Evaluation of English as a Medium Instruction Outcomes

Hanging with the good Jose L. Arco-Tirado in Granada, working on the impact of English as a Medium Instruction (EMI) on University GPA. It is kind of hard as the people who go into an English language instruction school in Spain are not exactly a random sample. (Spoiler alert, they are much better students and end up with a better GPAs than the average.) But what if we try to construct a reasonable comparison group? The results flip. Not so good news for EMI education, (though I still don’t care. My kid still gets three languages spoken to her at home and I still want to send her to a school where she can learn a fourth).

Not to bore anyone with the details but we used matching to get closer to a true causal inference (not that we expect to succeed – but at least get a more reasonable comparison). Propensity matching sucks (and no, we did not try higher order interactions and machine learning to find best model), as usual Coarsened Exact Matching (as implemented and without tweaking) throws away most of the treatment group (not exactly something we can afford to do now) and, as anyone could have predicted, Genetic Matching is still the method that saves the day with incredible balance and super interesting findings. (I guess findings were the same with a simple nearest neighbor propensity matching and tended in this direction with CEM as well but insignificant due to probably the very low sample size.)

I want to spend more time in Granada. Maybe next year when we’ll have enough data to try a regression discontinuity design. (Or any other time is fine…)