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Uncovering English-Medium Instruction

Glocal Issues in Higher Education

Branka Drljača Margić and Irena Vodopija-Krstanović

English-medium instruction (EMI) is a complex educational innovation and a prerequisite for active participation in the process of internationalizing academia. Given its impact on today’s universities, it is crucial that EMI should be effectively and responsibly implemented.

This book draws on a range of theoretical and empirical insights to explore the implications of EMI for stakeholders and describe the measures that should be taken to capitalize on its strengths and respond to its challenges. Using questionnaires, interviews and classroom observation, the authors investigate two academic communities – one that has undertaken instruction in English and one that has not – to weave together teacher and student attitudes, experiences, expectations and needs, along with comparative findings from classroom practice in Croatian and English.

By analysing EMI in a local academic context against the backdrop of the global higher education landscape, this book offers a glocal perspective and opens up new avenues for reflection and action that will be relevant to
educational institutions undergoing change.

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Chapter 4: Exploring attitudes, experiences and practices

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CHAPTER 4

Exploring attitudes, experiences and practices

The data in this study were obtained using a mixed-method approach. Individual semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, classroom observation and stimulated recall of teaching events required qualitative analysis, while questionnaires involved quantitative (although the instruments did contain a number of qualitatively analysed open-ended questions). In other words, the data were triangulated by the use of multiple methods of collection to capture different dimensions of the same phenomenon and to validate the findings (cf. Holliday 2002). The following sections look at aims, research questions, research contexts, participants, research methods, ethical concerns and (possible) limitations of the study.

Rationale for the study

The broader aims of the study were to explore student and teacher attitudes and their inclination towards EMI. More specifically, we examined the perspectives of teachers and students who had not been involved in EMI as well as the views of those who had undertaken instruction through the medium of English. The objective of investigating the first group was to gain insights into their willingness and self-perceived competence to undertake instruction in English, as well as into their perceptions of the strengths, challenges, usefulness and feasibility of instruction in English, and the prerequisites for its implementation. The reasons for examining the second group involved drawing on their experiences gained from EMI in practice and exploring their feelings towards instruction in an L2. The opinions of ← 29 | 30 → the students enrolled on...

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