English Medium Instruction (EMI) is a commonly observed phenomenon in higher education (HE) in the countries where English is mandated as a second or foreign language. The globally conducted studies reported the prospect, practice, problems, and eventualities of EMI in HE. Numbering around 105, private universities in Bangladesh also adopted EMI. Being guided by Cooper (1989) and Spolsky (2009), this phenomenological study explored the language ideology of lecturers and students regarding the benefits of EMI, their remarks about the language management to achieve compatibility for adopting EMI, and their opinion concerning the implementation (language practice) of EMI in the classrooms of private universities in Bangladesh. We collected from eight participants (four students and four lecturers) who responded to the semi-structured interviews and classroom observations. The findings of the study suggested EMI does not observe full-fledged practice in the classrooms, as lecturers and students struggle to impart and receive knowledge due to their limited proficiency in the English language, although they did not deny the benefit of EMI to produce globally efficient workforces empowered with English language proficiency. This paper suggested the implementation of a bilingual curriculum in which instruction is delivered in English and Bangla to imparting a great deal of knowledge to the students. In the national language-in-education policy, Cognitive Communicative Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) should be prioritized over Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) to enrich knowledge acquisition.


medium of instruction, English medium instruction, language ideology, language management, language practice, higher education institutes, qualitative study

Author Bio(s)

John Paul Shimanto Sarkar is a lecturer at Brac Institute of Languages (BIL) of Brac University and has been an ELT practitioner for the last 3 years. He completed his M.A. in TESOL from Brac University. He also has a B.A. in English Language & Linguistics from American International University Bangladesh (AIUB). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to john.paul@bracu.ac.bd.

Abdul Karim is a Ph.D. Fellow at the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. He is also a Lecturer at Brac Institute of Languages, Brac University. He has completed a Master of Arts (Education) By Research from Universiti Sains Malaysia. Before that, he completed an M.A. in English (TESOL) from North South University, Bangladesh. He has published widely in the field of English language teacher education in numerous international journals (Indexed in SSCI, SCOPUS, and Web of Science). His research interest concerns English teacher education, teacher beliefs and practice, medium of instruction, teacher identity, reading and writing, and e-learning. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to khasan13aiub@gmail.com.

Muhammad Kamarul Kabilan is a Ph.D. and Professor at the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. His research interests include ICT and English language education, professional development, and critical practices of teachers. He has published widely in his area of research in reputable journals such as TESOL Quarterly, British Journal of Educational Technology, Computer and Education, The Internet and Higher Education, and Professional Development in Education. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to kabilan@usm.my.

Shahin Sultana has received her Ph.D. in English Language Teaching from Goa University, India, as an ICCR Scholar. She holds an M.A. in ELT from East West University, Bangladesh. Her research interests include teaching writing, material designing, testing and evaluation, and second language acquisition. She has published in prestigious international journals and conducted teacher training workshops in Bangladesh and abroad. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to shahjinmatin.9@gmail.com.


John Paul Shimanto Sarkar, the first author, would like to extend his gratitude to Brac Institute of Languages (BIL), Brac University that offered an opportunity for him to present this work. Abdul Karim acknowledges the support of USM Global Fellowship awarded by Institute of Postgraduate Studies, USM.

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