“This is a preprint of the following chapter: Niall Curry and Pascual Pérez-Paredes, Understanding
Lecturers’ Practices and Processes: A Qualitative Investigation of English-Medium Education in a Spanish
Multilingual University, published in Teaching Language and Content in Multicultural and Multilingual
Classrooms, edited by Carrió-Pastor, M.L., & Bellés Fortuño, B., 2021, Palgrave MacMillan, reproduced
with permission of Palgrave MacMillan. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Curry, N., & Pérez-Paredes, P. (2021). Understanding Lecturers’ Practices and Processes: A Qualitative
Investigation of English-Medium Education in a Spanish Multilingual University. In: Carrió-Pastor, M.L.,
& Bellés Fortuño, B. (eds.). Teaching Language and Content in Multicultural and Multilingual Classrooms
(pp. 123-156). Palgrave MacMillan.
Understanding Lecturers’ Practices and Processes: A Qualitative Investigation of English-Medium
Education in a Spanish
University of Murcia
University of Cambridge – Cambridge Language Sciences
Internationalization, English-Medium Instruction, and Beliefs
This chapter investigates how the internationalization process by way of English-medium Education in
Multilingual University Settings (EMEMUS) is unfolding in a Spanish university context. Broadly, English-
medium instruction (EMI), like content and language integrated learning (CLIL), can be defined as “the
use of the English language to teach academic subjects in countries or jurisdictions where the first
language (L1) of the majority of the population is not English” (Dearden 2015: 4). A typical differentiating
factor between CLIL and EMI is the role of language teaching, and typically, EMI has “no explicit language
learning aims” (Madhavan and McDonald 2014: 1). However, separating language and content in EMI
contexts has proven challenging owing to EMI instructors’ low language proficiency (Dearden 2015),
instructors’ lack of language awareness and training (Dearden et al. 2016), the varied English language
skills among students (Macaro et al. 2018), and broader linguistic difficulties among students and
instructors (Vu and Burns 2014).
Moreover, following Ortega (2014), in many cases where research on EMI addresses language
issues, it typically takes a simplistic and uncritical position of seeing L2 speakers as deficient and a cause
of problems in EMI contexts. The complexity of the sites where multilingual universities struggle to
provide EMI programs is extraordinary and requires further attention and theorization beyond such a
simplistic view (Macaro et al. 2018). In fact, in their systematic review, Macaro et al. (2018: 69) identify
a number of outstanding problems and questions in the field of EMI, of which one has been the
inspiration for this chapter, namely: Do different HE institutions (e.g., private and state) experience
different levels of success in implementing EMI? If so, why? As there remains a need to investigate the
implementation of EMI policies in a range of higher education institutions, this study focuses on state-
funded education and investigates teacher beliefs about EMI in a Spanish state-funded higher education
A well-established means of accessing and understanding the impact of policies on education,
such as an EMI policy, pertains to the study of teacher reflections and beliefs (c.f. Fives and Gill 2014).
While the value of studying teacher beliefs is widely recognized, critiques remain surrounding both
conceptual and methodological inconsistencies in such studies (Skott 2014). Conceptually, definitions of
beliefs have been argued to refer to perceived truths, affect, and cognition. For some they are socially
bound and directly linked to practice (Skott 2014). As such, the conceptual inconsistencies make it
difficult to compare and contrast studies on teacher beliefs. Moreover, Borg (2015) argues that
contemporary research on teacher beliefs lacks purpose. Such a view is also reflected in Skott (2014)
wherein the methodological weaknesses in studies of teacher beliefs indicate that teachers’ professional
practices are not often theoretically situated. Rather, they appear fragmented and add little to the
understanding and development of teachers in contexts like EMEMUS contexts. While it is imperative
that we continue the important work in the context of teacher beliefs, following Borg and Alshumaimeri
(2019), we must endeavor to question current understandings of teacher beliefs and move beyond initial
descriptive accounts toward more theoretically and practically impactful research.
To address the needs identified thus far, this paper adopts Dafouz and Smit’s ROADMAPPING
framework (2016, 2020) to analyze the practices and processes of EMEMUS lecturers at a Spanish
university. These practices and processes can be understood as “the teaching and learning activities that
construct and are constructed by specific English-Medium education in multilingual University settings”
(Dafouz and Smit 2016: 407). Such practices and processes are intrinsically linked to the understanding
of beliefs as, following Skott (2014), “beliefs are expected to significantly influence the ways in which
teachers interpret and engage with the problems of practice” (p. 19). Therefore, by adopting the
ROADMAPPING framework (2016, 2020), this research can offer a better understanding of EMEMUS
lecturers’ approaches to managing content and language in their EMEMUS teaching from an emic
perspective and systematically address issues in EMEMUS while theoretically positioning and
interrogating teacher beliefs.
The analysis is based on the tagging and analysis of two interviews according to the
ROADMAPPING framework and the results of a detailed survey of 42 EMEMUS lecturers. Our analysis
explored the development and construction of knowledge in the EMEMUS context by examining
lecturers’ understanding of their teaching practices and processes. The findings of this study are
manifold. For example, this study reveals that at a micro level, EMEMUS lecturers’ beliefs appear to at
times both support and impede the internationalization process at this Spanish university. More broadly,
this study allows for further commentary on EMEMUS lecturers’ practices and perceived roles in
language provision. Reflecting on the findings of this study, this paper also considers more macro
perspectives to better understand the larger institutional practices and processes surrounding
internationalization and EMEMUS. Theoretically, our study informs our understanding of the
ROADMAPPING framework, outlines our methodological processes for accessing this information and
highlights the role of internationalization and EMEMUS practices in non-English-speaking countries.
English in International Higher Education
English-medium instruction in higher education (HE) is an arguably unstoppable phenomenon (Dafouz
and Smit 2020) that has been discussed widely in the context of globalization processes (Dafouz and
Smit 2016). Increased student and staff mobility, international collaboration, and the role of English as
the international lingua franca have all contributed to the Englishization of universities, at least in Europe
(Lanvers and Hultgren 2018). However, universities worldwide approach their policies to attract
international students very differently.
The number of international students in HE worldwide, according to the OECD’s (2020) latest
update at the time of writing, varies from 21.5% in Australia to 3.2% in Norway and Spain, 0.6% in
Mexico, and 0.2% in Brazil. Further differences can be found when specific areas of education are
considered. For example, in business, administration, and law, the percentage of international students
is 36.2% in Australia, 32% in New Zealand, and 30.2% in the UK. In Spain, however, the percentage of
international students does not seem to be affected by the specific field of education. As shown in Fig.
1, most areas remain well below 5%, with health and welfare leading the different fields with 5.5%, and
education at the bottom with 1.8%.
Spain, in terms of percentage, appears to enroll the fewest international students according to
2017 data. The HE systems in countries such as Italy 5.3%, Portugal 6.4%, Germany 8.4%, France 10.2%,
and Austria 17.2% seem to attract a higher percentage of students from other countries. While Austria,
Germany, and France have traditionally been strong countries in the HE international scenario, and their
languages, German and French, considered languages of science and education, the languages of the
south of Europe, such as Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, have not played such a major role, at least in
the twentieth and the beginning of this twenty-first centuries. Despite the pervasiveness of Spanish as
a global language, neither Spain nor Mexico seem draw in international students.
Figure 1 illustrates how the largest flow of international students seem to favor Anglo-speaking
countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, it is of
The percentage of graduates between 25 and 34 years does seem to have an impact on these figures—44.26% of the population in Spain hold
a HE degree, 40.46% in Austria, 46.94% in France, 51.39% in Australia, and 50.75% in the United Kingdom. Only Germany, 32.28%, falls below
note that these countries do hold a longer tradition of international education. Anglospeaking countries
have developed different strategies to strengthen their position as attractive destinations.
Fig. 1 Percentages of HE students worldwide (OECD 2020)
New Zealand has published their new International Education Strategy in which the International
Student Wellbeing Strategy plays a prominent role. New Zealand authorities claim that this strategy was
developed to ensure that student wellbeing is at the heart of their international education sector. Part
of this policy is recognition of the fact that international students do not speak English as their L1:
“[International students] are in unfamiliar surroundings, often have English as a second language, and
are far from family and social networks [we want to ensure] that international students feel welcome
and safe, enjoy a high-quality education and are valued for their contributions to New Zealand” (New
Zealand Government 2018: 14). The UK, through the 2019 International Education Strategy: global
potential, global growth, however, has decided to emphasize the benefits of their education system
based on the pre-eminence of English as a global language.
[The UK has] strong historical links with many countries around the world. Underpinning these
benefits are positive cultural relationships and the widespread use of English as the global language
of business. Many UK education providers are already exporting successfully. Leaving the EU gives
the UK the freedom to pursue an independent trade policy that reflects its unique strengths. (HM
Government 2019: 18)
International education varies greatly worldwide (Dafouz and Smit 2020), and Dafouz and Smit (2016)
coined the term “English-Medium Education in Multilingual University Settings (EMENUS)” to capture
the diversity of HE contexts where English is used as a language of both instruction and learning, in
systems where languages other than English play different roles. Dafouz and Smit (2020) argue that
while EMENUS is a phenomenon that takes place globally, a “north-south divide” (p. 14) characterizes
the European region as universities in the Nordic countries lead the implementation of programs in
EMEMUS. These authors note that the Spanish HE International strategy suggested that by 2020, 30%
of all degree programs be offered in English with the aim “to consolidate a strong and internationally
attractive university system which fosters incoming and outgoing student and staff mobility as well as
the internationalization of curricula and of research activities for the sake of a more globally oriented
workforce” (2020: 29). This national-level policy was influenced by the global trends in the early years
of the 2000s and has had an impact on institutions and, at the micro level, on classrooms, teachers, and
students. It is the practices and processes of those in the classroom that are the focus of this chapter.
Dafouz and Smit (2020) have noted how the practices and processes “associated with
understanding and implementing EME are as varied as the myriad of agents, settings and languages
involved” (p. 30). To address this variety, Dafouz and Smit (2016, 2020) developed ROADMAPPING as a
theoretical framework where practices in EMEMUS can be captured, analyzed and theorized. The
framework is integrated by six different dimensions that have been identified as contributing to
underlying theoretical underpinnings in sociolinguistics, ecolinguistics, and language policy research
(Dafouz and Smit 2020). These dimensions are seen as social phenomena that are discursively
constructed. The dimensions identified in Dafouz and Smit (2016) are the roles of English, academic
disciplines, language management, the role of the agents, practices and processes, and, finally,
internationalization and glocalization. The roles of English dimension acknowledges the complexities
involved in HE settings where more than one language is used for communication. The presence of
various linguistic repertoires can potentially give rise to friction or co-existence as well as the process of,
among others, dynamic identity negotiation at different levels (micro, meso, macro). As for the academic
disciplines dimension, the implementation of programs in EMEMUS challenges previous beliefs and
practices in mainstream academic literacies by way of engaging in new norms, values and ways to
construct knowledge. The language management dimension takes stock of the variety of policies that,
at different levels, regulate and manipulate the use of languages; English in this case. ROADMAPPING
also acknowledges the roles played by individual and institutional agents by examining how social
structures impact the implementation of programs in EMEMUS. The internationalization and
glocalization dimensions note that HE institutions are subject to increasing pressure to decipher the
emerging new roles of universities in an ever-increasing globalized society that is also undergoing major
social and political changes. How institutions navigate these tensions is ultimately the product of either
explicit or implicit processes in different universities. Finally, the dimension that will be further explored
in our research is practices and processes. This dimension understands social practices as cultural
conceptions that are key elements in our study of programs in EMEMUS.
[Practices and processes are] thus concerned with the administrative, research and educational
activities that construct and are constructed by EMENUS realities […] allowing for dynamic analyses
at all levels, for example classroom discourse, teacher professional development or stages of
internationalisation. (Dafouz and Smit 2020: 60)
Digging deeper into practices and processes, there is a specific focus on the socialization of learning and
cultural facets to education. A further dimension appears to capture processes and practices that
respond to the uniqueness of the EMEMUS learning context. This refers to consideration of learner
needs, both linguistic and pedagogical, as well as cognitive, mental, and physical activities (Dafouz and
Smit 2020: 56–67).
This dynamic and complex understanding of EMEMUS is of great interest as it is instrumental in
“problematising simplistic divides between language and content” (Baker and Hüttner 2017: 1).
ROADMAPPING has been extensively used to explore EMEMUS on a national scale (Brown and Bradford
2018) and in international contexts (Baker and Hüttner 2017) to examine teacher beliefs on the
integration of content and language across sites (Dafouz and Smit 2016), or, among other areas, to
understand teacher identity in the design of professional development programs (Dafouz 2018). Baker
and Hüttner (2017) found that the participants in EMEMUS “share a complex understanding of the
diverse roles of English and other languages involved in these multilingual sites” (p. 13). They also found
in lecturers and students a “superficial orientation [to the role of English in EMEMUS as an]
unambiguous, monolithic entity” (p. 13). The use of ROADMAPPING allowed them to tap into the
contextual patterns that make up the perceived ideal language policy and the positioning of other
languages as relevant to teaching and learning the discipline. As a theoretical framework,
ROADMAPPING allows us to take facets of the EMEMUS and internationalization processes and see them
clearly within their wider interconnected ecosystem.
Interview and Survey Data and Analysis
This chapter presents a largely qualitative analysis that forms part of a larger study on EMEMUS which
involves the detailed survey of 42 EMEMUS lecturers, and focus groups and interviews with 24 of these
lecturers. Mainly derived from the detailed analysis of two specific interviews, the data is used here to
investigate and better understand the internationalization process by way of EMEMUS practices and
processes in a Spanish university context. The survey data is used to set this analysis in greater relief,
and to better understand and access the macro practices and processes at the Spanish university.
At the Spanish university being studied, the role of English has generated an important question
and challenge for teaching, with more and more teachers needing to teach their subjects through
English. With this wide-reaching need for EMEMUS recognized and supported, our study aimed to gain
a deeper understanding of the challenges the institution and teachers face and the barriers to successful
implementation of EMEMUS, and provide direction for development and support.
The interviews took a semi-structured format and were framed within the context of the EMI
policy at the institution. All the lecturers were familiar with EMEMUS and the remit of English at their
institution, more generally. There were several questions that were discussed with each participant
through the prism of EMEMUS. However, the lecturers were encouraged to discuss items beyond the
original broad interview questions. The interviews lasted about 30 minutes and the following questions
were used to guide them:
Could you tell me a little about your own use of English, both professionally and everyday life?
What are the main differences in your opinion between teaching in English and Spanish?
Do you think teaching content and teaching language require different teaching approaches?
How do you balance the two?
How do you think students find studying in English? Are they well prepared?
If a student is having language and not content problems in your classes, what do you do? How
do you address it?
Do you find academic English and academic Spanish to be similar? Very different? Do you
translate? Is it easy to do that?
Do you use technology in the classroom? If so, how and why do you use it?
For this chapter, an analysis of two of the interviews is presented with interviewees, Encarna and Carlos.
These two interviews were chosen as Encarna represents a lecturer with experience of teaching in
EMEMUS. She is also an educationalist and therefore represents a very specific type of lecturer; one
who has a keen interest in pedagogy and internationalization. The second interviewee, Carlos, is soon
to be an EMEMUS lecturer in law. He faces particular problems with teaching that are not shared by
other disciplines, i.e., the translating and teaching of heavily contextualized Spanish law into English. He
does not have previous experience of teaching in English or EMEMUS. These two interviewees were
chosen for analysis in this paper as they represent two very different case studies of lecturers that co-
exist within the same EMEMUS and under the same policy. Each interview was transcribed, and each
utterance was coded according to the ROADMAPPING framework (Dafouz and Smit 2016). In certain
instances, a single line of dialogue could hold two tags. In such cases, utterances were attributed with
primary and secondary tags that reflect the ROADMAPPING dimensions. This is not surprising as the
interconnectedness of the branches of ROADMAPPING is well-established (Dafouz and Smit 2016, 2020).
What this means in practicality is that some examples of practices and processes are embedded within
roles of English, academic disciplines, language management, agents, and internationalization, and vice
In order to understand how their practices and processes interplay with the internationalization
process, the interviews were thematically analyzed identify overarching themes. These themes were
broadly identified as:
learning and social constructivism in EMEMUS and
reflexive and adaptive teaching for EMEMUS.
For the supplementary survey data, the participants were 42 academic staff teaching a wide range of
courses that can be categorized into business (19), education (7), physics (5), and biology (3), with 5 law
lecturers who were not teaching through English at the time of the surveys and interviews, and 3 who
did not specify. The average years of teaching experience was 16.5, and most of the staff had more than
9 years of teaching experience. Half of the teachers have taught in English at university. Twenty-six of
the 42 participants rated their English level at C1 and 11 of them at C2; only 5 reported to be at B2 level.
Among all the participants, only 3 lecturers have taken an EMI course, among whom one reported to be
taking an online course, one was taking a course offered by their faculty, and the other one did not
specify. For the survey, participants were asked 60 questions that spanned the following themes:
use of English
perceived language competence
differences across languages and disciplines
pedagogical approaches when teaching in English
and use of technology
Overall, the focus in this chapter is a presentation of the qualitative analysis of the practices and
processes identified in the interviews and a reflection on the tagging process to inform future EMEMUS
studies. In presenting the results in the subsequent sections, both the micro and the macro level
practices and processes are identified and discussed. As the focus of this paper is on the qualitative
analysis, the survey data is used only to reflect the views of Encarna and Carlos in their wider macro
Encarna and Carlos: Practices and Processes
After tagging the interviews, practices and processes were found to be a frequent feature of both
Encarna’s and Carlos’ discourses. For Encarna, of the 154 primary and secondary tags applied to her
interview, 47 pertained to practices and processes. Overall, practices and processes account for 37% of
Encarna’s primary tags, 17% of her secondary tags, and 31% of all of her tags, rendering them the most
common aspect of ROADMAPPING identified in her interview. Similarly, practices and processes were
also a frequent feature of Carlos’ interview. Of the 131 primary and secondary tags applied to Carlos’
interview, 63 reflected practices and processes. In total, practices and processes account for 57% of
Carlos’ primary tags, 24% of his secondary tags, and 48% of all of his tags. As with Encarna, this means
that practices and processes are the most common aspects of ROADMAPPING identified in his interview.
However, it should be noted that the questions outlined in the methodology section do guide the
discussion in the direction of practices and processes. While there are many ways in which these data
could be analyzed, the purpose here is to consider how Encarna’s and Carlos’ accounts of practices and
processes impact upon and/or respond to the internationalization process and the effective support of
In analyzing the interviews, it appears that in the reflections on practices and processes there
are facets of both lecturers’ work that reflect behavior conducive to EMEMUS implementation and
internationalization, and there are facets that do not. At this micro level of analysis, practices, and
processes have been subdivided into two categories in order to make both lecturers’ engagement with
effective EMEMUS and internationalization processes clear: 1) learning and social constructivism in
EMEMUS and 2) reflexive and adaptive teaching for EMEMUS. Let us first begin with a consideration of
their practices and processes pertaining to learning and social constructivism.
Learning and Social Constructivism in EMEMUS
In EMEMUS, it is well-established that social constructivist approaches to learning are crucial for the
development of knowledge and the ability to effectively communicate that knowledge through English
(Dafouz and Smit 2020). Encarna very clearly acknowledges the value of socialized learning in the
So, as I have told you that my teaching is based on task-based learning, and they are all the time
working together, and working with and presenting things, and discussing things for them is very
In this example, she accounts for her students’ practices. Importantly, she acknowledges the problems
her students face when working through English and a solution she supports, i.e., they struggle to
communicate and therefore should work together to improve. Such an approach represents long-
standing core tenets within the field of social constructivism, such as those supported by Bandura (1977,
1986), who argued that learning takes place in a social context. Moreover, recognizing more recent
advances in concepts like interthinking, not only is the social facet key but also the co-constructedness
of knowledge plays an important role in social constructivist approaches to learning (Littleton and
Mercer 2013). Her focus on “working together” reflects her use of interthinking approaches, and the
clear value she places on the socialization of learning. In a similar example, she refers to students
working together to help support one another’s learning.
So, I always try to listen to everybody, trying to force them to speak in my class and to try to…and
always trying to help each other.
Again, in this example, the role of community is very clear. She encourages her students to help one
another. Such an approach to community building has been seen to facilitate effective learning, where
students develop learning relationships with one another (Haneda 1997; Carpenter and Murphey 2007).
While Carlos has less experience of EMEMUS, he does have some previous experience in other
institutions. He too recognizes that the main benefits from EMEMUS practices in the law classroom will
only happen if local and international students engage in activities where they collaborate and work
I must say I’m quite excited about this whole thing, because my wish, my dream will be for my
students, the Spanish students and international students that came here to be able to work in
groups, and to have [unclear], competitions…
A challenge of this analysis is to identify the extent to which the will of both lecturers is indeed to
create a community. Smit (2013) identifies that community building is an important aspect of teaching
in EMEMUS. She finds “that all participants, students and teachers alike, engage in, and jointly develop
their community specific lingua franca practices over time” (p. 24). Moreover, she finds this to be
effective in creating inhibition in language use irrespective of English language proficiency levels, as the
students become more used to functioning in English for educational purposes (p. 22). That said, the
community constructed was bound by academic discipline where the students’ studies were part of a
shared community of practice. While this study is concerned with addressing and understanding beliefs
as practices and processes and their role in the internationalization process, a future study to investigate
other dimensions of their practices, such as classroom practices and academic discipline, would be
There are further examples that address social and community approaches to teaching and
learning in Encarna’s interview. For example, in her discussion with her students, she attempts to make
herself a language model, reflecting the concept of the near-peer role model, which serves to give
learners more tangible and accessible evidence of their capacity for language learning (Dörnyei 2009;
Ruddick and Nadasdy 2013; Curry 2019). This is constructed in the following example.
The others they – I always encourage them to say that in the way you want, and I always use myself
as an example of someone that is not very good at speaking English. And I would say my English
is a kind of English-ish, and I don’t know the majority of the terms, and I don’t have a very big
lexicon in English, so don’t be worried if you don’t know a word.
Furthermore, Encarna talks explicitly about “active learning” tasks and methods, as in the following
Since I started to teach at the university, I have been very focused on implementing all my classes,
active learning tasks and active learning methodologies.
This creates a very clear connection to social constructivism, where active learning pertains to learning
through action and engagement and is underpinned conceptually by theories such as the Vygotskian
socio-cultural theory (Mattar 2018).
More broadly, Encarna recognizes the importance of the learning environment. She talks
regularly about the value of a personal learning environment and she sees her role as one that creates
a safe-speaking environment for second-language users. She talks about creating an English-speaking
space for her students, “So, in the first days I try to create a natural space for speaking in English.” In her
attempt to create a space conducive for learning, her practices reflect that which is well-established in
the theory, i.e., that communicative contexts that allow for lots of interaction are central to community-
based learning (Carpenter and Murphey 2007). In fact, such a view reflects the value of communities of
practice for effective learning, as seen in Van Compernolle and Williams’ study (2012) in which university
students learning French develop sociolinguistic competence through their acculturation within a
While in many ways both Encarna’s and Carlos’ reported practices and processes demonstrate
the qualities of an agent of internationalization and EMEMUS, there is also evidence of practices that
challenge effective EMEMUS implementation. For example, while Carlos identifies the importance of
collaborative and cooperative work, he thinks that there is a lack of willingness to engage in
communication between local and international students. Spanish local students are perceived as
potentially reluctant to engage in activities using the English language.
The interaction with Spanish students, and I hope they are not shy, I hope they really want to talk,
etcetera, but probably it will be… It’s already difficult in Spanish to make that talk in class, and
probably it will be more challenging in English.
This view is expanded later in the interview when Carlos goes on to assert that there is the widespread
idea that Spanish speakers do not seem to be able to speak competently, in English.
But it was what [unclear] for me, what this was, it was a more important priority, was that they
realised that they could do it, which is something, and I don’t know whether that’s the case in other
countries, but I think in Spain we have the feeling that we will never be able to speak in English, so
it’s kind of a complex.
Although Carlos did not position himself as particularly embracing this idea of Spanish students having
a lower level of English, being himself a clear example of a successful lecturer and researcher that uses
English in international forums, it is interesting that he understands that Spanish speakers, as a
homogenous group of speakers, are positioned hierarchically lower in the scale of L2 competence
against the backdrop of an imaginary global society. It would be interesting to probe into how EMEMUS
lecturers understand the divide between language practice (what people do) and language ideology
(what people think about how things should be done) as discussed in Spolsky (2004). Spolsky (2004)
suggested that “language ideology or beliefs designate a speech community’s consensus on what value
to apply to each of the language variables or named language varieties that make up its repertoire” (p.
14). From this perspective, it may seem that, judging from Carlos’ statement, the Spanish group is
particularly harsh when judging their own abilities to use English as a lingua franca. However, this
consensus may also affect how others’ social practices are conceptualized. Carlos identified a particular
group of international students as not willing to play an active role in the lessons.
I have had difficulty with [nationality] students, for example, but it was more a cultural thing than
a linguistic one [unclear]. They wouldn’t talk, and they wouldn’t participate, but I know that they
were following the course, and they were even asking for more [readings?], etcetera, but it’s
probably more a cultural difference.
Carlos is revisiting here his previous experience as a lecturer in different higher education institutions.
He seems to imply that the nationality of students defines their behavior and their interaction within
EMEMUS lessons. This alignment ties in with Spolsky’s (2004) association of major languages worldwide
with ethnolinguistically homogeneous countries, or at least with predominant discourses in those
countries that favor the relevance of one of the languages in those territories over the others.
Drawing on this view of the role of language in lecturers’ and students’ practices and processes, Dafouz
and Smit (2020) identify that effective EMEMUS presupposes a culture wherein translanguaging
processes are supported and embedded within the wider learning culture. However, in Encarna’s
interview there is evidence to suggest that she does not support translanguaging in her role as an
EMEMUS lecturer. In the following example, she talks about her teaching of bilingual classes. However,
she says that these classes are only in English. Therefore, she does not permit the reflexive use of
linguistic repertoires by students that are required for the facilitation of translanguaging.
The main difference probably is that in my bilingual classes, nowadays I only teach in English
because of my… Well, in the degree, in the master’s, I teach some classes in English and some
classes in Spanish.
In further discussions, she talks about creating an English-only environment with her bilingual students.
Encarna: Even in the corridor, always that I identify someone from the bilingual group, I turn into
Interviewer: And how did you create that requirement?
Encarna: I said it in the first day.
This example quite clearly reflects Encarna’s approach to the use of Spanish in the EMEMUS classroom.
That is, she does not permit the use of Spanish or facilitate translanguaging. Throughout the interview,
Encarna regularly reports on translation processes as harmful, difficult, as risking important and
meaningful losses, and as being linguistically fraught. Take, for example, the following utterance by
Encarna where she likens the use of Spanish, English, and translation to a destructive process.
So, when you’re translating phrase by phrase from the Spanish into English, you’re trying to make
with a hammer, to put into a hammer in your Spanish, to try to combine them into English
patterns, and it doesn’t work.
Encarna’s approach to bilingualism reflects English and Spanish as “two solitudes” (Cummins 1994) as
Spanish is not used as a supportive resource to scaffold the learning of both content and language in
English (Doiz et al. 2013). Her reflection on her processes and practices seems to show that she sees
translanguaging as a contaminant (Creese and Blackledge 2010) despite ample evidence supporting the
claim that the use of multiple languages is both cognitively beneficial (Garcia and Wei 2014) and an
effective support for students in EMEMUS (Fujimoto-Adamson and Adamson 2018). Therefore, while
the implementation of a social constructivist approach by Carlos and Encarna supports EMEMUS and
the internationalization of the university, Encarna’s stance on translanguaging and Carlos’ view of
student unwillingness to collaborate across cultural groups reflect practices that may be negatively
impacting this internationalisation process.
Reflexive and Adaptive Teaching for EMEMUS
Compared to traditional language classrooms, EMEMUS bring with them an array of unique challenges.
EMEMUS lecturers must often respond to students with different pedagogical approaches to language
teaching. This may be owing to the requirement to balance the needs of a multilingual classroom with
expert content knowledge in their respective disciplines (Dafouz and Smit 2020). This is evident in
Carlos’s interview, where his prior beliefs include his previous experience as a student and researcher
outside of Spain. His discourse is dominated by the need to favor the local students’ exposure to
activities where they engage with other students, locally, nationally, and internationally. His previous
experiences with “competitions” seem to be crucial.
We have actually done it. We do it in our classes, in the practical part of the subjects, but now this
year we have done it for the first time abroad. And we have big – two groups of students, and we
open a call for all of them to participate. They have to show a certain level of English –C1 or C2 –
and we participated with them in international [over speaking]. In Madrid, I mean in this one. They
performed very well [over speaking]. That was – it was quite an effort for everyone.
Competitions and contests for law students seem to be an important tool in his EMEMUS teaching
strategy. So too are technologies. Carlos adopts here a pragmatic stance by identifying technologies,
such as presentation software, as tools to present well-structured lessons, as well as videos and internet
content as an opportunity to offer extra English language input.
I think that’s why we use PowerPoint and essentially videos on the internet that we show, for
example, our discussion on the European Council, but we used the videos of the European
Commission that shows how a discussion actually [takes place?].
In Encarna’s reflections on her own practices and processes, she discusses her approach to managing
and mitigating the linguistic and the learning needs of her students of education. In many ways, her
approach reflects effective means for facilitating EMEMUS and internationalization, with the following
examples demonstrating her commitment to developing metacognitive skills in her students.
I know I have news from other places when our student says, oh, I am sorry, I don’t understand
this example. So I always try to listen to everybody, trying to force them to speak in my class and
to try to…and always trying to help each other.
These reflections demonstrate Encarna’s recognition of the importance of metacognitive skills such as
help-seeking, which are known to support learner autonomy and effective learning strategies (Newman
1998; Schworm and Gruber 2012), specifically in EMEMUS (Menéndez et al. 2018). Further examples of
metacognitive developments include awareness raising and self-monitoring, as in the following
The first presentation they do is a small presentation in small groups, for a small group of people,
and in the last presentation, it’s also in the same way. So it’s can you feel the difference between
your first presentation, and this presentation? And the majority of them feel the difference in
terms of confidence, especially in terms of confidence.
Beyond these examples, Encarna regularly draws attention to the importance of learning skills for her
EMEMUS students, which positions her practices and processes as contributing to the effective
implementation of EMEMUS and the internationalization of the university. Notably, Encarna’s expertise
in education is arguably central to her engagement in these practices.
Alongside her dedication to developing learners, Encarna exhibits strong content knowledge in
the field of education, as can be seen in the following examples.
I am teaching one-and-a-half courses – the main course about educational technology, that is
called Resources and ICT in Education; and one part of the other course that is organisation, school
organisation. Basically, my courses are about how to implement the resources and ICT in
education, is how to implement and how technology is impacting education and basically in
primary school, but also in the teacher professional development.
As well as further content areas, Encarna also discusses assessment protocols, projects, and teaching
methods regularly in the context of supporting the delivery of subject knowledge. This reflects the
expectations on the professional EMEMUS educator to effectively deliver subject knowledge through
English (Dafouz and Smit 2020).
Furthermore, when considering the transition to teaching in English, Encarna claims that she does
not change her pedagogical approach.
So I try to work with my students with something called task-based learning, so as my task-based
learning is less and less based on lectures, I don’t feel so…the difference between teaching in
English and teaching in Spanish so big.
She discusses taking a task-based approach, which is also what she does in Spanish. While initially this
appears contrary to Dafouz and Smit’s (2020) claim that EMEMUS students require a change in
approach, it emerges later in the interview that Encarna does change facets of her teaching approach
for each language. For example, when discussing her use of a specific debate format, the Lincoln-Douglas
style, she acknowledges that this would be too cognitively challenging for her students to conduct in
So maybe they are, and I have to say that in my English classes, there are some techniques that I
cannot use, for example, in Spanish I do the debate called Linc-…they’re in a Lincoln-Douglas
style, that is very precise with times and so on. But I know that my students cannot have this speed
for thinking and for…
Furthermore, she makes explicit reference to the importance of formality in Spanish.
So in Spanish – and I always said remember that you are in a formal situation and you must defend
your things, and present your things in a formal way.
However, this same expectation is not extended to English, as the following example makes clear.
In English I am more relaxed with that, and I know that they cannot be formal on non-formal in
English, and they are… The English they have…
This example indicates two important and somewhat conflicting implications for EMEMUS. Firstly, this,
like the previous examples, exemplifies Encarna’s attempt to respond to her students’ needs from a
pedagogical perspective, reflecting characteristics of effective EMEMUS lecturers. Second, however, this
simplification of expectations in English indicates a lack of attentiveness to the linguistic needs of the
learners (Dafouz and Smit 2020). Further examples of Encarna’s reduction of the role of English occur
where she asks students to supply transcripts after delivering presentations.
And I have asked them for – make them for give me the transcription of the media, because I want to be
sure that I have listened to everything they want to say, or they have said, because of their accent or
whatever they can make some mistakes, and I can understand and other things.
In this example, she mitigates potential language problems that could occur surrounding pronunciation
by allowing students to submit a transcription of their presentation. While this may appear
accommodating to students, as she attempts to reduce the negative impact of language on assessment,
it also presents a potential disservice. EMEMUS students require very specific language support
(Fujimoto-Adamson and Adamson 2018), and by mitigating the importance of pronunciation and spoken
delivery, the students do not receive specific teaching to improve these particular linguistic
competences. Similarly, she acknowledges that in assessing students, she pays more attention to
argument than language accuracy.
Answering, and for looking to their arguments, so I don’t use these kind of advanced language
This once again moves to reduce the importance placed on language as opposed to facilitating the
development of relevant linguistic competencies. Carlos similarly discusses the lack of attention to
language during EMEMUS lessons. During his training period, he was impacted by a particular lecturer’s
stance that content should prevail over the linguistic medium of expression.
And I remember a French professor who was actually teaching at Cambridge for many years and
he said, “French people don’t speak French either, probably. So just tell me what you want to tell
me, and put French words, but at the end I will revalue you for it for the content of your work.”
While it may be unrealistic to expect Encarna and Carlos to perform the duties of both content and
language specialists, Brown (2017) proposes co-teaching by language and content experts as a means
to integrate language development within the EMEMUS curriculum. Though this may be impractical or
infeasible in all contexts, learners’ language needs arguably need to be attended to, if we wish to support
the development of EMEMUS, effectively.
Further examples emerge in Encarna’s interview that show her lack of capacity and training to
effectively respond to her students’ language needs. The following example shows how Encarna, aware
of her lack of ability to give detailed feedback on language, tries to give more generic feedback on
And so I always try to give them some feedback, but general feedback about language, something
like please use the grammar correct, or please be careful when you use this or that.
Although language is not traditionally considered the remit of the EMEMUS lecturer (Madhavan and
McDonald 2014), here Encarna shows that owing to the lack of integrated linguistic support, she must
respond in some way to her students’ language needs. However, her lack of training in doing so is in
direct conflict with the requirements for effective development of EMEMUS. This reflects Dearden et al.
(2016), who find that EMEMUS lecturers typically lack language awareness and training as well as the
general challenges surrounding language pedagogy in EMEMUS identified in Vu and Burns (2014).
Similar training needs emerge in Carlos’ interview when he identifies an existing inertia not to use
technology among the faculty, which limits the value technology can afford in supporting the linguistic
development of students. Far from complying with standard uses, he tries to make use of current tools
such as interactive quizzes. Interestingly, he seems to be aware of a technology divide between staff and
students in terms of the preferred channels of communication. A case in point is the use of email by
students, which seems to be a problem in the law degree program and, most probably, throughout the
Overall, in terms of Encarna’s and Carlos’ practices and processes pertaining to teaching, there
is clear evidence of their roles as facilitators of EMEMUS and agents of internationalization. They
prioritize the development of learning skills that are integral to student success in EMEMUS. Moreover,
reflexive teaching for the learner groups in Spanish and English, and local and international groupings is
evidenced in their approach to respond to their students’ needs. However, they also exhibit some
practices and processes that could act as barriers to effective EMEMUS implementation. In terms of
support for the linguistic needs of students, their interviews demonstrate a tendency to reduce the
impact of language deficits on student assessment, and Encarna explicitly acknowledges her lack of
capacity to effectively respond to students’ language needs in detail. Carlos similarly identifies a lack of
willingness of lecturers to use technology to help support their teaching through English. In order to
facilitate effective EMEMUS and the internationalization of the university, it is imperative that the
students’ subject knowledge and linguistic needs are met. Therefore, the approach to managing
language issues and the lack of integrated language support may prove problematic.
Practices, Processes, and the Wider Perspective
While the previous section offered an in-depth investigation into the practices and processes of two
EMEMUS lecturers, the discussion centered on what Dafouz and Smit (2020) identify as micro level
practices and processes. However, they also recognize that by analyzing the micro level, it is possible to
shed some light on the more global facets of the internationalization processes in different institutions.
With this in mind, and drawing on both the interviews and the survey data, this section offers a brief
discussion of the emergent macro level practices and processes and what these tell us about EMEMUS,
the broader ROADMAPPING criteria, and the internationalization process at this Spanish higher
Encarna and Carlos both adopt practices that help support effective internationalization
processes, and many of these are shared by the lecturers who were surveyed. For example, through
analyzing the interviews, it became clear that both Encarna and Carlos adopt social constructivist
approaches to learning, and this adoption reflects effective internationalization practices and processes
(Littleton and Mercer 2013). Such an approach is also reflected more widely in the survey data, where
95% of lecturers claim to regularly encourage student participation and 76% of lecturers claim to make
use of group work in their teaching. While such a value for the socialization of learning is a strength for
the institution, there is less explicit evidence of specific aims and structure that can guide the
development of a learning community. This may be a valuable direction for the institutions’ EMEMUS
policy as, following Van Compernolle and Williams (2012), it may support the development of an
In terms of supporting learning for the EMEMUS, both Encarna and Carlos demonstrate the need
to respond to specific learner needs. Again, this is reflected in the survey data, where 73% of lecturers
see writing in Spanish for higher education to be very different to writing in English. Therefore, they see
a wide gap between literacy practices in Spanish and English and alter their approaches accordingly. In
fact, 92% of the lecturers do this by using slides, notes, and handouts to help students follow classes in
English, and 76% of lecturers use group work as an opportunity to process new information and language
in English. One final consideration in terms of these shared practices is the use of technology. While
Carlos signals that there is an institutional reluctance to use technology, looking more broadly at the
survey, this perspective does not appear to hold. According to the survey data, 71% of lecturers think
that language and learning technologies are important when teaching in English, 93% feel comfortable
with technology in the classroom, 79% consider such technology useful for teaching in English, and 88%
of lecturers think language and learning technologies are beneficial for their EMEMUS students.
Therefore, while some lecturers fit Carlos’ description as reluctant to use technology, this is by no means
the majority. That being said, technological intervention alone does not appear to be the panacea to
EMEMUS challenges. While it would valuable to delve further into these discreet practices and
processes, what they tell us is that there is a shared institutional behavior that sees value in the
socialization of learning and that recognizes the importance of responding to specific learner needs in
the EMEMUS (Dafouz and Smit 2020).
There are also institutional behaviors that conflict with effective internationalization processes.
While Dafouz and Smit (2020: 57) identify that the “nature of [EMEMUS] groups often demands different
pedagogical approaches,” Encarna claims she does not change her pedagogical approach, and only 40%
of the lecturers surveyed claimed that they change their teaching approach when teaching in English.
Furthermore, only 50% of lecturers think learner needs require specific consideration when teaching in
EMEMUS. These results are quite low given how important reflexive and responsive teaching is
positioned in the literature (Dafouz and Smit 2020). Moreover, although Encarna recognizes the value
of developing learner autonomy and metacognitive skills that support EMEMUS learners (Menéndez et
al. 2018), this is not a widespread view, as only 33% of lecturers surveyed incorporate metacognitive
strategies like reflective practices into their teaching. These inconsistencies indicate that teaching
practices in this EMEMUS are not always shared throughout the institution and beliefs about necessary
interventions for EMEMUS teaching are not consistent. This may be owing to a lack of clarification of
what EMEMUS means for this institution and, importantly, this may negatively impact the
internationalization process. Therefore, following Dafouz and Smit (2020), there is a potential for the
results of this and larger studies to reveal effective EMEMUS and internationalization practices and
impact both local and national educational policies.
For Encarna, there are further macro insights that emerge. Her opinions about the use of English
in teaching and learning are not hers alone. Like Encarna, the survey participants held many views on
the importance of teaching in English—81% of participants enjoy teaching in English and, furthermore,
they see English as having inherent value for their and their students’ careers. For example, 83% of
lecturers think that teaching in English will help their career, and 93% of lecturers consider English to be
valuable for their students’ futures. This presents some insight into the goal of the institution being the
production of bilingually educated graduates with high employability. However, this macro perspective,
which privileges the English language, appears to conflict with the known advantages that
translanguaging offers EMEMUS (Garcia and Wei 2014). Moreover, if the broad perspective of the
institution supports this view of bilingualism as excluding translanguaging, it raises questions about the
overarching institutional EMEMUS policy and its communication to and its enactment by the lecturing
staff. Further analysis into the agents and roles of English in the ROADMAPPING framework may help
address these issues. Moreover, while lecturers do see value in teaching and learning in English, this
does not come without issues.
Mixed abilities seem to be a problem in this EMEMUS, with only 23% of lecturers not
experiencing issues with mixed language ability in the classroom. This is in keeping with the literature
(Macaro et al. 2018). Moreover, in the context of language provision, the emerging story appears to be
one of doubt or confusion. While traditional definitions of EMEMUS indicate that language is not within
the remit of the EMEMUS lecturer (Madhavan and McDonald 2014), both Encarna and Carlos identify
the relevance of language. However, the hierarchy of content over language in Carlos’ interview and the
lack of skills to fully address language concerns in Encarna’s interview highlight that these practitioners
still see language as a lesser part of their work. Importantly, that is not to say it is not part of their role.
Looking at the survey, the lack of certainty surrounding the place for language in the lecturers’ practices
is amplified. For example, 38% of the lecturers feel they need to support their students with the
development of their English, while 30% are unsure as to whether they ought to. Similarly, only 36% of
the lecturers feel that they have the skills to support language learning, while 33% are unsure if they can
do it. Only 23% of the lecturers feel that they can teach and explain language points, while 40% are
unsure. Furthermore, 33% of lecturers feel they need support to teach in English and 24% are unsure.
What this tells us is that some lecturers see supporting language as part of their role while others do
not. However, for the most part, they are unsure. Overall, 55% of the lecturers find teaching in English
to be challenging, which may explain some of this uncertainty. Therefore, the issue of language provision
is unclear to the lecturers but they have to engage with it to some degree nonetheless in their
classrooms. The lack of clarity surrounding their remit as EMEMUS lecturers reflects a broader issue in
the institution, which may need to address the need for both content and language provision more
clearly. This may be better supported by collaboration between language and content experts, as Brown
(2017) suggests. However, this would need top-down institutional support and enhanced critical
awareness about the role of language, multilingualism, and literacies in education.
Recalling Carlos’ view of nationality as key in defining student behavior in EMEMUS lessons, his
beliefs and language ideologies appear to be impacted by wider phenomena in language policy. In fact,
this view is largely shared by the other lecturers surveyed, where only 30% of lecturers expressed no
worries about their students’ ability to understand English in the classroom. These views of Spanish
speaker language competence appear to tie in with Spolsky’s work on language ideology (2004) and this
identification of a country with a language, a homogenous group of speakers and, apparently, an overall
approach to learning, calls for further examination and an analysis of the implications. The EMEMUS
landscape is not an exception and should not escape this analysis. Not only do “most countries have
language education policies that define foreign-language teaching” (Spolsky 2004: 48) but these policies
impact classroom language teaching “as well as the thinking of language teachers and pupils about
language pedagogy and learning.” Evans and Fisher (2010: 491) argue that the impact of language
policies is influenced by processes of mediation and appropriation. In particular, they showed how the
KS3 Framework for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in the UK “does not explicitly engage with central
pedagogical questions, assumptions and decisions that ultimately every language teacher faces and that
define” how languages need to be taught and learnt. Based on the evidence provided by school agents
interviewed, they argue that teachers [are] mediators of the [language policy] in terms of its translation
into policy and practice in the language classroom but that this mediation is itself influenced by different
mediating factors such as prior beliefs and understandings of language pedagogy, training, resources
and interaction with colleagues.
This finding seems to suggest that teachers’ beliefs may determine actual classroom practices.
In the survey data, 33% find it hard to incorporate language pedagogy and traditional pedagogy into
their practices and 36% are unsure of how to approach this. Moreover, for Carlos and the other lecturers
surveyed, prior beliefs can include previous experience as a student and researcher outside Spain and,
overall, global, national and institutional policies appear to shape the internationalization process at this
Conclusion: Accessing Internationalization through ROADMAPPING
In concluding this chapter, it is worth reflecting on the use of ROADMAPPING in this analysis.
ROADMAPPING was adopted as a means to theoretically position and interrogate teacher beliefs, and
its six dimensions offered an emic approach with interdisciplinary grounding for the investigation of how
the internationalization process in a Spanish university context is impacted by EMEMUS. ROADMAPPING
served as an effective means to analyze and organize the data. However, there emerged over the course
of the analysis facets of the interviews that did not fit neatly within the six dimensions. For example, the
use of language brokering and translation technologies for addressing language provision by the
students emerged. This raised questions of the need to expand on some dimensions of ROADMAPPING
to include the role that language technologies, as opposed to educational and language learning
technologies, may play in internationalization processes and EMEMUS. Nonetheless, for the purposes
of exploring practices and process, ROADMAPPING allowed for the study of micro level practices and
processes in terms of learning and social constructivism and reflexive and adaptive teaching in EMEMUS,
as well as offering macro level insights into broader institutional practices and processes. This also
allowed for the identification of the challenges the EMEMUS lecturers face as well as potential directions
for informing policy at this Spanish university and beyond.
Methodologically, the analysis and subsequent annotation of the interviews using
ROADMAPPING has proved both useful and feasible. We would argue, however, that further analyzes
should explore the units of analysis either below or above the sentence or the utterance and, possibly,
the use of clustering to probe into the relationships between the annotation codes. Triangulation with
corpus research methods (Egbert and Baker 2019; Pérez-Paredes 2020) seems a good option to enhance
the ecological validity of the results and to smooth researcher biases (Baker 2006).
In terms of beliefs, ROADMAPPING allowed us to position teacher beliefs within a larger
ecosystem wherein their beliefs are understood in terms of their practices and processes (Skott 2014).
These are in turn considered in terms of their capacity to facilitate or impede the internationalization
process, and as such are theoretically positioned and given purpose. The study of beliefs has been
problematized as being conceptually inconsistent (Skott 2014), lacking purpose (Borg 2015), and
uncritical (Borg and Alshumaimeri 2019). However, by situating EMEMUS lecturers’ beliefs within
ROADMAPPING, this study responds to these criticisms. This also allows for systematic reviews to
compare studies on beliefs more effectively, provided the same framework is applied to other studies,
e.g., Dafouz and Smit (2016).
Finally, returning to Macaro et al. (2018), this study was inspired by the following questions: Do
different HE institutions (e.g., private and state) experience different levels of success in implementing
EMI? If so, why? Macaro et al. (2018) call for research on different institutions to help create a clearer
and larger image of the current state of EMEMUS. Our study investigates the practices and processes
that impact the internationalization process by way of EMEMUS within a Spanish public university.
Through the analysis, a number of themes emerged that indicate how this institution is effectively
implementing EMEMUS, for example, through social constructivist approaches and learner-centered
teaching, and factors which may inhibit its success, for example, a resistance toward translanguaging
and limited language provision. ROADMAPPING was an important choice in moving to address Macaro
et al.’s (2018) question. Its adoption will allow this research to be directly compared with future studies
that use ROADMAPPING as a shared theoretical framework. Moving forward, there are several emerging
paths worth considering. Methodologically, it is worth considering further expansions and interrogations
of the ROADMAPPING framework to address the concerns raised earlier in this section. Furthermore,
more studies are needed that investigate the remaining five dimensions of ROADMAPPING, and further
research is needed that compares the results of such studies across different institutions.
We would like to thank Cambridge University Press, for funding this research, Dr Emma Dafouz, for
reading an earlier version of this chapter, the reviewers, for their help in improving this work, and the
lecturers who participated in this study.
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