Departmental Bulletin Paper English Medium Instruction as Internationalization Strategy in Japanese Higher Education : Review of the Literature

Ishikura, Yukiko  ,  石倉, 佑季子  ,  イシクラ, ユキコ

20pp.3 - 16 , 2015-03-31 , 大阪大学大学院人間科学研究科教育学系 , Department of Education Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University , オオサカ ダイガク ダイガクイン ニンゲン カガク ケンキュウカ キョウイクガクケイ
English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) has been used as an internationalization strategy by Japanese universities since the 1960s. The launching of the Global 30 Project (G30) in 2009 by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) signified the expansion and growing acknowledgement of EMI in the context of Japanese higher education. Between 2009 and 2014, there has been a dramatic increase in degree programs delivered in English. This has generated a small but growing body of literature on EMI in the context of internationalization in Japanese universities. This paper offers a review of government reports and scholarly literature available both in English and Japanese concerned with a development of EMI in Japanese universities. While it offers brief historical reviews, it focuses primarily on the literature generated by the launching of G30. This review reveals that while government reports focus overwhelmingly on the positive benefits of EMI, the scholarly literature tends to narrow in on the challenges involved for Japanese higher education institutions. Both bodies of literature fail to offer inside perspectives on EMI programs resulting in a lack of balance in expectations and assessments. It will be argued that a more balanced assessment on current practice and future potentials of EMI is warranted, and this requires incorporation of insider perspectives. This paper offers timely reviews of the field.

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