Investigating English for Academic Purposes provision in South Asian HE

Sharon McCulloch, Bimali Indrarathne, Akhter Jahan, Laxman Gnawali, Nasreen Hussain, Sarwat Nauman, Sameera Jayawardena, Wimansha Abeyawickrama

Research output: Other contribution


This study investigates understandings and practices
around English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in
higher education (HE) in four South Asian countries
in which English is the primary medium of instruction
in HE: Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The study aimed to establish the extent to which
critical thinking, the use of source materials and
the avoidance of plagiarism were perceived as useful
by three stakeholder groups, and whether and how
these are taught in university English courses.
Questionnaires, interviews and focus groups were
conducted with students, EAP tutors and subject
lecturers at 14 HE institutes in Bangladesh, Nepal,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Observations of teaching
were also carried out, and syllabuses, policy
documents and teaching materials were examined.
Findings revealed that, despite all three stakeholder
groups reporting that these aspects of EAP were
important for students to learn, they were not
systematically taught nor included in syllabuses.
English teaching in universities focused on general
and some professional English rather than EAP,
and teacher-centred styles of teaching meant
that students enjoyed few opportunities to speak.
The key concepts explored in this study were poorly
understood by staff and students, and teaching staff
were hindered from teaching EAP by lack of training
and poor communication with academic departments.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish Council
Number of pages61
Place of PublicationSpring Garden
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-86355-976-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameTeachingEnglish, ELT Research Papers
PublisherBritish Council

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