English-medium Instruction through the lens of discipline and culture

Lecturers’ beliefs and reported practices


  • Beatrice Zuaro Stockholm University


English-medium Instruction, internationalization, academic culture, disciplinary culture, higher education, Italy


In the last few decades, English-medium Instruction (EMI) has been the focus of a rapidly increasing body of research. While such research has tended to cover certain aspects of the phenomenon extensively, others still remain under-researched. For example, in focusing primarily on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines, EMI investigations have devoted limited attention to the potential relevance of disciplinary differences. Similarly, while EMI has been noted to differ from context to context, the practical implications of cultural differences in EMI implementations continue to be overlooked. The present study aims to shed some light on the role played by disciplinary and cultural specificities via an investigation of beliefs and reported practices of 13 Italian lecturers. The lecturers were selected to represent a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and individually interviewed about their experiences as teachers and scholars. The interviews were subsequently subjected to a thematic analysis. The results reinstate to an extent the influence of disciplinary culture; however, they also point to an important role played by the local culture in shaping both beliefs and practices. Additionally, the results also reveal a nuanced understanding of the opportunities and challenges of EMI among these participants, stressing the need for more attention to cultural mediation in international higher education.  



2022-04-12 — Updated on 2022-07-26


How to Cite

Zuaro, B. (2022). English-medium Instruction through the lens of discipline and culture: Lecturers’ beliefs and reported practices . Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 16(1), 113–131. https://doi.org/10.47862/apples.110215 (Original work published April 12, 2022)