the internationalising efforts of educational institutions around the world (especially among European schools), as well as the heightened awareness of the need to teach English in specialised academic contexts (increasingly a view shared by many Asian institutions), as reasons for the institutionalisation of EMI. Chapter 2 – based on email interviews with applied linguists in Asia – support these observations from Chapter 1. There is a need to learn English (through the EMI apparatus) because through the language ‘international’ perspectives and ‘specialised’ knowledge are taught and disseminated. EMI in Malaysia – the focus of Chapter 3 – is ontologically contested, and understandably so because of the colonial moorings of the language issue in the country. EMI is seen not only in terms of the marketability of students but also in terms of its usefulness in addressing both local development and professional needs. Although similar to the postcolonial context of Malaysia, EMI in Brunei – the focus of Chapter 4 – seems to be less contested even within a bilingual education framework which continues to value Malay as the language of national identity. The lecturers interviewed point to the seemingly unquestioned status of English as the desired language for science and mathematics, as well as the language for the workplace, thus using it as medium of instruction in relevant content subjects is deemed the ‘natural’ thing to do. Indonesia, on the other hand, does not have the colonial baggage to contend with in institutionalising EMI programmes but, as Chapter 5 shows, the education system is framed in linguistic nationalism where the use of the national language – Bahasa Indonesia – remains the primary medium of instruction and is justified mainly on national identity and national unity grounds. Nevertheless, no matter what one’s position is vis-à-vis the language of education in Indonesia, the chapter notes that everyone agrees that English is the de facto language of the global market; thus young Indonesians must be given the opportunity to learn it if they are to be highly globally competitive. Interestingly, EMI programmes themselves are deemed as marketable ventures, earning revenue for the schools implementing them, essentially because the use of English as medium of instruction is symbolically associated with an internationalising outlook in education and prospects of a better developed economy due to market-ready, Englishspeaking graduates. The emergence of EMI programmes in Asian contexts has two historical trajectories. The experience of Malaysia and Brunei grounds EMI issues in the two countries’ colonial experience. Thus, EMI implicates questions about the primacy of English itself as medium of instruction across all levels of the national curriculum (see Tupas, 2015 for the Philippines; Annamalai, 2004, for India; Rahman, 2005, for Pakistan). The experience of Indonesia, on the other hand, points to EMI in more limited educational contexts because the national language remains essentially the undisputed medium of instruction in all educational levels (see Wongsothorn, Hiranburana & Chinnawongs, 2002, for Thailand; Butler & Iino, 2005, for Japan; Hu, 2005, for China; for comparative studies across Asia, see Kirkpatrick, 2011). Of course, different postcolonial countries have diverged in terms of how they dealt with the EMI question – Singapore’s educational system


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has essentially been EMI since 1987, with the official ‘mother tongues’ learned mainly as separate subjects in school; Brunei has increasingly become Englishheavy in its educational provision especially in post-primary levels but the use of Malay as the language of religion, national identity and unity continues to be a strong rhetorical anchor for its bilingual education policy; Malaysia, the Philippines, India, and Hong Kong continue to grapple firmly with EMI as a postcolonial issue, the argument from one side of the political spectrum being that EMI is an imposition that can be traced back to colonial domination (for comparative studies on EMI and language policies in Asia, see Sercombe and Tupas, 2014; Feng, 2011). Nevertheless, EMI in these postcolonial countries shares a common rhetoric with countries with no formal historical ties with either British or American imperialism: the neoliberal rhetoric of ‘Market English.’ This is exactly what Ryan found in the interview data in Chapter 2: “In general, EMI appears to reflect neo-liberal market-oriented discourse that assumes a key role in using English to promote outward-looking, internationalization perspectives” which explains, parallel to what has been observed in European EMI programmes as well (refer to Phillipson’s Foreword and Barnard’s Chapter 1 in this volume), why EMI is most frequently invoked and implemented in business and economics courses. Now bound by the interlocking structures of capitalist globalisation – where the search for capital or profit extends beyond national borders – Asian countries (and practically all countries in the world for that matter), have been under pressure to open up their economies to the dictates of the global market – called the neoliberal pressure – by dismantling all possible state mechanisms that supposedly intervene in the ‘free’ operations of the global market (Giroux, 2004; Duggan, 2012; Navera, 2014). Thus, neoliberal economies make competition for jobs, investments, cheap labour, new knowledge and raw materials increasingly more aggressive and, from the perspectives of some, more vicious. Such dictates develop a rhetorically shaped social reality where “(p)ossibilities of human life are reduced to skilled humans or populations who can develop in the global market” (Narkunas, 2005, p. 40); if you do not know English, you will fall behind. And if you fall behind, it is your fault. Thus, as economies restructure, so do educational systems because of the need to make education more responsive to the needs of the market. This is problematic because capitalist globalisation within which the global market operates has had uneven impact on the lives of people around the world (Friedman, 1999; Milanovic, 2003). The literature on political economy is replete with evidence and facts about “the winners and losers in the globalisation process” (Gereffi, Humphrey, Kaplinsky & Sturgeon, 2001, p. 2), and about countries having unique structural relations with globalisation, with most countries in the so-called Global South (the poor ones) taking on the role as producers of what Parreñas (2001) famously calls ‘servants of globalization.’ This is not the space to engage extensively in this issue – and indeed, it must be acknowledged that there are different views about globalisation (Gray, 1998; Ritzer, 1996; Bair, 2005; Levitt, 1983) – however, what needs to be highlighted is that the increasing penetration of EMI elements in educational systems around

Market English as medium of instruction 107 the world is symptomatic of escalating (unequal) exchanges of capital and labour between countries in the global market. The neoliberal desire to let the market, instead of state institutions, decide on all aspects of the economy such as supply and demand, the privatisation of provision of basic services like health care and education, the selling of government assets, and the dismantling of social welfare, has placed the onus on individuals to develop – or in neoliberal parlance, upgrade (Bair, 2005; Milana, 2009) – themselves in order to be marketable. Thus, ‘English’ in EMI does not merely refer to English as a second or foreign language; rather, we see an increasing convergence of EMI towards a new global ontology of ‘English’ as ‘Market English’ – English that is purportedly freed from the vestiges of colonialism and imperialism, but instead now “flows with transnational capital, seeming to belong to everyone and no one, much like the market” (Narkunas, 2005, p. 41). In other words, under the aegis of capitalist globalisation ‘Market English’ is a defining feature of the language in the classroom, thus smoothing out the differences between English as a ‘first language’ (such as in Singapore), English as a ‘second language’ (such as in Malaysia and the Philippines), and English as a ‘foreign language’ (such as in Thailand, Vietnam, China and Indonesia), superimposing upon these differences its own brand of ‘diversity’ (to be discussed in detail in the next section). Questions about the readiness of students for EMI based on their levels of proficiency in English are core questions that need to be addressed, but ‘Market English’ as Medium of Instruction adds another crucial layer to the issues to be addressed through questions about the ontological nature of English itself: Is Market English a variety of English? What are market-driven English language skills? What does it mean when students become ‘marketable’? Is this one desirable education goal? In other words, what kind of students are being produced through EMI-shaped educational curricula, programmes and courses? Should educational systems limit the teaching of English to Market English skills? These questions assume that EMI does indeed act as a key educational instrument of the global market. The unpacking of the ontological dimension of EMI alerts us to deeper questions about the very nature of EMI itself – what is ‘English’ in EMI and what is EMI for? EMI invites many questions, and many scholars have vigorously and consistently raised them in recent years (Lauder, 2008; Byun et al., 2011), but there is a curiously subtle acceptance of the market-oriented justification used for its implementation. In other words, the need for EMI in order to make everyone, especially young people, globally competitive or marketable has remained unchallenged. Apparently, EMI is problematic on many fronts but the expressed need for it because of the demands of the market is not one of them. As the chapters in this book show, the role of the global market features prominently in EMI policy-making, but such role is generally unquestioned. Nevertheless, it must be made clear that challenging the ontological basis of EMI does not necessarily mean it has to be stopped, but rather it means that policy-making concerning EMI must reframe the debate within questions about the very purpose of education itself. Typical core questions about the implementation of EMI include ‘Have our students become (more) proficient in English?’


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and ‘Have our students become workplace-ready’? The first question assumes that EMI classes – those that integrate language and content – help students improve their English language proficiency and learn specialised content at the same time. The second question assumes that these EMI classes do indeed prepare students for the global market. However, as will be elaborated in the next section, Market English undercuts these questions because they simply seek to find out whether or not our students are workplace-ready. Market English pushes us to ask other questions which demand a different way of looking at issues of pedagogy and implementation.

The pedagogical dimension of EMI: Market English in the classroom “Presumably”, according to Ryan in Chapter 2, “there would be institutional assumptions about what EMI should be like in practice, but it appears that these assumptions were often not well-documented in ways that are accessible to staff.” Because of this, broad policies are interpreted differently by individual teachers themselves. “In the absence of an explicit university policy”, according to Hasim and Barnard writing about Malaysia in Chapter 3, “interviews with the academic staff revealed that they interpreted the implications of the various national and institutional statements in quite different ways.” This is the same point that gets repeated in scholarly work on EMI in other contexts as well (Doiz, Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2011). Much of the battleground in EMI debates centres around its pedagogical dimension which I broadly take to mean as issues concerning the implementation of EMI in real classroom or school contexts (Doiz et al., 2011, and Chapter 7 in this book by Lin and Lo). What is also consistent across all chapters in the present book is the belief or observation that EMI initiatives have been bold and ambitious in terms of the articulation of a broad policy or vision, but weak and unsure about curricular guidance and instructional practice. To put it in another way, because EMI initiatives tend to be market-driven, the formulation of policies draws on economic or pragmatist arguments about the need for English for personal growth and national development, but there does not seem to be a coherent and clear articulation of instructional direction for teachers to follow. Thus, individual teachers interpret EMI policies differently and, worse, practise it in the classroom without being clear about the nature of EMI itself. How should one teach specialised content through English? What is the main goal of the EMI class – content knowledge, language proficiency, or both? Granted that these questions are addressed adequately, are teachers communicatively competent to handle both language and content in EMI classes? Are students ready to deal with the demands of language in content courses? While the core aim of EMI seems to be the learning of English or the improvement of proficiency in the language, the fact that learning is supposed to be accomplished through its use as a medium of instruction makes the EMI approach very complicated because it implicates a vast range of pedagogical challenges and issues. Teaching English is massively

Market English as medium of instruction 109 different from teaching subject courses in English, yet issues surrounding this very important difference are typically left unaddressed by policy-makers and educational managers. Assuming that, as I mentioned in the earlier section, EMI historical trajectories are context-sensitive as well, the general criticism seems to be that EMI is taken as a blanket approach to solving the English language needs of both students and the communities within which they operate without sensitive consideration of the specific cultural, political, and socio-economic demands of EMI contexts of teaching and learning (Kirkpatrick, 2011). In the process, such demands, whether acknowledged or not, impact the quality of teaching and learning. Nevertheless, what needs more highlighting in pedagogical issues surrounding EMI courses and programmes is the fact that these issues associated with pedagogy and implementation are insulated from the ontological dimension of EMI. That is, when scholars and teachers raise problems of classroom practice and implementation, the assumption in most cases is that the desirability of EMI by itself is uncontroversial because of the prospects of producing market-ready graduates. To give one example, teachers in one EMI context (the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain), have deep reservations about the operationalisation of English as instructional language but they are “clearly in favour” of EMI (Doiz et al., 2011, p. 352). In other words, the problem with EMI, in most cases, is with the teachers, pupils and students, institutions and educational managers themselves who fall short of expectations, and not with the concept and promotion of EMI itself. To put it in another way, the raising of issues of pedagogy and implementation is deemed separate from the need for EMI itself – which is deemed inevitable, indispensable, indisputable – but as discussed in the earlier section, such need is itself a social (or neoliberal) construction and thus must be interrogated in order to have a better appreciation of the everyday challenges of EMI. This does not mean any outright rejection of EMI, but rather it invites critical reflection on why EMI policy and practice – or vision and implementation, ideology and reality – are disentangled from each other in the first place. For example, the lack of clear and coherent instructional direction for EMI can be explained by the fact that one of the main agendas of EMI programmes is income generation of universities in the light of the internationalisation of educational systems around the world. The promotion of profit-generating academic programmes to attract international students rests on the availability of EMI courses, and most often than not such an economically-driven agenda glosses over questions about the impact of EMI on teaching and learning or, to quote Coleman (2006), questions about why EMI has been observed by some as “an impoverished learning experience” (p. 10). EMI programmes in this sense serve mainly as potential “markets” that can draw more full-paying international students, thus they operate mainly on the logic of profit generation, not educational wisdom. Thus, it is possible to claim that EMI programmes have been successful and unsuccessful at the same time: successful because they accomplished their institutions’ drive towards internationalisation and profit generation, but unsuccessful because of huge problems with their implementation, especially those


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concerning “educational effectiveness of EMI in contexts where English is not the primary language” (Byun et al., 2011, p. 440). The demarcation between EMI as a market (especially for international students) and EMI as an educational programme is also convenient for various stakeholders, especially institutional managers and educational policy makers involved in the internationalisation of education, because the focus is to “guarantee ‘customer’ satisfaction by investigating (with a view to alleviating) the linguistic, cognitive and cultural difficulties that international students experience when undertaking degree programmes through the medium of a second language” (Evans & Morrison, 2011, p. 199). Another core agenda of EMI programmes around the world – one that will shift our focus from educational effectiveness to ethics in education – is the improvement of the English language proficiency of domestic students for global competitiveness, also a point highlighted in this book. Thus, writing about EMI in Indonesia, Hamied and Lengkanawati in their chapter in this book argue that “For an English learner of English as a lingua franca in the global transaction, the key issue is how to get things across, how to understand and how to be understood; the issue is not primarily native-like English.” This is a worthy point to make because it implies the legitimacy of linguistic and cultural diversity in EMI contexts. Nevertheless, if one shields this pedagogical issue from the ontological dimension of EMI, one indeed confronts the plurality of English in the classroom in the context of linguistic diversity but affirms the unassailability of Market English and the neoliberal ideology that generates it. Bringing Market English into the discussion would widen the breadth and range of the pedagogical challenges in EMI contexts. If the main aim of EMI is to promote English for global competitiveness, what kind of English should be taught – English as a global lingua franca or English as an academic or specialised lingua franca (Mauranen, Hynninen & Ranta, 2010; Björkman, 2008, 2011; Ljosland, 2011); English for global communication or English for the workplace (Riemer, 2002; Kassim & Ali, 2010; Seidlhofer, 2005; Taylor, 1991)? Of course, they overlap but this question surfaces an ontological issue – what is ‘English’ in EMI? – which creates clear pedagogical dilemmas. For example, how does one teach English for the workplace in an EMI course? That is, is EMI the right platform for the teaching of English for the workplace, and if it is, how does one accomplish this while teaching the subject content of the course? Even in rather ‘obvious’ EMI contexts such business, finance and commerce programmes, there are still many pedagogical issues that remain unresolved. Professional or workplace English is different from academic English, thus an oral presentation in a business course can either be an academic or workplace presentation (Evans, 2013). The demands are different in terms of vocabulary, pragmatics and organisational or rhetorical expectations, among other things. Moreover, the issue of varieties of English in the classroom is a valid issue in its own right, but it also refers only to a surface level of diversity in EMI classrooms because it does not go deep enough to interrogate the ontological nature of ‘English’ in a neoliberal framework of education and policy-making. It masks another, more hidden, layer of diversity in EMI classrooms, one that is generated

Market English as medium of instruction 111 by Market English and one that poses a wide range of pedagogical issues as well. In other words, if one has to dig deep into the diversity of English in EMI classrooms, the exploration must be framed within the question about Market English and the demands it requires on teaching, learning and assessment through the questions posed earlier. There are indeed many (nation-based) Englishes in the world (Tupas, 2001), but let us not forget that Market English cuts through all of them and demand a different layer of ‘diverse’ communication – one that endorses a hierarchised assembly of “ ‘global’ communicative norms and genres” (Cameron, 2002, p. 70) because, well, they are the ones sought by the market. Thus, Market English here represents a composite of unevenly spread marketdriven communication skills generated by different socioeconomic sites of EMI courses and programmes, and catering to different labour demands of various workplaces. Cameron succinctly articulates this point about this homogenising yet hierarchising tendencies of Market English: there are forms of instruction . . . which incorporate concerns like ‘negotiation’, ‘meeting skills’, ‘presentation skills’, etc., into programmes aimed at particular centergroups of L2 learners such as managers in multilingual companies. In future it seems probable that a communication skills element will be incorporated into L2 teaching for less elite occupation groups, for instance those who work or aspire to work in the internationalized service sector. (pp. 70–71) In fact, the ‘future’ which Cameron refers to in the previous quotation has already arrived, with particular sets of communication skills (especially those associated with vocational skills and “many entry level service jobs in tourism, travel, leisure and hospitality” (p. 71) targeted for particular courses for specific purposes intended for particular groups of English language learners (e.g., see Lockwood, 2012, for designing a curriculum for Asian call centres). One case in point is vocational English for particular groups of Indonesian students meant to provide them with a particular sub-set of ‘global’ communication skills which, ironically, make them marketable for the ‘local’ market catering to an international clientele such as hotel guests and tourists (see Widodo, 2015, for an overview of work in Vocational English in Indonesia and other contexts) Another case in point are English for Filipino domestic helpers and English for Filipino call centre agents who, before finding employment locally or overseas, have attended EMI high schools and universities, but because of their different socioeconomic trajectories, have had access to unequal educational resources, including the quality of teaching and learning in English. With the support from the Commission on Higher Education and the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, there are now many colleges and universities which offer business courses in English for call centres (17 colleges and universities, 2016; Friginal, 2009) (in the Philippines, call centre agents are relatively well-paid), thus restricting the learning of English to a sub-set of skills relevant only to this particular workplace. On the other


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hand, domestic helpers deployed around the world are deemed to have only basic skills in English but are good enough to be able to learn what Lorente (2017) calls ‘scripts of servitude’ in order to be employable. The experience of EMI in the Philippines and elsewhere has shown how graduates from EMI institutions (by and large, Philippine universities are theoretically English-medium, and so are secondary schools, except in social studies and history where the national or local language is used), are stratified in the (global) labour market according to the Englishes they speak (Lorente, 2010; Tupas & Salonga, 2016). It is these marketsensitive Englishes which constitute the Market English in the world today.

Conclusion Speaking of EMI in Korea, Byun et al. (2011) claim that: we are not facing whether to adopt EMI but, rather, how to effectively implement EMI at higher education institutions, how EMI can be maximised to meet policy objectives, and how to reduce EMI’s side effects. (p. 447) Wilkinson (2003), however, also provides another take on EMI around the world, this time drawing on conclusion from the Dutch context: even if the EMI curricula are well designed, even if there is good collaboration between content staff and content staff, resulting in generally good quality of the programmes, issues still arise concerning the economic, social and political desirability of EMI in higher education. (p. 18) This chapter’s position is closer to that of Wilkinson, except that I explicitly attempt to make a clear relationship between the ontological and pedagogical dimensions of EMI through the lens of Market English. EMI agendas are anchored in the neoliberal logic of the global market – in the search for new capital both in national and institutional levels, English serves as a commodifiable product. Thus, EMI is framed broadly in language and social policies around the world more in terms of economic imperative rather than educational effectiveness and ethics. There is thus a conceptual disconnect between the ontological and the pedagogical dimensions of EMI but, as I have hopefully shown in the chapter, such disconnect is by itself an ideological construction: neoliberal economics puts a high premium on people as commodities and educational institutions as sources of much needed profit. If I place Market English at the centre of EMI – that is, the medium of instruction is, in fact, a particular kind of English that is privileged by today’s global market – I do not simply (re)affirm the ontological issue concerning the desirability of EMI itself both on educational and ethical grounds, but I also open up another layer of diversity in the classroom which must be addressed pedagogically and ethically as well.

Market English as medium of instruction 113 According to Kirkpatrick (2011), “it is hard to overestimate the damage that this seemingly far-sighted policy of modernization and internationalization is inflicting upon the lives of children and upon local languages” (p. 106). He is, of course, not particularly referring to Market English as Medium of Instruction, but to how children are subjected to an instructional medium at an early age even if they are not ready for it, and to how EMI contributes to the consolidation of the power of English and the de-heterogenisation of local linguistic ecologies. I agree completely. But with Market English, we see more complications emerging: how EMI abets the production of human bodies for the highly stratified global market.

References 17 Colleges and universities offering call center course in the Philippines. (2016). Retrieved June 9, 2017 from: https://mattscradle.com/call-center-course-offeredin-17-colleges-and-universities-in-the-philippines/ Annamalai, E. (2004). Medium of power: The question of English in education in India. In J. W. Tollefson & A. B. M. Tsui (Eds.), Medium of instruction policies: Which agenda? Whose agenda? (pp. 177–194). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Bair, J. (2005). Global capitalism and commodity chains: Looking back, going forward. Competition & Change, 9(2), 153–180. Björkman, B. (2008). English as the lingua franca of engineering: The morphosyntax of academic speech events. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 7(3), 103–122. Björkman, B. (2011). The pragmatics of English as a lingua franca in the international university: Introduction. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(4), 923–925. Butler, Y. G., & Iino, M. (2005). Current Japanese reforms in English language education: The 2003 ‘Action Plan.’ Language Policy, 4(1), 25–45. Byun, K., Chu, H., Kim, M., Park, I., Kim, S., & Jung, J. (2011). English-medium teaching in Korean higher education: Policy debates and reality. Higher Education, 62(4), 431–449. Cameron, D. (2002). Globalization and teaching of ‘communication skills.’ In D. Block & D. Cameron (Eds.), Globalization and language teaching (pp. 67–82). London and New York: Routledge. Coleman, J. A. (2006). English-medium teaching in European higher education. Language Teaching, 39(1), 1–14. Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (2011). Internationalisation, multilingualism and English-medium instruction. World Englishes, 30(3), 345–359. Duggan, L. (2012). The twilight of equality? Neoliberalism, cultural politics, and the attack on democracy. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Evans, S. (2013). ‘Just wanna give you guys a bit of an update’: Insider perspectives on business presentations in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes, 32(4), 195–207. Evans, S., & Morrison, B. (2011). Meeting the challenges of English-medium higher education: The first-year experience in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes, 30(3), 198–208. Feng, A. (Ed.). (2011). English language in education and societies across Greater China. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Friedman, T. L. (1999). The lexus and the olive tree: Understanding globalization. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux.


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Friginal, E. (2009). The language of outsourced call centers: A corpus-based study of cross-cultural interaction. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing. Gereffi, G., Humphrey, J., Kaplinsky, R., & Sturgeon, T. (2001). Introduction: Globalisation, value chains, and development, IDS Bulletin, 32(3), 1–8. Giroux, H. A. (2004). The terror of neoliberalism: Authoritarianism and the eclipse of democracy. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. Gray, J. (1998). False dawn. London, England: Granta Books. Hu, G. (2005). English language education in China: Policies, progress, and problems. Language Policy, 4(1), 5–24. Kassim, H., & Ali, F. (2010). English communicative events and skills needed at the workplace: Feedback from the industry. English for Specific Purposes, 29(3), 168–182. Kirkpatrick, A. (2011). English as a medium of instruction in Asian education (from primary to tertiary): Implications for local languages and local scholarship. Applied Linguistics Review, 2, 99–120. Lauder, A. (2008). The status and function of English in Indonesia: A review of key factors. Makara, Social Humaniora, 12(1), 9–20. Levitt, T. (1983). The globalization of markets. Harvard Business Review, May/June, 92–102. Ljosland, R. (2011). English as an academic lingua franca: Language policies and multilingual practices in a Norwegian university. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(4), 991–1004. Lockwood, J. (2012). Developing an English for specific purpose curriculum for Asian call centres: How theory can inform practice. English for Specific Purposes, 31(1), 14–24. Lorente, B. P. (2010). Packaging English-speaking products: Maid agencies in Singapore. In H. Kelly-Holmes & G. Mautner (Eds.), Language and the market (pp. 44–55). Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Lorente, B. P. (2017). Scripts of servitude: Language, labor migration and transnational domestic workers. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters. Mauranen, A., Hynninen, N., & Ranta, E. (2010). English as an academic lingua franca: The ELFA project. English for Specific Purposes, 29(3), 183–190. Milana, M. (2009). The post-Lisbon discourse on skill mismatches and competence upgrading. In H. B. Holmarsdottir & M. O’Dowd (Eds.), Nordic voices: Teaching and researching comparative and international education in the Nordic countries (pp. 9–24). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Milanovic, B. (2003). The two faces of globalization: Against globalization as we know it. World Development, 31(4), 667–683. Narkunas, J. P. (2005). Capital flows through language: Market English, biopower, and the World Bank. Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, 108, 28–55. Navera, G. S. (2014). ‘People Power’ in Philippine presidential rhetoric: (Re)framing democratic participation in post-authoritarian regimes. In C. Kock & L. Villadsen (Eds.), Contemporary rhetorical citizenship (pp. 205–222). Leiden, Netherlands: Leiden University Press. Parreñas, R. S. (2001). Servants of globalization: Women, migration, and domestic work. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Rahman, T. (2005). Passports to privilege: The English medium schools in Pakistan. Peace and Democracy in South Asia, 1(1), 24–44.

Market English as medium of instruction 115 Riemer, M. J. (2002). English and communication skills for the global engineer. Global Journal of Engineering Education, 6(1), 91–100. Ritzer, G. (1996). The McDonaldization of society. London, England: Sage. Seidlhofer, B. (2005). English as a lingua franca. ELT Journal, 59(4), 339. Sercombe, P., & Tupas, R. (eds.). (2014). Language, education and nation building: Assimilation and shift in Southeast Asia. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan. Taylor, D. S. (1991). Who speaks English to whom? The question of teaching English pronunciation for global communication. System, 19(4), 425–435. Tupas, R. (2001). Global politics and the Englishes of the world: Language across boundaries. In J. Cotterill & A. Ife (Eds.), Language across boundaries (pp. 81–98). London, England: Continuum. Tupas, R. (2015). Inequalities of multilingualism: Challenges to mother tonguebased multilingual education. Language and Education, 29(2), 112–124. Tupas, R., & Salonga, A. (2016). Unequal Englishes in the Philippines. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 20(3), 367–381. Widodo, H. P. (2015). The development of Vocational English materials from a social semiotic perspective: Participatory action research. Doctoral dissertation, University of Adelaide. Wilkinson, R. (2003). English-medium instruction at a Dutch university: Challenges and pitfalls. In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at the university: Global challenges (pp. 3–24). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Wongsothorn, A., Hiranburana, K., & Chinnawongs, S. (2002). English language teaching in Thailand today. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 22(2), 107–116.

Afterword Andy Kirkpatrick

Introduction As the chapters in this book show, there is no doubt that the use of EMI in higher education across East and South East Asia is on the increase. In this, it is following the trend that has been discerned across Europe (Wächter & Maiworm, 2014; Haberland, Lonsmann & Preisler, 2013 – and Phillipson, this volume). In this afterword I shall first give an outline of the linguistic landscape across East and South East Asia, including the ten countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), several of which provide the case studies in this volume. I shall stress how linguistically and culturally diverse the region is, compared with Europe, and I shall also stress that the typological difference between many of the region’s languages and English make the adoption and use of English as a Medium of Instruction more problematic than it might be in settings where the local languages are typologically closer to English, as is the case throughout most of European Union. I shall then consider a selection of issues surrounding the adoption of EMI in higher education in these contexts before presenting a cautionary tale of Myanmar, where there has been an attempt to implement EMI across all institutions of higher education. I shall conclude with some proposals on how to ensure a more successful implementation of EMI.

The linguistic landscape East and South East Asia is linguistically and culturally extremely diverse. For example, Indonesia is home to more than 700 languages. The Philippines has some 180 languages, and Myanmar some 140. China officially has identified 55 minority languages, but this is considered an underestimate and also ignores the Chinese languages themselves, of which there are seven main branches, each of which is made up of many dialectal varieties. In short, the region is far more linguistically and culturally diverse than is Europe which is home to 287 languages (www.ethnologue.com/region/Europe). This linguistic diversity has meant that language policy has been complex, especially as many of the countries of the region have only relatively recently obtained independence and become sovereign nation states (Kirkpatrick & Liddicoat, 2017).



On achieving independence, the selection and promotion of a ‘national’ language is seen to be of crucial importance in creating a sense of national identity. Countries have taken different paths to choosing and adopting a national language. Indonesia, which won independence from the Dutch after the defeat of the Japanese in 1945, chose a language spoken only by a very small minority of Indonesians, Malay, as their national language. Reasons for this choice included the fact that the language would not advantage a majority of the population. Had the Indonesian language with most speakers been chosen – Javanese – it would have further advantaged an already extremely powerful group. Javanese is also a language in which hierarchy is linguistically signalled in complex ways and the Indonesians wanted a national language that was more ‘democratic’ (Bernard, 2003). The Philippines, which became independent from the United States in 1946, took an entirely different approach and chose Tagalog, the language spoken around the capital, Manila, to form the basis of its national language, Filipino. The choice of Tagalog was, not surprisingly, unpopular with those Filipinos, the majority, who did not speak Tagalog. The National Language Institute (Komyson sa Wakang Filipino) was thus tasked with ensuring that the new language, while retaining Tagalog as its base, would include features of other Filipino languages (Gonzales, 1996). This was not a feasible task and Filipino remains Tagalog with a few ‘ethnic extras.’ China also chose the language spoken by the powerful, the northern variety of Mandarin Chinese, to be the national language, and rebadged it as Putonghua, literally the common language. So keen is the Chinese Communist Party for Putonghua to become the national language, that the Language Law actually forbids the use of other Chinese languages in education. That is to say that languages such as Cantonese (Yue) and Hokien (Minnan hua) are not allowed to be taught in schools. Exceptions are made for the languages of the 55 official minority groups. Despite the different paths these countries took in the adoption of the respective national languages, the promotion of them as national languages has been uniformly successful. This success is also mirrored in the promotion of Khmer, Thai and Vietnamese as national languages. The success of the promotion of national languages has, however, put pressure on many of the local languages as, in many cases, the focus on the national language has led to a neglect of other local languages. As will be shown in the following, this is particularly evident in the school curricula and especially since English has become the first language after the respective national languages to be taught in schools. In the context of the increasing uptake of the use of EMI in higher education across the region, it is important to consider how this is reflected in primary and secondary schools. For example, of the ten countries of ASEAN, Indonesia is the only one where English is not a compulsory subject in the primary school. In the nine other countries of ASEAN, English is compulsory, most commonly introduced from Primary 3. In postcolonial countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, it is introduced from Primary 1. In Singapore, it is actually the medium of instruction from primary 1 and both Malaysia and


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Brunei have some form of dual language policy whereby English is the medium of instruction for science-like subjects while Malay is the medium for other subjects. The Philippines used to implement a similar bilingual education policy using English and Filipino, but has recently adopted a mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE) policy which allows the use of nineteen of the languages of the Philippines as media of instruction in the early years of primary school. In this move to MTBMLE, the Philippines is alone in promoting the use of local languages in a systematic way. While the language policies of many of these countries has shifted – Malaysia, for example, has seen several different iterations of language policy over recent years – it is true to say that the respective national languages and English are the languages most promoted in education in the vast majority of cases. This promotion of English almost always comes at the expense of a local language. Tupas (this volume) notes two historical motivations for the emergence of EMI programmes in Asia, namely the experience of those countries which were colonised by English speaking powers, and the ‘neoliberal’ rhetoric of “Market English.” A third motivation for the adoption of English was the decision of ASEAN to make English the sole working language of the group. Article 34 of the ASEAN Charter, which was adopted in 2009, reads simply that ‘the working language of ASEAN shall be English’ (Kirkpatrick, 2010). This decision naturally increased the desire of ASEAN nations to promote the use of English in their respective school systems. As a Cambodian government official pointed out more than a decade ago, we need to know English so that we can defend our interests. You know, ASEAN is not a kissy-kissy brotherhood. The countries are fiercely competitive, and a strong knowledge of English will help us protect Cambodian interests. (Clayton, 2006, p. 231) This brief, and necessarily limited, overview of the linguistic landscape of the region gives an idea of the linguistic diversity of the region while, at the same time, showing how English is being promoted in the great majority of countries as a language of education from primary school. Before moving on to consider the challenges associated with the increasing adoption of EMI in higher education in the region, I shall conclude this linguistic landscape section with a note on the linguistic typology of the region’s languages to show how typologically different many of them are from English. Language families prevalent across the region include the Sino-Tibetan languages, Tai-Kadai languages, Hmong-Mian languages and Austronesian languages. These language families include those listed by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) as difficult for speakers of English to learn because of their typological distance from English (www.atlasandboots.com/foreign-service-institute-language-difficulty/). Japanese, Korean and Chinese are listed in the most difficult group, requiring some 2200 hours to learn. Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Vietnamese, Thai and Tagalog



(Filipino) are listed in the second most difficult group requiring some 1100 hours. And Malay/Indonesian is listed in Category 3, requiring 900 hours. These compare with typologically similar languages such as French, Italian and Spanish that require fewer hours for an English speaker to learn, typically between 575–600 hours. If we assume that speakers of these Asian languages will therefore find it more difficult to learn English than will speakers of European languages, it is crucially important to take this into account when deciding whether to introduce English as a medium of instruction in higher education. As many of the chapters in this volume have indicated, a lack of adequate English proficiency among students and staff represents a major challenge to the successful implementation of EMI in many Asian contexts. Speakers of Asian languages are likely to need extra time on English in order to gain sufficient proficiency to be able to learn cognitively challenging subjects through English. I now turn to review some of the particular issues surrounding the adoption of EMI in higher education in these Asian contexts.

Issues with regard the adoption of EMI Many of the chapters in this volume point to problems in the implementation of EMI in the specific contexts considered. The findings here echo the overall findings of Dearden’s 2014 study, also reported here by Barnard in Chapter 1, which highlighted a lack of ‘detailed curricular advice’ in the form of written guidelines on how to teach in EMI classes. Concern was also expressed about the quality and quantity of teachers being required to teach in EMI, especially with regard to their English proficiency and lack of pedagogical training in teaching in EMI. A further shared concern is how the promotion of English is effecting local languages as languages of education, as EMI appears to imply a monolingual, English only’ approach in many of the settings in which it has been introduced. The concern about linguistic proficiency is picked up by Ryan in Chapter 2 where he concludes that the two weightiest issues are (i) ensuring that EMI lecturers and tutors have sufficient relevant language and academic skills and (ii) ensuring that students have an adequate level of English to succeed in their EMI programme. Linked to the concern about detailed curricular advice noted previously is the overall concern about the lack of a coherent language policy at the university (or even national) level. As Hasim and Barnard argue in Chapter 3 in the context of EMI in a Malaysian university, Malaysia needs a coherent and consistent language policy that articulates the levels from primary through to tertiary and that EMI should not be seen as an English-only enterprise, but rather needs to be seen as a multilingual phenomenon. The lack of a language policy in a Malaysian university is also discussed by Ali (2013). Perhaps tellingly, the one setting in which the implementation of EMI seems to be working successfully is in Brunei, where there has been a relatively stable and coherent ‘dwibahasa’ or dual language policy for many years and where the majority of lecturers and students all have high


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levels of proficiency in English. As Haji-Othman and McLellan explain in their chapter on Brunei, The Bruneian lecturers involved in this study can be described as members of an academic elite who have gone to some of the best universities in the world to obtain their Masters and PhD degree qualifications. In order to do this, they have had to excel in their secondary-level education and in the public examinations at GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels, including in the English language – a common experience they share with their students. As a consequence, teaching, and interacting and negotiating with their bilingual students in English, is largely unproblematic for them. Generally speaking, however, as Tupas notes in Chapter 8 of this volume, ‘EMI is problematic from the perspective of implementation’ as there has been little strategic planning, there is a lack of resources, teachers are not adequately prepared and ‘there is an inadequate understanding of the multilingual embeddedness of EMI.’ That the implementation of EMI in Asia has been faced with many challenges is also noted in a recent volume, EMI in Higher Education in Asia-Pacific (Fenton-smith, Humphreys & Walkinshaw, 2017).

A cautionary tale Before proposing a set of criteria that might ensure the successful implementation of EMI courses, I shall briefly relate the cautionary tale of Myanmar, where there has been an attempt to implement EMI across all institutions of higher education (see Kirkpatrick, 2015 for a full account). English is also the medium of instruction for science classes in the final two years of high school and has recently been introduced as a subject from primary one. That Myanmar is simply not ready for such a blanket implementation of EMI is evident from three recent research reports. In the first study, which comprised a survey of university staff among several universities (Thant, 2016), the staff reported that they overwhelmingly favoured a system of bilingual education. They indicated that students could not learn using only English and they themselves could not teach using only English. The use of Burmese was therefore essential. In the second study, which investigated the English proficiency of English teachers, (Khaing, 2016) showed many scored A0 (the lowest possible level on the CEFR bands), with the majority scoring only A2. The teachers themselves reported that they could not use EMI, as their own levels of English were so poor. The quotes that follow come from the third study (Drinan, 2013), which provides an overall picture of the EMI situation. Using English as a Medium of Instruction (MoI): this is fundamentally not working for teaching Maths and Science as few teachers can use English, let alone, teach another subject in English. Students are not learning or understanding important concepts in Maths and Science. They merely remember



the technical terms in English for the tests. Most teachers use a mix of Myanmar (for explanation) and English (for technical terms). The impact (of a weak EL curriculum) on language proficiency for both teachers and students is very serious. Teachers’ language is fossilised, meaning they seldom develop further than the grade they are teaching. More worrying is that teachers are not even at that level, as many have just memorised the textbooks they are ‘teaching.’

Suggested criteria for the implementation of EMI The Myanmar experience underlines how important it is for the implementation of EMI to be carefully planned and the potential consequences of it considered. As Ernesto Macaro, the Director of the EMI Centre at Oxford University, noted at a recent conference (Macaro, 2015), there is little chance of preventing the increase in EMI across the world; so the main task now is to devise ways of ensuring that EMI might be implemented more successfully. In order to do this, and after taking into account the challenges and issues identified by the authors of this volume, it would seem that successful implementation of EMI would depend upon the following criteria being met. These echo many of the recommendations for universities in the five Nordic countries which were summarised in the Foreword to this volume. 1

The development of a coherent and consistent university language education policy. Such a language policy needs to take into account any national language policy so that it articulates with it. An example of where university language policies (if they exist at all) contradict national policy is in Hong Kong where the government wishes its citizens to become trilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin and English and biliterate in Chinese and English. This laudable aim is undermined, however, by the fact that 6 of the 8 government-funded universities are English medium. This puts pressure on secondary schools to increase their teaching in English. This is in response to parental demand, as parents, not unreasonably, want to ensure their children can get into the universities. The result of this has seen an increase in the use of English as a medium of instruction in secondary schools and a corresponding decrease in the use of Chinese (Kan, Lai, Kirkpatrick & Law, 2011). Even the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which was established with the specific aim of providing Chinese-medium education for its students has recently increased the number of EMI courses it provides in its desire to ‘internationalise’ and thus rise up the international university ranking scales. This move to increase EMI course was challenged by students in court on the grounds that it contravened the university charter, but the courts ruled in the university’s favour (Li, 2013). The sole government-funded tertiary institution that has a policy that supports the government’s trilingual biliterate ideal is the University of Education where courses are taught in English,




Andy Kirkpatrick Mandarin and Cantonese and staff and students can negotiate the language of the classroom (Xu, 2014). It is also important that any university language policy be developed in consultation with those whom it is going to effect. Thus staff, both academic and administrative, need to be involved, as, of course, do students. The Hong Kong University of Education’s language policy took several years to develop and went through a series of iterations and revisions after extensive consultation with staff and students. While this was a time-consuming process, it is axiomatic that, for any language policy to be successful, the people it is going to affect need to have a strong sense of ownership over the policy. No top-down policy is likely to be successful. Guidelines for the implementation of EMI need to be an integral part of the university language policy. In particular, it needs to be stressed that any EMI course does not necessarily exclude the use of other languages. As Saeed, Varghese, Holst and Ghazali report in Chapter 6 of this volume, their respondents were highly positive about instructors mixing English and L1 in lectures; mixing was seen as less challenging than using only one language as the medium of instruction. As Phillipson notes in the Foreword to this volume, ‘. . . any switch into English-medium higher education should not be at the expense of national languages.’ The multilingual nature of the university, its staff and students thus needs to be reflected in any EMI course. In other words, staff and students should always be encouraged to use whatever linguistic resources they have at their disposal in order to get across meaning, especially when the cognitive load is high. One approach can be to encourage students to use their linguistic resources in the process of preparing a task – whether this be an oral presentation or a written assignment of some kind – while insisting that the final product be in English. Allowing students to use their linguistic resources in the process of task completion can heighten the cognitive sophistication of the final product (Behan, Turnbull & Spek, 1997). In this context, it should go without saying that students should be encouraged to consult sources in whatever language they can and not be restricted to consulting only those available in English. In this way the multilingual abilities of staff and student can be allowed to flourish. The university and classroom ethos should be about the development of multilinguals who have English as an additional language, not one which promotes the use of ‘English only’ at the expense of other languages. The language policy needs to define what is meant by the ‘E’ in EMI. Is the model a native speaker variety of English such as American or British? Are staff expected to have native speaker varieties of English? I would argue that such expectations are both unnecessary and unrealistic in the context of an Asian institution of higher education, where the great majority of staff and students will be multilinguals for whom English is an additional language and who use English as a lingua franca. A sensible benchmark for required language proficiency in terms of oral English is that staff and students need to English that is easily intelligible. Intelligibility is the key; and academic





staff who use English as a lingua franca and who have been trained in the delivery of cognitively complex content through the medium of English are likely to be more effective educators than native speakers who have had no such training. In terms of writing, staff need to be able to adhere to the conventions of academic writing in their particular disciplines and students need to be trained in these conventions. We all need conscious training in how to write. There are no L1 writers. The language policy also needs to recognise the importance of specific professional development for staff who are to deliver cognitively complex content through the medium of English. Professional development courses should be made available for all EMI staff. As many of the chapters in this volume have illustrated, professional development for EMI staff is currently rare. Yet systematic professional development courses have to be available if EMI programmes are to be implemented successfully. As Lin and Lo in Chapter 7 of this volume stress, ‘pedagogical content knowledge’, that is the way to make a subject comprehensible to others, is of central importance. At the same time, staff who receive good student feedback from their EMI courses need to be rewarded and acknowledged in some way. Finally the language policy needs to set linguistic benchmarks for students to meet before they enrol in EMI courses, recalling that speakers of Asian languages may take longer to acquire the necessary proficiency in English than do speakers of typologically similar European languages. Relevant English courses thus need to be available for students on an ongoing basis. All language learning is developmental; there is never an ‘end-stage.’

Conclusion As the chapters in this and other volumes have demonstrated, it is rare for universities to have developed language policies and even rarer for any policies to have specific guidelines on how to implement EMI in the university context. The lack of such policies means that most EMI courses have been introduced through topdown decision making in response to a vague understanding that EMI courses are needed if the university wants to internationalise, attract international staff and students and, perhaps most importantly in some cases, attract international student fees. Staff and students are seldom consulted about the need for such courses. For the successful implementation of EMI, however, it would appear that the development of coherent language policies in consultation with staff and students is essential. The people who will be working in EMI need to have a sense of ownership over the policy; EMI should not be seen as an English only enterprise but as a multilingual phenomenon where staff and students are encouraged to use their linguistic resources; the ‘E’ in EMI should be seen as English as a lingua franca, not as a native speaking variety of English; the EMI guidelines should recognise the complexity behind delivering complex cognitive content through a second language and thus ensure staff are able to take relevant professional development programmes; similarly, the guidelines should recognise that a high


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degree of proficiency in English is required for students to be able to successfully learn complex cognitive content through English and thus ensure such students are able to take relevant and ongoing English language courses.

References Ali, N. L. (2013). A changing paradigm in language planning: English-medium instruction policy at the tertiary level in Malaysia. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 73–92. Behan, L., Turnbull, M., & Spek, J. (1997). The proficiency gap in late French immersion: Language use in collaborative tasks. Le Journal de l’Immersion, 20, 41–44. Bernard, J. (2003). Language policy and the promotion of national identity in Indonesia. In M. Brown & S. Ganguly (Eds.), Fighting words: Language policy and ethnic relations in Asia (pp. 263–290). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Clayton, T. (2006). Language choice in a nation under transition: English language spread in Cambodia. Boston, MA: Springer. Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: A growing global phenomenon. London, England: The British Council. Drinan, H. (2013). ELC Report. Yangon, Myanmar: The British Council. Fenton-Smith, B., Humphreys, P., & Walkinshaw, I. (Eds.). (2017). EMI: Issues and challenges in Asia-Pacific Higher Education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Gonzales, A. B. (1996). The history of English in the Philippines. In Ma. L. Bautista (Ed.), English is an Asian language: The Philippine context (pp. 25–40). Sydney, Australia: The Macquarie Library. Haberland, H., Lonsmann, D., & Preisler, B. (Eds.). (2013). Language alternation, language choice and language encounter in international higher education. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Kan, V., Lai, K. C., Kirkpatrick, A., & Law, A. (2011). Fine-tuning Hong Kong’s Medium of Instruction Policy. Hong Kong: Strategic Planning Office and Research Centre into Language Education and Acquisition in Multilingual Societies, Hong Kong University of Education. Khaing, P. H. (2016). EMI in Myanmar. Paper given at the Conference on Language Policy in Multicultural and Multilingual Settings, Mandalay, 8–11 February. Kirkpatrick, A. (2010). English as a lingua franca in ASEAN: A multilingual model. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Kirkpatrick, A. (2015). English in Myanmar education and society. Report commissioned for UNICEF Myanmar Project: Towards a Peace Promoting National Language Policy for Myanmar. The University of Melbourne. Kirkpatrick, A., & Liddicoat, A. (2017). Language education policy and practice in East and Southeast Asia. Language Teaching, 50(2), 155–188. doi: 10.1017/ S0261444817000027 Li, D. C. S. (2013). Linguistic hegemony or linguistic capital. In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English medium instruction at universities: Global challenges (pp. 65–83). Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters. Macaro, E. (2015). English medium instruction: Researching a fast developing phenomenon. Colloquium presented at the CAES International Conference, ‘Faces of English: Theory, practice and pedagogy’, Hong Kong, April, 2015. Thant, S. A. (2016). The role of the Myanmar language and English Language as mediums of instruction to teach academic disciplines in higher education. Paper given



at the Conference on Language Policy in Multicultural and Multilingual Settings, Mandalay, 8–11 February. Wächter, B., & Maiworm, F. (2014). English-taught programmes in European higher education: The state of play in 2014. Bonn, Germany: Lemmens. Xu, Z. (2014). Functional English and Chinese as medium of instruction (MOI) in a multilingual educational context: A case study of two courses in a higher institution in Hong Kong. In K. Dunworth & G. Zhang (Eds.), Critical perspectives in language education (pp. 209–228). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.


academic content 8, 93, 94, 95, 97 adjunct/linked course model (Hong Kong) 88–89 adoption of EMI, issues with regard to 119–120 analysis of variance (ANOVA), one-way 73, 79, 80–81 Andalusia 3 Article 33 of Law on the National Education System (Indonesia) 66 Asia, email interviews with linguists in 15–27; evaluation of EMI programmes 22–24; future of EMI and sociocultural implications 24–25; methodology 15–16; policy 16–19; student competence 21–22; teacher competence 19–21 Asian universities, EMI in 5–11; challenges to 7–11; EMI policies 7–8; EMI students 9–10; EMI teachers 8–9; first language use in EMI 10–11; threats to local language and educational culture 11 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 57, 116, 117–118 AUKU (University Colleges Act, Malaysia) 31 Australia 5, 42 Bahasa Indonesia 55, 58, 105 Bahasa Melayu (BM) 5, 29–32, 70, 76, 80–81 Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) 56 Basque Autonomous Community 109 bilingual education: in Brunei 41–42, 105; code-switching 47–48; high functioning 19; in Malaysia 70, 106; in Myanmar 120; in Philippines

118; plurilingualism and 93–97; sociocultural implications 24, 56; translanguaging and 93–97 bi/multilingualism 93–94 Britain 5, 41–42 British Council 1, 4, 6–7, 67 Brunei 1, 105–106, 117–118, 119–120; education system of 41–42; universitylevel education in 42–44; see also Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Cambodia 15, 118 Canadian immersion programmes 2–3 Cantonese 73, 100, 117, 121–122 case studies: EMI in Indonesia 55–67; public university in Malaysia 29–39; student perspectives of EMI in Malaysia 70–84; Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) 41–54 challenges to EMI: in Asian universities 7–11; first language use 10–11; in Malaysia 78–79, 80; policies 7–8; resulting from mixing English and L1 as the MI 79, 80; students 9–10; teachers 8–9; threats to language and educational culture 11 China 6, 15, 105, 107, 116, 117 classroom: discussions 79; diversity in 112; input, interaction and output 10, 20, 22, 63, 64; management 4, 18; Market English in 108–112; observations 45, 60, 63, 64; other languages in 50–51 code-switching 10, 20, 33, 47–48, 50 Colombia 2 Commission on Higher Education (Philippines) 111 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages 67



competence distinguished from proficiency 49–50 Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) 2–3, 39, 89, 91, 97 Content Based Teaching 2 Council of Europe 94 Dearden, J. 1, 7–11, 15, 25, 27, 57, 92, 119 Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka 33–34 Distributed Language View (DLV) 94 Dual Language Programme (DLP) 70 Dutch 3–4, 8, 56, 112, 117 economic implications of EMI 9, 57 Education Act of 1996 (Malaysia) 31 educational culture, threats to 11 Education Ordinance 1957 (Malaysia) 30 email interviews see Asia, email interviews with linguists in English as a foreign language (EFL) 92 English as an additional language (EAL) 122 English for Academic Purposes (EAP) 5, 11, 23, 50, 88, 89, 90, 91–92 English for Specific Purposes (ESP) 50, 88, 89, 90, 91–92 English for Specific Purposes (ESP) (journal) 89 English Medium Instruction (EMI): adoption of, issues with regard to 119–120; in Asian universities 5–6; challenges to 7–11; criteria for implementation of, suggested 121–123; email interviews with linguists in Asia 15–27; in Europe 3–4; in European universities 4–5; in Indonesia 55–67; linguistic landscape 116–119; Market English as 104–113; Myanmar 120–121; ontological dimension of 104–108; pedagogical dimension of 108–112; programmes, spread of 87–100; in public university in Malaysia 29–39; schooling systems in Malaysia 86; in schools and universities, current situation of 6–7; student perspectives of, in Malaysia 70–84; in Universiti Brunei Darussalam 41–54 English Medium Instruction (EMI) programmes: evaluation of 22–24; institutionalising 105; integrating

language support into EMI content teaching 88–90; local languages and indigenous cultural resources in 92–100; PCK for EMI content teaching 90–92; research and intervention in 87–90; spread of 87–100 Erasmus Mundi 4 European Economic Community (EEC) 2 European Union (EU) 4–5, 116 European universities, EMI in 4–5 Filipino 111, 117, 118–119 Finland 2 first language use in EMI 10–11 future of EMI 24–25 Germany 3, 4 ‘Global 30’ project (Japan) 6 globalisation 29, 32, 70, 87, 106–107 Hokkien 73 Hong Kong 2, 3, 8, 10, 88, 97, 99, 106, 121–122 immersion programmes 2–3, 88 implementation of EMI, suggested criteria for 121–123 India 106 indigenous cultural resources 92–100; see also local languages Indonesia, EMI in (case study) 55–67; classroom interaction 64; data collection and analysis 56, 59, 60; discussion 65–66; findings 60–65; future of EMI 64; history of 56–57; implications 66–67; introduction 55–56; literature relevant to, review of 57–58; other findings 64–65; participants 59; policy 60–61; present study 58–60; research questions 59; setting 58–59; student admission 61; students’ competence 63–64; teachers’ confidence and competence 61–63; teachers’ qualifications 61 internationalisation 64, 106, 113 International Programme of Science Education (IPSE, Indonesia) 58–67 intervention, need for in EMI programmes 87–90 interviews see Asia, email interviews with linguists in

Index intranet 34 IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines 111 Japan 2, 6, 15, 105, 117, 118 Japanese Ministry of Education 6 Journal of English for Academic Purposes (JEAP) 89 Kirkpatrick, Andy 2, 42, 57, 66–67, 113 Korea 6, 9, 112, 118 Krashen, Stephen 2 language support, integrating into EMI content teaching 88–90 Law on the National Education System (Indonesia) 66 local languages: in EMI programmes 92–100; MEC as curriculum planning resource 97–100; plurilingualism 93–97; threats to 11; translanguaging 93–97 Macaro, Ernesto 1, 121 Malay language 29–30, 41–44, 55 Malaysia: schooling systems in 71, 86; student perspectives of EMI in 70–84 Malaysia, public university in (case study) 29–39; data collection 36; findings 33–37; implications 37–39; introduction 29–32; present study 32–33 Malaysia, student perspectives of EMI in (case study) 70–84; aim and participants 71–72; ANOVA tests 73, 79, 80–81; attitudes towards EMI 74–77; challenges of EMI 78–79, 80; data collection and analysis 72–73; implications 82–84; introduction 70–71; paired sample t-tests 77; policy shifts 70–71; present study 71–73; results 74–81; summary 81–82 Mandarin 30, 31, 48, 73, 77, 81, 83, 95–96, 117, 121–122 Market English 104–113; in the classroom 108–112; homogenising tendencies of 111; neoliberal English and education 104–108 mathematics 3, 4, 31, 38, 46, 51, 58–62, 70, 95–97, 105, 120 medium of instruction (MI) in Malaysia 70–84 Ministry of Education in China 6


Ministry of Higher Education (Malaysia) 32 mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE) 118 multilingualism 93–94 Multimodalities-Entextualisation Cycle (MEC) 93, 97–100 multimodal learning resources 97–98 Myanmar 116, 120–121 National Education Committee, 1956 (Malaysia) 29–30 nationalism 31, 105 National Language Institute (Philippines) 117 National Transformation Programme 2050 (Malaysia) 84 Negara Brunei Darussalam see Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) neoliberal English and education 104–108 neoliberal pressure 106 Netherlands 3, 4 New Economic Policy (Malaysia) 30 New Zealand 9 North America 33 one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance) 73, 79, 80–81 paired sample t-tests 77 parallel course 88–89 parallel monolingualisms 93 pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) 90–92 pedagogical dimension of EMI 108–112 Philippines 15, 42, 106, 111–112, 116–118 Phillipson, Robert 1, 82, 122 plurilingualism 93–97 policy: current challenges to 7–8; in Indonesia case study 60–61; interviews related to matters of 16–19; shifts, student perspectives of EMI in Malaysia 70–71; in UBD case study 45–46 Private Higher Education Act (Malaysia) 31 professional development (PD) 4, 8, 20–21, 23, 35, 38–39, 51, 62, 92 proficiency distinguished from competence 49–50 Putonghua 117



Razak Report 29–30 research, need for in EMI programmes 87–90 Scandinavia 4, 82 schooling systems in Malaysia 86 science 3, 5, 6, 31, 33, 37, 38, 44, 46, 49, 51, 57–61, 70, 82, 94, 95, 105, 118, 120 Sistem Pendidikan Negara Abad ke-21 (SPN21) 41–42 social studies 3, 112 sociocultural implications of EMI 9, 24–25 South East Asian (SEA) universities 87 Spain 2, 3, 89, 109 SPeCTRUM 34 students: admission, in Indonesia 61; competence, in Indonesia 63–64; competence of 21–22; current challenges to 9–10; English proficiency in UBD case study 49–50; perspectives of, in Malaysia 70–84 surveys 1–2, 7–8, 15, 31, 36, 45, 47, 53–54, 57, 71–81, 84, 92 Tagalog 117, 118–119 Taiwan 8–9, 15 Talib Report 30 Tamil 30, 71 target language 2, 3, 97 teacher language awareness (TLA) 91–92

teachers: competence of 19–21; confidence and competence, in Indonesia 61–63; current challenges to 8–9; PCK required of 90–92; qualifications, in Indonesia 61 Thailand 15, 105, 107 TOEFL score 61, 65 translanguaging 93–97 trawsieithu see translanguaging United Kingdom 33, 42 Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), case study 41–54; code-switching 47–48; data collection 45; education system of Brunei 41–42; findings and discussion 45–51; future of EMI in UBD 51; introduction 41; issues in observed classes 47; other languages 50–51; participants 44; personal beliefs 46–47; policy 45–46; present study 44; professional development and support 51; student’s English proficiency 49–50; student survey 53–54; university-level education in Brunei 42–44 University Colleges Act (AUKU, Malaysia) 31 USA 5 Vietnam 6, 15, 107, 117, 118 Vietnamese Ministry of Education 6