Strategies to Enhance Comprehension in EMI Lectures Examples from the Italian Context

Francesca Giuseppina Costa, Cristina Mariotti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Fifteen years after EMI was introduced in Italy, the need was felt for a review of studies outlining the critical issues involved and addressing problems relating to students’ comprehension of lectures and to ways of improving understanding as one of the main issues affecting the quality of the learning experience in English-taught programmes. Comprehension is an essential pre-requisite for the acquisition of competence in any language (Krashen, 1987), and in EMI the fact that an L2 is used as the medium for the transmission of disciplinary content to students makes comprehension even more relevant. It was decided to start our reflection on comprehension-related issues by providing information on the Italian context since the rapid spread of EMI in Italy has not been guided either by language policies or by dedicated funding. For this reason, this chapter will present an overview of strategies that enhance comprehension in EMI lectures and will then introduce the context of study by discussing the research carried out on EMI in Italy and illustrating how some of the comprehension-enhancing strategies evidenced in the literature have been applied in Italy with the help of discursive examples taken from lectures in Italian universities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Use in English-Medium Instruction at University International Perspectives on Teacher Practice
EditorsD. and Doiz, Aintzane Lasagabaster
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • EMI

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