The Effect of English-Medium Instruction on the Advancement of Students’ English Language Proficiency


One of students' main motives for enrolling on English-medium instruction (EMI) – the use of English as a medium of higher education in countries where the first language of the majority of the population is not English (Macaro et al., 2018) – is an improvement of English language proficiency. Nevertheless, very few studies examine students' English language progress during their course of study. Thus, the aim of this longitudinal study conducted at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Rijeka, Croatia, is to investigate the development of EMI students' English language proficiency during their undergraduate study and compare it with that of their non-EMI counterparts. At the beginning and the end of their studies, both groups of students completed a questionnaire where they self-assessed their English language competence and expressed their language learning-related perceptions. The students also took the Oxford Quick Placement Test and a C-test, as well as a business English test. Interviews with the students were conducted to obtain further insights into their perceptions.
The findings show that EMI students have higher general and business language proficiency, and self-assess their English competence higher at the beginning and the end of their studies. The test results point to an equal progress of EMI and non-EMI students in general English, while EMI students progress better in business English. This is in line with EMI students' perceptions that their studies have contributed to the development of their English proficiency and that their expectations regarding their language progress have been fulfilled.

Author Information
Branka Drljača Margić, University of Rijeka, Croatia
Kornelija Čakarun, University of Rijeka, Croatia

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon