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EAP Opportunities in Academic Reading - Some Thoughts for Teachers
 

EAP Opportunities in Academic Reading - Some Thoughts for Teachers

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This was an EAP staff development session I ran for a UK university EAP unit early in 2013. I was tasked with looking 'beyond comprehension exercises', to look at exploiting texts and tasks for ...

This was an EAP staff development session I ran for a UK university EAP unit early in 2013. I was tasked with looking 'beyond comprehension exercises', to look at exploiting texts and tasks for learning that was both linguistically and academically focused. This is what I came up with.

One key aspect of the session looked at teasing apart the difference between co-text and context, and using this distinction to see 'EAP learning opportunities' (for students and teachers) in text, that go beyond the surface words and the grammar.

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  • 1 & 2: preamble, so as to outline the underlying view of EAP3 & 4: dealing with texts and reading5 & 6: implications for teachers and development
  • Skills connecting task. A4 sheets.Connecting lines/arrows. Skip feedback. Present my view for the session.
  • Could also see speaking as an end – in summative presentations, etc.
  • From EAP-as-language-work to EAP-as-academic-work.
  • Seminar class as it was…Task: given the syllabus organising principles we talked about, what do you think we realised was wrong with this task
  • Seminar class as it is
  • Seminar class as it is
  • Since we’re interesting in teaching, we’ll put teacher decision making at the heart of this (since it is…)
  • Since we’re interesting in teaching, we’ll put teacher decision making at the heart of this (since it is…)
  • Mention text work as spanning the two, though arguably mistaken as ‘structure’ (EAP:LP) rather than as emerging from rhetorical needs…and thus emerging from the practice of the disciple and the Academy.
  • Working with a single text: use one of TESOL managed essay texts. Use three circles here (helps think about both EAP:LP and EAP:AP)Seeing context (before co-text). Making Academy-appropriate links (reliability of information. Creation and extension of knowledge. Etc)
  • Use three circles here (helps think about both EAP:LP and EAP:AP).TESOL essay: probably not time (or patience) for 3 texts. Mention in passing, as it reminds us of what ‘reading’ might mean in different EAP classes, and the purposes this may serve.
  • Use three circles here (helps think about both EAP:LP and EAP:AP).TESOL essay: probably not time (or patience) for 3 texts. Mention in passing, as it reminds us of what ‘reading’ might mean in different EAP classes, and the purposes this may serve.
  • For whom: thinking about audience and writer status enables the whyness of e.g. first person use to emerge. See House 2003 abstract (example article) for instance.
  • Ways of reading. Whether or not to take notes. Dynamic defining of purpose. Etc
  • NB – separating out functions of reading means (e.g.) a journalistic text can be appropriate – for conversations about reliability of information, evidence, etc; for content learning (perhaps) … but not as appropriately academic reading on its own. These discussions can be had explicitly with students (and teachers…)
  • It is only really when you connect texts that you can get to the heart of the academic process – and to notions of criticality etcContent learning | Criticaility as slow-burn | language work as thread, not as patch (including returning to ‘old’ texts…) | as underpinning the essence of academic writing (for many disciplines, at least)Task: Look at student essay (MA TESOL?). What are the reading oriented skills/knowledge needed to complete this assignment?Managed Essay. Literature Review. Extended Essay.
  • Lesson – dealing with long complex readings
  • Lesson – dealing with long complex readings
  • Not best model necessarily for students but here: illustrative of a point…It’s real (it’s random)…but it’s potentially useful, taken on its own terms…
  • Typical ‘enlightened’ CLT approach might be (at least) to start with passive structures in context and draw out their usage.…so as then to highlight form (or to have Ss work this out for themselves first)‘Inductive’ approach. Perhaps reminiscent of Lewis’s OHE (?)
  • This seems far more interesting to look at.We need more teaching and materials based on this view of form: as embedded (in text and in culture) and serving the purpose of the user (in text and for apprentice participation in a discourse community)Separate recognition in reading (as here) and use in writing: journal paper writing is perhaps unfair and realistic model for writing. Comptent NNS essay model may be more appropriate for the latter…
  • Examining usage on its own terms……and in combination with other devices that serve a similar purpose
  • …so the passive (or any other form) is not sth done once, but a thread that resurfacesthroughout examinations of writingAlso: impersonal NP subjects, metaphor, etc.
  • …so the passive (or any other form) is not sth done once, but in passing – and then as a thread that resurfaces, throughoutexaminations of writingFundamental point: this is not recycling the idea of ‘teaching language in context’; it’s starting with context and looking at how language services the creation of writer meaning.
  • Hence the title – ‘revisiting the ‘A’ in EAP’…

EAP Opportunities in Academic Reading - Some Thoughts for Teachers EAP Opportunities in Academic Reading - Some Thoughts for Teachers Presentation Transcript

  • EAP Opportunities inAcademic Readingsome thoughts for teachers[21.02.2013]Steve Kirk , Durham University(@stiiiv | The TEAPing Point )
  • the plan1 Connecting the EAPieces2 Distinguishing EAPs3 Textploitation4 Connecting Texts5 Teacher Roles in Reading6 Teacher Development
  • setting the EAP sceneA brief preamble…
  • connectingthe EAPieces
  • FeedbackProduction
  • FeedbackProduction Lecture InputTeacher Skills InputStudy Book MaterialsAcademic ReadingsSeminar SpeakingTeacher Lang. Input
  • connectingthe EAPiecesSyllabus organising principle:the academic processcontentintegration of language skills follows fromthisskills do not have equal weight
  • distinguishingEAPs
  • distinguishingEAPsfrom past imperfect…
  • distinguishingEAPsto present continuous…
  • distinguishingEAPsEAP-as-language-work academic-work
  • Communicative CompetenceThe English Language?!Learner NeedsSyllabusImplementationTeacherDecision MakingEFL?
  • Learner NeedsSyllabusImplementationTeacherDecision MakingEAPAcademic Values & PracticesAcademic Literacy
  • EAP as Language Work EAP as Academic WorkSentence-level AccuracyVocabulary ChoiceSpoken FluencyPronunciation & Intelligibility(etc)
  • EAP as Language Work EAP as Academic WorkSentence-level Accuracy Understanding the Practices of theAcademyVocabulary Choice Disciplinary DifferencesSpoken Fluency Content Learning (through R.W.S.L)Pronunciation & Intelligibility Integration and Synthesis of Reading(etc) (etc)
  • academic worklanguageworkfrom:
  • academic worklanguageworkto:
  • Focus on Reading…
  • textploitation
  • textploitationHow might each text be exploited for reading-oriented classwork & development?applied linguistics journal paperGuardian article(MA TESOL student essay)
  • textploitationHow might each text be exploited for reading-oriented classwork & development?applied linguistics journal paperGuardian article(MA TESOL student essay)
  • textploitationQuestions you might ask of a text:who is writing?in what context?for what purpose? for whom?how does this impact:content?structure?language choices?
  • lexical / grammaticalchoicescontexttextcontent
  • textploitationQuestions (S/T) readers might ask ofthemselves:why am I reading this?knowledge building?territory defining?drilling down for detail?as preparation for writing?what (therefore) do I need from this text?
  • textploitationdistinguish (?):student level (UG | PG)students‟ disciplinesdepartmental needs & wants (if known)
  • textploitationdistinguish (?):texts as models for readingtexts as models for writingtexts for knowledge worktexts for structural / language work
  • textploitationdistinguish (?):linguistic challengecognitive challenge(we need reading that engagesboth)
  • textploitationwork that can emerge from an isolated text:knowledge building (contentlearning)academy-oriented valuesstructural awareness (macro &meso)language in context
  • textploitationwork that can emerge from an isolated text:knowledge building (contentlearning)academy-oriented valuesstructural awareness (macro &meso)language in context
  • textploitationwork that can emerge from an isolated text:knowledge building (contentlearning)academy-oriented valuesstructural awareness (macro &meso)language in context
  • textploitation(e.g.)learning from reading: text framingstructural awareness (macro &meso)language in co-text
  • connectingtexts
  • the „managed essay‟:The process:Reading pack: 4-6 x journal articles / bk chaptersEssay question (no choice)(Content-based) lectureSessions on dealing with long readingsSessions on notetaking / summarising(Content-based) seminarSessions on planning writingIntegrated language work
  • the literature review:The process:Reading pack: 6-8 x journal articles on theme of plagiarism(Content-based) lectureSession on concept of literature review (model based)Students use readings to develop a ‘research niche’Collaborate to summarise the readings(Content-based) seminarIntegrated language workIndividually-written literature review
  • work that can emerge from connecting texts:knowledge building (content learning)synthesis & comparison of contentstance/argument building & weakeningcriticality= essential foundation for writing+ speakingconnectingtexts
  • work that can emerge from connecting texts:comparative structural awarenesslanguage patternsthreadschoiceconnectingtexts
  • Stables, A. (2003)Reading the Teacher; Writing the Lesson,Language and Education, 17: 6, 450 – 460connectingtexts (e.g.)
  • The paper considers the consequences for research inclassrooms of regarding „lessons‟ of all sorts as elaboratesequences of discourse, or „text‟, as part of a move towards agreater emphasis in research, teacher education and policyon education as cultural (vis à vis social or linguistic) practice.A quadruple perspective is offered, considering, in turn,teachers as writers, teachers as readers, students as readersand students as writers, attempting to clarify both similaritiesand distinctions between teacher/student and reader/writerroles. The discussion ends with a critical reflection onundifferentiated concepts of educational practice, arguing thatteachers and students contribute to discourse, and that noone agency can therefore be held responsible for theeducational experience. Exemplification is drawn fromarchived videoed lessons that have previously been used forteacher education and research purposes.
  • The paper considers the consequences for research inclassrooms of regarding „lessons‟ of all sorts as elaboratesequences of discourse, or „text‟, as part of a move towards agreater emphasis in research, teacher education and policyon education as cultural (vis à vis social or linguistic) practice.A quadruple perspective is offered, considering, in turn,teachers as writers, teachers as readers, students as readersand students as writers, attempting to clarify both similaritiesand distinctions between teacher/student and reader/writerroles. The discussion ends with a critical reflection onundifferentiated concepts of educational practice, arguing thatteachers and students contribute to discourse, and that noone agency can therefore be held responsible for theeducational experience. Exemplification is drawn fromarchived videoed lessons that have previously been used forteacher education and research purposes.
  • The paper considers the consequences for research inclassrooms of regarding „lessons‟ of all sorts as elaboratesequences of discourse, or „text‟, as part of a move towards agreater emphasis in research, teacher education and policyon education as cultural (vis à vis social or linguistic) practice.A quadruple perspective is offered, considering, in turn,teachers as writers, teachers as readers, students as readersand students as writers, attempting to clarify both similaritiesand distinctions between teacher/student and reader/writerroles. The discussion ends with a critical reflection onundifferentiated concepts of educational practice, arguing thatteachers and students contribute to discourse, and that noone agency can therefore be held responsible for theeducational experience. Exemplification is drawn fromarchived videoed lessons that have previously been used forteacher education and research purposes.
  • The paper considers the consequences for research inclassrooms of regarding „lessons‟ of all sorts as elaboratesequences of discourse, or „text‟, as part of a move towards agreater emphasis in research, teacher education and policyon education as cultural (vis à vis social or linguistic) practice.A quadruple perspective is offered, considering, in turn,teachers as writers, teachers as readers, students as readersand students as writers, attempting to clarify both similaritiesand distinctions between teacher/student and reader/writerroles. The discussion ends with a critical reflection onundifferentiated concepts of educational practice, arguing thatteachers and students contribute to discourse, and that noone agency can therefore be held responsible for theeducational experience. Exemplification is drawn fromarchived videoed lessons that have previously been used forteacher education and research purposes.
  • writer purposechoice of focuslinguistic choices
  • writer purposechoice of focushere: topicalisation
  • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • teacher roles
  • teacher rolesHow would you answer the following?(from our summer PS interview Qs…)
  • What is the place of reading on a pre-sessional course?What is the role of the EAP teacher in helping astudent develop necessary skills?e.g. 1
  • What is the place of reading on a pre-sessional course?What is the role of the EAP teacher in helping astudent develop necessary skills?e.g. 1
  • On our programme you may be required to work onthe Irish financial crisis with students. You and theywould get 5-6 readings on the topic and an essayquestion to work towards(over about a fortnight).What do you think would be the key challenges of thiskind of task – both for the students and for you?e.g. 2
  • academic reading development requiresteachers to:have basic disciplinary awarenessread (some of) what students are readingengage with content – as a co-participantteacher roles
  • “In other words, the [E(S)AP] teachershould not become a teacher of thesubject matter, but rather aninterested student of the subjectmatter.”(Hutchinson & Waters, 1987: 163)
  • “In other words, the [E(S)AP] teachershould not become a teacher of thesubject matter, but rather aninterested student of the subjectmatter.”(Hutchinson & Waters, 1987: 163)
  • academic reading development requiresteachers to:scaffold the extension of group learning(e.g. in a seminar)recognise & exploit students-as-expertsprovide content-based feedback on writingteacher roles
  • Why?learners need to participate in scholarly practicesto avoid „delivery‟ of a lesson…in favour of:engagement with learning at point of needteachers need to be plausible partners inlearningteacher roles
  • teacherdevelopment
  • what do you do / could you do to work withacademic reading (more) in these ways?teacherdevelopment
  • in-sessional tutorials:getting a sense of what students read.engaging with content – to get atstructure.interaction with academic staff, if neededtext analysis: spend time in the library…work across texts.teacherdevelopment
  • E A P
  • E A P
  • ReferencesHutchinson, T. and A. Waters (1987) English for Specific Purposes; Alearning- centred approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressStables, A. (2003) Reading the Teacher; Writing the Lesson„. Languageand Education, 17: 6, 450 – 460
  • s.e.kirk@durham.ac.uk | @stiiivthanks