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ERIC Number: EJ857327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1470-3297
Teaching and Evaluation of Critical Appraisal Skills to Postgraduate ESL Engineering Students
Melles, Gavin
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, v46 n2 p161-170 May 2009
Enrolments in postgraduate engineering in Australia include a significant proportion of Asian ESL (English as a Second Language) students, and there is some debate in the literature about whether they are capable of critical appraisal. Content-based discipline-specific EAP (English for Academic Purposes) courses provide an environment for addressing the language, writing, and critical appraisal needs of such students. In particular, there is evidence that a "sustained" approach to critical appraisal through engaging with engineering content is the best environment for this significant cohort. Despite this, such programmes are relatively rare in higher education partly as a result of the peripheral status of language and academic skills in relation to engineering knowledge and practice. This case study outlines the curriculum framework and rationale for a content-based EAP response to teaching critical appraisal skills and examines evaluative feedback from an open-ended survey of three semester cohorts of students (n=64, 85% response rate) regarding their encounter with critical thinking and practice. The paper argues both that discipline-specific EAP courses are an appropriate place to teach critical appraisal skills and contributes to the debate on the capacity of ESL students to develop this skill. (Contains 2 notes and 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia