Advertisement

English-Medium-Instruction Management: The Missing Piece in the Internationalisation Puzzle of Vietnamese Higher Education

  • Huong Thu NguyenEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 51)

Abstract

Mandating English as the medium of instruction (EMI) is a common strategy that higher education institutions (HEIs) in non-English-dominant contexts often use in the process of internationalisation. The English language has, therefore, become a tool that enables the internationalisation and mobility of academics, students, programs and institutions. However, one problem relating to EMI is the issue of teaching and learning quality because students and academics have to work in a foreign language and encounter much difficulty. Vietnamese higher education (HE) is a case in point when its government promulgated HE reform in 2005 in which internationalisation and EMI served as the key for enhancing the sector. EMI has then been stipulated in an increasing number of universities, often in cooperation with HEIs from English-speaking countries. Against that background, the study reported in this chapter presents the EMI implementation realities in a Vietnamese university with focus on language aspects. Using Language Management Theory as the framework of analysis, it is revealed that EMI in Vietnamese HE has been regarded as a means to an end in the process of internationalisation rather than a strategic approach to improve students’ and academics’ English language proficiency (ELP), also to access updated trans-national knowledge and intellectual resources and to enhance international collaboration. It is, argued that the absence of an organised language management for EMI has disadvantaged academics and students and therefore hampered institutional and national goal of improving education quality in the context of globalisation and internationalisation.

Keywords

Internationalisation of higher education English-medium instruction Language management theory Vietnam 

References

  1. Airey, J. (2012). I don't teach language: The linguistic attitudes of physics lecturers in Sweden. AILA Review, 25(1), 64–79.  https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.05air.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali, N. L. (2013). Language policy and planning in Malaysia: Managing English-medium instruction at tertiary level. (PhD thesis, The School of Education, The University of Queensland, Brisbane). Retrieved from http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:290728
  3. Altbach, P. G., & Knight, J. (2007). The internationalisation of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3–4), 290–305.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315307303542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cho, J. (2012). Campus in English or campus in shock? English Today, 28(02), 18–25.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S026607841200020X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cots, J. M. (2013). Introducing English-medium instruction at the University of Lleida, Spain: Intervention, beliefs and practices. In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instrucion at universities: Global challenges (pp. 106–127). Canada: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  6. Council of Europe. (2014). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR). Retrieved 15 April, 2014, from http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/cadre1_en.asp
  7. Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). CLIL: Content and language integrated learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dang, T. K. A., Nguyen, T. M. H., & Le, T. T. T. (2013). The impacts of globalisation on EFL teacher education through English as a medium of instruction: An example from Vietnam. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 52–72.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2013.780321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dimova, S., Hultgren, A. K., & Jensen, C. (Eds.). (2015). English-medium instruction in European higher education. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  10. Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (Eds.). (2013). English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges. Canada: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  11. Duong, T. H. H. (2009). The modernization of the national higher education of Vietnam, 1990s – present: American universities - a resource and recourse. New York: St. John’s University. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED513277.Google Scholar
  12. ETS. (2014a). English testing system (ETS) - TOEFL. Retrieved 22 April, 2014, from http://www.ets.org/toefl?WT.ac=toeflhome_faq_121127
  13. ETS. (2014b). English testing system (ETS) - TOEIC. Retrieved 15 April, 2014, from https://www.ets.org/toeic
  14. Evans, S., & Morrison, B. (2011). The student experience of English-medium higher education in Hong Kong. Language and Education, 25(2), 147–162.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2011.553287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Freeman, D., Katz, A., Gomez, P. G., & Burns, A. (2015). English-for-teaching: Rethinking teacher proficiency in the classroom. ELT Journal, 69(2), 129–139.  https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccu074.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. General Secretary. (2013). Resolution No. 29/2013-NQ/TW on “Fundamental and comprehensive innovation in education, serving industrialisation and modernization in a socialist-oriented market economy during international integration” ratified in the 8th Central Committee Plenum. Hanoi: Communist Party of Vietnam.Google Scholar
  17. Hamid, M. O., Nguyen, T. M. H., & Baldauf, R. B. (2013). Medium of instruction in Asia: Context, processes and outcomes. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 1–15.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2013.792130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harman, G., Hayden, M., & Pham, T. N. (2010). Higher education in Vietnam: Reform, challenges and priorities. In G. Harman, M. Hayden, & T. N. Pham (Eds.), Reforming higher education in Vietnam: Challenges and priorities (Vol. 29, pp. 1–14). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hu, G., & McKay, S. L. (2012). English language education in East Asia: Some recent developments. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(4), 345–362.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.661434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hughes, R. (2008). Internationalisation of higher education and language policy: Questions of quality and equity. Higher education Management and policy, 20(1), 111–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. IELTS. (2009–2012). The world speaks IELTS. Retrieved 30 August, 2012, from http://www.ielts.org/
  22. Jensen, C., & Thøgersen, J. (2011). Danish university lecturers' attitudes towards English as the medium of instruction. Ibérica, 22(22), 13–33.Google Scholar
  23. Jernudd, B. H., & Neustupný, J. V. (1987). Language planning: For whom? Paper presented at the Proceedings of the International Colloquium on language Planning, Québec.Google Scholar
  24. Joe, Y., & Lee, H.-K. (2013). Does English-medium instruction benefit students in EFL contexts? A case study of medical students in Korea. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 22(2), 201–207.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-012-0003-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kaplan, R. B., & Baldauf, R. B., Jr. (2005). Editing contributed scholarly articles from a language management perspective. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14(1), 47–62. doi:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2005.01.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Klaassen, R. G. (2008). Preparing lecturers for English-medium instruction. In R. Wilkinson & V. Zegers (Eds.), Realising content and language integration in higher education (pp. 32–42). Maastricht: Maastricht University Language Centre.Google Scholar
  27. Le, D. M. (2012). English as a medium of instruction at tertiary education system in Vietnam. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 9(2), 97–122.Google Scholar
  28. Marginson, S., Kaur, S., & Sawir, E. (2011). Regional dynamism and inequality. In S. Marginson, S. Kaur, & E. Sawir (Eds.), Higher education in the Asia-Pacific (Vol. 36, pp. 433–461). Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marriott, H. (2015). The management of academic discourse acquisition. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2015(232), 103–119.  https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2014-0044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McKay, S. L. (2014). Commentary: English-medium education in the global society – Findings and implications. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 52(2), 221–228.  https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2014-0010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. MOET. (2014). Circular No. 23/2014/TT-BGDĐT on “regulations on high-quality programs in universities”. Hanoi: Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).Google Scholar
  32. National Assembly of Vietnam. (2012). Higher education law. Hanoi: Vietnam National Assembly.Google Scholar
  33. Nekvapil, J. (2009). The integrative potential of language management theory. In J. Nekvapil & T. Sherman (Eds.), Language management in contact situations: Perspectives from three continents (pp. 1–14). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  34. Nekvapil, J., & Sherman, T. (2015). An introduction: Language management theory in language policy and planning. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2015(232), 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2014-0039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nguyen, T. A. (2009). The internationalisation of higher education in Vietnam: National policies and institutional implementation at Vietnam National University. Hanoi: Waseda University Global COE Program, Global Institute for Asian Regional Integration.Google Scholar
  36. Nguyen, N. H. (2010, 15 September). Innovation in English language education in Vietnam: Challenges, opportunities and solutions. Paper presented at the English for All - International Conference in TESOL, Hue, Vietnam.Google Scholar
  37. Nguyen, G., & Shillabeer, A. (2013). Issues in transnational higher education regulation in Vietnam. In P. Mandal (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Managing the Asian Century (pp. 637–644). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Saarinen, T., & Nikula, T. (2013). Implicit policy, invisible language: Policies and practices of international degree programmes in Finnish higher education. In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges (pp. 131–150). Canada: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  39. Shohamy, E. (2013). A critical perspective on the use of English as a medium of instruction at universities. In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges (pp. 196–210). Canada: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  40. Taguchi, N. (2014). English-medium education in the global society. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 52(2), 89–98.  https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2014-0004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. The Government of Vietnam. (2008a). Decision No. 1400/QD-TTg on “Teaching and learning foreign languages in the national education system, period 2008–2020”. Hanoi: The Government.Google Scholar
  42. The Government of Vietnam. (2008b). Decision No. 1505/QD-TTg on “The introduction of advanced programs in some Vietnamese universities in the period of 2008–2015”. Hanoi: The Government.Google Scholar
  43. The Government of Vietnam. (2012). Decree no. In 73/2012/ND-CP on “foreign cooperation and investment in education”. Hanoi: The Government.Google Scholar
  44. Toh, G. (2014). English for content instruction in a Japanese higher education setting: Examining challenges, contradictions and anomalies. Language and Education, 28(4), 299–318.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2013.857348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tran, L., Marginson, S., Do, H., Do, Q., Le, T., Nguyen, N., Vu, T., Pham, T., & Nguyen, H. (2014a). Higher education in Vietnam: Flexibility, mobility and practicality in the global knowledge economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tran, L., Marginson, S., & Nguyen, N. (2014b). Internationalisation. In L. Tran, S. Marginson, H. Do, Q. Do, T. Le, N. Nguyen, T. Vu, T. Pham, & H. Nguyen (Eds.), Higher education in Vietnam: Flexibility, mobility and practicality in the global knowledge economy (pp. 127–151). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  47. Unterberger, B. (2012). English-medium programmes at Austrian business faculties: A status quo survey on national trends and a case study on programme design and delivery. AILA Review, 25(1), 80–100.  https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.06unt.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vietnam International Education Department. (2015, 10/06/2015). List of approved joint education programs. Retrieved 19 January, 2016, from https://vied.vn/images/lien_ket_dao_tao/LKDT%202015%209.6.15.pdf
  49. Vu, T. T. N., & Burns, A. (2014). English as a medium of instruction: Challenges for Vietnamese tertiary lecturers. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 11(3), 1–31.Google Scholar
  50. Wilkinson, R. (2013). English-medium instruction at a Dutch university: Challenges and pitfalls. In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges (pp. 3–24). Canada: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of English for Specific Purposes -Foreign Trade UniversityHanoiVietnam

Personalised recommendations