Why do students choose EMI courses? : an analysis of their motivational drives
The great influence of motivation in the learning process is widely acknowledged since it plays a key role in any learning context. However, as educational realities change, researchers are assailed by new questions that must be resolved. Through this research we intended to know the motivations that lead university students to enrol in EMI (English-medium Instruction) courses instead of choosing courses in their L1, BMI (Basque-medium Instruction) or SMI (Spanish-medium Instruction). A total of 455 students from the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU completed a questionnaire in which they were asked about their motivations towards EMI, taking Dörnyei’s (2005) L2MSS as theoretical framework. The statistical analysis revealed that the majority of students showed motivations related to the Ideal L2 Self and to personal preferences, while they did not feel pressured by their tutors or by the university itself for studying in English (the Ought-to L2 Self). The innovative nature of this study lies in the fact that students’ choices included both a minority language (Basque) and a majority one (Spanish), which has allowed us to identify students´ motivations to choose EMI over BMI or SMI in a multilingual university context in which three different languages are used as MOI.