Maryam Almuhanna PhD Defense: 'How to Prepare English-for-academic-purposes (EAP) Students for the Transfer Climate of the English-medium Post-secondary Academic Setting'
Full title: "How to Prepare English-for-academic-purposes (EAP) Students for the Transfer Climate of the English-medium Post-secondary Academic Setting: EAP Instructors’ Perspectives of the Transfer Climate and the Role of EAP Courses"
Committee: Mark James(Chair), Aya Matsuda, Matthew Prior. :: ABSTRACT: This dissertation examines (1) the nature of the transfer climate in an English for academic purposes (EAP) education setting specifically from the perspectives of EAP instructors. It also examines (2) what EAP instructors perceive can be done to prepare students for such a transfer climate. The transfer climate refers to the nature of the target context of instruction and the support for learning transfer that an individual learner perceives in that target context (Burke & Baldwin, 1999). Therefore, in the case of the EAP education context, the target context of instruction is the discipline courses to which students transition to or take concurrently with EAP courses. These discipline courses may be supportive or unsupportive towards students' transfer of EAP skills. The social constructivist approach was used as the theoretical foundation, which views all knowledge, and therefore all meaningful reality as contingent upon human practices, being constructed in and out of interaction between human beings and their world, and developed and transmitted within an essentially social contexts (p. 42). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 EAP instructors. The interview transcripts were analyzed using a process that is two-fold: involving de-contextualizing and re-contextualizing (Tesch, 2013). Firstly, with decontextualizing, a chunk of text is identified as a unit of analysis, when it is taken out of context from the transcript, it is still meaningful as a unit. Secondly, all the units can be re-contextualized when transferred from the interview transcript to a single category of units that contribute to a similar pattern towards the research question(s). The findings revealed that EAP instructors perceived both supportive and unsupportive aspects of different components of the EAP transfer climate [opportunities (lack of) in the course structure, support (lack of) for EAP transfer from discipline instructors or peers in the disciplines]. This study’s findings also build on existing conceptualizations of transfer climate. The findings also outline 8 steps that can be taken to prepare students for the transfer climate, 7 within EAP courses, and 1 within discipline courses. Both practical implications and implications for future research are outlined.
This is a virtual event: https://asu.zoom.us/j/5902483726