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The position and professional status of the tutor of English for academic purposes in Higher Education

Jones, Catrin 2020. The position and professional status of the tutor of English for academic purposes in Higher Education. EdD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Numbers of international students in UK universities have risen dramatically in the past decade and currently comprise a significant proportion of the student population. This has led to an increase in tutors of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to teach international students on pre university courses, and once they have enrolled onto subject-specific courses. Despite heightened interest in EAP tutors, they are still an under-researched group. In response, this exploratory study examines the position and professional status of EAP tutors in a number of universities in the UK. The study employed a qualitative research strategy comprising semi-structured interviews with ten EAP tutors to explore their experiences and perspectives. A number of key themes emerged from the data regarding how EAP tutors view their role and their position in universities. The findings support the contested nature of the role described in the literature. This is evidenced in reservations regarding the designation EAP Tutor, variations in how tutors see their role, and in the responsibilities included. The participants are not linear careerists and did not plan to become EAP tutors. The data show that EAP occupies a position in the margins of academia, and tutors feel undervalued and in a lower status position compared to other groups. Although the majority of the sample consider the position of an EAP tutor to be a profession, with some reservations, the evidence indicates that it is an emerging profession, and that EAP has made significant progress towards professionalisation. The research suggests that there are key issues still to be resolved but that EAP can strengthen its position within the university and as a profession. It is hoped that a greater understanding of the role will help improve the position and professional status of EAP tutors, and thus benefit the international students they teach.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 September 2020
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2020 08:50
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/135123

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