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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 5: Outsiders’ perspectives on EMI


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Outsiders’ perspectives on EMI

This chapter presents the results of two questionnaire-based surveys investigating EMI from the perspectives of UNIRI teachers and students. Section 5.1 looks at the attitudes of the teaching staff, while section 5.2 examines instruction in English from the students’ point of view. In the subsequent discussion, the two outlooks are juxtaposed to develop a more complex and coherent picture of the findings. As pointed out in the introductory part of the book, here we give an account of the work published in two papers (Drljača Margić and Vodopija-Krstanović 2015; Drljača Margić and Žeželić 2015).

We begin by providing insights into the teachers’ self-estimated capability to teach in English, readiness to engage in EMI, attitudes towards the necessity of its implementation and views on the feasibility of instruction in English at UNIRI. Next, we turn to the perceived benefits and challenges of EMI. Finally, we present the teachers’ perspective on what they consider to be the necessary preconditions for the implementation of EMI.

The next section presents the students’ self-reported competence and willingness to participate in EMI, the perceived usefulness of instruction in English and their estimates of the likelihood of EMI being implemented at UNIRI. It also reveals the students’ views on the potential weaknesses of instruction in English and draws attention to their underlying concerns. The end of this section analyses what the students perceive to be the...

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