English as a Medium of Instruction: Sharing opinions


The aim of this article is to introduce the ongoing debate on the adoption of English Medium Istruction (EMI) in Italian universities. First, it focuses on the strategic motivations of EMI, i.e. the internationalization of Italian higher education and the role of English in this process. Then, starting from the case of the Politecnico di Milano, the author presents the cultural debate on the defence of Italian in higher education which was initiated by the Accademia della Crusca and has recently raged among Italian academics. Subsequently, the linguistic and pedagogical challenges posed by EMI are discussed with reference to the competence in English required to study and teach in this new mode. In fact, data shows that many national and international students do not possess adequate competence in the use of English, and lecturers are rarely offered training or support, if needed. The author concludes by arguing that the adoption of EMI requires strategic planning and monitoring to meet the demands of internationalization, on the one hand, and implement a high-profile educational policy, on the other.

Author Biography

Virginia Pulcini, Università degli Studi di Torino
Professore Ordinario di Lingua Inglese SSD L-LIN/12


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How to Cite
Pulcini, V. (2015). English as a Medium of Instruction: Sharing opinions. RiCOGNIZIONI. Rivista Di Lingue E Letterature Straniere E Culture Moderne, 2(4), 111-121. https://doi.org/10.13135/2384-8987/1112