The world we are living in today has been transformed into a global village with a highly demand for the English language in different aspects of life scaling much higher. English language with its communicative role, continuous to be a language of globalization in many spheres of human life encounters. English for Academic purposes came into being to assist student become proficient in English Language skills. Institution of learning are taking the initiative to teach the language to starters in learning institutions aimed at improving their communication prowess or capabilities in order to carry on with their course work (Belcher 2006).
English for Academic Purposes (EAP)
English for Academic Purposes is simply teaching English with the aim of enabling students or learners’ study or research in English language. Additionally, EAP is conducted through a program that focuses on specific linguistic demands on certain area of study, for instance in education or business subjects (Alexander, Argent & Spencer 2008).
How EAP teacher teach EAP students learn Reading Academic Journal
Apparently, it is not proper to simply tell learners to go read a journal or articles. Remarkably, there are some teaching guidelines within the teaching and learning context on how to guide and design students reading skills. According to Fujimoto et al. (2011) (cited in Finlay & Faulkner 2010; Rachal et al. 2007 and McCrudden & Schraw 2010), the guidance are within four main categories that is (i) giving the logical aspect of the task (ii) giving students the baseline for their reading (iii) providing applicability hints to guide their reading and (iv) promoting cooperation amongst learners. As a matter of fact, the empirical evidence postulates that the justification for the reading should be categorical. Research shows that it is not easy to get learners to read articles without a clear-cut purpose. Therefore, there must be coherency in terms of reading task with the objectives of the course of study and the assessment standard. On other account, by providing students with baseline to acquire the required readings for the task is fundamentally important. According to Rachal et al. (2007) statistical report, a staggering forty nine percent of students possessed difficulties in finding information regarding their essay assignments.
The difficulty was escalated when students are learners in a discipline and at the same time have difficulties in differentiating the ‘scholarly’ literature from the professional literature. Similarly, EAP teachers are required to give students with a point of entry into academic literature by guiding them to the relevant databases, availing keywords to employ while searching as well as giving the students sample readings. Additionally, considering the assignment is genuine to learners and that they have appropriate guidance in what kind of academic article to read on, EAP teachers could continuous assist students’ learning by providing learners clear-cut instructions and categories to attain the goals of the assigned tasks (Rachal et al. 2007). Nevertheless, the pedagogy may include cues about what content to rely on as a section of the reading, and how to decipher the test about the main attributes of the reading. Appropriate pedagogy are fundamental in the sense that they guide students’ reading abilities, attention and time to better their efficiency in using academic resources (McCrudden & Schraw 2010). When EAP teachers apply the cooperation approaches through formulation of group work would go a long way in having students read even more broadly and critically and to construct meaningful literature from the academic journal texts. Through collaborative approach, student would adopt proactive criteria in expounding on their reasoning, discussions and coordinating in identifying solutions to complex problems and variations of opinions. One of the fundament roles of EAP teachers is finding out the students’ needs, what is required of them in their course work and assist them do correctly during their time. A useful model is provided in relation to how EAP teacher can set out their course work to assist EAP students. (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Course design model.
One of the methodologies that the EAP teacher could employ is displaying selected topic on the wall with the general structure clearly displayed to indicate the statement of the problems, research questions, objectives and discussions for the student to observe. As a matter of fact, it would virtually involve using of teaching skills such as text types, word connection, signposting expressions, introduction and conclusions. Most importantly by the EAP teacher making classes be lesson task or project based it would go a long way in improving the learners writing skills. For tasks that are more complex or tedious such as thesis, report writing and dissertation, the EAP teacher would make it necessary for the student to familiarize with all the conventions. In recent times, more research is carried out through the library as well as over the internet (Jordan 1997).
Relationship between Reading Academic Journal and EAP
Basically, in academic perspective students are presented with a wide range of articles and textual styles to promote motivation, relevance and continued academic growth. Through their progression to higher levels students, they are presented with structures and skills which are more complex (Gillet 2008). Apparently, EAP aims at enabling students to read authentic academic texts in accordance with their professional goals. Additionally, the attainment of appropriate reading skills gives the students the capabilities to integrate information gleaned from their reading into their terminal papers, projects and others (McCarthy 1991). Ideally, reading an academic text not only involve getting information on the text but rather a process of working with those particular text. During, reading of academic text, learner redevelops the meaning of the text, in conjunction with the author. The readers virtually, negotiate the meaning with the author through the application of the knowledge previously acquired. Notably, for the process to be possible, the reader must have applied some series of criteria analysis, with others confined to specific academic discipline (Kamijo 2010).
Role of Reading Academic Journal in relation to EAP teaching
When it comes to the reading of comprehension, referred in other terms as constructive process, learners try to utilize cognitive and metacognitive strategies for understanding words. Subsequently, reading is said to be interactive when involving the learner or reader and the text meaning that the reading process is dynamic and variable having different levels of comprehension of text. By determining the appropriate and suitable materials in relation to EAP may not be an easy task and the fact that most of the learners come from various background of knowledge provides a better opportunity for teachers to teach general materials to them (Watson 2003). Certain instances teachers would be required to use materials that are more simplified despite the notion of simplification may render some of the materials lose their meaning. EAP involves inductive learning meaning its mostly focuses on analysis of text and mechanisms where students are required to be more like researchers examining academic contexts.
English for Academic Study (Course book) by John Slaght with Paddy Harben
According to the authors of this course book, there is a clear approach towards teaching academic reading. They have adopted an approach dubbed ‘middle way approach’ which constitutes the strategy and task-based approaches. According to strategy approach, is referred to mechanisms that student apprehensively employ as opposed to abilities which are mechanically applied. Under task-based approach is candidly linked to purpose for reading (Slaght & Harben 2004). For instance, if the main aim of the learner is acquire the main concept of a paragraph, assignments must be developed to scaffold this purpose, which would also decide the kind of strategy to be used. Additionally, ideas underlying assignment and strategy-based approaches with the aim of advancing students’ reading capability have been outlined clearly.
The material of the book is photocopiable meaning it may be readily accessible to many both teachers and students. Importantly, the authors of the book have given comprehensive notes and pointers for teachers to be in a position to structure the various assignments and provide the scaffolding needed for grasping the textual contents. In the introductory part of the course book, the four concepts regarding academic reading is clearly stated as reading for a distinct aim, operating on distinct strategies, acquiring detailed sentence and paragraph-level comprehension as well as having the opportunity to evaluate texts for their arrangement. Virtually, the entire concepts of reading have been out rightly detailed under four sub-sections providing the learners with an overview of their expectations in other units (Slaght & Harben 2004). A distinctive section referred to as ‘task introduction’ where varying concepts of reading are outlined as tasks which required the utilization of particular strategies. In conclusion, the usefulness of this course book dwells in the fact that it could be a helpful resource material for teachers. Likewise concepts for developing assignments can be adopted by teachers to befit their teaching and their students’ learning context (Slaght & Harben 2004).
EAP students’ particularly international students find it challenging in reading academic articles. As reading involve effective complex process of drawing meaning information from various sources, conceptualizing thereafter constructing a representation of the textual information. As a matter of fact, EAP provides the capabilities of contributing to the comprehension of the different ways English language is utilized in academia towards providing a more predominant foundation for pedagogic materials. With respect to that, advance research is required to be conducted by employing a more appropriate research design. On that account, one such approach would be the utilization of pre-test analysis to determine the real improvement besides students’ options, notions or comments making it easier for researchers to evaluate the learning process as well as student progress (McCarthy 1991).
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