Students' Challenges on Learning EMI Courses at a Technical University in Vietnam: An Investigation from Students' Voices




English as a Medium of Instruction, EMI implementation, tertiary curriculum, challenges, students’ perspective


In the age of technology development and internationalization, EMI (English as a Medium of Instruction) has been seen as a better method for resolving language problems of non-English students than teaching English in a single subject so as to meet the demand for employability in their future profession. However, EMI implementation is still a concern for educational researchers and instructors in many countries, especially in Asian Pacific regions. This research aimed to investigate EFL students' perspectives and challenges in learning an EMI program at a public technical university in Vietnam. To determine the obstacles of EMI learning from students' viewpoint, data were collected qualitatively by in-depth interviews with 18 EMI students in nine different academic disciplines randomly. The findings shed light on EMI implementation for tertiary education, as their perspectives on EMI courses' benefits are quite positive. However, this study also figured out several challenges due to students' poor ability in English interaction, vocabulary shortage, irrelevant course content, EMI lecturers' pedagogical methods, and students' motivations for the EMI course. This study provided some recommendations to help those interested in EMI in higher education enhance and develop EMI courses.

Author Biographies

Hoang Ngoc Tue, School of Languages and Tourism, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam

Dr. Hoang Ngoc Tue is the Head of School of Languages and Tourism, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam. He has been working as an English educator for more than 20 years. He has conducted many studies and projects to improve the quality of English language education at tertiary level. He received his Doctor of Education degree from Queensland University of Technology, Australia in 2015. His research interests include ICT in education, blended learning, EMI and Teacher Professional Development.



Bui Thi Ngan, Hanoi University of Industry, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Dr. Bui Thi Ngan is the former Vice Director of Hanoi University of Industry and currently works as Vice Director of the Project Management Board at Hanoi University of Industry. She has been working as an English educator for more than 30 years. She has executed and managed many studies and projects to improve the quality of tertiary education at her university, especially after she received her doctor degree of Education. Her research interests are English language teaching, language acquisition, language learning strategies and EMI.



Le Duc Hanh, School of Languages and Tourism, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam

Le Duc-Hanh has been working as an English lecturer at the School of Languages and Tourism, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam, since 2007. Besides teaching, she currently works as the deputy director of the center of training and partnership development at her school. She has been responsible for designing and teaching EOP blended programs for technical students. Her areas of professional interest include professional development, EMI, and ICTs in education.


Pham Van Duc, School of Languages and Tourism, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam

Pham Van Duc is currently working as an office staff at School of Languages and Tourism, Hanoi University of Industry, Vietnam. His major responsibilities involve working with fellows and volunteers. His research interests are EMI, gamification in teaching and technology application.



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How to Cite

Hoang, N. T., Bui, T. N., Le, D. H., & Pham, V. D. (2023). Students’ Challenges on Learning EMI Courses at a Technical University in Vietnam: An Investigation from Students’ Voices. Proceedings of the AsiaCALL International Conference, 1, 131–151.

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