Lecturers’ Training Needs in EMI Programmes: Beyond Language Competence





EMI, Higher Education, lecturers, training needs


This paper reports the results of an analysis of English as a Medium Instruction (EMI) lecturers’ training needs at a Spanish state university. In order to carry out this analysis, participants were asked to complete a quantitative questionnaire and participate in a survey with open questions adapted from Pérez-Cañado 2020). Both analysis tools explored the lecturers’ needs in relation to specific areas: linguistic competence, methodology, materials and resources, continuing professional development training and their overall rating of the EMI programme. The results show that, on the one hand, EMI teachers feel that their linguistic competence is sufficient to conduct classes in English. On the other hand, participants seem less confident as far as their methodological competence is concerned and call for more specific ongoing training. These findings are mostly in consonance with the results of other studies carried out in similar contexts (Dafouz 2018; Macaro et al. 2019; Pérez-Cañado 2020; Coelho in preparation) but they also provide some new insights which should be taken into consideration in the design of specific training programmes for lecturers involved in EMI in Higher Education.


Junta de Extremadura


AGUILAR, Marta and Rosa Rodríguez. 2012. "Lecturer and Student Perceptions on CLIL at a Spanish University." International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 15(2): 183-97. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2011.615906

AGUSTÍN-LLACH, María P. and Andrés Canga Alonso. 2016. "Vocabulary Growth in Young CLIL and Traditional EFL Learners: Evidence from Research and Implications for Education." International Journal of Applied Linguistics 26(2): 211-27. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijal.12090

ALEJO-GONZÁLEZ, Rafael. 2018. "The Place of Language in English-Medium Instruction." Presented at the CIEB 2018, Badajoz (Spain).

ALEJO-GONZÁLEZ, Rafael, and Ana M. Piquer-Píriz. 2016. "Measuring the Productive Vocabulary of Secondary School CLIL Students: Is Lex30 a Valid Test for Low Level School Learners?" Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics 16: 31-53.

ALEJO-GONZÁLEZ, Rafael. 2010. "CLIL Teacher Training in Extremadura: A Needs Analysis Perspective." In Lasagabaster and Ruiz de Zarobe 2010, 219-42.

BEELEN, Jos and Elspeth. Jones. 2015. "Redefining Internationalization at Home." In Curai, Matei Pricopie, Salmi and Scott 2015, 67-80.

CASTELLANO-RISCO, Irene. 2018. "Receptive Vocabulary and Learning Strategies in Secondary School CLIL and Non-CLIL Learners." Onomázein 40(2): 28-48. https://doi.org/10.7764/onomazein.40.02

CASTELLANO-RISCO, Irene, Rafael Alejo González and Ana M. Piquer-Píriz. 2020. "The Development of Receptive Vocabulary in CLIL vs EFL: Is the Learning Context the Main Variable?" System 91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2020.102263

COELHO, Margarida. in preparation. "The Potential of the CLIL Approach with Higher Education Teachers in Portugal: A Linguistic Needs Analysis Study at the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre." PhD diss. University of Extremadura.

COYLE, Do, Philip Hood and David Marsh. 2010. CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

CURAI, Adrian, Liviu Matei, Remus Pricopie, Jamil Salmi and Peter Scott. 2015. The European Higher Education Area: Between Critical Reflections and Future Policies. Doedrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20877-0

DAFOUZ, Emma. 2018. "English-Medium Instruction and Teacher Education Programmes in Higher Education: Ideological Forces and Imagined Identities at Work." International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 21(5): 540-52. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1487926

DAFOUZ, Emma, and Ute Smit. 2020. ROAD-MAPPING English Medium Education in the Internationalised University. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1487926

DAFOUZ, Emma. 2016. "Towards a Dynamic Conceptual Framework for English-medium Education in Multilingual University Settings.". Applied Linguistics 37(3): 397-415. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu034

ESCOBAR URMENETA, Cristina and Laura Arnau Sabatés, eds. 2018. Los retos de la internacionalización de los grados universitarios en el contexto del Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior. Madrid: Síntesis

EURYDICE. 2006. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) at School in Europe. Brussels: Eurydice.

FORTANET, Inmaculada. 2013. Multilingualism in Higher Education: Towards a Multilingual Language Policy. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

KNIGHT, Jane. 2005. "Internationalization of Higher Education - New Directions, New Challenges." International Association of Universities. Retrieved from:

LASAGABASTER, David and Yolanda Ruiz de Zarobe. 2010. CLIL in Spain: Implementation, Results and Teacher Training, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

MACARO, Ernesto. 2018. English Medium Instruction. Oxford: Oxford UP.

MACARO, Ernesto, Antonio Jiménez-Muñoz and David Lasagabaster. 2019. "The Importance of Certification of English Medium Instruction Teachers in Higher Education in Spain." Porta Linguarum 32: 103-18.

MEHISTO, Peeter, David Marsh, and Maria Jesús Frigols. 2008. Uncovering CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning in Bilingual and Multilingual Education. Oxford: Macmillan Education.

MORGADO, Margarida and Margarida Coelho. 2013. "CLIL vs ENGLISH as the Medium of Instruction: The Portuguese Polytechnic Higher Education Context." Egitania Sciencia 7: 123-45.

MORGADO, Margarida Margarida Coelho, Maria del Carmen Arau Ribeiro, Alexandra Alburquerque, Manuel Moreira da Sílva, Graça Chorão, Suzana Cunha, Ana Gonçalves, Ana Isabel Carvalho, Mónica Régio, Sónia Faria and Isabel Chumbo. 2015. CLIL: Training guide. Creating a CLIL learning community in Higher Education. Santo Tirso (Portugal): De Facto Editores. Retrieved from; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/293654568_ReCLespt_CLIL_Training_Guide_Creating_a_CLIL_Learning_Community_in_Higher_Education

MORELL, Teresa. 2020. "EMI teacher training with a multimodal and interactive approach: A new horizon for LSP specialists." Language Value 12 (1): 56-87. https://doi.org/10.6035/LanguageV.2020.12.4

MORGADO, Margarida, Luis García, Mónica Régio, Cristina Pereira, Carlos Sampaio, Monika Hřebačková, Jana Zverinova, Martin Stefl, Hana Pavelková, Réka Asztalos, Krisztina Babos, Éva Huj, András Kovács, Ágnes Loch, László Osváth, Ágnes Pál, Éva Schultz, Lászlo Varga, Rafael Alejo-González, Rosa Simancas Rodríguez, Ana María Piquer-Píriz, Irene Castellano-Risco, Manuel Lucero, Mauro Jorge Guerreiro Figueiredo, Cátia Martins, Rosana Durão and José Rodrigues. Interdisciplinary learning and teaching. Digital collaborative methodological guidelines. INCOLLAB (Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project (KA2). Project number: 2019-1-CZ01-KA203-061163.

O'DOWD, Robert. 2018. "The Training and Accreditation of Teachers for English Medium Instruction: An Overview of Practice in European Universities." International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 21 (5): 553-63. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1491945

PECORARI, Diane and Hans Malmström. 2018. "At the Crossroads of TESOL and English Medium Instruction." TESOL Quarterly 52, no. 3: 497-515. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.470

PÉREZ-CAÑADO, María Luisa. 2020. "Addressing the research gap in teacher training for EMI: An evidence-based teacher education proposal in monolingual contexts." Journal of English for Academic Purposes 48: 100927. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2020.100927

PÉREZ-CAÑADO, María Luisa. 2018. "Innovations and Challenges in CLIL Teacher Training." Theory Into Practice 57 (3): 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2018.1492238

PÉREZ-CAÑADO, María Luisa. 2012. "CLIL Research in Europe: Past, Present and Future." International Journal of Bilingual Education and Multilingualism 15 (3): 315-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2011.630064

PLADEVALL-BALLESTER, Elisabet and Anna Vallbona. 2016. "CLIL in Minimal Input Contexts: A Longitudinal Study of Primary School Learners' Receptive Skills." System 58: 37-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2016.02.009

RUIZ DE ZAROBE, Yolanda and Roy Lyster. 2018. "Content and Language Integration in Higher Education: Instructional Practices and Teacher Development." International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 21 (5): 523-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1491950

SYLVÉN, Liss. 2019. Investigating Content and Language Integrated Learining: Insights from Swedish High Schools. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. https://doi.org/10.21832/9781788922425

WÄCHTER, Bernd and Friedhelm Maiworm. 2014. English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education. The State of Play in 2014. Bonn: Kössinger, Schierling.

WÄCHTER, Bernd. 2008. English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education. The Picture in 2007. Bonn: Lemmens.

WILKINSON, Robert. 2018. "Content and Language Integration at Universities? Collaborative Reflections." International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 21(5): 607-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1491948



Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Piquer-Píriz, Ana María, and Irene Olga Castellano-Risco. 2021. “Lecturers’ Training Needs in EMI Programmes: Beyond Language Competence”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 34 (January):83-105. https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2021.34.05.