• University of Southampton

English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics

Equip yourself to teach in international contexts by increasing your English language skills and intercultural knowledge.

55,186 enrolled on this course

English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Learn how to teach your subject in English

As universities work to become globally competitive courses taught in English are expanding.

Those working in Higher Education are often thrown into producing academic work in English – either as teachers or researchers – without training in English language or intercultural skills.

This course aims to remedy that, giving you a thorough introduction to English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI). You’ll learn about current EMI practice, and increase your confidence in using English, you’ll also work to grow your intercultural skills.

Join us and get prepared for the global classroom.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to English as a medium of instruction (EMI)

    • What is EMI?

      In this section, we will consider how English is used in different academic contexts around the world. How is EMI defined in different global locations?

    • Implications of using English as a Medium of Instruction

      Why are more and more universities around the world offering courses through English? In this section, we explore the phenomenon of EMI and its relation to the use of English as a global language.

    • What kind of English is used in EMI classrooms?

      What kind of English usage do you expect to hear in an EMI classroom? Is it important to be accurate in English and if so, how do we define 'accurate?'

    • EMI in action: applying your learning

      In this final section we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learned and what aspects you will put into practice.

  • Week 2

    Focus on language

    • Introduction to week 2

      This week, we will consider the role of language in effective communication. We will present some useful language to use in EMI classes and we'll explore how the voice can be used to facilitate communication.

    • Language use in the EMI classroom

      What kind of language is most useful in helping you to express your ideas in the EMI classroom? Are there phrases and words which we can use to help us communicate our ideas more clearly to students?

    • The voice and language

      Language and voice are interconnected. How can we make the most effective use of our voices in the EMI classroom?

    • Useful advice for EMI practitioners

      How far might we need to change our own expectations of ourselves as teachers when moving into an EMI context? Do we have unreal expectations of ourselves? How can technology help us in the EMI classroom?

    • EMI in action: applying your learning

      In this final section we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learned and what aspects you will put into practice.

  • Week 3

    Focus on the lecture

    • Introduction to week 3

      This section will explore good practice in lecturing and how you can respond to the challenges of lecturing in a language that is not your mother tongue.

    • Lecturing through EMI

      What do you need to consider when starting out on lecturing in English? What factors are evident in good lecturing style?

    • EMI: using presentation slides

      How are presentation slides best used with an EMI class? What aspects of visual presentation can help an EMI lecturer and what important issues should we consider?

    • Clarity in lecturing style

      Why might it take longer to deliver a lecture in English than your native tongue? How important is complex, academic language in lecturing?

    • EMI in action: applying your learning

      In this final section we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learned and what aspects you will put into practice.

  • Week 4

    Focus on intercultural communication

    • Introduction to week 4

      This week, we'll explore intercultural communication, small group dynamics in EMI and the dangers of stereotyping students. You will also get the chance to apply your learning to some tricky EMI challenges!

    • Communication in seminars or small groups

      In these activities you will explore some of the language challenges and intercultural issues when using English in small group situations.

    • Managing EMI environments across cultures

      Successful communication in international contexts through the medium of English is not only about language use: it is also concerned with good intercultural awareness and understanding.

    • EMI in action: applying your learning

      Now let's put your learning into action. In this section, we'll present you with a series of problems which you might encounter in the EMI classroom. How will you deal with them?

    • Goodbye!

      Farewell and good luck from Mary and Rob plus some ideas about how you can continue your studies in English language.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore aspects of research and practice in contemporary EMI across the world
  • Develop confidence in using English as a medium of instruction and become part of a community of practice in EMI
  • Compare the different contexts of use for EMI and reflect upon how this understanding fits with your own teaching context
  • Identify challenges in facilitating effective intercultural communication in a variety of contexts (lectures, seminars, writing etc) and explore how these may be addressed
  • Explore the role of the voice in effective intercultural communication
  • Identify appropriate language to facilitate effective communication in English and discuss the role of language in intercultural communication
  • Investigate how to promote successful communication in educational interactions

Who is the course for?

This short course has been created for non-native speakers of English, required to teach in HE through the medium of English. The ideas underpinning the course are based in the work of Professor Jennifer Jenkins and researchers at the Centre for Global Englishes.

What software or tools do you need?


What do people say about this course?

"I found FutureLearn whilst surfing through Google and found the English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics course by the University of Southampton. I felt sure it would enrich my career goals and, already, it has helped me achieve greater heights in my workplace. "

Who will you learn with?

At the University of Southampton, I have been involved with a range of language and applied linguistics programmes. I am interested in the complex and social nature of communication and education.

English Medium Instruction has been my main research focus since 2007 when I taught our first EMI course at Southampton. I've worked with so many wonderful international colleagues because of EMI!

Who developed the course?

University of Southampton

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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