Teachers in Transition: The Road to EAP

Teachers in Transition: The Road to EAP

Phillip Martin (University of East Anglia, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5990-2.ch012

Abstract

This chapter explores the development of the identity of English teachers who have moved from General English teaching into the field of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Many general TEFL teachers move into EAP as their teaching careers develop; however, contemporary TEFL initiation training courses, such as the CELTA, do not as a matter of course provide any sort of grounding for the shift in linguistic knowledge and classroom management skills required to successfully adapt to the requirements of the EAP classroom and its students. Since such initiation training courses often leave an indelible mark on the teaching styles of most practitioners (Alwright & Hanks, 2009), even teachers who go on to become fully TEFL qualified via a DELTA or Master's route may find the new demands of the EAP environment sometimes leave them reliant upon TEFL-orientated classroom protocols, only to find such approaches wholly inappropriate or ineffective on a skills-based syllabus.
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Background: Defining Eap

EAP has traditionally been seen as a division within the field of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), which is in itself a branch within English Language Teaching (ELT). Dudley-Evans and St John (2009, p. 6) provide some useful definitions and distinctions in this somewhat acronym rich field. ESP, they point out, is ELT with a clearer focus on the specific needs of the learners. ESP is further broken down into two main categories: English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) and English for Academic Purposes. EAP itself is further subdivided into English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) and English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP); the former focusses on broader academic skills common across disciplines, while the latter pays more attention to skills specific to certain disciplines (ibid.: p. 41). Before turning to the academic and pedagogical nuances of EAP however, it is useful here to provide some background information on the EAP industry in the UK.

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