EDHP 585A English for Academic Purposes— Fall 2002


Instructor: Brian J. English <benglish@usc.edu>

Time: Thursday 4:00-6:50

Location: WPH 903

Office hours: 1:00-3:45 Thursday (and by appointment)

Phone: (213) 740-3454

Web page:  http://www-scf.usc.edu/~benglish


Course Objectives: This course is designed for international students enrolled in the MS TESL program.  The course aims to familiarize future teachers, administrators and researchers with the fundamentals of teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP).  The course will consider both ESL and EFL environments.  In addition, the course has been structured to help students hone their own language skills so that they may be better prepared to make presentations and write academic papers.  Through doing the assignments, students should inductively learn and develop strategies for succeeding in graduate level classes.


Course Readings:

Brown, H. D., (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.


Additional readings will be assigned throughout the semester.



Week 1 August 29

Introduction to course

·        Course overview

·        Job opportunities and teaching environments within the world of ESL/EFL

·        Defining EAP

Assignments for week 2: 1.) Chapter 1 and 2 (P of L). 2.) Read Weshler, “Uses of Japanese (L1) in the English Classroom: Introducing the Functional-Translation Method” Available on-line at: http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~iteslj/Articles/Weschler-UsingL1.html

3.) Read Bell, “Do EAP teachers require...” Available on-line at: http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~iteslj/Articles/Bell-EAPRequireKnowledge.html

4.) Journal # 1 Topic:  Personal goals in the field


Week 2 September 5

Comparing and contrasting first and second language acquisition

·        Critical period hypothesis

·            Cognitive considerations

·        Affective considerations

·        Linguistic considerations

·            EFL vs. ESL

Assignments for week 3: 1.) Read Chapters 3 & 7 (P of L)  2.) Handouts 3.) Journal #2: TV shows/ BICS vs. CALP


Week 3 September 12

The issue of culture in EAP

·        Varieties of discourse

·        EAP’s role in cultural adjustment

·        Cultural adjustment vs. Adjusting to a new academic environment

(The instructor will model a 15-20 minute presentation to give students an example of a graduate school/conference presentation.)

Assignments for week 4: 1.) Read Chapter 11 (P of L). 2.) Journal #3: Article summary


Week 4 September 19

Review of SLA theories

·        General review

·        Theory to practice

·        Group work problem/solution on matching theory and practice

*Paper topic and outline due. Students are encouraged to schedule a conference to discuss their topics with the instructor.

Assignments for week 5:   1.) Read Chapter 9 (P of L) . 2.) Additional readings TBA 3.) Journal #4: Reaction Paper


Week 5 September 26

Communicative competence

·        Definition

·        Language functions

·        Discourse analysis

·        Communicative language teaching

Assignments for week 6:  1.) Read chapter 5 (P of L). 2.) Additional readings TBA.


Week 6 October 3

Styles and strategies

·         Learning styles vs. learning strategies

·     Communication strategies  

·      Learner strategy training 

Assignments for week 7:  1.)    Read chapter  6 (P pof L) 2.) Readings TBA 3.) Journal #5


Week 7 October 10

How personality fators relate to SLA

·        The affective domain

·        Motivation

·        In the classroom...

Assignments for week 8:  1.)Readings TBA 2.) Work on literature reviews 3.) Journal 6; Summary of an article to be cited in the literature review.


Week 8 October 17

Academic writing

·        Teaching the writing process

·        Teaching students how to use “tools” in writing

·        Giving feedback on written assignments

·        Conferencing- “Negotiate. Don’t Dictate.”

(The instructor will again model a presentation.)

Assignments for week 9: 1.) Read Chapter 4 (P of L.) 2.) Additional readings TBA.

*Progress report on literature review paper due.  Students are encouraged to schedule a second conference with the instructor to discuss problems and progress of the literature review assignment.


Week 9 October 24

Human Learning

·        Types of learning

·        Transfer, interference and overgeneralization

·        Inductive and deductive reasoning

·            Intelligence and second language learning

Assignments for week 10:  1.) Read chapter 8 (P of L). 2.) Additional readings TBA. 3.) Journal #7


Week 10 October 31

Contrastive analysis, interlanguage and error analysis

·        The contrastive analysis hypothesis

·             Interlanguage

·         Stages of interlanguage development

·         Fossilization

Assignments for week 11:  1.) Read Chapter 10 (P of L) 2.) Journal # 8 


Week 11 November 7

Language testing

·        Practicality, reliability and validity

·        Assessing communicative language ability

·        Steps to creating intrinsically motivating tests

Assignments: 1.) Journal #9  2.) Readings TBA


Week 12 November 14

Beyond the classroom

·        Resources for teachers

·        Conferences and organizations

·        Participation as a professional


*Progress report for the literature review paper is due.  Students are encouraged to schedule a third conference with the instructor.  Students are also encouraged to turn in a first draft of completed work.  This enables the instructor to give feedback on organization and writing.


Week 13 November 21

Student presentations

Journal #10


Week 14 December 5

Student presentations


Week 15 December 12

Course review and reflection


*Final drafts of literature review papers due.  No exceptions.


Course Format: Most weeks will consist of a “mini” lecture followed by student discussion and/or group work.  There will be a fair amount of group work that involves generating ideas and problem solving.  Some weeks, individual students will give informal presentations on the assigned readings. Homework assignments and journal topics will be discussed.  There will be some email communication to promote sharing of interesting websites, articles and general information.


Course requirements and assessment:

·        Attendance and class participation- 10%

·        At least one informal presentation of the readings- 10%

·        Journals- 10%     

·        Literature review paper 50%

·        Final presentation 20%


 Journals: The purpose of the journal is twofold.  First, the journal assignments intend to get students thinking about certain issues related to teaching ESL/EFL/EAP.  The second purpose is to motivate students to work on their writing skills.  The journals should be typed (double-spaced; 12 font).  Although the style of writing is open for the most part, several journals will be summaries of articles or exercises in writing reaction papers.


Informal presentations: Each student is required to do at least one informal presentation on the reading assignments for a particular week.  The presenter should assume everyone has read the material.  Therefore, only a brief summary of the main ideas is necessary.  The presenter should focus more on an evaluation of the main ideas and then discuss the policy or teaching implications of the readings.


Literature review: Each student is required to write a 15-20 page term paper/literature review.  The topic is open, but it should be related to some aspect of methodology for teaching ESL/EFL/EAP.  The paper should conform to APA style guidelines. Students should synthesize various researchers views and findings to critically analyze aspects of their topic.


Formal presentation: Students will make a 15-20 minute in-class presentation on the topic of their paper