Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 143-154
ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2022.0063
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Adopting English Medium Instruction (EMI) course design has been a strategy for many non-native countries as a means to attract international students. To boost the quality of High Education Institutes (HEIs) in such a globalized world, both local (LC) and international (ITL) students’ perspectives for better teaching and learning process should be valued. Based on a mix of qualitative and quantitative research from survey with EMI students of nine Spanish and Taiwanese universities, this research analyses students’ experiences and identifies local and international EMI students’ program motives, encountered difficulties, and course issues, providing an overview of elements for better EMI course design.

EMI programme itself is an unbiased demonstration of international mobility with a mix of local (LC) and international (ITL) students and students and teachers communicate in English. ITL and LC students choose an EMI program under different motives, the former seek more opportunities while the latter intends to improve English, and the common aim is to be more competitive in the marketplace as a result of the degree and the international design of intercultural setting. The quest of English improvement from EMI was often ignored by EMI teachers in the past. To improve English is often the major trigger and motive for NN LC students in Spain and Taiwan to have chosen EMI programmes, and teaching methods to facilitate students’ English enhancement should be taken into account by NN instructors. The quality of lectures is the course focus of both LC and ITL students, especially the instructor’s English professionalism is significant in students’ evaluation of the programme quality. Our quantitative data results confirm that most EMI students have medium-high English levels in Spanish and Taiwanese HEIs, and a high correlation existed in EMI quality with instructors’ English and non-native students’ improved English.

Nevertheless, non-native students’ English improvement lies in the cognitive attribute of the class design and interactions between LC and ITL students, and the habit and must to use English in class. Better EMI course design shall contain elements of intercultural communication, cooperation and learning in content and teaching methodologies that enhance students’ knowledge, English and overall employability. The integration of both local and foreign students should be core to EMI programs in HEIs that aim at internationalization of their education, and teaching methods that lower the language influence of NN instructor and NN students should be adopted. LC and NN ITL students who can speak local language often switch back to their mother tongue after class and whether this local language effect is positive or negative should be analyzed further. Not only English but also local language, can instructors turn the non-native effect into positive EMI asset in those non-native countries? The findings of this study also imply possible insufficient resources and EMI guidelines in most universities for teachers and class design and the importance of teacher’s training for their class design and their use of class language for better learning efficacy and experience.
EMI, HEIs, student’s perspective, international students, non-native effect, Spain, Taiwan.