Selected Paper: The Growth of English Medium Instruction in Japan

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Howard Brown, University of Niigata Prefecture; Bethany Iyobe, University of Niigata Prefecture

English-medium instruction (EMI) of content classes at Japanese universities is growing; approximately 1/4 of universities offer undergraduate EMI classes, often in the humanities and social sciences. However, with individual programs developing to suit local needs and contexts, there is no overall picture of EMI and no clear sense of the direction this trend is taking. In this paper we report initial results from a study attempted to develop just such a picture. A review of published documents and interviews with program stakeholders show that EMI programs take on a variety of forms. Some universities offer ad hoc collections of classes, with individual teachers deciding to teach in English. Others provide full degree-granting programs designed to attract high quality Japanese and international students. A tentative typology of undergraduate EMI in Japan can now be proposed, outlining the size and structure of programs as well as faculty and student body make up.