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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 9: Final considerations and future implications

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CHAPTER 9

Final considerations and future implications

First, let us briefly compare the findings generated from the two studies in terms of the benefits and challenges of EMI as well as the preconditions for its proper implementation. It is important to mention here that all the participants acknowledge the benefits of EMI, but realize that its strengths do not mitigate the challenges. Both groups of participants, UNIRI and FEMP, consider advanced career prospects, improved communication skills and heightened challenge to be the advantages of EMI. Some aspects, however, are deemed advantageous only by one of the groups. A wider literature base, although perceived as a strength of EMI by both groups, does not seem to be sufficiently exploited by FEMP teachers and EMP students; instead, they report problems with course materials. Conversely, EMP students list some advantages that they gained from the experience, of which UNIRI students are probably not aware. These include the waiver of tuition fees and work in smaller groups. Similarly, FEMP teachers, unlike UNIRI teachers, feel a sense of group membership instilled by the shared experience of teaching in English. Factors like increased international collaboration, visibility, mobility and better university rating are to a larger extent commended by those who have not been engaged in EMI. By the same token, UNIRI teachers perceive that EMI and the subsequent improved language proficiency bring wider participation in international projects and conventions, and greatly facilitate editorial work and project-proposal development, which...

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