The Value of Scholarship in EAP
by Professor Melinda Whong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as an activity has been growing in higher education, and within specific disciplines in particular (Fanghanel et al 2015). This talk explores the concept of Scholarship in relation to English for Academic Purposes, arguing that EAP as a field would benefit from actively facilitating scholarship activity within the discipline. The basis for the argument rests on both the nature of EAP as a discipline and existing gaps in genre-oriented approaches to research in EAP. Building on a definition by Shulman (2000), scholarship is seen as intersecting with, but distinct from research. Crucially, it starts and ends in pedagogy. Given the large proportion of practitioners within the field, EAP could be transformed if scholarship were to become normalised. A current scholarship project (Whong and Godfrey, forthcoming) will be presented to illustrate the concept of scholarship, and to suggest an approach, focusing on how it relates to research in EAP.
Professor Melinda Whong has recently taken up the post as Director of the Center for Language Education at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, after spending 21 years in the UK, most recently as Chair in Language Learning and Teaching and Director of the Language Centre at the University of Leeds. With PhD training in generative SLA, her academic career has been devoted to bridging the gap between formal linguistic theory and language teaching practice. Her most recent project in this area is a forthcoming book with CUP, A Linguist’s Guide to Grammar for Language Teachers. Since moving to the Language Centre context, she has begun to turn her attention to EAP, working with EAP practitioners in particular.
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