The Study Of Variables Influencing The Effect Of English Medium Instruction On Academic Content Learning And English Proficiency Development

Open Access
Yang, Sungwoo
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 01, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Jamie Myers, Dissertation Advisor
  • Mari Haneda, Committee Member
  • Roger C Shouse, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Rose Mary Zbiek, Special Member
  • English medium instruction (EMI)
  • ESL/EFL teaching
  • tertiary level
The purposes of the study were to identify the influential variables to determine the effects of EMI (English-Medium Instruction) approach on academic content learning (CL) and English proficiency development (EPD), to devise more feasible EMI implemental conditions, and to provide more practical considerations for EMI-based course design at the tertiary level in Korea as EFL (English as a foreign language) context. An academic course consists of 3 factors: student factor, professor factor, and course factor. Each factor includes several component variables. Through the reviews of the previous studies on EMI effects on CL and EPD, the variables that seemed to be considered as the influential variables were extracted as the research variables of this study and through the consideration of theoretical and conceptual foundations of EMI approach as a teaching/learning approach, the additional variables that might have the possibility to influence EMI effects were added in the list of the research variables. As the research variables in student factor, the following variables were selected: ‘student year’, ‘student’s English ability’, ‘the reason to take EMI course’, ‘the experience of staying in English-speaking country’, and ‘the number of EMI courses taken’. As the research variable in professor factor, ‘the ethnicity of EMI professor’ was chosen. In course factor, the following variables were picked as the research variables: ‘interaction degree’, ‘feedback degree’, ‘class size’, ‘satisfaction with grade and assessment way’, ‘teaching style’, and ‘professor’s attempt to enhance students’ English ability’. Based on the analyses of simple and multiple regression analysis using IBM SPSS 20.0, the following results were obtained. First, in the aspect of EMI effect on CL, the variable ‘interaction degree’ between EMI professor and students was identified as the most influential variable to determine EMI effect on CL ahead of ‘students’ current English ability’ variable and iv ‘feedback degree’ variable. Whereas in terms of EMI effect on EPD, ‘the reason to take EMI course’ variable was the most influential variable and the ‘degree of feedback’ that EMI professor served students was followed. In accordance with the results of the study, the conditions for more effective EMI implementation and the considerations for more feasible and practical EMI course design and course activity development were suggested. Given the current situations of EMI implementation in Korea that most EMI courses are being conducted by Korean professors, the suggested conditions and considerations will be helpful for Korean EMI professors to design EMI-based academic course and to conduct actual EMI course. Especially, in the aspect of practicality, the suggested measures of the study will help Korean EMI professors who have difficulty conducting EMI-based academic courses due to the lack of English proficiency.