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ERIC Number: EJ1121329
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2191-611X
Languages for Specific Academic Purposes or Languages for General Academic Purposes? A Critical Reappraisal of a Key Issue for Language Provision in Higher Education
Krekeler, Christian
Language Learning in Higher Education, v3 n1 p43-60 Oct 2013
The debate about the subject specificity of university language tuition has been going on for decades; it has mostly been discussed in the context of English for Academic Purposes. This paper considers the case for disciplinary specificity with regard to languages other than English. Few, if any, developed curricula, syllabuses, suitable textbooks or other teaching materials are available for other languages. When designing such a Language for Specific Academic Purposes (LSAP) course, university language teachers often have to start from scratch. The task is particularly challenging for university language teachers who are not specialists in the subject discipline. This paper reviews the debate and also undertakes a critical reappraisal of the key points. The main argument against subject specificity is based on the assumption that there is a common core of language features used in a range of academic contexts and that it is useful and indeed sufficient to familiarize students with these. The second argument concerns the feasibility of LSAP teaching whereas the third and final argument revolves around the question whether university language teachers are sufficiently qualified to teach LSAP courses. In the second part of the paper, the focus is on the steps involved in LSAP course design, using the example of a "German for Accounting" course. The paper concludes that non-specialist university language teachers need a pioneering spirit to teach LSAP courses in a non-English context--and time.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A