1st Edition

Policies, Politics, and Ideologies of English-Medium Instruction in Asian Universities Unsettling Critical Edges

Edited By Pramod K. Sah, Fan Fang Copyright 2023
    232 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Against the backdrop of uncritical promotions of English-medium instruction (EMI) in higher education globally, this edited volume maps out the political, ideological, and policy-related issues of EMI programs in multilingual and multicultural universities in Asia.

    In this volume, EMI researchers and practitioners involved in different Asian countries and regions have collaboratively unpacked the critical dimensions of EMI programs in higher education, with a goal to provide must-needed resources for researchers, graduate students, higher education leaders, and policymakers. This volume is the first of its kind in that it provides an exclusive and critical tapestry of EMI at multilingual universities from all parts of Asia, including Central Asia (Kazakhstan), East Asia (Mainland China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan), South Asia (Bangladesh and Nepal), Southeast Asia (Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), and Western Asia (United Arab Emirates). The key takeaway for the reader is to not only understand the current phenomenon of EMI in Asian universities but to also learn the dark side of its policies, programs, and practices that have led to unequal teaching and learning spaces in diverse societies.

    This collection will be of interest to scholars and policymakers in English-medium instruction, English language teaching, TESOL, and applied linguistics.


    Ryuko Kubota

    1. Introduction: Toward Critical English-Medium Instruction in Multilingual Universities
    2. Pramod K. Sah and Fan Fang

      Part 1: Policy Goals, Hidden Agenda, and Challenges in EMI Programs

    3. EMI in Higher Education in Kazakhstan: Policy Supports and Challenges
    4. Sulushash Kerimkulova, Bridget Goodman and Kamila Aitzhanova

    5. English Medium Instruction in Japan: Changes and Challenges Faced by Faculty and Students
    6. Samantha Curle, Yuwei Lin and Ikuya Aizawa

    7. Policy Development for English Medium Instruction at a Nepali University: Unpacking Hidden Motivations and Agendas
    8. Karna Rana and Pramod K. Sah

    9. English Medium Instruction (EMI) in Higher Education in Taiwan: A Review and Critical Reflection on Why, How and for Whom
    10. Kao Chin-Ling Gupta and Angel M. Y. Lin

      Part 2: Language Ideologies and Practices in EMI Programs

    11. University Lecturers’ Beliefs and Practices about the Use of First Languages and English in EMI: Case Studies from Malaysia and Thailand
    12. Roger Barnard, Zuwati Hasim and Banchakarn Sameephet

    13. The Role of English and the L1 in English Medium Instruction at Universities in Vietnam and Thailand
    14. Kari Sahan, Nicola Galloway and Jim McKinley

    15. Language Use and Language Choice at an EMI University in Brunei: Student Perspectives
    16. Ishamina Athirah Gardiner, Sarah Boye and Suciyati Sulaiman

    17. Understanding EMI Teachers’ Language Beliefs and Use in Content-Area Classrooms at Chinese Universities
    18. Rui Yuan and Xuyan Qiu

    19. Examining the "M" in EMI Courses at Korean Universities: Is it English-Medium or English-Mixed?
    20. Juyoung Song

      Part 3: Discourses of Educational and Social Inequalities in EMI Programs

    21. Language, Class and Coloniality in Medium of Instruction Projects in the Philippines
    22. Ruanni Tupas and Romylyn Metila

    23. English as a Medium of Instruction and Inequality: Exploring Private Sector Higher Education in Bangladesh
    24. Md. Al Amin and M. Obaidul Hamid

    25. English Medium Instruction and Linguistic Diversity in Emirati Higher Education: Expectations and Hardships

    Sarah Hopkyns


    Andy Kirkpatrick



    Pramod K. Sah is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education, Canada, and an Honorary Norham Fellow at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. He obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia, Canada, where he was also a Killam Laureate. His research areas include language planning and policy, English as a medium instruction, translanguaging, TESOL and social justice, and language ideology. His research has appeared in journals such as Linguistics and Education, Applied Linguistics Review, Ethnicities, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, International Multilingual Research Journal, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Asian Englishes, among others, and various edited volumes. [ORCiD ID: 0000-0002-6200-8898]

    Fan Fang obtained his PhD from the Centre for Global Englishes, University of Southampton, UK. He is currently a Professor at the College of Liberal Arts, Shantou University, China. His research interests include Global Englishes, sociolinguistics, language attitude, identity, intercultural communication, and language teaching and learning. He has published articles in journals including Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Asian Englishes, ELT Journal, English Today, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language, Culture and Curriculum, Language Teaching Research, Lingua, RELC Journal, System, among others. His latest books include a monograph titled Re-positioning accent attitude in the Global Englishes paradigm (Routledge) and an edited volume (co-edited with Dr Handoyo Widodo) titled Critical Perspectives on Global Englishes in Asia (Multilingual Matters). [ORCiD ID: 0000-0002-4210-9042]

    "Expertly edited by two key figures in the field, this fascinating volume offers wide-ranging insights into the ever-expanding use of English-medium education in Asia. Intent on highlighting the darker side of EMI, the volume raises critical questions and is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand how education in English reflects – and sometimes exacerbates – existing inequalities among languages and speakers." - Anna Kristina Hultgren, Professor of Sociolinguistics and Applied Linguistics and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, The Open University, United Kingdom

    "Pramod K. Sah and Fan Fang have put together the latest policy debate, research agenda and practical cases on the growing phenomenon of English-medium instruction in multilingual Asian Universities. This edited book provides a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of the expansion of EMI in over 13 Asian contexts, with critical reflections on various topics, serving as an essential reference to students, teachers, researchers, and practitioners." - Jack Pun, Assistant Professor, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China