English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in European higher education not only in northern countries, but also in the European ‘south’. This volume is fruit of a project which was carried out in a public university based in the north-east of Italy with the aim of delivering professional development for university lecturers engaged in EMI. It begins with an overview of the European context, the Italian context, and some of the arguments against the indiscriminate spread of English as a medium of instruction in higher education. The volume then focuses on the microcontext of the university, giving voice to the various stakeholders in EMI. These include researchers, lecturers, administrative staff, those involved in professional development and students. The central part of the volume presents the views and experiences of twelve EMI lecturers from a range of academic disciplines. In sharing these perspectives on EMI, the volume hopes to stimulate critical dialogue and research on the many issues involved in this aspect of internationalisation in higher education institutions.
The economist (Eleonora Di Maria)
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ELEONORA DI MARIA1
The attention for EMI in economics and management courses at the University of Padova is growing and a debate about the impact and the consequences of the shift from Italian to English is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this transformation. English is recognised around the world as the language of business. In this view, the development of a set of English-taught courses in the management and economics field at the University of Padova by the Department of Economics and Management ‘Marco Fanno’ (the former Faculty of Economics) has been seen as a ‘natural’ process of offering the course to a wider audience.
Research-wise, English is the main language used in the international environment and Business English is considered the primary language to interact with other scholars as well as practitioners. In many fields of research (but also teaching) English words are traditionally used even in the Italian-spoken situations of training and research, sometimes offering no alternatives in our native language (i.e. marketing, spread), while in other situations, such as Internet-based or technology applications in the business domain, they have become the dominant terms.
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