English Medium Instruction and the Internationalization of Higher Education in Latin America: A Case Study from a Colombian University





English-medium instruction, internationalization, university, higher education, Colombia


This study discusses the implementation of English medium instruction (EMI) at a Colombian university. First, the paper reviews the rise of EMI in the internationalization of higher education. Second, it illustrates how one university incorporated EMI as part of an internationalization process. Third, it identifies the perceptions that a group of administrators, faculty, and students have regarding the EMI initiative. Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis were conducted. Findings suggest that EMI is tied to the structuring of an internationalization office, curricular reforms, and English language learning support. Participants’ perceptions are associated with their imaginaries, identities, experiences, and obligations in relation to the English language. The study concludes that the implementation of EMI within the internationalization of universities is inevitable, yet a sustainable EMI strategy requires contextual awareness and articulation amongst its participants.

Received: 28/02/2020

Accepted: 18/09/2020


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Author Biographies

Isabel Tejada-Sanchez, Universidad de los Andes

Isabel Tejada-Sánchez is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota (Colombia). Her research interests include second language acquisition in instructional contexts, language teaching and pedagogy, language policy, interculturality, growth mindser and action research in teacher education. She also directs the “Education for Bilingualism and Multilingualism” Research Group. She obtained her Ph.D. in Language Sciences and Linguistic Communication and Multilingual Mediation within a double degree program at Universities Paris 8 and Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Mario Molina-Naar, Universidad de los Andes

Mario Molina-Naar is a full-time professor at the Department of Languages and Culture at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota (Colombia). He holds a BA in Foreign Language Teaching from Universidad Atlántico (Barranquilla) and an MA in TESOL from Greensboro College - North Carolina (United States). He is currently conducting his doctoral studies in Education at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


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How to Cite

Tejada-Sanchez, I., & Molina-Naar, M. (2021). English Medium Instruction and the Internationalization of Higher Education in Latin America: A Case Study from a Colombian University. Latin American Journal of Content &Amp; Language Integrated Learning, 13(2), 339–367. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2020.13.2.8