Developing Glocalized Materials for EMI Courses in the Humanities

  • Shin-Mei KaoEmail author
  • Hsin-Tien Liao
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 8)


English-medium instruction (EMI) courses in an English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) context are often offered in the academic fields that attract international students, such as engineering, technology, and business. EMI courses in the humanities, however, except for English literature, English language, and linguistics, are not as widely offered as the abovementioned areas in Taiwanese universities. A primary reason for the scarcity of EMI courses in the humanities lies in the argument that to study the local culture, one must know the language first. Thus, international students are traditionally expected to take the humanities courses in Chinese. As geographical boundaries are diminishing, a growing number of international students are showing an interest in interdisciplinary studies related to the culture, arts, languages, peoples, politics, and societies of the host countries. These students are not language majors and thus may need to rely on a lingua franca, such as English, to complete their academic studies in the humanities within a limited time. This chapter will investigate two cases and find out some challenges faced by EMI teachers in designing the humanities courses and their strategies adapted for presenting the materials to meet different needs of their students.

The chapter will first review the current situation and the types of EMI courses in the humanities in Taiwanese universities. Next, two courses dealing with regional arts and history will be examined in terms of their material design. The data come from interviews with the instructors and analysis of the course materials, including lecture notes, classroom presentation slides, syllabi, and teacher-developed course materials. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges of conducting a humanities EMI course and possible strategies for coping with these difficulties.


International Student Language Background Local Student Taiwanese Student Folk Belief 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteratureNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  2. 2.College of HumanitiesNational Taiwan University of ArtsNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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