Learning to argue in EAP: evaluating a curriculum innovation from the inside

Salter-Dvorak, H (2016) 'Learning to argue in EAP: evaluating a curriculum innovation from the inside.' Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 22. pp. 19-31. ISSN 1475-1585

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2015.12.005


Following Stenhouse's view that evaluation should serve 'curriculum betterment' (1975), this article reports on an action research project which evaluated a pedagogic model for EAP at a UK university: the 'oral presentation sandwich' was a curriculum innovation aimed at developing L2 students' argumentation through a process writing approach. The innovation introduced an oral presentation between the first and second drafts. The evaluation drew on Crabbe's construct of quality in ELT which views learning opportunities from theoretical, cultural, and management perspectives (2003). Data from student questionnaires, a student focus group, interviews with lecturers, notes from staff meetings, and an ethnographic case study of one student's experience of the model were triangulated and the learning opportunities it presented were examined. Findings reveal that the students' take-up of learning opportunities did not match those intended in the design, suggesting a lack of congruence between students' and lecturers' value systems: first, while lecturers viewed the oral presentation as a vehicle for developing argumentation, students viewed it as a performance-based assessment; second, while lecturers focussed on argumentation in feedback on drafts, students focussed on accuracy in their revisions. I propose changes to the model, and discuss implications for teaching argumentation, developing EAP and course design.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: academic writing, argumentation, redrafting, pedagogic models, learning opportunities, evaluation
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2015.12.005
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 16:35
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 08:34
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14874
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