THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EMI (ENGLISH MEDIUM INSTRUCTION) IN INDONESIAN UNIVERSITIES: ITS OPPORTUNITIES, ITS THREATS, ITS PROBLEMS, AND ITS POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

  • Jusuf Ibrahim Faculty of Letters, Petra Christian University
Keywords: English Medium Instruction, Bilingual Education, Language Policy, Bilingualism, Biliteracy.

Abstract

In this paper, I attempt to find out whether EMI (English Medium Instruction) can be an effective means of enhancing students' and teachers' language proficiency at university (bilingualism) and whether bilingualism necessarily leads to biliteracy. In addition, I would like to propose a model on which a smooth transition to a full EMI implementation can be achieved, should it be adopted. From literature reviews, I conclude that EMI (using English to teach content subjects) can be a better means of solving learners' language problems than teaching English as a subject, because it allows learners more exposure to the language (comprehensible input) and more opportunity to use it (comprehensible output). However, due to its classroom-based nature, EMI is not likely to develop the four language skills (listening, reading, speaking, & writing) equally for both students and teachers. On the other hand, the assumption that EMI will automatically result in biliteracy is unsupported, because only bilinguals competent in both languages can take a full advantage of their bilingualism. Students or teachers who are not adequately developed in the language are likely to suffer academically, socially, and psychologically instead. Since research has found that total/full immersion is not the right method for language-incompetent students, the writer believes that both a bridging program and a partial EMI program are necessary at least at the initial stage of EMI implementation. The bridging program should be based on students' and teachers' academic and linguistic needs (EAP); the partial EMI program may be based on limitations on three factors: the participants, the scope of use, and the settings. Finally, in order for the program to run smoothly, mixed-mode teaching in the classroom should be discouraged and a conducive atmosphere for second language acquisition should be established both in the classroom and outside the classroom

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Published
2004-06-01
Section
Articles