Critical English for Academic Purposes: Theory, Politics, and Practice

By Sarah Benesch | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 1
A History of English for Academic Purposes

This history of English for academic purposes (EAP), like all overviews, is subjective. Choices of which citations to include and leave out depend on the aims and predispositions of the overview's author. Yet, while acknowledging my subjectivity, in this chapter I try to present the history of EAP from the perspective of specialists who have shaped the field over the last 30 years and to honor their contributions. Further on, I highlight concerns raised about EAP from outside the field (see chap. 3). This is not to say that EAP has developed without criticism from within. On the contrary, theoretical and pedagogical differences, many of which I discuss in this chapter, are prevalent in the EAP literature as they are in all academic fields. Indeed, discussion of these conflicts has contributed to shifts in EAP's research and teaching methods over the years.

Although such contestation and debate appear frequently in the EAP literature, its politics remain largely hidden. Power issues have been ignored in the name of pragmatism, that is, fulfilling target expectations without questioning the inequities they might perpetuate or engender (Benesch, 1993). These questions, though, are not the focus of the present chapter. Instead, I save them for the next chapter in order to first present a chronology of the intellectual history of EAP, a discussion of its theoretical influences from the 1960s to the present. One way my subjectivity manifests itself in this presentation is that I devote more space to the recent years of EAP, that is, to needs analysis, study skills, linked courses and genre analysis, and less space to the early years of register analysis and rhetorical analysis. This choice was guided by my teaching and research experience, based on more recent developments in EAP's history than on earlier ones.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Critical English for Academic Purposes: Theory, Politics, and Practice


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 161

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?