Calling all EAP techers

So, today I am feeling inspired cause well, I have been feeling a bit uninspired lately especially when it comes to EAP writing. So, today you, my readers/fellow teachers are going to share with me your top tips. How on earth do you make your academic writing classes interesting and fun when teaching in an EAP context and especially if it is an intense pre- sessional EAP class?cam building

My context: a group of post grad Asian students who are having sessions in order to be ready for their master’s degree in September. I have loads of academic ‘stuff’ to go through and not that much time. Sure I do my pair writing, my peer feedback, I try to integrate more skills and introduce a summary writing task based on a speaking task. I say a few jokes, I may even offer a chocolate or something for the best writing but that’s about it. I bore my students to death and I get bored myself ( there. I said it).

So, how do you do it? So, take off your fun EFL teacher hat and put on your EAP cap and tell me what you do. How do you make academic writing less boring? The comments section is all yours..



8 thoughts on “Calling all EAP techers

  1. Why take off the EFL hat? You can wear both! Find ways to integrate the fun into the boring. Targeting grammar is an especially good place to do it.

    I have several recommendations, some of which I may have never tried myself.
    -What are these students writing about? Are the topics relavent to their field, exciting, engaging? They need to feel some ownership.

    -What are these students writing for? Is it a disposable paper or can you do more with it? I used to have all my writing students work on a group magazine project all semester. They chose the topic at the beginning and all writing, formal and informal, short and long, was on that topic. They had to design the magszine, include their writings, make ads, filler writings. Then they printed it. It was really fun for them. Easily adapted to EAP: think Popular Science rather than Nature.

    -Try group research papers with clearly defined roles. It will get them interacting.

    Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My sts are management sts who have to write a writing project with a set theme. I like the group writing research idea. I will figure out how to adjust it for this group! Thanks Anthony! See you soon btw 🙂


  3. Most of the published materials available for EAP really suck, Joanna. If you want to try out some new stuff, you are welcome to pilot some new materials I have.
    I can also send you some ideas for jazzing up the writing part.

    In my opinion, the best starting point to motivate them about writing is to do collaborative summaries of very short texts. The just won’t have the academic vocabulary to do this. So work on their paraphrasing skills first.

    There are a couple of apps you can use with them too.
    Email me


    • Hi Jlie,
      Thanks for stopping by. I do collaborative summaries/ paraphrases and they enjoy that. I also do what at Bristol they called the “sophisticated summary” which is going from a big summary to a one line summary. That’s fun as well. At the moment I am real busy with the pre sessioanal course so I won’t have time to check out your material properly. The apps do sound interesting though. Anything in particular?


  4. Hi Joanna,
    My tip would be to broaden the range of activities away from just writing. There are lots of sub-skills involved in composing an academic essay, and many of them can be practised without actually having to write anything.
    You could make them do a library race to find suitable sources for an essay, and make a checklist that the source has to fulfill to receive points, do it in pairs/teams.
    Or get them thinking about a topic and holding a debate – this will get lots of ideas which can then be organised into an essay.
    I wonder if they are from different subject backgrounds? Then you could look at one feature of academic writing in class, and set them the task of finding a text from their own discipline, finding the feature that you have discussed and presenting it to the group?
    You could also watch videos of debates or persuasive speeches and use them to identify aspects of argument, connecting ideas, hedging, etc, and then get students to summarise orally or in writing using those features.
    I have looots of materials I can send you, if you let me know what genre of essays or what language features you’d like to practise!
    Good luck – and keep your head up!!


    • Hey Claire,
      Thanks for all the suggestions. I do the majority of the things you have mentioned. Only thing I haven’t tried is the running to the library or speed source searching (as I would call it).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I find that bringing in group writing via Google Docs breathes some life into an isolated academic writing style… and making sure that the readings they do incorporate into it, through the use of discussions about them before collaborative writing.

    Another that comes to mind is allowing space for personal writing on the topic before moving toward the academic versions of the topic that are necessary. It affords students opportunity to directly respond from an emotional or reflective stance before being bogged down, so to speak, with academic conventions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tyson!
      I used google docs today and they enjoyed giving peer feedback on them. I like the personal to formal idea. I am going to try that out!Maybe some kind of reformulation or sth!!
      Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

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