Spotlight on EMI - English as a medium of instruction

Recent research into English as a medium of instruction, involving an Open University team, Education Development Trust and the British Council has led to a fascinating series of articles which examine EMI in depth.

The research project looked at how English as a medium of instruction currently operates in low and middle income (LMIC) contexts, and how the policies of governments, or of groups of schools, translate into practice in schools and classrooms. 

In the series of blogs, the Open University researchers set out the latest evidence from around the world, alongside particular findings in Ghana and India. Education Development Trust also explores how the project's findings should affect advice to policy makers and practitioners on making the most of multilingual opportunities in EMI contexts. In addition, the British Council sets out its thinking on the future of English in the classroom as it strives to support both learning and language in LMIC contexts.

The organisations involved would like to start a conversation about how best to use language(s) in the classroom in EMI contexts and look forward to you joining this conversation and contributing to this important debate. You can either do this on Twitter using the hashtag #EMIclassrooms or send an email to

Download the research report Multilingual classrooms: Opportunities and challenges for English medium instruction in low and middle income contexts.

For further information visit the Open University blog post series:

1. How can children in low- and middle-income contexts learn more easily when English is the medium of instruction?

2. Great opportunities to support EMI with multilingual practices by Dr Elizabeth J. Erling, formerly Senior Lecturer in English Language Teaching and International Teacher Education at The Open University, now Professor of ELT Research and Methodology at the University of Graz.

3. Ghana's teachers need permission and support to incorporate local languages into EMI teaching by Kimberly Safford, a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education Studies and International Teacher Development at The Open University.

4. Studying teachers' use of language in Indian low-cost English medium schools by Dr Lina Adinolfi, Lecturer with expertise in language in education within the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at The Open University.

5. English medium policy should not mean 'English only' by Dr Anna Riggall, Head of Research, Education Development Trust and overall project director for the research.

6. Don't sacrifice good education for poor EMI by John Knagg OBE FAcSS, Global Head of English for Education Systems at the British Council.

The British Council has also produced its own paper, which aims to open up discussions on the role of English in multilingual education and be of practical help to policy makers, advisers, project managers and English language teachers.

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