Abstract submitted for 11th Annual Conference of the BAAL-LLT SIG

Hi Everyone,

I just submitted my abstract for the 11th Annual Conference of the BAAL-Language Learning and Teaching SIG. Thank you Susan Dawson for posting the conference call for papers in this blog 🙂

The title of my abstract is ‘The Introduction of English as a Medium of Instruction and its Reversal: Language Planning Insights from Multilingual Indonesia’. Fingers crossed and hope I will be in the cruise on the Firth of Forth in July 😀 Wish me luck 🙂


Siti Fitriyah

University of Manchester


Theme: Lingua Franca Perspectives and Multilingualism


The Introduction of English as a Medium of Instruction and its Reversal: Language Planning Insights from Multilingual Indonesia

Indonesia is a linguistically complex country with most Indonesians being bilingual or multilingual, speaking Bahasa Indonesia – the national and official language – plus one or more of the 700 vernacular languages, plus a language with external roots (such as Arabic or English). This linguistic complexity is not just a matter of numbers and diversity but also of politics as the different languages have differing resonances for differing groups within Indonesia in this post-colonial and also transnational age. Unsurprisingly, therefore, language policy and planning has never been a simple issue in this country. Amidst these complexities, in 2003, the Indonesian government, as a long-term strategic goal of enabling Indonesian youth to become more competitive globally, introduced English as the medium of instruction (EMI) for subjects such as Mathematics and Science. However, for critics, this level of foreign language use not only posed a threat regarding students’ national identity as Indonesians but also introduced inequity of opportunity into the school system. For this reason, EMI was terminated in 2013 and since then English is now taught as a foreign language rather than being taught for, and used as the medium of instruction. In this paper, as informed by my professional reflections as an EMI teacher educator as well as based on my ongoing doctoral research, I will discuss some implications of the introduction of EMI and its subsequent reversal in the multilingual setting of Indonesia. The lessons learnt from Indonesia may provide useful insights for the implementations of EMI in other countries.

Keywords: EMI, Reversal, Multilingual, Indonesia

Word count: 250