Hanoi University

Giang Hong NGUYEN is a lecturer in the English Department, the Vice Director of the MTESOL (International) at Hanoi University, Vietnam. She received her PhD at The Faculty of Arts and Design, the University of Canberra. Her research interests are centered on blended language learning, curriculum development, and teacher professional development.

Hue University

Huy Van NGUYEN is a lecturer in English language at Hue University. He earned his PhD at School of Education, the University of Queensland. His research interests include language teaching in third world contexts, global policies in foreign language education and social aspects of language testing.

Phuong Le Hoang NGO is a lecturer at Faculty of English, University of Foreign Languages, Hue University, Vietnam. She finished her MA and PhD study at the University of Southampton, UK. Her research interests include English Medium Instruction (EMI), English as a Lingua Franca, technology in language teaching, and teacher education.  

Title: English Medium Instruction (EMI) in Vietnam - Untold stories

Abstract: English-medium instruction (EMI) programmes have been introduced in universities around the world as a response to globalisation and a strategy for internationalisation. During the last twenty years, there has been a considerable increase in the number of EMI courses, especially in Europe and Asia (Kirkpatrick, 2014; Wachter & Maiworm, 2014, Macro et al, 2018). In Vietnamese Higher Education, EMI plays a crucial role in governmental policies. 

This qualitative study aims to explore teachers’ understanding and practice of EMI from the perspective of five lecturers at two Vietnamese higher institutions: Hanoi University and Hue University. Data was collected via open-ended in-depth interviews and then analysed thematically. 

Oral narratives show that the lecturers have positive attitudes and dedication to EMI, despite some challenges. Interestingly, they consider the expertise challenges as opportunities to explore their potentials and capacity. However, a paradox has been observed: some lecturers acknowledge the opportunities brought by EMI but are concerned about its potential to thrive. At policy level, while there may be a shared top-down orientation toward EMI, each university has its way of implementation, depending on the history of development, the vision, and the socio-economic backgrounds of the students. 

This study, despite its small scope, contributes to the existing literature in EMI in Vietnam. As a cross-site study, it highlights the fact that EMI is not a one-size-fits-all policy, and hence, university leaders must carefully consider their own conditions and factors to develop an appropriate strategy and tailored support for EMI.

About Applied Linguistics Seminars 2021

This is an inaugural seminar of joint seminar series with University of Foreign Languages studies, Hue University and Hanoi University, Vietnam supported by the UQ Global Strategy and Partnership. Together with the two leading universities in Vietnam, we are planning to hold a series of seminar on various areas of Applied Linguistics over next six months.


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