The place of Benesch’s critical English for academic purposes in the current practice of academic language and learning

  • Ben Fenton-Smith
Keywords: critical pedagogy, critical English for academic purposes, EAP, academic language and learning, international students, higher education, Sarah Benesch

Abstract

This paper discusses the central tenets of the theory of critical English for academic purposes (CEAP), with a focus on the work of Sarah Benesch. Her 2001 book, Critical English for Academic Purposes: Theory, Politics and Practice, attempted to highlight the compliant nature of EAP as an academic field, arguing against the view that its sole function is the enablement of student success in other disciplines. While Benesch accepts that assisting students in this way is important, she argues that EAP should also empower them to challenge and even change the education they receive. In addition to outlining and evaluating the theory (including dissenting views on it), this paper considers the potential for applying it in the Australian higher education context and gauges its impact to date by analysing three documents: a federal education department directive for EAP instruction, a peak EAP organisation’s position statement, and a report on international student political activism in the national Australian press.
Published
2014-09-06
How to Cite
Fenton-Smith, B. (2014). The place of Benesch’s critical English for academic purposes in the current practice of academic language and learning. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 8(3), A23-A33. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/347