I recently came across the abstract for a talk at an EAP
event (a BALEAP PIM; a professional issues meeting, so a chance for UK-based
EAP teachers to get together) via Twitter. It was on a topic that I’m
interested in, so I clicked through to read it. It was quite long (294 words
for a 30-min talk), but I persevered. On first reading, I have to say, I couldn’t
really understand what it was about at all. It took me three or four readings
to get to grips with it, and even then, I only really got the gist. The
problem? It was written in such an impenetrable academic style that even as
someone who’s been involved in EAP for a while, I found it hard going. I won’t
name names and to be fair to the writer, they had aimed it appropriately at
their (rather niche) audience.
I asked myself though how accessible this kind of thing would
be to the newbie EAP teacher or the teacher who only does a bit of EAP teaching
(perhaps on one of the many pre-sessionals that take on masses of ELT
professionals every summer). And if we stretch the net further (albeit
hypothetically as this event was taking place in the UK), how accessible would
it be to the average EAP teacher globally who is likely to be a non-native
speaker, working in a non-anglophone country, at a university that has decided
to switch to English-medium instruction and has brought in English teachers who
were probably training in general ELT, most likely in state secondary schools
and who’ve had almost no training to introduce them to teaching English in an
academic context? (Apologies for that sentence, but I hope you get the point!)
So when I was putting together the outline (not an ‘abstract’)
for my session at this week’s online EAP event organized by the University of Sheffield,
I thought very carefully about my wording. Here’s what I came up with:
Global EAP: what does it mean to you?
With increasing numbers of universities across the world
switching to English medium instruction, the demand for EAP is set to grow. But
what does EAP mean in different contexts? Are we all talking about the same thing?
In this session, I’ll share my own experiences of meeting teachers of English
at university level from across the world and discuss the differences I’ve come
across in terms of students, teachers and institutions. I’d also like to hear
from you about what EAP means in your own context.
We’ll finish off by considering the implications of these differences for the
future of EAP resources, teacher training and professional development.
The whole thing is written using words from the Oxford 3000™
- a list of 3000 common words that a good intermediate learner of English might
expect to know. The only exception is the acronym EAP itself – but I figured
that as it was already in the title of the event, I could probably get away
If you’d like to tune in and join in the discussion, it’s a
completely free event and open to all. My session will be on Thursday 15th
January at 11.00 GMT. Go to the event website
for more information and to find
links to all the sessions.
Labels: #eapcultures15, CPD, EAP