Vol. 8:1 (2020) ► pp. 5–27
The positioning of English-medium of instruction
Winners and losers in “the game of EMI” at two Russian universities
The proliferation of English-medium instruction (EMI) in higher education institutions (HEIs) across non-English-speaking Europe has been recently documented in several large-scale surveys. The opportunities and challenges of designing and implementing EMI policies are also widely recognized. However, our understanding of the use of EMI in Russian HEIs is limited. This study responds to this research need by exploring the experiences and perspectives of instructors teaching business-related subjects using the English language in two different Russian HEIs. A contribution of the study is to investigate these perspectives and experiences using the analytic lens of positioning theory. Results reveal the ways in which instructors are positioned by the university, as well how they position themselves, within an EMI environment. Acknowledging the potential antagonism that might result between different EMI stakeholders because of this positioning and repositioning, suggestions are then made as how this outcome could be avoided. Implications for future research are also considered.