If someone is a native speaker of Khmer, is living in New Zealand and is learning Russian from a tutor speaking English, I'd know how to refer to Khmer (the "native language"), and how to refer to Russian (the target language). But what term would I use to refer to English in this scenario?

Should I use the term medium of instruction, or is that term more applicable to large-scale schools rather than one-on-one and class-based language learning?


2 Answers 2


I'm afraid there's no commonly accepted term for that.

Many schools use the following construct:

L2 for L1 speakers

For example (mind the URLs and titles as well):

So, in your case it would be Russian for English speakers, regardless the fact that the student's L1 is Khmer.


I take it that medium of instruction includes the language of instruction. And that language of instructions is the language in which the target language is being taught.

(Unfortunately, I don't have a source for this but that's my sense from the literature I've read while researching and writing about language teaching)

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