Adjusting The Paradigm: A ‘Theme-Based Approach’ To Pre-Sessional Eap In A British University

Richard Bailey, Peter Sercombe

Abstract


Higher education in Britain faces new challenges as the composition of students becomes more diverse in terms of cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds.  In connection, a range of professional issues has arisen: the need to understand better the attitudes, motivations and learning needs of these students and consider their implications for pedagogical practice; and, secondly, the design and delivery of appropriate curricula.

 

This paper argues in favour of theme-based EAP in the context of a pre-sessional course for overseas students at a British university. It provides an outline of an integrated, semester-long programme designed for international students targeting undergraduate study; a summary of relevant contextual factors; and a rationale for the course, along with key aspects of its implementation.

We have devised a course that is content focused and holistic in design with an emphasis on preparing students for discipline specific learning and literacy challenges they will encounter in mainstream study. It is a non-EAP core around which we have moulded EAP pre-sessional support. The course has had positive results, in terms of staff and student response.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/bjll.v1i0.1

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