Your English Language Learning Network
English Online Teacher Newsletter
May 2013

Dear EAL Professionals,


We would like to extend a warm thanks to all those involved in putting together the TEAM conference at UofW last month! The experience was valuable for everyone involved.


Great News from English Online!


English Online Inc. is excited to announce Canada's first full-day National Online Conference for EAL/ESL Professionals. The online event will take place in January 2014, with the purpose of bringing together ESL practitioners from across Canada to connect and network with other professionals in the field. You will be able to meet and learn from experts on latest trends, best practices, educational technology, learning design and continuous professional development - all within an ELT context. Stay tuned for more updates from English Online and a community survey in the months ahead.


In other, more recent news, English Online's webinar series continued this past April with a session titled English for Academic Purposes (EAP): Developing Academic Readers and Writers. Thank you very much Tyson Seburnetwork_lateraln and Yaw Amoah-Gyampoh, the presenters were fantastic! If you have missed the webinar, it is still available as a great resource for anyone involved in the topic - click the link below to watch. For handouts from the webinar, please visit Manitoba EAL group on (or, Click Here!).

 View the recording here


Upcoming Events
  • Tutela Webinar:
    • Adventures in Digital Storytelling (June 2nd, 9:30am PST) In this one-hour webinar, the presenter will detail their experience using Digital Storytelling for ESL learners, including an a review of the tools needed to create them, and an explanation of their adaptability. Click here to learn more.
  • EAP Conference:
    • The English Language Center (ELC) at the University of Manitoba: Pathways and Promises (June 7, 8:00am - 3:30 pm CDT) Keynote presentations will focus on EAP in Canadian specific contexts and trends. If you are involved in EAP instruction, study, staff supervision, program development or curriculum, this conference is for you. Click here to learn more.  
  •  English Online Webinar:
    • Cultural Factors that Impact Listening Skills, (June 15, 2013, 10:00 am CDT). In this workshop, presented by Julie Bell,  participants will have the opportunity to reflect on listening and culture and will leave with strategies for helping learners to improve their listening skills, regardless of what cultural barriers may exists. Click here to learn more.
  • Online Conference:
    • Business English special interest group of IATEFL: 1st IATEFL BESIG Online Conference (June 15, 8:00am - 5:00pm GMT) This free online conference includes a full day of online workshops, speakers, and 'how to' sessions for anyone with an interest in Business English. Themes will center on ESP materials, and the integration of digital/mobile materials. Click here to learn more.
English for Academic Purposes (EAP)


  What makes EAP different?

EAP is one of the most common forms of English for Specific Purposes, and is essential for preparing learners for University and Business contexts. What are the characteristics that distinguish it from other areas within ESL?

Wide Perspective

EAP is language learning for students who are using English to access other disciplines. It is English as a medium first, as a way to access other information. Thus, EAP is highly contextual. It incorporates qualities of the subject matter, yet requires a cross-disciplinary sense of communication. The wide perspective of EAP also requires a view of language learning at the global level.


Academic Culture

Perhaps the most defining aspect of EAP is the Academic Nature of the field. Academic communication is no easy skill even for native English speakers - for ESL students, the academic culture brings with it concerns about style, referencing, levels of formality, and informal communication with professors and classmates. There is also a strong presence of Written English, including the need for clarity on complex topics and the ability to build arguments.


Critical Analysis

Different than learning English for daily life, EAP students need to know how to be critical in their approach to language input and output. This is a difficult mindset to instill in any learner and, bringing up context again, students' own culture will play a major role in how easily this can be adopted.


Cultural Awareness

Of course, underlying any aspect of ESL is the cultural awareness that teachers need when considering learners who live and work in foreign countries. For EAP, learners want to communicate effectively in the culture of their academic programs, regardless of where they are from. The sensitivity of the teacher resides in ensuring that learners understand the norms and have the skills needed to be successful in their academic goals.
For a thought provoking take on defining EAP, see the UEAP blog entry Do we Teach just Language?


Great Resources on EAP


After you have checked out the archived English Online webinar above, there are many other online resources and events that provide professional development opportunities in the field of EAP:   


A free online text-book: EAP Essentials. The sample unit provides an overview of the EAP context.  

Using English for Academic Purposes (UEAP) is a geared towards learners, with a wide range of media, links and materials that is useful for both students and teachers alike. Instructional Video. Links Page.

This recent paper on OERs and EAP is useful for its collection of online resources, as well it gives a bit of background on Open Access.

A list of EAP papers and publications at

Learning to Teach English for Academic Purposes - a very useful article by Gerard Sharpling.


Try something new today!


English Online Team 



Have questions, suggestions or comments?  

Contact Glen at

EAP People Online 
Nigel Caplan runs a general ESL blog, with distinct EAP tint. His newsletter supports teachers of graduate students  
Ken Hyland has written extensively on EAP, and has a great list of publications and books  


Teaching EAP is a place for discussing some of the deeper issues in EAP.


Rachael Cayley is a senior lecturer at UofT. Her blog about academic writing called Explorations of Style is a must read!


Tyson Seburn's online hub of ESL and EAP information provides numerous ideas and valuable links, including a wonderful calendar of events.


Scott Douglas from UBC maintains a blog specifically for EAP filled with research and practice, from someone passionate in the field.


Asli Saglam, a language teacher in Turkey, keeps an active blog on language related issues and being a Digital Educator.




Relevant Resources on








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