A survey of English-medium instruction in Italian higher education

Costa, Francesca and Coleman, James A. (2012). A survey of English-medium instruction in Italian higher education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 16(1) pp. 3–19.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2012.676621


English-taught Programmes (ETPs) have increased exponentially in European universities over the last 10 years, leading to growing numbers of bilingual graduates. This study reports on the most recent survey of ETPs in Italian higher education. A questionnaire completed in 2010 by 50% of Italian universities addressed both organisational factors (including the number of ETPs, reasons for adoption and difficulties in implementation) and pedagogical factors (including recruitment and teachers’ competencies). The findings paint a heterogeneous picture, with ETPs expanding but still not universal. Issues are analysed according to university type (public/private) and location, since the divisions between the wealthy, industrialised North, the Centre and the less developed South are largely reflected in the profile and status of universities in each geographical zone. All institutions show a clear-cut focus on content over language.

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