EAP - Approaches to Course Design and Methodology


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This presentation is part of a Business Talk Milan course for the Cambridge ESOL Delta Modules. For details, contact us at www.business-talk.it

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EAP - Approaches to Course Design and Methodology

  1. 1. EAP : Course Design and Methodology
  2. 2. EAP or just CLT ? <ul><li>The methodology of EAP is dependent on that of ESP in general, of which it is a branch. Jordan (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>How true is this? What are the different possibilities for EAP course design, and what are the methodological implications? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Is an EAP teacher just an ESP teacher? <ul><li>Well, yes … </li></ul><ul><li>The EAP teacher will … </li></ul><ul><li>be able to work with materials and tasks from different subject areas and engage with the ideas they present </li></ul><ul><li>be familiar with the methods, practices and techniques of communicative language teaching and be able to locate these within an academic context and relate them to teaching the language and skills required by academic tasks and processes. </li></ul><ul><li>Extracts (paraphrased) from : BALEAP Competency Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes </li></ul>
  4. 4. Is an EAP teacher just an ESP teacher? <ul><li>Often to a high degree of technical competence … </li></ul><ul><li>The EAP teacher will … </li></ul><ul><li>be able to identify and analyse academic </li></ul><ul><li>genres and the functional and rhetorical </li></ul><ul><li>features of academic texts and train </li></ul><ul><li>students to do the same </li></ul><ul><li>Extracts (paraphrased) from : BALEAP Competency Framework for Teachers of English </li></ul><ul><li>for Academic Purposes </li></ul>
  5. 5. Is an EAP teacher just an ESP teacher? <ul><li>… and no. </li></ul><ul><li>The EAP teacher will … </li></ul><ul><li>be able to help students to understand university policies and procedures and the reasons behind them – eg respect for intellectual property </li></ul><ul><li>make links between critical thinking and study competence explicit for students and provide opportunities and stimulus for critical thinking in sequences of learning activities </li></ul><ul><li>integrate study skills … into lessons </li></ul><ul><li>foster student autonomy through group activities as well as one-to-one tutorials (see Alexander 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Extracts (paraphrased) from : BALEAP Competency Framework for Teachers of English </li></ul><ul><li>for Academic Purposes </li></ul>
  6. 6. Is an EAP teacher just an ESP teacher? <ul><li>BALEAP Professional Issues Meeting : Putting the 'E' back into EAP </li></ul><ul><li>(Nottingham Trent University, 15 November 2008) </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Isolated Skills Approach… <ul><li>The course is organised much as any other EFL course, covering language improvement, the four skills etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Each aspect of the course can be taught in isolation - timetable slots will have labels such as “Academic Writing” “Social English” “Library Skills” – etc See Jordan (op.cit) p.80 </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Academic subject content is secondary – useful therefore for EGAP courses. </li></ul><ul><li>The knowledge/skills required by the T are much the same as those required by any EFL teacher, with the addition of ESP knowledge : the genre and linguistic conventions of academic discourse, study skills development etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Timetabling and T. allocation becomes relatively easy </li></ul><ul><li>IELTS </li></ul><ul><li>Dangers of allowing too many EFL techniques to creep in pointed out by Heady (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>But does this represent what the students really need? </li></ul>Some points
  9. 9. The Project Based Approach <ul><li>Ss are required to carry out an individual (or group) research project which will involve them developing and using all the academic skills which they will need on their courses. This is therefore an integrated skills approach. </li></ul><ul><li>EAP input is geared to the different phases of the project : listening to lectures on the topic, literature search, reading, other research (eg interviews), completion of a presentation and/or written report etc </li></ul>
  10. 10. How does it work? An example … <ul><li>Preparatory sessions for each skill needed to research, write, present etc the project </li></ul><ul><li>Ss then apply that skill in carrying out the project </li></ul><ul><li>On-going T.feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Final submission and evaluation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some points <ul><li>The project may be used as a component on the “Isolated Skills Approach” type courses I mentioned before, or as the basis of the whole course. </li></ul><ul><li>The topic may be related to the S’s academic subject (on ESAP courses or to create an opportunity for individualisation on EGAP courses) or be more general – eg for Ss on a pre-sessional course in Britain, researching into how the University / British health system works. </li></ul><ul><li>The project can be used to develop autonomous learning skills and/or team-working skills. Alexander (2007) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Some points <ul><li>Is the project-based approach suitable for lower level learners? </li></ul><ul><li>Subject specific projects may place a strain on the non-specialist tutor. </li></ul><ul><li>How realistic / motivating are “general purpose” topics? </li></ul>
  13. 13. The CLIL (CBL) Approach <ul><li>Ss follow a course in their own academic subject, taught by subject specialist lecturers. The course is recorded / attended by the EAP tutor(s) and the session contents form the basis for the EAP sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Could be a specially designed course (for pre-sessional courses) or an in-sessional course using the “real” seminars, lectures, etc that the Ss are involved in. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Subject session : Students attend and take notes on a half hour lecture on their specialist subject given by a subject lecturer. The lecture is recorded and attended by the EAP tutor. </li></ul><ul><li>EAP session (possibly attended by the subject specialist) : </li></ul><ul><li>a) The students see the lecturer’s slides (one by one) </li></ul><ul><li>and are asked to reconstruct what s/he said. </li></ul><ul><li>b) Recording played – Ss compare their understanding </li></ul><ul><li>with what was actually said, and focus on the </li></ul><ul><li>language used, comparing it with the language they </li></ul><ul><li>used to express the same ideas. </li></ul>How does it work? An example …
  15. 15. Some points <ul><li>The specialist subject syllabus content of the course is no longer the EAP tutor’s responsibility. Lecture and seminar topics, reading, seminar and written tasks will be determined by the specialist tutor. </li></ul><ul><li>Motivating for Ss – they can see the EAP sessions are dealing with issues that they (will) really face on their courses. </li></ul><ul><li>The EAP tutor needs an in-depth knowledge of academic genre/language in order to be able to pick up on language/issues arising from the “materials”, possibly with very little preparation time. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs a high degree of co-operation between the two tutors /departments – this may be synergetic or problematic. </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively high costs </li></ul>
  16. 16. References <ul><li>Alexander, O. (2007) Learning to Learn in Teams, BALEAP PIM reports. Retrieved 20.04.2010 from http://www.hum.port.ac.uk/slas/pastconferenceproceedings/baleap_pim/files/Alexander.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>BALEAP (2008) Competency Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes. Retrieved 20.04.2010 from http://www.baleap.org.uk/teap/teap-competency-framework.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Bell T. Do EAP Teachers Require Knowledge of Their Students' Specialist Academic Subjects? ITESLJ Oct 1999 Retrieved 20.04.2010 from http://iteslj.org/Articles/Bell-EAPRequireKnowledge.html </li></ul><ul><li>Heady, C. (2010) We Just Play Games BALEAP PIM Reports Retrieved 20.04.2010 from http://www.baleap.org.uk/ pims /2010/ into-newcastle /chris-heady-we-just-play-games-plenary1-session-2d.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Jordan, R.R. (1997) English for Academic Purposes : A Guide and Resource Book for Teachers , Cambridge University Press </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>This presentation is part of an on-line course run by Business Talk Milan for the Cambridge ESOL Delta Modules </li></ul><ul><li>If you would like to find out more about our on-line and face-to-face training courses, please contact us via our website : </li></ul><ul><li>www.business-talk.it </li></ul>