Transitioning to English medium instruction in operations management courses taught on Spanish business degrees: Perceptions and diagnosis

José A. Alfaro-Tanco, Hanne Roothooft, Ruth Breeze


Purpose: The objective of the present study is to analyze the effects of the transition to English Medium Instruction on lecturers in Spanish universities in one specific area, namely Operations Management courses taught in Business degrees.

Design/methodology/approach: we present an overview of research so far into the effects of English Medium Instruction (EMI) on teaching and learning Operations Management in Business degrees of Spanish universities. Empirically, a survey was administered to 20 EMI lecturers in the area of Operations Management, and s the results in the light of both the bibliography on EMI and the empirical results were discussed. Using online questionnaires, information was obtained from a sample of EMI lecturers in thirteen Spanish Universities.

Findings: Most professors report that they initially reacted negatively to the idea of having to teach in English, but now realize that most of their fears were ungrounded. They emphasize that it is very important to invest time in training seminars and the exchange of experiences. Other relevant findings are the perceived lack of incentives to teach in English, the need to use tools and techniques to improve the interaction with students, and the considerable amount of time needed for class preparation.

Originality/value: The results of this small-scale study of EMI in OM are consistent with previous research in the area of EMI in other fields, but also provide some ideas that may pave the way for further research and development.


English medium instruction, operations management, adaptation, Spain

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience