English Medium Instruction in Higher Education: Global Trends, Challenges, and the Call for Multilingual Approaches





English medium instruction, language proficiency, English-only policy, multilingual education, translanguaging


This review article examines the widespread adoption of English Medium Instruction (EMI) in higher education, driven by globalization and the need to prepare students for the international job market. While EMI aims to enhance English proficiency and academic and employment prospects, it also presents challenges in terms of linguistic equity, pedagogical effectiveness, and the academic success of students. Through a synthesis of research, this review explores the implications and challenges of EMI and scrutinizes the assumption that EMI inherently improves English proficiency alongside content learning. The article also critiques the monolingual ideology of EMI policies and advocates for the recent call by researchers for a multilingual approach that includes translanguaging practices to better accommodate the linguistic diversity of student populations. In doing so, it highlights the need for a critical reassessment of EMI implementation based on the suggestion that by integrating students’ wider linguistic resources, EMI can evolve from its monolingual origins to embrace a more effective and equitable multilingual framework.

Author Biography

Talip Gülle, Bartin University

Talip Gülle is a Research Assistant at the Department of Foreign Language Education at Bartın University. He holds a Ph.D. from the English Language Teaching Department of Boğaziçi University. His current research brings together English Medium Instruction, multilingualism, and assessment, with a focus on content and language integration and translanguaging in (content) assessments in tertiary-level EMI programs.


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How to Cite

Gülle, T. (2024). English Medium Instruction in Higher Education: Global Trends, Challenges, and the Call for Multilingual Approaches. English Studies at NBU, 10(1), 73–94. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.24.1.5