English language teaching and English-medium instruction
Putting research into practice
The role of English language teaching (ELT) in English-medium instruction (EMI) can vary widely depending on education policy objectives and teachers’ responses to EMI students’ language and learning needs. In this paper, we provide a narrative review of a growing number of studies reporting language-related challenges as the foremost barrier to successful implementation of EMI. Such research highlights the fundamental roles that English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes have in the provision of targeted language support for EMI students. Based on this review, we set a future research agenda, calling for explorations into the efficacy of English language programs for supporting EMI students to reach educational outcomes. We also call for explorations of greater collaboration between English language practitioners and content lecturers to ensure the right type of language support is being provided to students. The paper ends with a discussion for the need to reposition EAP as English for Specific Academic Purposes to ensure students’ specific academic needs are met. Essentially, universities offering EMI will need to account for their unique institutional characteristics to ensure ELT provision is central in organizational and curricular structures; otherwise, they may be setting their own students up to fail.
Keywords: English language teaching, TESOL, English-medium instruction, English for Academic Purposes, English for Specific Purposes, higher education
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