Effect of Using English as a Medium of Instruction in Primary International Schools on the Children’s first language and Cultural Identity

Rana Hassan Ahmad Asiri


This study aimed to investigate the effect of using English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in primary international schools on the children’s first language (L1) and cultural identity. More specifically, the study sought to determine whether using EMI has effects on Saudi school students. Furthermore, it sh owed how to preserve our children’s L1 and cultural identity by enhancing the learning that uses the learners’ L1 as a medium of instruction. The study sample consisted of 40 individuals, with 20 secondary and intermediate female students whose primary education was carried out in private international schools and 20 parents of children studying in international schools. The study used a questionnaire as a means of data collection. It used a mixed-methods design, and the data were analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS, while qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. The study results showed that the participants understood the importance of learning English as a global language. In addition, it identified that using EMI in primary international schools affects the children’s L1 and their cultural identity; some of the parents suggested that English language learning had had some negative consequences on their children’s Arabic language. 


English medium instruction; Private international schools; Bilingual education; Mother tongue; Cultural identity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10911


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