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ERIC Number: EJ1177588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2191-611X
Beyond the "Student" Position: Pursuing Agency by Drawing on Learners' Life-Worlds on an EAP Course
Seppälä, Riina
Language Learning in Higher Education, v8 n1 p115-131 May 2018
In today's world, individuals should be able to maintain their expertise amidst constant changes. Thus, this type of agency should be supported in higher education. One approach for a teacher-researcher to examine supporting agency and how it manifests itself in higher education courses is through the learning design. In this article, learning design is defined as the planned course path and the way in which that path is enacted in the course in a real-life setting. Thus, the learning design of a blended EAP course is examined, with a focus on the course assignments in two different groups in two consecutive years. Different types of agency were assumed through the tasks and those types of agency were expressed in the learners' completed texts. For example, tasks in which learners were positioned as traditional "students" presented problems in terms of the learners' agency. Instead, tasks fostering the learners' position as experts, their initiative and accountability to draw on their life-worlds were deemed to support the type of agency necessary and valuable for academic graduates. Design-based research strategy was employed to allow a cyclical process of developing the design based on the results of the previous cycle. It is hoped that the insights gained through the research might inform the planning of higher education language courses.
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 121 High Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 857-284-7073; Fax: 857-284-7358; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A