Can the Use of English as a Medium of Instruction Promote a More Inclusive and Equitable Higher Education in Brazil?

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Laura Baumvol
Simone Sarmento

Abstract

In this paper, we present the status quo and challenges regarding the use of additional languages as a medium of instruction in Brazilian higher education. We begin by contextualizing the importance of the process of internationalization at home (IaH) and additional languages in higher education. Next, the teaching of additional languages in Brazil, which has been until very recently relegated to the private sector and accessible only to an elite, is introduced. We then provide an overview of the present state of affairs of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) in the country, which is still in its infancy. We move on to describe different ways in which language and content can be integrated in higher education, as well as how EMI can be introduced in disciplinary courses. We finish concluding that EMI can maximize the learning of academic English by Brazilian students and content instructors, as well as encourage a more international higher education and balanced academic mobility by allowing foreign students to study in Brazil while preserving and even increasing the international interest in the Portuguese language. In a country located in the periphery of knowledge production and dissemination, we understand that the adoption of EMI can potentially foster the inclusion of more Brazilians in the global academic and research scenario. It gives them access to the knowledge produced internationally and, at the same time, enables the research produced in the country to be disseminated globally.

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How to Cite
Baumvol, L., & Sarmento, S. (2019). Can the Use of English as a Medium of Instruction Promote a More Inclusive and Equitable Higher Education in Brazil?. SFU Educational Review, 12(2), 87-105. https://doi.org/10.21810/sfuer.v12i2.941
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