As educators, we may often hear the term learner variability, especially when working with English for Academic Purposes (EAP) because classes consist of learners from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Before I delve into defining learner variability, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on yourself as a learner at a specific time in your life and ask yourself these questions: How old were you then? Which language(s) were spoken in your home? Which specific cultures do you think may have contributed to shaping your behaviours or activities as you grew up? How did your personal life affect your learning performance? Do you think you learned the same way as your peers did—by using the same strategies or taking the same amount of time, Continue Reading →
The COVID-19 Pandemic caused changes in modes of instructional delivery in Canadian colleges and universities when many moved to fully remote classes in March 2020. Then, in September 2021, as a part of the Return to Campus Plan at the University of Guelph, the English Language Programs (ELP) pivoted to a program that combined in-person students with remote students living outside of Canada. To ensure a smooth transition and to provide a quality learning environment, the academic team needed to figure out how to teach these two groups of students by taking into consideration multiple factors, such as students’ learning needs and preferences, as well as the instructional teams’ knowledge, skills, and experience. This paper provides the learning context and rationale for the program teaching mode, Continue Reading →
An English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Pathway Program of a major Canadian university suddenly pivoted to remote teaching and learning, as did so many other university programs across the country in the 2020–2021 academic year. The Pathway Program, took the opportunity of this “pivot” to research how students and instructors fared with the new technology-mediated curriculum and found key practices as useful for instructors. In this article, we describe the Community of Inquiry framework that underpins our study and the insights gained for instructors who retain at least some remote teaching activities in their classrooms. Implications of this study indicate that there are five ways in which instructors can potentially alter their pedagogy to further student satisfaction for online study. Continue Reading →
Despite mounting research on the potential that cultivating self-identity affords students, it is often forgotten in most academic contexts, whether in instruction or assessment, that L2 writers have an L1 identity. In all avenues of higher education, researchers agree that multiple, complex, and simultaneous identities of students are advantageous for their advancement in academic writing (Cohen, 2011; Cummins, 2001; Leki, 2008); however, institutional practices, persisting social conventions, and student-teacher relationships (or lack thereof) place a greater pressure for L2 undergraduate students specifically. International and immigrant/generation 1.5 undergraduate students arrive in their new settings with their L1 knowledge base and are often expected to forego rhetorical strategies of their L1, as well as their linguistic and cultural repertoire, Continue Reading →
*For all footnotes, refer to the PDF version of the article.
The on-going “internationalization” of Canadian post-secondary institutions has resulted in significant demographic changes in these institutions’ student bodies, creating a need for more effective support of students using English as an additional language both during these students’ transitions to university and during their degree programs. Currently this type of support is offered across a wide range of contexts in Canadian institutions of higher education, often embedded in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs. Given the increasing demand for EAP, investigation of the features of existing programs and the experiences of EAP practitioners is necessary for improving equity and efficacy within the field. Continue Reading →
As a consequence of the growing interest in digital technologies, a recent field of research has emerged, which investigates the use of recent technologies in language learning: Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL). Although research studies have demonstrated that mobile technology is an effective tool for improving different English language skills, the majority of MALL studies focus on vocabulary acquisition and speaking skills, whereas grammar learning and writing skills are underrepresented. As an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) instructor who seeks to engage her learners with the aid of MALL activities, especially given the current pandemic context, I was driven by the question: What is the potential of MALL in teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) academic writing? In light of the theoretical foundations of MALL (e.g., Continue Reading →