Sandra Campagna, Virginia Pulcini

English as a Medium of Instruction in Italian Universities: Linguistic Policies, Pedagogical Implications

  • Abstract

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Keywords: English Medium of Instruction; Higher Education; Internationalisation; English-only Policy.

Academic prestige in Europe is now linked to the promotion of the socalled "international università", an educational environment whose image largely relies on an "English-only" policy. Although the accomplishment (and perception) of these English-mediated settings might vary, "international universities" are often identified as ELF contexts. Whilst this paradigm may apply to multilingual settings, the claims can fall short when English-taught programmes are addressed to quasi-monolingual audiences, a common trait of many Italian "international universities". In these contexts the adoption of English as a medium of instruction (EMI) risks being merely a cosmetic label used to obfuscate dubious political choices under the false pretences of "internationalisation". This paper provides an updated picture of higher education programmes currently run in English in Italian universities.

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