27 March 2018
The winner of the 2017 BALEAP Dissertation Award was announced at the AGM 2018. Congratulations to…
Title: Can academic reading empower EAP students?
Awarding Body: Edinburgh University
Academic reading has so far unduly played a peripheral role in EAP and the academic literacy research agenda. This work draws on constructivist approaches to reading, and a critical view of literacy to foreground academic reading as a proactive and potentially empowering literacy practice. It employed narrative inquiry (group and individual interviews) with international students enrolled on an EAP course to ascertain whether and how academic reading can be empowering. One participant’s reading story is presented in its entirety to illustrate international students’ complex relationship with academic reading. The data suggests reading has the potential to be empowering, but that although many current practices are disempowering. Suggestions for more empowering practices on the level of EAP curricula and classroom instruction, as well as the wider academic literacy context are made.