The English for Academic Purpose Teaching for - DPI Proceedings

2016 International Conference on Education, Management and Applied Social Science (EMASS 2016) ISBN: 978-1-60595-400-4

The English for Academic Purpose Teaching for Students Majoring in Law and Politics Hong-gai CAI North China Electric Power University, Yonghuabei Street, Beishi District, Baoding, Hebei, 071000 China Keywords: EGAP, EAP, EGP, Legal English teaching.

Abstract. EGP (English for General Purposes) teaching approach has stuck in dilemma of high cost low efficiency in mainland china for many years, while ESP (English for Specific Purposes) to be more specific EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teaching approach has been increasingly prominent. Numerous studies have been written on different aspects of EAP, but very little has been written about the EGAP (EGP +Academic skills). This paper comprises the critical review of the available literature, highlighting some of its problems and limitations. Then elaborate the EGAP teaching from the perspective of Legal English Teaching. Introduction Although EGP (English for General Purposes) teaching approach has applied in china for a lot of time, nowadays it is increasingly criticized by the scholars and researchers. While ESP (English for Specific Purposes), emerged in the 1960s, teaching approach has been increasingly prominent. In 1964 Halliday put forward the concept ESP in his book the Linguistic Science and Language teaching. English scholars Hutchinson and Waters gave the following definition “ESP is an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner’s reason for learning” (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987). Generally ESP can be classified into two types: EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and EOP (English for Occupational Purposes). In 1997 scholar Jordan divide EAP into two specific branches, EGAP (English for General Academic Purposes) and ESAP (English for Specific Academic Purposes). While EGAP courses offer skills, such as English listening skills, shorthand skills, academic writing, speed reading skills etc. (Jordan, 1997). China introduced ESP courses in the 1970s. In 2007, professor Cai Jigang put forward “the era post college English teaching”. And then he points out the college English teaching in China is transferring from the simple basic English training to the practical ability training including English ability related to specialty (Cai, 2007). Theory Background CBI (Content-Based Instruction) was born in immersion program teaching experiment in Montreal, Canada in 1960s. CBI has been defined as “the teaching of content or information in the language being learned with little or no direct or explicit effort to teach the language itself separately from the content being taught” (Krahnke, as cited in Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Four features are summarized as following: be based on subject matter; utilizes authentic materials; promotes the learning of new information and considers specific student’s needs. (Leaver and Stryker 1989) The Case Study In the study 16 students whose English lies in higher level in grades division test are selected to participate the study. The academic legal English highlights the discipline of law and politics while focus on improving students’ academic listening &speaking and reading & writing skills.

In the study, tasked based teaching, projected based approach and student centered approach are employed to enhance their English study to improve their academic speaking and writing skills. In the study all the materials including articles, videos and sound clips challenging but reachable, in the textbook or internet are well-selected and kept original and authentic for the academic purpose. Some articles are taken from Legal English (Book one and two), main editor Cai Jigang, Fudan University, in September 2012. The main chapters are as following: Unit 1: Plagiarism in Education; Unit2: Abortion; Unit 3: Animal Rights; Unit 4: Domestic Violence; Unit 5: Euthanasia; Unit 6: Medical Malpractice. In the study main teaching evaluations includes oral presentations term paper and autonomous watching. Oral presentation are often used in programmes. Oral presentations also feature in the workplace many employers now use oral presentation ability as one of their initial assessments for recruitment. Developing oral presentation skills can help students improve their pronunciation, increase their overall fluency and general confidence in using English. Preparing for oral presentations can help students develop research skills and get them thinking about how best to structure and order key information. Term paper is a very efficient way to improve students’ academic writing. Autonomous video watching (from TED, Open courses online, movies) is also one of important evaluation parts and the closed test paper includes traditional listening, reading, writing, translation and vocabulary which are all based on the discipline of law and politics. This summative test dose not test the general English topics. Items


Specific content


Teaching objective

Academic listening& speaking; Academic reading &writing

listening to lecture, Q & A, taking notes, summarizing after reading, oral presentation skill, intercultural communication skill & Critical thinking skill


Teaching object

16 students in law and politics department

Level 2 in class division test


Teaching materials

Self compiling

Articles &videos from internet and Legal English written by Cai jigang


Teaching method

Task-based teaching; Project-based approach Student-centered


Teaching evaluation

Formative evaluation Summative evaluation

Term paper Oral presentation Autonomous video watching

Table 1. The academic English teaching.

The Comparison between EAP and EGP EGP has long been regarded as the focus of college English teaching in China. But this teaching philosophy has turned out to be unsatisfactory, with many problems. First, EGP teaching results in test-oriented education. In order to pass final exams, CET exams and find an ideal job after graduation, most students regard taking exams as the main motivation of learning English. While EAP is aimed at students’ further academic study or professional knowledge used in workplace community. Second, EGP teaching is teacher centered. Teachers explain vocabulary usages and sentences in textbooks, students just passively write down notes. The traditional classroom atmosphere is monotonous and boring. As time passes, students’ interest in English may exhaust. While EAP is discipline related, which are closely related to their major.

Third, high cost and low efficiency are characteristic of EGP teaching. According to investigation, they don’t learn or have little contact with English, English level of college students is on the decrease instead of on the increase. Items Teaching objectives

EGP English for general purpose

EAP English for general disciplined related academic purpose

Teaching materials Teaching method


Multi media

Teacher centered Pattern drill

Student centered Task based approach

Way of teaching

Learn language

Learn through language

Teaching evaluation

Mid-term and final term test

Term paper Oral presentation Autonomous watching Summative test

Table 2. The comparison between EGP and EAP.

Conclusion Under the direction of EGP teaching approach, colleges and universities in China put emphasis on exam-oriented education for nearly half a century, which has encountered many difficulties. However the EGAP teaching approach is considered by many researchers as an effective and realistic teaching method in terms of combining language and content learning. In Post college English era, colleges should change English teaching approach, combine the needs of students and society, and transfer EGP teaching into EGAP teaching, which not only help colleges come out of the dilemma of the English teaching, but also figure out its future. References [1] Cai, J. G. The characteristics and countermeasure research of college English teaching in China during the period of transition. Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. 2007. [2] Cai, J. G. & Liao Chunlei EGP or EAP—redefination of College English in China Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. 2010. [3] Dudley-Evans, T., & St John, M. J. Development in English for specific purpose: A multi-disciplinary approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1998. [4] Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. English for specific purposes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.1987. [5] Jordan, R. R. English for academic purposes: A guide and resource book for teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.1997. [6] Yang Huizhong. A Few Thinking about College English Teaching. Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. 2012.


The English for Academic Purpose Teaching for - DPI Proceedings

2016 International Conference on Education, Management and Applied Social Science (EMASS 2016) ISBN: 978-1-60595-400-4 The English for Academic Purpo...

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