The reasons for using foreign languages as medium of instruction vary across countries and educational settings. They stretch from pedagogical (e.g. language teaching), through practical (e.g. common language for education in multilingual societies) to ideological (e.g. integration). In the case of English, the reasons for its increased use as medium of instruction are closely related to the process of globalization and the establishment of English as an International Language. The present paper seeks to investigate the different rationales behind using English as medium of instruction (EMI) at tertiary level. In particular it focuses on the language-teaching dimension, which in the context of higher education is not always explicitly addressed. This lack of explicit language teaching objectives in English?medium courses is a barrier to unlocking the potential of EMI.