top of page
English as a Medium of Instruction (small).png

Spotlight on... Language assessment and English as a Medium of Instruction
Friday 28th January 2022

In the third of the BAAL TEASIG webinar series we shone a Spotlight on English as a Medium of Instruction.

​We were delighted to welcome Dr Nate Owen from Oxford University Press, UK as our invited speaker.

 Invited speaker 
Nate Owen - circle.png

DR NATE OWEN (Oxford University Press, UK)

Assessment and English as a Medium of Instruction: challenges and opportunities

As English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) continues to expand across the globe, there is a notable absence of research on assessment practices in EMI contexts. In this session, I present collaborative work that reviews the literature to date and maps out a research agenda for the future (Hultgren, Owen, Shrestha, Kuteeva and Mežek 2022). Our work draws on McNamara et al.’s (2019) and Shohamy's (2001, 2007) conceptions of ‘fair’ and ‘just’ language assessment and outlines considerable complexities around implementing assessment in EMI contexts, with key questions centring on how and why assessment should take place in addition to what and who to assess. We consider whether there can be a role for high-stakes tests within EMI contexts, and what challenges test providers face in EMI contexts. In outlining a research agenda for the future, we suggest that such challenges may be addressed through a greater role for assessment for learning (AfL) principles in higher education. This approach capitalizes on established bodies of knowledge within applied linguistics about the integral role of language in learning. In sum, we propose an approach to assessment in EMI which capitalizes on existing assessment structures, but granting language a more prominent place within them and facilitating greater collaboration between language experts and subject experts.


Hultgren, A. K., Owen, N., Shrestha, P., Kuteeva, M. and Mežek, S. (2022). Assessment and English as a Medium of Instruction: Challenges and Opportunities, Journal of English Medium Instruction. John Benjamins Publishing, 1(1), 105-123.

#3minutes presentations

1. TOLERA SIMIE (University College London, UK)

Exploring the impact of English Medium Instruction on the quality of education in Ethiopian universities

2. AKIKO KIYOTA (Waseda University, Japan)

Effect of an English-medium instruction course on second language argumentative speaking development in EFL Japan: A longitudinal multiple case study


Current practices of assessment of language and content in CLIL contexts in secondary education

4. ROMOLA RASSOOL (University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka), NADEE MAHAWATTHA (Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka)

Language Assessment in EMI in Sri Lankan Higher Education

5. SOOHYE YEOM (New York University, USA)

Using international English proficiency tests in EMI contexts


bottom of page