Professional development for EMI teachers

Welcome to Oxford EMI. We are a Training and Consulting organisation providing professional development in English Medium Instruction (EMI) to lecturers and academics in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) around the world. We train university teachers in the teaching skills and pedagogy they need to teach their academic subject through English.

We work with universities, Grandes Ecoles and vocational colleges which are international or going international. When these universities successfully attract international students, set up Trans National Education programmes (TNEs) or joint degree programmes, they start to teach part of their academic programme through English. This is English Medium Instruction (EMI).

In a British Council study of EMI in 55 countries, our Director defined English Medium Instruction (EMI) as:

“The use of the English language to teach academic subjects in countries or jurisdictions in which the majority of the population’s first language is not English”. (Dearden, 2015)

Teaching through EMI demands a new set of teaching skills. We have successfully trained academics who teach at HEIs in Taiwan, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Poland, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, Myanmar, Morocco… how to teach using EMI pedagogy. We work with new and experienced university teachers who want to learn more about teaching and who want to make their EMI classes more interesting, motivating and effective for students.

We work with teachers of varying levels of experience as teaching in EMI is a new skill. Academics are used to speaking at conferences and writing academic papers in English, but they still find teaching a cohort of international students with varying abilities in English and differing cultural and academic expectations a challenge! We provide solutions to the challenges academics face when they are teaching.

In EMI, the challenges are similar in many countries: How can we teach most effectively through a ‘foreign’ language? In EMI, how can we teach complex concepts to both international and home students while speaking in English? How can we be sure that students learn just as much Engineering, Business, Science etc through EMI as they would in their own language? Which teaching techniques work best at university level? How can lecturers feel confident in their teaching?

We have a professional, friendly team of experts who all share the same aim: to provide academics and institutions with practical teaching techniques and solutions for teaching their EMI classes.  

Our training courses are based on research

Our training courses for university lecturers are all based on research into education, teaching and learning and English Medium Instruction (EMI). This research comes from all over the world and also from our own team here in Oxford.

Julie Dearden is our Director and her own research background is here in Oxford; she was Senior Research Fellow in EMI at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, until 2016. Her publications include a report for the British Council, English as a Medium of Instruction: a Growing Global Phenomenon (2015) an overview of EMI in 55 countries; A Systematic Review of EMI in Higher Education (2018); Higher Education Teachers’ Attitudes towards English Medium Instruction (2016) and EMI: Comparing teacher beliefs in secondary and tertiary education (2018); EMI in Turkish universities: Collaborative planning and student voices (2016). In The changing roles of EMI academics and English language specialists (2018) she proposes some ideas of how English teachers in HEIs may support EMI lecturers.

Oxford EMI Certificate

Participants successfully completing an OXFORD EMI training course are awarded the OXFORD EMI Certificate for University Lecturers.


 Oxford EMI Ltd also works on consulting and capacity building projects. 

We have worked with Ministries of Education and the British Council on large-scale EMI projects, introducing EMI across a whole nation, setting up standards and evaluating progress. We have also worked with groups of universities to improve their EMI provision.

Our projects involve EMI professional development and capacity-building programmes, consulting and research. Our aim is to find ways to work in partnership with ministries and institutions and to provide ongoing support in a long-term relationship.


Research: As researchers ourselves, we are willing to open up our courses for research. We co-operate with master’s and doctoral students wishing to conduct research for their dissertations and theses.

We are always happy to discuss ideas for working together and cooperating on EMI – so please contact us to discuss your ideas!

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