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Academic Oral Communication Needs of EAP Learners: What Subject-Matter Instructors Actually Require

Dana Ferris and Tracy Tagg
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring, 1996), pp. 31-58
DOI: 10.2307/3587606
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3587606
Page Count: 28
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Academic Oral Communication Needs of EAP Learners: What Subject-Matter Instructors Actually Require
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Abstract

One of the most vital steps in needs analysis for English for academic purposes (EAP) is to describe the expectations and requirements of instructors at a variety of institutions and across a range of contexts. Though much work has been done in identifying academic literacy tasks, little attention has been thus far paid to describing the listening and speaking tasks required by instructors in academic settings. To examine and describe these expectations and requirements, we surveyed over 900 professors at four different institutions: a community college, a public teaching-oriented university, a public research-oriented university, and a private university. The results demonstrated that instructors' requirements vary across academic discipline, type of institution, and class size. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses also indicated that U.S. instructors' lecturing styles are becoming less formal and more interactive and that this trend places new expectations upon the students. The implications for EAP teaching are that genre-specific listening/speaking courses and tasks may be necessary and that EAP teachers need to prepare students for comprehension of and participation in a variety of lecture/discussion formats.

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