From L1 undergraduate degree to EAP course to university studies: The story of two transitions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 2020, 14, (2), pp. 120-133
Issue Date:
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An important but under-researched pathway function for international students wishing to enter Australian universities is performed by English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) colleges. Direct entry arrangements with a linked university facilitate acceptance to a degree course for students who have graduated from an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at one of these colleges. Most research in this area has focused on the skills preparation of EAP students for university studies. Instead, this study focuses on the students’ approaches to learning during the two educational transitions they must undergo: from their L1 undergraduate degree to the EAP course, and then the EAP course to the Australian university. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the participants to investigate their lived experience of these two transitions. The participant cohort comprised seventeen postgraduate coursework students and one undergraduate student completing his second degree. Findings show marked differences in pedagogy and changing ways of learning across the three educational contexts, including hybridisation of study approaches. Participants emerged as pragmatic, resourceful learners in unfamiliar educational settings. These findings suggest the need for more closely aligned teaching practices in EAP and university settings.
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