Critical perspectives

Authored by: Christopher J. Macallister

The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138774711
eBook ISBN: 9781315657455
Adobe ISBN: 9781317328100


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In the 1980s and 1990s, EAP took a ‘critical turn’, following parallel developments in the wider English language training (ELT) community as writers and practitioners in the field of English language teaching increasingly began to consider the overall political and social implications of their profession. For example, Phillipson (1992) and Crystal (1998) explored the impact of English as a world language and the role the English language teaching industry played in its spread, while other writers explored the question of the English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher’s identity, and the question whether native or non-native speakers would be the most effective English language teachers (Medgyes, 1992). Critical EAP (CEAP) broadened this investigation to include theories (and practices) that develop a social science of EAP teaching by revealing its hidden politics. Critical perspectives provide the EAP profession with space to reflect on the wider social and political implications of what happens in classrooms, thus enabling greater self-awareness for the practitioner and their role in the academy and society as a whole.

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