What is and What Might Be:
for EAP, Content,
and Critical Teachers
EAP is at the point in its history where it is ready to consider its ethics. Up to now, the focus has been on getting jobs done, no matter whose goals are being fulfilled or what the consequences might be. Developing an ethics of EAP requires a reckoning with how the field positions itself vis-à-vis institutions, programs, funding agencies, academic classes, and students. It calls for greater discussion of what jobs EAP teachers are willing to accept, basing their decisions not solely on financial considerations or the attractive perquisites of international travel. It calls for further consideration of the role of EAP teachers: Are they to be trainers, carrying out target aims uncritically, or educators, in the Freirean sense, imagining with students a more just world? Or both? How might EAP relate needs and rights in their analysis of the target? Will EAP teachers act as advocates for inclusion or will they enact exclusionary policies aimed at keeping out nonelite students? Will they construct EAP exclusively as academic and workplace preparation or also as a place where students can shape and transform what is being offered to them?
Traditional EAP's ideology of pragmatism does not raise concerns about the relationship of EAP teachers to official curricula, pedagogy, and assessment. Instead, it assumes that their role is to prepare students for the requirements they face or will face in their academic classes. This political position appears as neutral because it upholds the status quo, yet it is no more