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BALEAP ResTES – Knowledge and the EAP practitioner: a symposium

28th January 2017


Second ResTES 2017 event

Ian Bruce, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Nigel Harwood, University of Sheffield
Jackie Tuck, Open University

Chairing the Symposium:
Maxine Gillway, Chair of BALEAP, University of Bristol

Notes, comments and questions from the event are available via Padlet, and can be added to:


A Storify of tweets from the event is also available here:


Our ResTEs 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 further, fundamental questioning around the adequacy of orthodox and established research strands in EAP – which 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?

These questions highlight a disjunct between research(ers) and practitioners – a gap between on the one hand what we know and how we frame this knowledge, and on the other what is ‘teachable’, useful, effective and transformative.

As a contrast to more research-led, theory-based practice, one common alternative is to emphasise and rely on experiential and reflective practice as the source of socially constructed knowledge to direct practice. Yet, attractive as this might appear, there are limits to 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 the symposium is to explore these key questions and to assess the claims and limits of the mainstream theories and research that define EAP and its practitioners. What do we need to know?


Each speaker has been asked to write a 2,000 to 3,000- word discussion paper. The week before the symposium, we’ll send participants the papers. On the day, speakers will expand on their papers for about twenty minutes. A respondent will have the opportunity to question and critique each paper. There will be plenty of time for all to contribute and participate.

We are looking forward to a lively, engaging and thought-provoking day.

Cost: Free. Sponsored by the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE)



28th January 2017
Event Category:


Alex Ding
Bee Bond

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