A longitudinal study at an English medium instruction university in Turkey: the interplay between English language improvement and academic success

YÜKSEL D., Soruc A., ALTAY M., Curle S.

APPLIED LINGUISTICS REVIEW, vol.14, no.3, pp.533-552, 2023 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1515/applirev-2020-0097
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, Communication & Mass Media Index, Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.533-552
  • Keywords: academic success, English medium instruction (EMI), general English proficiency (GEP), higher education (HE), Turkey, UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS, HIGHER-EDUCATION, PERFORMANCE, COMPREHENSION, STRATEGIES, GENDER, SCORES
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


This article reports a quantitative empirical study that investigated whether English language proficiency increases over time when studying academic content through English Medium Instruction (EMI). It was also investigated whether an increase in proficiency predicts EMI academic achievement. Student English language test score data and Grade Point Average (GPA) data were collected from a public university in Turkey. Two academic subjects were compared: Business Administration (a Social Science subject, n = 81) and Mechatronics Engineering (a Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences subject, n = 84). Results showed that in both subjects, English language proficiency statistically significantly improved over a four-year period of studying through English. Furthermore, this improvement predicted EMI academic achievement; meaning that the more proficient students became in English, the higher they achieved in their EMI academic studies. This provides evidence for policymakers, EMI practitioners, and language professionals around the world that English does improve when studying academic content through English, and that this improvement has a positive effect on content learning outcomes. Implications of these findings, and suggestions for further research are discussed.