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English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)

What is English as a Medium of Instruction?

English Medium Instruction (EMI) refers to the teaching of academic subjects through the medium of English. Universities worldwide are currently seeing a rapid expansion in EMI, in particular in settings where the majority population’s first language is not English. The increasing mobility of students and researchers means that more often than not, both teachers and learners are non-native speakers of English.

Thanks to its ongoing focus on internationalization, TU Berlin is no exception. With the growing number of English-taught programmes and international partnerships, solid communication skills in English are now an essential feature of teaching and learning at TU Berlin. This offers undeniable benefits for both international and home students in terms of their career development and access to information.

“Our investigations to date suggest that rather than the technical language of their subject, it is the day to day English that some EMI teachers lack and the classroom language to effectively set up tasks, provide meaningful explanations, interact with their students, and generally make their lessons interesting.” Ernesto Macaro, founding director, Centre for Research and Development in English Medium Instruction, University of Oxford, in Modern English Teacher, Vol. 24 (2) p. 7

As for research and teaching staff, as well as administrators, it is tempting to assume that the shift towards EMI is simply a matter of ‘translating’ previous work practices into English. However, it can also entail new challenges, including:

·         catering to students from diverse linguistic and educational backgrounds

·         holding lectures and seminars in an appropriate academic style

·         publishing research in international peer-reviewed journals

·         addressing day-to-day administrative tasks in English

·         presenting and networking at international conferences

·         explaining specialist terminology with precision

·         managing classroom interaction

·         developing writing skills

·         giving students feedback on their work

·         conducting exams

·         improving pronunciation and listening comprehension skills

·         dealing with misunderstandings, intercultural issues and more…

 

 

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Emre Yesilbas
English
Room HBS 3.06
(030) 314-25153

by appointment only