The objective of this study was to examine instructors’ perceived proficiency, interaction in the English language,
and the challenges they face in using the English language as a medium of instruction. The study used a
descriptive survey design and a mixed study approach. It took place in six Ethiopian universities. The sample size for the survey study is 295 instructors and 24 (18 deans and 6 department heads) for the qualitative study, and they were from the 2018/19 academic years. A questionnaire, semi-structured interview, and classroom
observation were used as research tools. T-tests and ANOVA were employed while Chi-square tests were used
to test dependence between language choices as an instructional medium. Instead of analyzing
independently, the qualitative data were used to supplement or explain the quantitative finding. The results
indicated that instructors perceived that they were proficient in the Basic English language to a high or very
high level. To the same extent, university instructors were aware that using English as a medium of instruction
in college classrooms was effective. Moreover, significant majorities of instructors choose either English or
English and Amharic to be the media of instruction. While qualification differences affected instructors’ English
proficiency, gender differences did not. The widely accepted truth in this regard is that English triggers some
problems not being the native language of the learners. The paper finally recommends some directions to cope
with the challenges.
Keywords: /Challenges of English Language/Ethnic languages/Medium of instruction/Mother tongue/Multicultural context/

URN: http://nbn-resolving.usurn:nbn:de:0000ejssls.v8i2

Published: 2021-12-29