Teacher Educators’ Professional Identity in English-Medium Instruction at a Finnish University

  • Sotiria Pappa Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Josephine Moate Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Keywords: English-medium instruction, EMI, Finland, higher education, role of language


Although different forms of English-medium instruction (EMI) are being recognised, the different ways in which EMI can impact the pedagogical activities and expertise of higher education educators have received less attention. Using face-to-face and written interviews with nine teacher educators at a Finnish university, this study examines the most important aspects teacher educators perceive in their work through EMI and how these aspects connect to the understanding of their professional identity. The study is theoretically premised on the interconnected concepts of pedagogical doing, pedagogical being, pedagogical relating, and pedagogical language awareness. The thematically analysed data highlighted the ways in which pedagogical being, doing, and relating revolve around the presence and role of the foreign language in EMI, as well as the concurrent disjunctures and opportunities EMI creates. Pedagogical being informed EMI teacher educators’ orientation to their work and the different ways language impinges on the sense of self as the teacher educators share how they try to understand and respond to the disjunctures of EMI. In terms of pedagogical doing, EMI impinges on how teacher educators enact their practice and the relationships developed with students. However, the focus of pedagogical relating addresses the relationship between the EMI teacher educators and their workplace. The findings from this study will hopefully contribute to the development of EMI teacher preparation and support critical discussions on the ‘Englishisation’ of higher education.


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