EMI (English-medium instruction) in South Korean elite universities

Kingsley Bolton, Hyejeong Ahn, Werner Botha, John Bacon-Shone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


This article provides an extensive review of previous research on English-medium instruction (EMI) in South Korean higher education. It then goes on to discuss the findings of a 2017 survey at four elite universities in South Korea, which were Seoul National University, Korea University, Yonsei University, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). While some of the results could be regarded as predictable, there were a number of findings which extended previous research. Despite the extensive complaint tradition about English in South Korea, many of the students in our sample rated their proficiency rather highly. Notwithstanding the extensive critiques of EMI in much of the previous literature, students typically displayed pragmatic and sometimes positive attitudes to dealing with EMI in their institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-486
Number of pages22
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number3
Early online date17 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • English language instruction
  • EMI (English-medium instruction)
  • South Korea
  • EMI in higher education
  • Higher Education


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