In my experience, every Android emulator normally uses the Latin (English) IME for character input. An exception to this is the 3.x emulator. I do not know if this varies by SDK version or by OS, but I have seen this emulator differs from the others in that the default input method, randomly, uses the Pinyin/Chinese character set.
I apologize for my ignorance in that I do not know exactly what Pinyin applies to, but a a quick google search seems to imply that it "is the official phonetic system for transcribing the sound of Chinese characters into Latin script…".
As I do not know Chinese, the emulator defaulting to Pinyin is problematic for me.
I have found that the easiest way to disable the Pinyin IME is to do what user sergeytch describes in this Stack Overflow article. This method is a bit brute force because it deletes the Pinyin IME entirely, but it does work. When I've run into this issue, it seems there is no other easy way to disable Pinyin.
> adb shell # mount -rw -o remount /dev/block/mtdblock0 /system # rm /system/app/PinyinIME.apk