Director of EPPIC
Penn State University, USA

Meredith Doran

Core Concepts in EMI: Promoting Faculty and Student Success in Global English
The rapid growth of teaching in English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) in Asia offers many potential benefits, including student recruitment, advanced multilingualism, and preparation for global careers involving English as a lingua franca. At the same time, researchers such as Dearden (2014) and Macaro (2018) note that faculty often find the transition to EMI challenging, due to increased class preparation time, concerns about fluency, variable student language proficiency, and the need to re-imagine teacher identity and practices when teaching in a second language.

As such, what should HE institutions provide to enhance faculty confidence, skill and planning efficiency in EMI? Based on research in applied linguistics and English for Specific Purposes, we will present two sets of emergent concepts that have proven to be useful in supporting faculty professional development in EMI. The first relates to redefining English itself, treating it as a global language used to exchange meaning in specific contexts, rather than as an idealized ‘standard’ language. This view decenters ownership of English, and encourages faculty and students to use English as a functional tool for communication. The second set of concepts includes four CORE principles for EMI pedagogy—Connection, Organization, Rapport and Engagement. We will provide a brief overview of this student-centered approach, including attention to the specific language that faculty can use to enact this pedagogy in ways that are clear to students. Overall, CORE-based teaching facilitates EMI lesson planning, guides faculty in their language choices, and promotes student participation, so that learners become active users of English to exchange ideas and construct understanding.
Dr. Meredith Doran serves as Director of EPPIC (English for Professional Purposes Intercultural Center) and Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics at Penn State University. She is a linguist with over 25 years of experience of teaching and research in second language acquisition, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and intercultural communication. Dr. Doran has held multiple positions related to language learning and international education at Penn State, including as a faculty member in Applied Linguistics and French, an education abroad program director, a research associate at Penn State's Center for Language Acquisition, and director of the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) program. In her role as founding director of EPPIC, Dr. Doran develops specialized, research-based programming for multilingual students and scholars to support their mastery of advanced communication genres in academic and professional English. Her work in EPPIC also involves outreach and consultation on multilingual DEIA with faculty, staff, advisers and students across the university community.