EMI in Vietnam: What High School Teachers Think and Do


  • Thi Phuong Doan Nguyen Nguyen Thi Minh Khai gifted high school
  • Van Loi Nguyen Can Tho university




English as a medium of instruction, high school teachers, perception, practice


The current case study was driven by a recent policy on using English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in the mainstream school system in Vietnam. It aimed to explore what science teachers believed and reported doing about EMI in teaching science subjects in the high school context. Nine EMI teachers of different science subjects at a specialized high school in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam participated in a semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis revealed the perceived positive impacts on teachers’ and students’ English proficiency, and negative influences on science content coverage. In practice, the teachers reported a focus on simple contents, explaining specialized terminologies and key concepts as the input. They mainly employed a lecture style and teacher initiation-student response interaction, switching between English and Vietnamese during their lessons. These results imply that EMI across the curriculum has the potential to improve English proficiency of students, but the EMI policy needs to consider its transparency in goals and communication to stakeholders especially teachers and school managers.   


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Author Biography

Van Loi Nguyen, Can Tho university

Nguyen Van Loi is currently a senior lecture at the Department of English Teacher Education, Can Tho university, Vietnam. He obtained his PhD in Education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand in 2011. His professional interests include language teacher cognition, teacher education and professional development.



— Updated on 2020-07-31

How to Cite

Nguyen, T. P. D., & Nguyen, V. L. (2020). EMI in Vietnam: What High School Teachers Think and Do. International Journal of Language Teaching and Education, 4(1), 36-52. https://doi.org/10.22437/ijolte.v4i1.8754