Knowledge and the EAP practitioner: a symposium.

  • Date: Saturday 28 January 2017
  • Location: : Laidlaw Library, Level 1
  • More information on: :

Knowledge and the EAP practitioner: a symposium.       28th of January 2017 10am – 4pm

Sponsored by LITE (Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence) and in conjunction with BALEAP

Laidlaw Library, Level 1.

Organisers: Alex Ding & Bee Bond


Ian Bruce, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Nigel Harwood, University of Sheffield

Jackie Tuck, Open University


Maxine Gillway, University of Bristol


This symposium poses a central question for EAP practitioners: what knowledge do practitioners need to master to inform and direct not only their teaching but also, more broadly, their professional activities including understandings of academia in both its epistemological and sociological dimensions? Considering this key question leads to a fundamental questioning of the adequacy of orthodox and established research strands in EAP, that have defined EAP as a discipline, to act as influential sources for, inter alia, curriculum development, materials creation and pedagogic activity. How do influential theories and research shape and/or constrain EAP praxis? What are the limitations of

established theories for practice? What is gained and lost when theory is translated into pedagogy? What else is needed?

There is a disjunct/gap between research(ers) and practitioners – a gap between what we know and how we frame this knowledge on the one hand and what is ‘teachable’, useful, effective and transformative on the other. One could, alternatively, emphasise and rely on experiential and reflective practice to be the source of socially constructed knowledge to direct practice. However attractive this might appear there are limits on what knowledge can be generated in this way, the veracity and warranty of this knowledge, and the perspectivism and relativism that this disposition to knowledge generates.

The aim of this day is to explore these key questions and to assess the claims and limits of mainstream theories and research that define EAP and practitioners. What do we need to know?

Each speaker each addresses these questions in short 15 minute talks. One week prior to the symposium all participants will have access to each speaker’s 2,000-3,000 word discussion of this question. Each speaker will use their 20 minutes to expand upon their papers. Each paper will be assigned to a respondent who will have the opportunity to question and critique the paper.

There will be plenty of time for all to contribute and participate and we are looking forward to a lively, engaging and thought-provoking day.


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