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Teaching English for Academic Purposes - EDU00009M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Andrzej Cirocki
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

In this module, we will explore and evaluate the theory and practice of EAP. A central focus throughout will be the classroom practice of EAP and the needs of international students preparing for university-level study. We will examine how university academic practices, together with a wider awareness of higher education, can inform EAP teachers' understanding of student needs, academic discourse, curriculum, assessment, material and course development.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21
B Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

  • To develop a critical awareness of how language relates to higher education contexts, tasks and participants
  • To develop the ability to analyse and evaluate an academic task (or set of tasks) in order to (a) diagnose learning problems that need to be resolved and (b) design an appropriate programme of language-related support
  • To develop the ability to carry out an evaluation of a support programme, class or set of teaching materials.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Be aware of current research on relevant EAP topics
  • Analyse the structure and function of academic discourse
  • Be aware of language problems of second language learners
  • Teach, evaluate and design EAP courses.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Engage critically with published work, particularly journal papers
  • Formulate critical and balanced arguments orally and in writing
  • Participate in group work and problem-solving activities
  • Undertake and report appropriately short, empirical data collection and analysis work
  • Demonstrate effective planning and time management
  • Word-process, manage files, use e-mail, VLE and the Web.

Module content

Course outline

Week 2 Introduction and overview of the module; introduction to teaching English for Academic Purposes

Week 3 Critical thinking and argumentation

Week 4 Grammar and vocabulary

Week 5 Listening and reading

Week 6 Speaking

Week 7 Writing

Week 8 Assessment and feedback

Week 9 Needs analysis

Week 10 Materials and syllabus design

Course details

Week 2 - Introduction and overview of the module; introduction to teaching English for Academic Purposes

After an introduction to the module, its aims, assessment methods and the VLE component, the first session will provide a general introduction to ESP (English for Specific Purposes), of which EAP is considered to be a part. We will discuss the role of language and academic literacy, as well as the debatable role of the EAP teacher, with reference to various departmental policies and support channels.

Week 3 - Critical thinking and argumentation

This session will explore ways of helping EAP students identify and build oral and written arguments, and will, therefore, form a basis for the entire module. We will discuss and apply critical reading and writing, as well as principles of critical argumentation in writing (e.g., assignments) and speaking (e.g., presentations). We will return to these concepts throughout the module.

Week 4 - Grammar and vocabulary

In this session we will discuss the specifics of teaching grammar and vocabulary for academic purposes, with reference to the basic skills covered in the next sections. We will also look at issues such as subjectivity and ‘voice’, metadiscourse, coherence and cohesion.

Week 5 - Listening and reading

Listening and reading for academic purposes will be discussed together, as the two basic receptive skills. We will explore principles of selecting materials and teaching listening and reading strategies. Listening to lectures and reading for assignment/ dissertation writing will be given special attention. The session will also cover note-taking for higher education purposes.

Week 6 - Speaking

This session will explore developing speaking skills for group discussions, seminar participation, presentations and other higher education purposes. We will refer to some of the issues covered in session 4 and we will discuss audience awareness in speaking (continuing the discussion in the next session, with respect to writing).

Week 7 - Writing

In week 7, we will discuss principles of teaching writing for higher education purposes, continuing our discussion of audience awareness with reference to academic genres and discourse communities. We will also discuss referencing and academic integrity, exploring ways in which these can be taught/ facilitated on EAP courses.

Week 8 - Assessment and feedback

This session will cover various approaches and types of formal assessment used on EAP courses, as well as informal tutor/ peer assessment and principles of meaningful feedback.

Week 9 - Needs analysis

Having covered the main aspects of teaching language for academic purposes, in this session we will explore the principles and practicalities of conducting needs analyses with a view to designing EAP materials and syllabi. Using the insights gained in the previous sessions, we will discuss different stakeholders, approaches and methods used or taken into account in the process of needs analysis.

Week 10 - Materials and syllabus design

The last session of the module will draw on the content of all the previous sessions, discussing principles of materials and syllabus design with a view to addressing learner needs within given course constraints.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information


Assessment is by a 3,500 word written assignment on one of several topics provided.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback in a range of ways throughout this module. This will include oral feedback in class, responses to posts on the VLE discussion board and written comments on work. You will have the chance to obtain feedback on your writing during the module, and you will have a short one-to-one meeting with a module tutor to discuss assessments.

You will be provided physical written feedback on assignment report sheets as well as them being readily available on the VLE. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information

Indicative reading

Alexander, O., Argent, S., & Spencer, J. (2008). EAP essentials: A teacher’s guide to principles and practice. Reading: Garnet Education.

De Chazal, E. (2014). English for academic purposes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hyland, K. (2006). English for academic purposes: An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.

Jordan, R. R. (1997). English for academic purposes: A guide and resource book for teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Moon, J. (2008). Critical thinking: An exploration of theory and practice. London: Routledge.

Long, M. H. (Ed.). (2005). Second language needs analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ruiz-Garrido, M. F., Palmer-Silveira, J.C., & Fortanet Gomez, I. (Eds.) (2010). English for Professional and Academic Purposes. Leiden: Netherlands.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.